By Peter Kennedy
Wallbridge Mining Co. Ltd. [WM-TSX, WC7-FWB] shares were active Wednesday March 13 after the company tabled results from initial drilling at its recently optioned Beschefer gold property in Quebec.
The Beschefer Project covers 647 hectares and is located on the Northern Abitibi Greenstone Belt, 28 km from the company’s Fenelon Gold property. Beschefer is also 14 km east of the past-producing polymetallic Selbaie Mine.
Gold mineralization was discovered in the B-14 Zone in 1995 by Billiton Canada Inc. But exploration remained limited prior to the involvement of Excellon Resources Inc. [EXN-TSX], which is currently focused on its 100%-owned Platosa Mine in Durango. Platosa has been Mexico’s highest-grade silver mine since production started in 2005.
Between 2011 and 2013, Excellon completed approximately 17,000 metres of drilling, extending the B-14 mineralization down to a depth of almost 600 metres, discovering the upper shear zone and intersecting the highest-grade intersections on the property, including 55.63 g/t gold over 5.57 metres and 13.07 g/t gold over 8.75 metres.
Up until Wallbridge’s current program, there has been no exploration at Beschefer since 2013.
Wallbridge got involved in October 2018 by signing and option agreement allowing it to earn a 100% interest in the Beschefer property from a unit of Excellon. Under the agreement, Wallbridge can exercise the option by spending $4.5 million on exploration and issuing 7.0 million shares.
In late November, 2018, Wallbridge said it had launched a 1,600-metre surface drill program (five drill holes) designed to test the continuity of two-known high-grade shoots within the B-14 shear.
Mineralization typical of gold-bearing portions of the shear zone were intersected in all five holes at the expected depths, demonstrating the continuity of the mineralized system within the two high-grade shoots, the company said.
On Wednesday, Wallbridge said highlights from the drill program included 2.55 g/t gold over 20.1 metres in drill hole BE-18-048.
Drill hole BE-18-049 also intersected a narrow, high-grade shear zone above the B-14, assaying 20.22 g/t gold over 0.50 metres.
“As a next step, we are working on an updated 3D geological model of the project to better understand the controls on gold deposition and are planning a more substantial drill program to outline the high-grade domains and establish an initial resource,” said Attila Pentek, Vice-President, Exploration at Wallbridge.
On Wednesday, Wallbridge shares eased 4.9% or $0.015 to 29 cents on volume of over 2.0 million. The 52-week range is $0.055 and 35 cents.
Wallbridge has said it is establishing a pipeline of projects that will support sustainable production and revenue as well as organic growth through exploration and scalability. In a February 20, 2019 news release, the company announced a non-brokered private placement financing of up to 29.2 million common shares, priced at 24 cents each, with Bay Street gold bug Eric Sprott. Proceeds were expected to be $7 million.
Its portfolio includes the Fenelon Gold property, which covers 1,052 hectares and is located in northwestern Quebec, about 75 km northwest of Matagami. The project is proximal to the Sunday Lake Deformation Zone, which hosts the Detour Gold Mine in Ontario and Balmoral Resources Ltd.’s [BAR-TSX, BALMF-OTC] gold deposits at Martiniere.
The Fenelon property hosts the Discovery Zone gold deposit and surrounding 4 km strike length of gold-hosting secondary splay of the Sunday Lake Deformation Zone.
Since acquiring the property in late 2016, Wallbridge has completed an updated resource estimate and a positive pre-feasibility study (PFS) on the existing gold resource, which consists of 38,000 ounces in the measured and indicated category, plus a further 1,900 ounces of inferred material.
The PFS estimates a pre-tax net cash flow of $6.62 million and project pre-tax internal rate of return of 92% for the initial approximate 18-month mine life for the known reserves located above a depth of 100 metres and located within close proximity to the existing ramp.
Results of the 2017 drilling, along with geological and structural modelling combined with a reinterpretation of the deposit have led to an expanded exploration target of an additional 70,000-120,000 ounces of gold, the company has said. This target is in addition to the 2016 resource estimate.
The company recently said drilling has identified a new gold zone at the Fenelon property.
“The new zone intersected in hole FA-18-051 is located several hundred metres away from the main deposit and has very similar characteristics to the existing deposit,” said Wallbridge President and CEO Marz Korde.
“The discovery of this broad gold mineralized system in a so far unknown intrusion at depth in hole FA-18-051 is very exciting,” added Pentek.
“This new mineralized system is made up of a stockwork of gold-bearing veins surrounding more focused higher-grade shear zones which are similar to the ones found in the main deposit,” he said.
A 2019 drill program consisting of 50,000-75,000 metres commenced in mid-February (2019) with one underground drill rig and another on surface.
The company has said that 2019 underground resource drilling will initially be carried out from the recently established 5130 level (125 metres depth) and will target the main high-grade shoots down plunge to a depth of 200 metres.