Anaconda Mining Inc. has strengthened its prospective position along the Northern Peninsula with the acquisition of the Rattling Brook deposit.
The deposit, purchased from Kermode Resources Ltd., has an inferred resource of 495,000 ounces within 425 hectares of property.
“It was a pretty big deal for us to be able to acquire so many ounces in an area that we think is prospective, so now we sort of have an underpinning of a deposit in an area where there’s a lot of prospectivity for more gold,” says Anaconda president and CEO Dustin Angelo.
“We’ve got to increase the confidence level and the categorization of the mineral resources, but we feel confident we can do that and expand it as well.”
Before the acquisition, Anaconda controlled quite a bit of land around the Rattling Brook deposit. In early 2016 it acquired the Thor deposit — roughly 20 kilometres south along the same Doucers Valley Fault — and in November of the same year acquired the Jackson’s Arm property.
Rattling Brook, Angelo says, was the donut hole in the latter.
“Now what we’ve done is we’ve basically put together nearly 10,000 hectares of property along a 20-kilometre strike line with two deposits and a lot of prospective ground,” he says.
“The idea is to be able to go out and explore for more ounces and put together a much larger area with gold-bearing resources.”
As part of the acquisition, Anaconda is rebranding its Viking Project, which included Thor, as the Great Northern Project. Combined, there’s over 600,000 ounces of indicated and inferred resources between both properties.
“What it has done is fortify this area for us in terms of making it a lot more attractive.”
While Anaconda is focused on continuing production at its Point Rousse Project on the Baie Verte Peninsula and getting the high-grade Goldboro Gold Project in Nova Scotia off the ground, Angelo says the company is deciding how it will proceed with the early stage exploration play that is the Great Northern Project.
“We are trying to figure out the optimal way to move it forward, which could include bringing in partners or some sort of strategic alliance to move that forward and get somebody else to focus more or their time and energy on advancing it.”
As for the Point Rousse Project, Anaconda recently released its mineral resource estimate for the Argyle Gold deposit, located within five kilometres of the Pine Cove mill and tailings facility and just northeast of the Stog’er Tight deposit.
The initial estimates show an indicated resource of 38,300 ounces and inferred resources of 30,300 ounces, and a 1,000-metre diamond drilling program is underway to expand the deposit. Environmental assessment documents will be submitted to the government by the end February and the company expects permits and approvals for production by spring 2019.
In the meantime, the Pine Cove mill is busy processing the last of the stockpiled Pine Cove Pit ore, and once that’s completed Anaconda will turn its attention to developing Stog’er Tight.
Once expended, the Pine Cove pit will be used as a tailings storage facility that will house seven million tonnes.
“That is crucial for our long-term development as well because it’ll have 15-plus years of capacity at our current throughput rates,” says Angelo.
In other Anaconda news, there is a preliminary economic assessment for Goldboro, a project to mine rich vein near Isaac’s Harbour, 185 kilometres northeast of Halifax, that could see Anaconda increase its baseload production from 16,000 ounces of gold per year to 58,000.
Angelo says that’s helping to propel the company’s plans to move ahead with a plan to recover the mineral resource through a combination of open pit and underground mining methods over nearly nine years.
“We are currently in the process of doing a 6,000-metre drill program there. Part of that is looking at areas where we could potentially extend or expand the deposit area and then some of its infill.
“We’re pretty confident that we’ll be able to expand the deposit area, so we’re looking at maybe adding on to that nine-year mine life.”