Quebec-focused mission generator Azimut Exploration (TSXV: AZM) expects the mineralized intrusion underpinning the Patwon discovery of 2019 to widen and enhance in grade at depth, president and CEO Jean-Marc Lulin tells The Northern Miner.
“There was loads of seen gold evident within the core samples recovered from the June drill program, however for which ends stay excellent,” Lulin mentioned on a current sponsored website go to to the flagship Elmer property within the province’s distant James Bay area.
It might even be that the corporate’s drills are closing in on a second intrusive, however till the corporate receives the assay outcomes from backed-up laboratories, it could stay onerous to inform. Additional drilling stays halted in anticipation of the outcomes.
In accordance with Lulin, the Patwon zone is a constant, steeply dipping, gold-bearing zone that has been traced over a strike size of 500 metres and to a minimal depth of 450 metres, the place the system stays “sturdy and open,” with a attainable gold grade enhance with depth. The common estimated precise width is about 35 metres based mostly on the printed outcomes from 44 drill holes. True widths can attain as much as 80 metres.
“Patwon reveals a formidable central core that extends from floor to a minimal depth of 450 metres, with an estimated true width of fifty metres and a grade-by-thickness issue starting from 50 to 412 (based mostly on true widths),” says Lulin. “The core zone seems to widen to the west and with depth. It correlates spatially with a vertically dipping felsic intrusion, indicating a powerful chance for kilometre-scale vertical extent.”
Patwon is an orogenic gold-bearing system in a three-kilometre-thick sequence of felsic volcanics with porphyritic intrusions, mafic volcanics, polymictic conglomerates and gabbroic sills. This sediment kind classically has the potential for kilometre-scale vertical extension.
Thus far, the staff’s understanding of the mineralization is especially associated to quartz-vein networks and their wall rock alteration haloes, with pyrite because the dominant sulphide, occurring as fine-to-coarse disseminations, crosscutting stringers and semi-massive to large lenses. Alteration contains pervasive silica, feldspar, sericite, chlorite, carbonate and tourmaline. Native gold grains are frequent.
The staff has traced the northwest-southeast-trending mineralized envelope northwards, dipping a mean of 75° and is subparallel to the schistosity. “It seems geometrically easy, with no inner folding or crosscutting barren dykes, generally present in different deposits within the James Bay space,” notes Lulin.
“The preliminary geometry helps the idea of an preliminary open-pit mining operation. The constant high-grade element in most holes suggests the potential for an underground mining element as properly,” says Lulin.
The depth of quartz veining could also be partly managed by rheologic contrasts between host lithologies (felsic intrusives, felsic volcanics and mafic rocks) inside an in depth shear zone.
Preliminary metallurgical exams point out probably glorious gold recoveries by means of a gravity circuit and cyanide leaching. Patwon is a gold-only system with no undesirable components, similar to arsenic or bismuth.
Again-of-napkin calculations present Azimuth has already recognized about a million ounces at substantial grade at Patwon to this point.
Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) previously held the Elmer property underneath possibility from Eastmain Sources (now Fury Gold Mines (TSXV: FURY; NYSE-AM: FURY)), initially centred across the Duxbury declare, which was later folded into the bigger Elmer property.
Lulin says Azimut had observed sturdy anomalies in its ‘huge information’ evaluation and had recognized a powerful potential to search out mineralization there. In 2018, Barrick determined Elmer was an excessive amount of of an early stage play and dropped it, and Eastmain let the claims lapse.
“We completely jumped on it in June 2018 once we found the claims had been dropped. We had been so satisfied in regards to the property’s potential that we retain a 100% curiosity within the property and haven’t fashioned a three way partnership with anyone like we’ve performed elsewhere in our portfolio,” says Lulin.
He says the prospecting that led the corporate to the Patwon discovery in 2019 was considerably helped by geochemical evaluation of the Duxbury declare.
In accordance with Lulin, Patwon has been acknowledged as potential as early as 1999. Early prospecting returned a seize pattern of 10.1 grams per tonne gold in an outcropping quartz vein, however it was not sufficient to instill a way of ‘discovery pleasure.’
