During the Coronavirus pandemic, we have seen a crash in the market and many junior mining and exploration companies have felt the effects with their market caps dropping substantially. However, times like these, present opportunities for investors to position themselves accordingly but with so many companies up for sale right now, it’s hard to decide where to invest. The streams of information are slowing as social distancing becomes the norm and companies have seemingly gone quiet. We thought this would be a good time to submit Q&A’s in order to get some of the answers investors are looking for.
MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.is a Canadian gold exploration company, trading on the TSX Venture under the ticker BMK. The company is primarily involved in the identification, acquisition and development of prospective properties in Ontario and Quebec, Canada. Led by an experienced management and technical team, the Company has built a portfolio of safe-jurisdiction, infrastructure-rich projects that demonstrate the greatest market potential for return. The company’s main focus is the SPJ project just outside of Sudbury, Ontario.
The company has been very busy drilling on the past producing Scadding mine site and establishing a 43-101 technical report in order to establish a resource. Macdonald Mines’ geologists have created a new geological model based on their interpretation of mineralization being associated with chlorite and sodic alteration, which can be seen across the property. The thought is that this is an IOCG related deposit and could extend well beyond the Scadding mine site and into the Power line and potentially the Jovan property as well.
Investor Eric Sprott took notice early on and acquired 18,750,000 Units of the Company priced at $0.08 for a total consideration of $1,500,000, when they hit a huge intercept in their first hole of the drilling campaign, testing the area around the North pit at depth. Using this funding the company was able to fund a 10,000 metres drilling program and do some geophysical work on the property over the course of the winter. The results from holes SM-19-001 and SM-20-026 are as follows…
Hole SM-19-001 – Hit 3 Structures bearing VG and the results were stellar! 52.02 g/t Au over 12.3 m, Including 210.23 g/t Au over 3 m and 5.73 g/t Au over 5.5 m. Having such great success, they went back to test the structure on an angle, to better understand the structure and wound up with even better results! Hole SM-20-026 – Hit 59.2 g/t Au over 19.07 m including 376.8 g/t over 2.96 m, 25.1 g/t Au over 1.07 m, 411 g/t Au over .93 m and 735.5 Au over .96 min the Bristol Structure, which is 18 metres north-east of the intersection of 52 g/t gold over 12 metres in SM-19-001. As if that wasn’t enough, they then re assayed a section of SM-20-026 and the grades increased to 464.4 g/t gold over 2.96 metres including 26.3 g/t gold over 1.07 metres, 274 g/t gold over 0.93 metres and 1,137 g/t gold over 0.96 metres. The previously reported section was 376.8 g/t over 2.96 g/t.
With some excitement building around the project, we thought it would be a good time to reach out to the company with a few questions to get an update on what they have been up to, so without further ado…
Mike: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.Since we spoke last you all have been very busy with drilling, so let’s start with that. Tell us how the drilling campaign has been progressing and how it’s relating to your geological model?
Quentin: We’ve completed 12 holes in our 2020 campaign to date with only one hole reported thus far. This first phase of drilling is targeting North Pit area and focused on quantifying the size and grade of high-grade gold mineralization in the Bristol/Monaco Structure. We’ve made the decision to suspend drilling for the time being to ensure the health and wellbeing of our workforce, but we’re still advancing exploration with modelling, mapping and other activities. Results to date are validating our model and we’ll be ready to relaunch an expanded drilling program once it is safe to do so.
Mike: So with that said, the North pit area looks great, holes SM-19-001 and hole SM-20-026 were very nice intercepts! Talk to us about those two holes. What have you learned about the structure with the drilling so far?
Quentin: As our drilling program evolves, we are better able map out the structures that host gold mineralization at Scadding and define the high-grade gold mineralization within those structures. We drilled hole SM-20-026 to test the down-dip extension, in the Bristol/Monaco Structure, of the 52 g/t gold over 12 metres in hole SM-019-001. Results confirmed our modelling. Hole SM-20-026 returned 59 g/t gold over 19 metres, 18 metres downdip of the high-grade intersection of SM-19-001. From our initial observations of other holes we’ve drilled in the Structure, with assays pending, we believe the high-grade gold zone in the Bristol/Monaco Structure could extend over 100 metres.
