By Peter Kennedy
Great Bear Resources Ltd. [GBR-TSXV; GTBDF-OTC] has reported a significant new high-grade gold discovery at its 100%-owned Dixie Lake project in northwestern Ontario.
The hope is that this discovery will give a boost to the Red Lake camp, which is facing uncertainty now that its flagship gold mine is part of the portfolio of Newmont Goldcorp. [NGT-TSX; NEM-NYSE].
Highlight assay results from drilling in shallow zones on the Bear-Rimini target area include 12.33 g/t gold over 14 metres, including 30.90 g/t gold over 4.60 metres; and 194.21 g/t gold over 2.00 metres, including 759.38 g/t gold over 0.50 metres, the company said in a May 28, 2019 news release.
The Bear-Rimini Zone is located 2.5 km northwest of the Hinge Zone discovery, which last year ignited interest from major players including Bay Street gold bug Rob McEwen and his company McEwen Mining Inc. [MUX-TSX]. Together, they now hold 18.83% of Great Bear, which has a market cap of $134.4 million, based on 38.2 million shares outstanding.
Reaction to the last news has sent Great Bear’s stock price up strongly from $2.90 on May 27, 2019. On Wednesday the shares advanced 7.4% or 26 cents to $3.78 on volume of 520,174. BTU Metals Corp. [BTU-TSXV], which is exploring on an adjacent property, was also active on Wednesday. Its shares eased 6.45% or $0.01 to 14.5 cents on volume of 442,769.
Covering 9,140 hectares, Dixie Lake is a typical Archean mesothermal gold vein system located 20-25 km from significant mines that share the same geological and metallogenic characteristics.
They include Newmont Goldcorp’s Red Lake Gold Mine, which has been in production since the late 1940s, and was expected to produce 235,000 ounces of gold in 2018 at an all-in-sustaining cost of $1,000 an ounce.
Great Bear President and CEO Chris Taylor said this type of geology has been the “bread and butter of gold production in the Red Lake district for nearly a century.”
The company is currently engaged in a 30,000-metre, approximately 150-drill-hole program at the Dixie Lake property, which is expected to continue through 2018 and 2019. The company has said expanded exploration work will be informed by ongoing results, and may include additional drilling, geophysical surveys, trenching, and downhole survey methods.
“The new Bear-Rimini Zone joins the Hinge Zone as a significant new gold discovery and will be an additional focus of drilling through the remainder of 2019,” Taylor said.
The Great Bear CEO went on to say that the discovery of the Bear-Rimini Zone resulted from drilling on the LP fault, a large target that was originally identified by government surveys in the area. “It was the first drill hole on that fault which has led to this brand new discovery,” Taylor said.
Drill hole DNW-011 intersected intervals of gold mineralization across 110 metres of core length and were strongest in a coarse quartz crystal lapilli tuff unit in the northern footwall of the fault. It was the first drill hole in the project’s history to target this unit tuff.
The company said the LP Fault parallels highway 105, the main access corridor to Red Lake and is 1-3 km from a powerline and paved road. It takes about 30 minutes to drive to the exploration site from the main Red Lake gold mine, operated by Newmont Goldcorp,” he said.
Airborne geophysics completed by Great Bear shows the LP Fault and parallel structure, the North Fault, are interpreted to transect the property for 18 km of strike length.
“It looks like it could be significant,” Taylor said.
The shallowest current gold intercept in DNW-011 is only 53 metres vertically from surface; 759.38 g/t gold over 0.5 metres.
In July 2017, Great Bear acquired Newmont’s 33% stake in the Dixie Lake Project for $80,000 in total cash payments over four years. Three months later, the company acquired an additional 26 claims at Dixie Lake.
Through the purchase of Newmont’s interest, Great Bear has said it will have a 100% stake in the expanded project and all royalties to these claims.
Commenting on the latest results, Taylor said: “After recognizing a significant hydrothermal alteration zone in our previous round of regional drilling, we tested and discovered, in our first hole, a new zone of shallow high-grade gold associated with silicification of host rocks related to a crustal-scale structure we call the LP Fault.
“The fault marks a contact between mafic and felsic/intermediate rocks and is spatially associated with an 80 to 200-metre wide quartz sericite zone associated with highly anomalous to high-grade gold mineralization,” he said.
“We interpret the LP Fault to transect the property for approximately 18 kilometres of strike length.’’