A new gold exploration player in the Far North has brought respected regional leader and former Eabametoong Chief Harvey Yesno aboard as an advisor.
And he'll be basically working in the backyard of his home community.
Lithoquest Resources, a Vancouver junior miner, holds more than 41,000 hectares of prospective ground situated on an untapped greenstone gold belt near Eabametoong, 300 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. The company's three exploration projects all fall within Eabametoong's traditional territory.
Lithoquest's gold properties - Miminiska, Keezhik and Attwood - are arrayed to the northwest, west and southwest - of the First Nation community.
The company believes this area and the community have the potential to host a major district-scale gold camp.
"I am honoured that Mr. Yesno has agreed to become an advisor to the company," said Lithoquest president-CEO Bruce Counts in a news release.
"Harvey's wealth of experience as a First Nations leader as well as his knowledge of the Eabametoong community and culture will be invaluable to Lithoquest as it moves its projects forward."
Yesno recently joined the board of directors of Avalon Advanced Materials, an exploration outfit working a lithium project north of Kenora.
A member of Eabametoong First Nation, Yesno also served as president-CEO of the Nishnawbe-Aski Development Fund from 1993 to 2011, served briefly with the province's Ring of Fire Secretariat, and stood as Nishnawbe-Aski Nation grand chief from 2012 to 2015.
Lithoquest has also contracted JM Development Solutions to assist with engaging the Eabametoong community in discussions regarding the advancement of its high-grade gold properties in northwestern Ontario.
"Lithoquest is also looking forward to working with JM Development Solutions," said Counts. "JMDS has a successful track record of working with junior mining companies to engage NW Ontario First Nations communities in the consultation process."
Formerly known as Lithoquest Diamonds, the company has been working in northwestern Australia before starting the search for gold prospects closer to home.
The area they've landed in, the company maintains, bears the geological similarities to the Musselwhite Mine due to the banded iron formations, which have the potential to host high-grade gold deposits.
In late 2020, Lithoquest acquired claims 60 kilometres southwest of Eabametoong and within five kilometres of the all-weather Ogoki Forestry Road. The 23,262-hectare property was dubbed the Attwood Project.
Last May, Lithoquest expanded its footprint in the area by signing an option agreement with Landore Resources to pick up two additional gold projects, Miminiska and Keezhik.
The projects are situated within the Miminiska-Fort Hope greenstone belt. Exploration drilling by previous operators have intersected significant gold mineralization that Lithoquest said could result in a large gold camp.
These projects range from grassroots to the early stages of discovery.
The company began compiling all the historic exploration data and, over the summer and into the fall, ran an airborne LIDAR (Laser Imaging, Detection and Ranging ) survey before starting a field program of mapping and geochemical sampling to identify new areas not previously explored in order to set things up to bring in the drills early this year.
Exploration programs will focus on expanding the currently known zones of gold mineralization and identify targets for new discoveries, the company said.