Vanstar Mining Resources Inc. [VSR-TSXV; VMNGF-OTC] announced initial assay results from its 2020 exploration diamond drilling program completed by IAMGOLD Corp. [IMG-TSX; IAG-NYSE] at its Nelligan joint venture project (IAMGOLD 75%/Vanstar 25%), located 60 km southwest of Chibougamau, Quebec.
Assays from six diamond drill holes totalling 3,717 metres have been received with assays pending from a further three drill holes totalling 1,278 metres.
• Drill hole NE-20-150: 25.1 metres grading 1.87 g/t Au
includes: 2.6 metres grading 4.72 g/t Au
and 25.5 metres grading 1.10 g/t Au
includes; 7.5 metres grading 2.15 g/t Au
Renard West Zone:
• Drill hole NE-20-155: 10.5 metres grading 10.5 g/t Au (4.95 g/t Au capped at 30g/t)
includes: 1.5 metres grading 69.1 g/t Au
and 28.5 metres grading 0.78 g/t Au
includes: 12.0 metres grading 1.18 g/t Au
The Nelligan gold project (on a 100% basis) hosts Inferred Mineral Resources containing 3.2 million ounces of gold grading 1.02 g/t gold. The 2020 diamond drilling program was designed to infill selected areas of the resource to upgrade resource classification from inferred to an indicated category and evaluate potential resource extensions at depth and along strike.
“The significance of these results and what they mean for Vanstar and the Nelligan Project cannot be overstated,” commented Vanstar CEO Guy Morissette. He further stated: “The objectives being met as set out in this drill program carried out by IAMGOLD are met and confirm the potential extensions at the Nelligan deposit to the west and to depth. Hole NE-20-155, located more than 500 metres west of the Nelligan current inferred resources, intersected a grade of 10.5 g/t gold over a thickness of 10.5 metres while a second mineralized zone revealed 28.5 metres grading 0.78 g/t gold which includes 12 metres grading 1.18 g/t gold. With these new results in place we will have a much better understanding of the overall potential at Nelligan, and the homogeneous nature of this gold system gives us considerable confidence that the overall potential at Nelligan will continue to grow as the drilling continues. We remain very optimistic about the next results coming soon.”
Craig MacDougall, senior vice-president, exploration, for IAMGOLD, stated in another press release: “We continue to be pleased with these further positive results obtained from the 2020 program completed before our activities were suspended as directed by the government of Quebec in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The drilling program continued to intersect the expected alteration and associated mineralization within the resource area, and importantly has demonstrated that the alteration system remains open along strike to the west outside of the current modeled resource for potentially another 500 metres. Additional drilling is needed to assess this potential and we look forward to the resumption of our drilling activities once conditions allow us to do so in a safe manner.”
In response to the global COVID-19 crisis, IAMGOLD temporarily suspended its diamond drilling program in progress on the Nelligan Project on March 23. The 2020 exploration drilling program was planned to involve the completion of approximately 8,000 metres focused on infill drilling to improve resource classification as well as step-out drilling to evaluate potential resource extensions at depth and along strike.
A total of 4,995 metres of diamond drilling were completed up to the suspension of the program. A summer drilling campaign is currently being designed to complete the drilling program, taking into consideration summer access conditions as well as the implementation of safety protocols to prevent COVID-19 infections.
Additional metallurgical tests are also planned to provide additional information on the metallurgical recoveries from the various zones of mineralization.
Regional exploration activities will also continue to define and evaluate other priority targets on the property with focused geological mapping programs supported by geochemical and geophysical surveys as merited.
As at December 31, 2019, IAMGOLD reported (on a 100%) Inferred Mineral Resources of 97.0 million tonnes grading 1.02 g/t gold, for 3.2 million contained ounces.
The Nelligan Project is held under an earn-in option to joint venture agreement with Vanstar (IAMGOLD 75%/Vanstar: 25%) where IAMGOLD has a further option to acquire an additional 5% interest to hold an 80% interest in the Nelligan project by completing and delivering a feasibility study. Vanstar would then retain a 20% undivided non-contributory carried interest until the commencement of commercial production, after which the 20% undivided interest becomes participating; and Vanstar will pay its attributable portion of the total development and construction costs to the start of commercial production from 80% of its share of any continuing distributions from the joint venture. Vanstar will also retain a 1% NSR on selected claims of the project.