GOLD: Banyan releases maiden resource for AurMac in the Yukon

YUKON – Banyan Gold has released a maiden resource estimate for the 92.3-sq.-km AurMac property (previously Aurex-McQuesten) within the Mayo mining district. The pit-constrained inferred resource is made up of the Airstrip and Powerline deposits and totals 52.6 million tonnes

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Banyan stock soars on initial AurMac resource estimates

Banyan Gold (TSXV: BYN) on Monday reported an initial mineral resource estimate of 903,945 ‎ounces in the inferred category for its Aurex ‎and McQuesten properties, located in the Mayo Mining ‎district of Yukon, approximately 56 km northeast from the village of Mayo and 356 km north of Whitehorse.

The properties, together referred to as the AurMac property, are held by the company under earn-in option agreements with StrataGold, a 100% owned subsidiary of Victoria Gold (TSXV: VIT) and Alexco Resource (TSX: AXR).

The AurMac property is located 40 km from Victoria Gold’s open-pit, heap-leach mine and 10 km from Alexco’s mill facility in the Keno Hills District.

The Airstrip and Powerline deposits contained within the AurMac property are both on and near-surface deposits and potentially open-pit mineable, with expected low strip ratios.

“We are excited with the value this initial mineral resource estimate generates for our shareholders, particularly given the modest exploration expenditures by Banyan, generating ounces at less than $2 per ounce,” president and CEO Tara Christie stated in a press release.

“Further, examination of the Airstrip mineral resource model highlights its robust nature; when the cut-off grade is increased by 50%, to 0.3 g/t, less than 15% of the ounces are reduced; while, the grade increases by more than 20% to an average of 0.65 g/t.”

She added that the deposit model exercise has identified a series of drill targets, which will “meaningfully build upon this initial mineral resource.”

Shares of Banyan Gold jumped 43.7% on Monday to a two-year high on the initial resource estimate released. The Canadian mining junior has a market capitalization of approximately C$15 million.

Kirkland Lake Gold invests in Melkior Resources

Kirkland Lake Gold (TSX: KL; NYSE: KL) has struck a strategic partnership with Melkior Resources (TSXV: MKR), which is advancing its flagship Carscallen gold project in the Timmins gold camp of Ontario. The Toronto-based gold miner, whose high-grade mines in Canada and Australia

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Spearmint Resources acquires PGM project in Ontario

Spearmint Resources (CSE: SPMT) recently announced that it has acquired the Escape Lake North PGM project in Ontario, Canada.

Escape Lake North occupies 2,500 contiguous acres and is prospective for platinum group metals. The property borders Clean Air Metals’ Thunder Bay North project PGM deposit, which hosts 9.8 million tonnes of 2.3g/t PtEq, with 1:1 platinum, palladium in resource.

“We are extremely pleased to have acquired this PGM project that is directly bordering this exciting world-class PGM deposit,” James Nelson, Spearmint’s president, said in a media statement. “The prices of platinum and palladium have been on a steady uptrend and near all-time highs. We are very optimistic about the future of the PGM and look forward to starting up operations on this new project.”

According to Nelson, his company is planning to be active on multiple projects this summer given that the junior mining market is showing robust signs of renewed investor attention.

Aurania to expand from Ecuador to Peru

Aurania Resources (TSXV: ARU) announced that it has identified an opportunity for additional copper and gold exploration as a result of the possible extension of a mineral belt from its Lost Cities – Cutucu project in Ecuador into northern Peru.

Thus, the company registered a subsidiary in Peru and applied for 419 mineral concessions covering 413,200 hectares in the northern part of the country. Mineral concession fees are $3.00 per hectare per year.

Aurania geologists believe the areas they want to explore may have some copper porphyry potential if they prove to be an analogous geological setting to the ground across the border in Ecuador

In a press release, Aurania said that although the concessions may not be granted for several months, management has already started a detailed review of existing data that is available from the Peruvian government.

“We recognized in March 2019 that copper-silver sediment-hosted mineralization of a similar style and grade to that we have discovered ourselves in the Cutucu Cordillera in Ecuador was discovered by a competitor company in Peru, approximately 300 kilometres to the south,” Keith Barron, Aurania’s chairman and CEO, said in the press brief. “The Peruvian occurrences appeared to occur in proximity to salt domes, and within our concessions in Ecuador are two areas that have been utilized by the Shuar community for decades, if not centuries, for salt. Believing that salt is geochemically a significant piece of the puzzle and potentially the reason for the extent and distribution of the copper and silver, it was considered too compelling to ignore the Peruvian opportunity.”

Kairos finds drill funding

Junior explorer Kairos Minerals will raise A$4.2-million to fund drilling and exploration programmes at its Pilbara gold project, in Western Australia. The company on Monday said that it had received firm commitments to raise an initial A$2.5-million through a share placement priced at 1.1c a share, with 227-million shares up for offer.

Australian state delays rent, fees collection to support the exploration sector

The Australian state of Victoria announced that it will defer until January 2021, the collection of all rents on exploration, mining, prospecting and retention licences, as well as annual fees for extractive industries’ work.

These fees and rents bring about A$3.5 million in revenue to the southeastern state, however, after consultation with industry experts, regional authorities decided that it was important to support companies struggling due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The Victoria government said it will also expedite processes for quarries where there is a need to maintain a supply of critical materials, with priority given to critical infrastructure and bushfire recovery projects

Besides the rent deferral, the agencies in charge of regulating the resource sector have been instructed to consider the impacts of the current global situation in their decision-making process for licence and work authority approvals, and for applications to vary licence and work authority conditions, such as expenditure requirements.

The announcement was positively received by the Minerals Council of Australia, whose regional executive director, James Sorahan, said that this kind of support is likely to deliver major economic returns in the future while keeping geologists, surveyors and other personnel employed through the recovery phase of the pandemic. 

“Victoria’s explorers and miners with exploration tenements are facing significant disruptions including to people movement and equipment access as a result of covid-19. Difficulties accessing ground have made it challenging for some explorers to meet their licence conditions through no fault of their own,” Sorahan said in a media statement. “A temporary reduction in fees, charges and rents will free up funds for exploration drilling and reinvestment in mining operations. The ability to work with the government on licence conditions means a fair go for explorers.”

How the taste of groundwater could help focus exploration efforts

Haloes of altered water chemistry in groundwater could help geologists identify areas where ore deposits lie hidden below the surface.

A new report published by the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia states that by sampling groundwaters, prospectors can make their exploration instruments ‘taste’ the geology they have come into contact with and determine what kind of minerals are buried in a specific area.

Chemical anomalies identified in groundwater from sediment-covered areas in the Capricorn region have already stimulated further private exploration investment

The report is based on research carried out by scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation CSIRO, the Centre for Exploration Targeting and Curtin University in the Capricorn region of Western Australia.

In the area of study, layers of sediment and weathering are believed to hide potential ore deposits from view. Thus, the experts sampled certain places around known deposits of gold, uranium, and other minerals and noticed that the interaction with the ore systems had left distinctive traces in the water.

“Groundwater penetrates through covering sediments and interacts directly with the bedrock, dissolving trace amounts of the minerals present into solution,” Nathan Reid, one of the researchers at CSIRO, said in a media statement. “Where the underlying rocks contain a valuable ore deposit, the chemical flavour of that mineralisation extends much further than the concentrated mineralisation itself – just like a teaspoon of salt can make a whole glass of water taste salty.” 

In the scientist’s view, by using this technique, exploration companies would be able to focus their efforts on the right areas.