Fission Uranium initiated at 90-hole winter drill and geophysical program at its Patterson Lake South (PLS) property in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin in mid-January. Drilling at the high-grade uranium discovery is focusing on further delineating the seven shallow-depth zones identified to date while working to eliminate the gaps between the zones. Additionally, 15% to 20% of the drilling will test a number of high-priority targets identified through geophysics and radon gas surveys.
The winter program will cost $12 million and is part of $20 million Fission expects to spend on exploration at PLS in 2014.
The current drill program is the most aggressive Fission has undertaken at PLS. The previous two programs enjoyed a mineralization hit success ratio of more than 86%, with numerous high-grade assays, and grew PLS from a single discovery hole to seven zones on trend along a strike length of 1.78 km. All seven zones remain open in all directions.
The current program encompasses 30,000 m of drilling utilizing up to five diamond drill core rigs. Multiple close-spaced drill holes will test outward from the known locations of mineralization to establish the width and strike of the main mineralized trend, to grow the five identified high-grade zones, and to eliminate the distance between them.
Additional drilling will test high-priority electromagnetic conductors. These targets will be prioritized based on ground geophysics interpretation and results of an ongoing radon survey.
The 31,039-ha PLS project is 100% owned and operated by Fission Uranium.
Aquila Resources announced in mid-January completion of two transactions that effectively gave Aquila 100% ownership of the Back Forty advanced-stage exploration project in Menominee county, Michigan. Aquila accomplished the ownership consolidation by acquiring 100% of the outstanding shares of REBgold in exchange for Aquila shares on a one-for-one basis and acquiring HudBay Minerals 51% interest in the project in another all-share transaction. As a result of the latter transaction, HudBay now owns or controls approximately 18% of the Aquila’s outstanding common shares.
The Back Forty project is delineating a zinc-and-gold-rich volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit. In the past 10 years, Aquila and various venture partners have spent more than $50 million exploring and advancing the project. An updated NI 43-101-compliant resource estimate was released on February 4, 2013.
That resource estimate places Back Forty measured and indicated resources at 15.1 million mt, containing 987,236 oz of gold, 11.91 million oz of silver, 1.02 billion lb of zinc, 74.3 million lb of lead, and 110.4 million lb of copper. Inferred resources stand at 2.3 million mt, containing an additional 155,885 oz of gold, 1.99 million oz of silver, 113.3 million lb of zinc, 17.2 million lb of lead, and 18.6 million lb of copper.
The limit of strong quartz-sericite-pyrite alteration in rhyolites has not been identified in either drilling or surface exploration at Back Forty. Outcrops more than 1.5 km to the southwest are altered and mineralized. Step-out drill holes have shown that strongly altered host rocks with anomalous zinc and gold mineralization continue for at least 500 m east of the known massive sulphide.
B2Gold has reported an initial inferred resource of 6.8 million mt grading 3.2 g/mt gold and containing 703,000 oz of gold for the recently discovered Wolfshag zone at its Otjikoto gold project in Namibia. The Wolfshag zone occurs directly adjacent to the east and northeast portion of the Otjikoto open-pit mine, which is under construction.
Resources in the designed pit have an average grade of 1.42 g/mt gold. Production is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014. The initial higher-grade inferred resource estimate for the Wolfshag zone indicates the potential for future expansion of gold production and/or increase in the mine life of the Otjikoto gold project.
The 2014 Otjikoto exploration program is budgeted at $8 million. The drilling program will focus primarily on infill drilling on the northern portion of the Wolfshag zone to increase the drilling density to 50 m x 25 m and will further test the extension of the zone to the south. The 2014 program will also include metallurgical and geotechnical test work.
B2Gold anticipates being in a position to upgrade the Wolfshag mineral resource classification to the indicated category by the end of 2014.