Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. [WDO-TSX] is poised to step up exploration at the Presqu’ile zone at the company’s 100%-owned Kiena Mine Complex in Val d’Or, Quebec.
Given the significant upside that Presqui’ile could represent for Kiena, the company is currently evaluating options to fast-track an exploration ramp from surface.
“This infrastructure would provide the ideal platform for exploration activities to test the potential of the Presqu’ile area,’’ the company said. “It could also easily be connected to Kiena’s existing underground ramp network, providing access to surface for the existing operation.’’
The move comes after the company released surface exploration results which have confirmed the continuity of mineralized zones at Presqu’ile.
Since the completion of the prefeasibility study for the Kiena mine in 2021, both surface and underground drilling has been more focused on exploration targets that are proximal to the Kiena mine. Initially this drilling has been completed along strike from the Kiena mine within the prospective Jacola formation in order to provide additional feed for the Kiena mill.
Most recently, drilling has focused on the Presqu’ile zone located two kilometres west of the Kiena mine.
Previous drilling at the Presqui’ile zones has defined a near-surface mineral resource (inferred mineral resource of 353,000 tonnes grading 7.1 g/t gold totalling 80,600 ounces of gold from three lenses (Pr-1, Pr-2, and Pr-2A zones).
Recent drilling has confirmed several narrow, subparallel zones that are steeply east-plunging located proximal to a sheared mafic-ultramafic contact. The zones are generally hosted by porphyritic basalt.
Drilling highlights include PR-22-034, which returned 24.3 g/t gold over 3.3 metres core length (10.6 g/t gold capped, 3.0 true width) PR-1 zone.
“We are pleased with the recent surface exploration results at Presqu’ile, which could potentially increase our resource base in areas proximal to the mine,’’ said Wesdome President and CEO Duncan Middlemiss.
“The Presqu’ile zone represents an opportunity to establish an exploration ramp for further exploration of the zone but also to provide access to the underground workings via a ramp system that would greatly improve efficiencies at the Kiena mine.’’
Middlemiss said the company is drilling with two drills on barges and one surface drill to explore adjacent mineralization to the Kiena mine within the Jacola formation. “Drilling is ongoing and updates will be released within the next several months,” the company said.
Wesdome recently revised its production targets for Kiena, which is now expected to produce between 34,000 and 43,000 ounces of gold this year. The company said supply chain challenges, which delayed the delivery of underground equipment in the first quarter of 2022 and negatively affected development rates, have also delayed delivery of key electrical components for the completion of the paste backfill plant.
Consequently, the mining rate has been slower to ramp up, putting the company three to months behind its original 2022 plan.
On September 8, 2022, Wesdome shares closed at $8.25 and currently trade in a 52-week range of $16.77 and $7.56.