Ardiden has ploughed into its winter drilling campaign at the South Limb prospect in Canada where the company has designed a seven-hole program across the prospect, which lies only 500 metres along strike from the high-grade Dona Lake gold mine in the gold-rich Pickle Lake district. The drill rig is scheduled to head back to the company’s flagship Kasagiminnis deposit following the completion of drilling at South Limb.
The company’s South Limb tenure covers around 9 kilometres of south-western strike extensions to the Dona Lake gold mine. The historic high-grade Dona Lake mine was operated by Newmont from 1987 to 1993 and produced more than 246,000 ounces of gold. The underground mine exploited a sequence of iron-rich, sediment-hosted ores with mineralisation extending to a depth of more than 450m below surface and averaging more than 6.5 grams per tonne gold.
However, the Dona Lake ore body has a small footprint, outcropping over only 100m of strike, providing Ardiden’s geologists with an interesting challenge as they target the southern strike extensions to the lucrative deposit. A concentration of iron-rich sediments in the northeast of the company’s South Limb tenement has put three target areas in the spotlight for priority drill testing.
South Limb, which sits alongside the Dona Creek Gold Mine, is the second gold prospect to be drilled at our Pickle Lake Gold Project. There are another 20 identified gold Prospects, which have yet to be touched. We have budgeted and planned at least 5,000m of Winter drilling which will be split between our fully permitted South Limb Prospect and Kasagiminnis Gold Deposit. The program will be adapted to the geology intersected and to optimise local logistics.
The Pickle Lake gold project is located in the Canadian province of Ontario with Ardiden’s expanding real estate covering over 870 square kilometres of gold-bearing Archean greenstones. The company’s tenure stretches across more than 90km of strike and takes in 22 gold targets – a number which is set to grow as exploration continues across the fertile terrane.
Ontario has become an increasingly fashionable address for gold exploration with a star-studded cast of miners flocking to the region in recent years. Of note, the rush has included ASX-listed gold producer Evolution Mining, who purchased Newmont’s Red Lake gold mine in late 2019 for close to half-a-billion US dollars. Mining through the Red Lake goldfield, which is located around 175km to the west of Ardiden’s tenure, has produced more than 30 million ounces of gold, hinting at the potential of the resurgent Pickle Lake terrane.
Gold mining through the Pickle Lake region in the 1980s and 1990s produced more than 3 million ounces of high-grade gold. Prominent local mines include Pickle Crow, Central Patricia and Golden Patricia. All of which provide the company with solid geological models for gold mineralisation in the greenstone terrane and confidence to drive forward with exploration and development across the district.
The drill program at South Limb is first cab off the rank for the company’s winter campaign due to ease of access from the town of Pickle Lake, with the main highway and a well-maintained haul road providing year-round access to the prospect. It is also developing a ‘winter trail’ to the more remote Kasagiminnis deposit, some 17km to the south-west, to facilitate the ongoing drilling program at the growing ore body.
Ardiden looks to be off and running in 2021, with diamond drilling underway at South Limb and access being emplaced for a rapid move back to Kasagiminnis the company looks well placed to unlock the potential of this underexplored gold terrane in central Canada.
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