The 100% owned Whitney Northwest Gold Project is located north of the Lake Shore Gold Corp (T-LSG) and Goldcorp Inc. (T-G) joint venture Whitney Project north of the city of Timmins, Ontario, and 9 kilometres ENE of the city of Timmins.
In addition to its close proximity to the Whitney Project, on which Lake Shore Gold announced an expansion to its mineralized zone on February 4, 2016, Durango’s Whitney Northwest property is located directly adjacent to the north of the Bell Creek Mine Complex, which includes the Bell Creek Mine and the Bell Creek Mill. The Whitney Northwest project is located approximately 4 kilometres west-northwest of the Bell Creek Mine resource.
Durango’s Whitney Northwest Gold Project is located within the western part of the Archean-aged Southern Abitibi Greenstone Belt, a supracrustal complex of moderately to highly deformed, usually greenschist facies, volcanic-dominated oceanic assemblages that are approximately 2.7 million years in age. Supracrustal rocks in the Timmins region are assigned as members of seven volcanic and two sedimentary assemblages within the Western Abitibi Subprovince of the Superior Province. Intrusions were emplaced during the Archean and Proterozoic eons.
The Whitney Northwest Gold Project lies between the gold-bearing Destor-Porcupine Fault to the south (>60 million ounces of historic production to the end of 2006) and the gold-bearing regional Pipestone Fault to the north. The property covers the interpreted extension of several north-south and east-west trending faults.
Mineralization at Bell Creek Mine
The most significant gold mineralization at the Bell Creek Mine occurs in two lithostructural settings: a) near or along an ultramafic‐to‐mafic contact zones (the Bell Creek and West Zone), and b) within the mafic volcanic sequence (North Zones).
Mineralization at the Bell Creek mine is strongly associated with disseminated pyrite/pyrrhotite mineralization, with slightly younger gold-bearing quartz veining. This style of mineralization occurs in the deeper parts of the Dome mine and in the Rusk Zone at the Timmins West mine, but is more common to the east, in the Holloway-Holt McDermott area and at the Larder Lake.
Mineralization at the Whitney Property
Gold occurs in native form associated with quartz veins and as minute gold inclusions in sulphide minerals in metavolcanic units. Veins vary from millimeters to several centimeters in thickness and are associated with sulphides including pyrite, pyrrhotite, and arsenopyrite. Sulphides occur in both the veins and altered wall rocks.
High grade quartz-tourmaline TN-type veins occur in the wacke units and contain carbonate, tourmaline and sulphides. The presence of arsenopyrite is indicative of higher gold grades and chalcopyrite and sphalerite are indicative of very good grades.
Ribbon veins occur in the metavolcanic rocks and are well-developed veins consisting of quartz carbonate, with minor tourmaline, calcite, chlorite, sphalerite, pyrite and chalcopyrite. Gold in these veins is erratically distributed with high-grade coarse gold.
Mineralization potential at Durango’s Whitney Northwest Project
Several historical reverse-circulation drill holes at the Whitney Northwest Property intersected mafic volcanic intervals at their terminus, potentially similar to the mafic volcanic units which host mineralization at Bell Creek or the Whitney Property. As these holes penetrated only 1-2 metres into the bedrock, the thickness of these volcanic units is yet unknown.
Durango’s Whitney Northwest property also covers the projected extensions of several north-south and east-west trending regionally mapped faults.
About the nearby Bell Creek Mine
The Bell Creek Mine is an underground mine located northeast of Timmins, Ontario, close to Goldcorp Inc.’s (“Goldcorp’s”) Hoyle Pond Mine. The mine is a former producer that was operated by a number of owners from 1987 to 1994, producing a total of 113,000 ounces of gold (576,000 tons at an average grade of 5.6 grams per tonne). Lake Shore Gold acquired the Bell Creek Mine, and the Bell Creek Mill, in December 2007 from the Porcupine Joint Venture, a joint venture between Goldcorp and Kinross Gold Corporation. (1)
The most significant gold mineralization at the nearby Bell Creek Mine occurs in two lithostructural settings: a) near or along an ultramafic‐to‐mafic contact zones (the Bell Creek and West Zone), and b) within the mafic volcanics sequence (North Zones). (2)
The Bell Creek Mill receives ore from the Lake Shore Gold Bell Creek Mine and Timmins West Mine and currently achieves throughput levels of around 3,500 tonnes per day. During the first nine months of 2015, a total of 952,000 tonnes of ore was processed at Bell Creek Mill at an average grade of 4.6 gpt and an average recovery rate of 96.7%, resulting in 136,200 recovered ounces of production. (1)
(1) Lake Shore Gold Corp website, http://www.lsgold.com/, March 2016.
(2) NI 43-101 Technical Report, Updated Mineral Reserve Estimate for Bell Creek Mine, Hoyle Township, Timmins, Ontario, Canada. Prepared for Lake Shore Gold Corp. Kallio, E. & Vaz N., March 27, 2015.