Auteco Minerals Ltd (ASX:AUT) has embarked on a 5,000-metre, maiden diamond drill program at Pickle Grow Gold Project in Uchi sub-province of Ontario, Canada, targeting high-grade, shallow gold targets.
This comes with the company on track for a maiden JORC 2012-compliant resource for Pickle Crow later this quarter.
The drilling follows an extensive geological review of the project, focusing on the high-grade and underground mineable resource areas.
Seeking to unlock potential
Auteco expects COVID-19 to have minimal impact on its 2020 exploration objectives, having carried out field activities, data compilation and resource modelling at Pickle Crow despite the pandemic.
This is the first systematic exploration at the property in more than 50 years and presents an opportunity to revisit and unlock the potential of Canada’s historic, high-grade gold mines in a world-class gold province.
The mine, which was profitably mined from 1935, closed in 1966 after producing 1.5 million ounces of gold at 16 g/t gold.
Auteco executive chairman Ray Shorrocks said: “Exploration activities are proceeding in line with 2020 field objectives with maiden drilling targeting high-grade, walk-up drill targets designed to bring new resource areas into JORC compliance.
He added: “The Auteco technical team is active in the field, working to prioritise the multiple drill-ready, high-grade gold targets across the 320 square kilometre Pickle Crow Gold Project area through ongoing geological, structural and geophysical reviews during the current field season.”
Pickle Crow project
Auteco signed a binding term sheet with Canadian-focused gold exploration and development company, First Mining Gold Corp (TSE:FF) in January 2020 to acquire up to 80% of the Pickle Crow project.
The project, which covers around 320 square kilometres of tenure, covers:
- Red Lake +25 million ounces;
- Musselwhite +2.3 million ounces; and
- Pickle Crow +1.5 million ounces,
Pickle Crow is surrounded by multiple advanced gold projects, which have been developed in the area over the past few years. They include:
- Red Lake High-Grade Gold Camp operated by Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX:EVN), with historic production of over 27 million ounces at +20 g/t gold;
- Musselwhite deposit operated by Newmont Goldcorp +5.7 million ounces;
- Madsen project operated by Pure Gold Mining Inc (LON:PUR): 2.06 million ounces at 8.9 g/t gold indicated and 470,000 ounces at 7.7 g/t gold inferred;
- West Red Lake Project operated by West Red Lake Gold Mines Inc (CNSX:RLG): 1.09 million ounces at 7.6 g/t gold inferred; and
- Springpole Gold Project operated by First Mining Gold: 4.67 million ounces at 1.04 g/t gold indicated.
Auteco raised its landholding on an area contiguous with the Pickle Crow project from 190 square kilometres to more than 320 square kilometres through the staking of vacant greenstone belt.
Pickle Crow and Central Patricia Gold Mines and regionally significant shear zones within the Pickle Crow tenement areas.
The additional greenstone belt increases Auteco’s strike on the mineralised Core Mine Trend and Patricia Shear Zone to over 30 kilometres to explore.
Limestone Well project
The company also has a joint venture on the Limestone Well Vanadium-Titanium Project in Western Australia.
It can earn up to an 80% interest in the Limestone Well Project through a joint venture with Mithril Resources Ltd (ASX:MTH) by completing exploration expenditure of $2.5 million over five years.
An asset review of the Limestone Well project is in progress, with further exploration activities to be potentially executed through alternate funding opportunities or other transactions.
Drill hole location map and geological map showing strike extent vanadium-titanium mineralisation zone at Limestone Well.
Further reverse drilling is proposed to follow up on intersections of significant vanadium-titanium results from its maiden drilling in 2019, which includes:
- 20 metres at 0.48% V2O5 and 6.5% TiO2 from 12 metres and a second zone of 72 metres at 0.46% V2O5 and 8.6% TiO2 from 52 metres, including 16 metres at 0.70% V2O5;
- 12 metres at 0.72% V2O5 and 8.5% TiO2 from 12 metres, a second zone of 24 metres at 0.50% V2O5 and 6.2% TiO2 from 48 metres and a third zone to end of hole of 56 metres at 0.46% V2O5 and 6.1% TiO2 from 164 metres;
- 20 metres at 0.50% V2O5 and 6.5% TiO2 from 64 metres and a second zone of 116 metres at 0.36% V2O5 and 11.0% TiO2 from 104 metres to end of hole; and
- 116 metres at 0.36% V2O5 and 11.0% TiO2 from 104 metres to end of hole.
A$5.1 million fundraising
In April, the company announced a placement of more than 145 million new shares to raise a total of A$5.1 million to fund its Pickle Crow exploration and for general working capital.
The new shares will be issued at 3.5 cents per share, representing a 2.4% premium to its 10-day VWAP. Directors plan to subscribe for A$225,000 in the placement.
The placement will be undertaken as follows:
- 139,285,714 shares to Australian and overseas institutions and existing institutional and sophisticated shareholders (Unrelated Placement Participants); and
- 6,428,572 shares to directors or their respective nominees.
To date, it has completed the A$1.2 million placement.