“We then began trying on the wall rocks and obtained a pattern that returned 54.6 grams per tonne, that helped change our opinion of the mission an incredible deal,” says Lulin.
The corporate launched the primary seize samples in October 2018, following in 2019 with the outcomes from the primary tenor sampling at 200-metre fences. The work resulted in Azimut recognizing a 30-metre mineralized hall at Patwon. The share worth went from 50¢ to $1.50 following the primary spherical of drill leads to 2019.
“Grade is vital, however the orientation of the mineralization is all the pieces right here,” says Lulin.
Since then, the corporate’s drilling campaigns have typically been targeted on increasing the dimensions of the identified mineralization. “It’s actually good mineralogy for high-grade gold mineralization,” says Lulin.
The wall rocks and the quartz veins make for a steady mineralized system. “The mineralized envelope could be very easy, regardless of some inner geological complexity within the type of seen gold, a number of pyrites, quartz veining and alteration,” he says. These are the 4 parameters our drillers use, so that they know they’re stepping into the great things.”
Prospecting elsewhere on the property has additionally returned good counts of pristine gold grains, lending additional credence to the corporate’s thesis on one thing probably huge.
Preliminary metallurgical testing has confirmed all of the gold to be free, and 20% to 25% of the gold might be recovered utilizing gravity processing.
Lulin is satisfied the Patwon intrusion can’t exist in isolation. He likens the mineralized prevalence to the primary of a possible ‘string of pearls.’
A serious frustration for the corporate is the bottlenecks at laboratories. Lulin says the corporate continues to be ready on many outcomes, impeding administration’s potential to plan the following phases of the exploration technique.
Lulin says there are two elements to the exploration technique: To broaden the Patwon discovery to an exploration goal of not less than two million ounces, to a depth of about one kilometre.
The corporate goals at finalizing an NI 43-101-compliant mineral useful resource assertion for Patwon by the top of 2022. To this finish, the corporate has simply accomplished developing a brand new core shack at Camp Elmer to accommodate the processing of elevated core volumes, given the plan to get three to 4 drill rigs out to the positioning for the autumn and winter drill programmes.
“We all know we’re on observe right here,” he says. “The subsequent precedence is to search out the opposite intrusives. This sort of geology usually manifests like pearls on a string.”
Regardless of the Elmer property’s distant location, it has cheap entry to infrastructure. There’s about 25 km from hydropower at Eastmain and about 25 km from the Billy Diamond freeway. An entry highway to the Elmer website is within the allowing part, with two helicopters on standby to move folks and cargo from the close by La Grande airport.
Additional, Lulin says the native Cree First Nation has been very proactive about mineral improvement within the James Bay area and has demonstrated a excessive diploma of enterprise savvy. Thus far, three agreements have been signed in reference to the exploration and improvement of Elmer, with the Cree set to play a big function within the everlasting entry highway’s building.
Azimut says it maintains a powerful concentrate on price management and acquires its belongings by way of staking as a mission generator. It has by no means forked over cash to amass its belongings, Lulin says. “This exploration work is pure worth creation. For instance, each greenback spent on Patwon has to date delivered worth.”
In accordance with Lulin, the precedence now’s to outline the envelope. “We’re specializing in increasing what we already know,” he says.
The subsequent steps on the bigger Elmer property entail a until survey, and extra prospecting whereas the staff awaits the assay outcomes from the final spherical of drilling. The staff additionally plans to undertake top-of-bedrock reverse-circulation drilling within the hunt for additional ‘smoke’ which will point out the presence of different intrusives.
Importantly, Lulin explains the orientation of the orebody is critically important. The staff will undertake an orientation survey on the lined Patwon space, comprising 200-to-300-metre line spacing alongside the Patwon Shear extensions and subparallel zones.
“We have already got so many high-grade gold zones, given the little exploration we’ve performed, the probabilities of discovering extra of the identical is actually in our favour,” says Lulin.
