VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Junior exploration company Northern Superior Resources is building on the strong momentum gained in recent months, making two new gold discoveries at its Croteau Est project, in Quebec, and gearing up for further exploration at its key assets.
“It’s very exciting to get back to exploration again,” president and CEO Dr Thomas Morris told Mining Weekly Online in a recent interview (see attached video). “We find ourselves flush with cash and the aim is to demonstrate growth in terms of ounces.”
Morris pointed out that at March 31, the company had cash and cash equivalents of C$6.61-million, comprising C$2.11-million of flow-through funds, and working capital of C$5.55-million.
Northern Superior undertook a C$2-million private placement of flow-through shares during the third quarter of 2016, which was subsequently topped up by a strategic investment of C$2-million by mining mogul Eric Sprott, and a second non-brokered private placement that raised gross proceeds of C$2.5-million.
Funds raised through these two private placements will be used to support exploration programmes on the company’s flagship Ti-pa-haa-kaa-ning (TPK) project, in Northern Ontario, and general corporate activities.
According to Morris, the company has been reinvigorated by several new shareholders as a result of financings completed in 2016 and 2017, in addition to a comprehensive overhaul of the board late last year that added a stronger technical component and more market savvy.
During the first quarter Northern Superior has completed a Phase 1, 16 hole, 4 373 m core drill programme, by underspending the planned C$1-million budget by C$300 000. The programme stepped out east and south of the defined inferred resource at its Croteau Est property.
Morris noted that while the purpose of the campaign was to demonstrate an expansion of gold mineralisation east of the Croteau fault and to provide a better understanding of gold mineralisation associated with the previously defined inferred resource, the team discovered a new gold-bearing structure, expanding gold mineralisation to the east.
In fact, the exploration campaign exceeded expectations in furthering the understanding of structural controls and emplacement mechanisms for higher-grade gold mineralisation associated with the previously defined inferred resource; the team also discovering a second gold-bearing structure associated with the cross-cutting Croteau South shear zone and Croteau fault, 1 km south of the defined inferred resource.
“We are still putting together models of what we’re looking at, but having hit 100 m of mineralisation along the South shear zone, we think we only hit the tail of the tiger,” he enthused.
Morris explained that by extension, the second discovery provides further support to the hypothesis that wherever this cross-cutting relationship exists between east-west deformation zones and northeast-southwest faults on the property, there is an opportunity for gold mineralisation.
The company’s geologists are eagerly awaiting assay results from the first phase of exploration, which in combination with a geophysics campaign, will help define targets for the second phase of drilling, slated for the third quarter this year, which will benefit from an increased C$1.3-million budget, incorporating Phase-1 savings.
The Coteau Est project has an inferred resource of 640 000 oz of gold grading 1.7 g/t, with visibility to grow as a function of drilling, Morris noted.
“With these discoveries, we now have two lots of powder in the gun.”
Meanwhile, Northern Superior has also started planning for the proposed two-phase exploration programme at its TPK project, beginning in the third quarter.
Morris believes that the TPK property, which comprises a “very large, district-scale, gold-bearing system", has the potential to be a new gold/copper/silver greenstone belt.
The project, which will in time become the company’s flagship focus, is structurally controlled with a gold-receptive splay shearing off a major inflection at the Stull-Wunnummin fault, comparable to the Malartic-Val d’Or gold district, in Quebec, located on splays off a major bend in the Larder Lake-Cadillac fault, Morris explained.
Northern Superior will focus on reinterpreting airborne magnetic data and ground induced polar geophysical data to identify structural controls on gold mineralisation. It plans to undertake a third-quarter exploration programme with the aim of completing a prospecting programme on the northwest part of the property; re-log all core associated with previous core drill programmes conducted by third parties; and complete maintenance of the exploration camp.
The purpose of all these activities is to strengthen targeting and logistical support for a planned core drill programme during the first half of 2018, Morris said.
Northern Superior has been assessing a huge amount of geological data almost a terabyte in size in search of the next generation of projects. One of the projects it has identified is the promising Wapistan target, in northern Quebec, which holds about 10 408 ha of underexplored lands.
Northern Superior has recently completed a 934 line-km, helicopter-borne geophysical survey over the Wapistan property. It is currently interpreting the data, which it will use to inform a prospecting and overburden sampling programme.
Further, in 2014, Northern Superior entered into an option agreement with Bold Ventures on the Lac Surprise property, in West Central Quebec, allowing Bold to earn a 50% interest in exchange for C$2-million in expenditures and 350 000 common shares, as well as a 60% stake in delivering a positive prefeasibility study within five years of the option agreement.
Morris advised that Bold was undertaking continued work on the property, and had even uncovered new showings. Five holes were drilled late last year for 1 185 m of core, targeting areas east of the Black Phoenix showing on the northeast part of the property. The campaign has identified that at least one of the anomalous trends previously defined by a ten-line-kilometres induced polarisation and magnetic survey is gold bearing and confirmation of the existence of a hydrothermal gold bearing system.