Ring of Fire co-discoverer takes on gold deposit with new junior
A new listing on the TSX-V, Wolfden Resources, is backed by some big names in Canadian mineral exploration.
Posted: Friday , 26 Oct 2012
HALIFAX, NS (MINEWEB) -
I've taken a look at the new listings on the TSX-Venture in October (list below) and think it's fair to say that by far the most interesting in the pack is Wolfden Resources. Or the new Wolfden, as it turns out. But more on that on a moment. In sum here we have a neat little gold deposit - that certainly needs to grow - in the hands of a pair of well regarded prospectors and junior exploration execs. The deposit is the Clarence Stream gold-antimony project in New Brunswick, and a bit more on that in a moment. But first a few notes on Wolfden's two founders: Donald Hoy, Wolfden president & CEO, and Ewan Downie, Wolfden chairman.
Hoy and Downie, both award winning prospectors in Canada, are well known in junior mining circles with notable credits to their names. Hoy gets co-credit for the Ring of Fire discovery in Northern Ontario, a major chromite story that is now being advanced by Cliffs Natural Resources and Noront Resources. Hoy was also the vice president of exploration for Freewest Resources, a private explorer that was a major player in the Ring of Fire and which Cliffs subsequently took over. In fact the Clarence Stream gold-antimony project was a Freewest asset, but didn't factor large (or at all, actually) in the grand scheme of things for Cliffs, an iron-ore ore and coal producer with a focus on steel markets.
As for Downie, he is the president and CEO of Premier Gold Mines. This junior, some may recall, was a spin-out from a previous permutation of the same-named Wolfden Resources. Indeed when I spoke to Hoy on Friday he called the newly-listed junior that he now manages, "the new Wolfden." The thinking must be: don't mess with a good name and a good history. The old Wolfden was taken over by Zinifex in the mid 2000s and meantime Premier Gold has grown to a marketcap near a billion dollars (as of October 26, 2012).
So to come back to my superlative opening statement. Does this not, the prospectors and the history of asset building and takeovers, make for the most interesting listing and gold story in recent months on the Venture? I think so.
No doubt Clarence Stream is a humble gold deposit. It holds 182,000 ounces gold @ 6.90 g/t, indicated, and 250,000 ounces gold @ 6.34 g/t Au, inferred. Part of the resource also has a small antimony resource, with 7.3 million pounds @ 2.9 percent Sb. But, if it is relatively small at this stage, surely it won't be said Wolfden overpaid. In striking a deal for the deposit with Cliffs, which owned 70 percent of the project, and Rockport, which held the balance, Wolfden cut cheques for C$2 million and C$1 million in addition to issuing shares to each respective company to consolidate full ownership of Clarence Stream. As Hoy put it, the deal works out to about C$9 an ounce for contained gold in the ground.
A deposit of this size - neither anything to sneeze at, nor something to go hog wild over - is not going to register high on the list of bona fide gold producers or financial institutions. And of course Hoy knows this. He spoke pragmatically about the need to hit a million ounces or more in resources to make the gold project really work. To try to get there Hoy has planned a C$3 million drill program to take place over the next 18-months; then a resource update would come, which could possibly lead to a scoping study, he said. In part the drilling program will be aimed at resource definition to increase confidence in inferred resources. Yet Hoy also described plans to take more aggressive step-out drilling than in the past; fewer drillholes incremental to resources and more drilling on the order of 50- to 100-metre stepouts in areas where mineralization is still open.
"The real key is we haven't defined the limits to mineralization," said Hoy, who described gold (it is primarily free gold) as being hosted by swarms and sheets of quartz veins across widths of around three to four metres. "That's why we went back and acquired it."
And while he noted Clarence Stream may not be a massive Archean gold-quartz system the likes of which are found in the major gold camps in Ontario and Quebec, Hoy figured Clarence Stream still has the makings of a modest-sized gold project with good grade and excellent recoveries north of 90 percent. Putting Clarence Stream's relative small size in juxtaposition to gold behemoths in Central Canada, Hoy nonetheless said: "It doesn't mean it can't make a half-decent gold deposit or we can't make money in it."
Selected new listings on the TSX-Venture in October (ordered by cash)