Analysts obtained excited in regards to the identification of polygenic conglomerate rocks very near the Patwon outcrop. Lulin notes the formation is a standard function of famend gold camps in Kalgoorlie, Australia, and even Newfoundland and Labrador’s rising Marathon gold camp.
Evaluating already identified deposits with the Patwon discovery options is an important step in supporting the exploration speculation and envisioning the upside potential of the invention, even when every deposit is finally completely different.
Key options of the Goldex deposit, owned and operated by Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX: AEM; NYSE: AEM), correlate with Patwon, Lulin says. The steeply dipping mineralized physique has a horizontal size of about 450 metres and is 1.8 km in depth. Goldex, a multi-million-ounce gold mine, is positioned on the west facet of Val-d’Or within the Abitibi area of Quebec.
The mineral reserve and useful resource assertion for the Goldex deposit as of December 31, 2020, contains confirmed and possible reserves of 1.1 million ounces of gold in 22.1 million tonnes grading 1.57 grams gold per tonne. The measured and indicated sources entail 1.7 million ounces in 31.6 million tonnes grading 1.66 grams gold per tonne, and inferred sources of 1.2 million ounces in 24.8 million tonnes grading 1.5 grams gold per tonne.
The upside potential is what retains motivating the Azimut staff. Ten new drill targets in an eight-km by three-km hall are able to be drill examined. On the similar time, the staff has recognized an extra two km of potential strike comprising high-grade undrilled prospects.
The corporate has in depth induced polarization anomalies, together with excessive counts of pristine gold grains within the until.
In the meantime, Lulin supplied a quick replace on the corporate’s different core prospect, the world-class Rex copper-gold alternative in Nunavik. “It’s a true crustal-scale anomaly 330 kilometres lengthy and 30 to 50 kilometres large masking the Rex and Rex South properties.
“This can change into a brand new mineral province,” says Lulin.
In 2021, SOQUEM funded a $4 million exploration program on each properties comprising 49 km of floor geophysics, 2,890 metres over 17 holes of diamond drilling, and channel sampling. The tasks (Rex and Rex South) are a part of a strategic alliance signed between Azimut and Quebec-government-mandated SOQUEM. Azimut is the operator of the partnership.
The area gives important potential for vital or strategic commodities by the Quebec and Canadian governments, particularly copper, tellurium, bismuth, tungsten, tin, molybdenum, rhenium, indium, and uncommon earth components. The Rex and Rex South properties cowl a area thought-about by Lulin and the staff to be a brand new mineral province with the potential to host large-scale deposits.
Analysts say they consider the Elmer property underpins about 90% of Azimut’s present worth. They count on the present upside potential at Patwon might be priced into the present share worth. Nonetheless, the announcement of a brand new main discovery will possible ship the shares working larger. The corporate is aware of this and is due to this fact prioritizing about 85% to 90% of its capital spend on Elmer exploration.
Knowledge processing is Azimut’s core enterprise, drawing on the publicly out there geological dataset developed by the Quebec authorities. The province, with its greater than 180,000 sq. km. of potential lands, is exclusive in making out there these in depth datasets without spending a dime. Lulin and Azimut have developed the so-called AztechMine platform to research the information utilizing a ‘huge information’ strategy. Thus far, it has resulted in figuring out greater than 500 mineral prospects in Quebec.
Azimut has signed 32 partnership agreements to this point, together with with corporations similar to Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO; NYSE: RIO), Newmont (TSX: NGT; NYSE: NEM), Iamgold (TSX: IMG; NYSE: IAG), Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) and SOQUEM.
The corporate was based in 1986 and right this moment nonetheless solely has about 81.7 million shares excellent, with a float of about 23 million shares, of which about 65% is accountable for so-called ‘sturdy arms.’
Lulin himself holds about two million shares, and he’s proud to notice the fairness has by no means been consolidated throughout this timeframe. “We have now one of many lowest dilution charges of any junior.”
The corporate presently has about $30 million in money.
Azimut shares have gained about 75% over the previous 12 months to $2.19 as of September 20, capitalizing it at $179 million.