We get it, unless you’ve got P.Geo or QP next to your name, sometimes geological lingo and drill data isn’t exactly the most exciting thing in the world. But, when sifting through the nomenclature and understanding the potential of survey and drill results, it’s easy to get excited about the opportunity for a major metal discovery just like leadership at iMetal Resources (TSX-Venture:IMR) is about their Gowganda West project.
iMetal’s 147.5 square kilometer property is situated in one of the most prolific metal regions in the world, the Abitibi Greenstone Belt. In its storied history, the Abitibi has produced more than 180 million ounces of gold and is still going strong today. Even with all that production, the largest portion of the Abitibi remains unexplored or under-explored, as is the case with Gowganda West, which exhibits characteristics of historically proven areas in the Abitibi.
The company is wasting no time with its exploration efforts in a bid to add its name to the list of major mineral finds in the region, including Kirkland Lake, Timmins, Val-d’Or, Malartic, Detour Lake and Porcupine, to name a few household mining names. It also must be noted that part of Gowganda West is within 500 meters of the Juby deposit of Pan American Silver’s (NASDAQ:PAAS) (TSX:PAAS), the largest publicly traded silver company by free float.
And there’s reason to be optimistic iMetal is indeed homing in on a large discovery. It all starts by proving Gowganda West hosts a hydrothermal system. In the genesis of a gold deposit, hydrothermal fluids are responsible for the formation of quartz veins, so showing this type of system is quite significant.
To date, channel samples, grab samples, drilling, VTEM (Versatile Time Domain Electromagnetics) study and an extensive Induced Polarization (IP) geophysical survey are all pointing towards a large hydrothermal system. iMetal consulting geologist Dave Gamble put his excitement on display in a video detailing his interpretation of the recent IP survey that clearly showed many upwelling plumes and a solid structure across the entire survey area starting near surface. If that wasn’t enough, there are several more pictures that the company just posted showing the core from the latest drilling activity.
Using the data from the survey, iMetal was able to identify many high priority drill targets in high chargeability and high resistivity anomalies coupled with impressive surface showings of up to 56 grams per tonne gold. In laymen’s terms: gold was found on the ground and modern technologies indicate that the gold continues throughout the rock underneath it.
To prove this, iMetal is conducting a diamond drill program. Data from the latest hole (GZ3-04) in what is called Grid Zone 3 was released last week, lending further credence to the value of the property. Originally slated to be 500 meters in depth, drilling encountering an extensive hydrothermal alteration resulted in extending the hole to 752 meters, only stopping there because the drill rig had reached full capacity.
More precisely, drilling cut one hydrothermal alteration from 160 meters all the way to the bottom of the drill hole, part of which contained fine-grained disseminated trace to 3% pyrite sulphide mineralization (a characteristic of gold discovery). Furthermore, 517 meters of the drill hole (from 235-752 meters) intersected a conglomerate of red jasper as grit, granules and small pebbles that is consistent with the Archean-aged Indian Lake Group of the Porcupine Assemblage that underpins Newmont Goldcorp’s (NYSE:NEM) (TSX:NGT) Porcupine mine.
“The pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together and there is excitement mounting not just within our company, but with the drillers on the property too,” said Johan Grandin, iMetal’s President and CEO, in a phone conversation. “We’re seeing hundreds of meters of hydrothermal alteration that is indicative of a significant gold discovery. To that point, we are expediting sampling and assay work and are eager to drill additional IP anomalies at Gowganda West.”
Shares of IMR have been uptrending since June, but still are commanding a market capitalization of just C$7.86 million, creating an attractive opportunity for investors looking for ground-level exposure to the Abitibi Greenstone Belt.