By Dan Oancea



Wednesday afternoon’s sessions catered to a numerous audience made of explorationists and alike.


It is always good, not to mention fascinating, to hear about geologists and companies that pursued their dreams in some remote locations and were able to come up with new mineral deposits in a short period of time (18 to 24 months).


Canplats geologists were driving their truck south of the Penasquito mine on one of the Zacatecas dusty roads when they noticed a change in the color of the road fill rocks. They traced them to a nearby quarry source where they did test-pitting. The rest is history – 39,000 m of drilling and exploration managed to delineate a gold-silver-lead and zinc deposit stretching over 1.3 km and averaging 300 m in width. Metallurgical testing is underway and an initial resource estimate is expected to be completed this fall.


Entrée Gold entered one of the least populated (well, if we exclude camels) parts of Mongolia in early 2003. They didn’t know too much about local rocks and geology but they were located south of a promising deposit: the Oyu Tolgoi. At that time the geological interpretation was that an east-west fault forms the boundary of the Oyu Tolgoi deposit and there is nothing interesting south of it.


Entrée did geophysics (200 m deep chargeability) then soil sampling which resulted in copper and gold in-soil anomalies. At that time Ivanhoe entered into an agreement with Entrée. Their reasoning: anomalous copper and gold values have been noted on a trend that seemed to cross from their property onto Entrée’s property.


A few holes tested one of the geophysical anomalies and got some interesting values almost at the bottom of the hole (about 1,000 m deep). You need guts and good geological reasoning to ask the company to drill even deeper. Ivanhoe’s geos did that and they were successful in intersecting a very promising deposit: the Heruga copper-gold-moly deposit.


Extract Resources drilled three angled RC holes in the middle of the Namib Desert. Their location: on the 70 km by 25 km ‘alaskite alley’ more precisely on an inferred extension of the Rossing uranium mine - note that because of the cover there were no apparent radiometric anomalies in the area. These proved to be discovery holes for their Rossing South deposit which is expected to contain over 200 million lbs U3O8.


In Nevada (on the east flank of the Pequop Mt. range) a 1999 BLEG sampling program returned three highly anomalous samples. The zone is located 100 miles east of the known Carlin Trend and has no known gold mine in vicinity. Anyway a soil sampling program and a short drill testing followed and the third hole proved to be the discovery hole of a new type of sediment-hosted gold deposit. What is important to note is that prior of this discovery most exploration for sediment hosted gold deposits in Nevada focused on the Paleozoic continental slope environment (Carlin and Cortez trends) and not on an early Paleozoic carbonate platform. Gold is located in a series of linear trending and tabular shoots hosted by karstified limestone and dolomites (in dissolution collapse breccia – a meteoric and hydrothermal karst). A first NI 43-101 mineral resource was recently estimated for the Fronteer Development Group’s deposit.


Lesson learned from this session: Dream and dream big because the next big deposit might lie just anywhere. You only need good geologists and some money or you need to grubstake an old prospector. As for money we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the industry and we’re going to find that out by attending today’s Commodity Review session.