Mike: What kind of depth are we talking about in this structure and do you plan to go deeper in the near future?
Quentin: Our drilling remains limited in depth. Our holes have been drilled to an average of 170m depth. The latest holes that were drilled to test the Bristol/Monaco Structure down dip reached depths of 240m.
Mike: How far away from completing your 43-101 are you at this point?
Quentin:This will require continued work to confirm the geologic models and tie together the gold intersections. We are getting closer and can now predict/follow the gold bearing zones. A 43-101 resource statement would be considered once our internal modeling suggests a material resource.
Mike: Do you have a timeline for when you would like to have that completed?
Quentin: This will depend both on results from our drilling programs and our ability to map the controlling lithologies/structures. It is difficult to make an assumption at this point, however we can reasonably expect that we’d be able to issue a 43-101 resource within 2 seasons.
Mike: You did some geophysics over the winter, how did that go and do you expect to release the results in the near future?
Quentin: The survey was a success in mapping structures that were not previously identified. We are currently relating those structures to the gold-bearing trends we’ve identified to date and we are including the data in our 3D modelling since it will shape upcoming exploration plans. We could release the results now, but we feel they need context to provide our shareholders with any meaningful interpretation. So for now, the takeaway would be that the geophysical surveys have mapped structures that are controlling the gold mineralization to depth, beyond our current drill program and that will be the focus of future programs.
Mike: Do you have any geophysics planned for this year’s exploration program?
Quentin: We are considering cross-hole IP to better define the gold-bearing structures.
Mike: So how are you dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak as a company?
Quentin:Safeguarding the health of our staff and the public is of utmost importance and our primary concern. Our Toronto office staffs are working from home, but our geologists are still in the field and they continue to advance exploration, under strict health protocols. We are monitoring the COVID situation, government directives and the well being of all of our workforce at this time and we are prepared to modify our programs as needed.
Mike: Do you foresee any delays with getting assays back from the lab given the Pandemic?
Quentin: We suspect there may be delays with lab analyses, but we have lots of holes to report on still and we’ll release results as we receive them.
Mike: As a means of raising some money, could the company apply for a permit to do some bulk sampling or do you still need more drilling before you get to that stage?
Quentin: One of the criticisms this project has faced historically is a lack of scope – it is small. We want to make sure that we have proved conclusively that the size of the resource is substantial before heading down that path.
Mike: Hypothetically speaking, once you have identified a resource and you are ready to take that step, what kind of permitting is required and how long would it take to get?
Quentin: We’re dealing with a brownfield here. The Scadding Mine has a closure plan in place. Changing a closure plan to either advanced exploration or production is a much faster process than starting from nothing on a greenfield.
Mike: Have you been able to locate the portal and do you have any intention of rehabbing or refurbishing the old workings?
Quentin: There are no as-built plans of the historic ramp and as such it would be a difficult rehabilitation process. Based on our surface observations, the ramp was closed with loose, unconsolidated fill and we do not know how far back that extends. At this time, it does not appear to be a viable option to use the old ramp, however the three historic open pits could be brought into production in very short order.
Mike: Many investors were a bit unclear where you are drilling in relation to historic drill holes, would it be possible to share historic results so that the market can better understand how the company is going about their drilling?
Quentin: Although there are many historic holes, our 2019 drilling has shown that results from those are unreliable – the historic drilling intersections cannot be precisely located and many historic holes were drilled in orientations that significantly minimized the probabilities of intersecting mineralization. So, in a sense we are starting from scratch to adequately define the geometry, continuity and size of the zones of high-grade gold mineralization at Scadding. We’ve built a geological model with the data we’ve gathered from our drilling programs so far. Every result helps us refine that model, and our success so far is indicating that we are on the right track.
Mike: So what are your plans for the spring and summer exploration campaigns?
Quentin: Baring COVID-19 delays, we will continue do drill in the North Zone to increase the footprint of the now known mineralization. Summer will involve significant mapping exercises to map the controlling structures that will be necessary for a 43-101 resource. We also plan on mapping other parts of our extensive land package now armed with the knowledge we have gained from our drill programs and geophysical surveys.
Mike: Finally, what would you say to investors looking to invest in MacDonald Mines and to shareholders who have been following the story?
Quentin: Our SPJ Project is located in the best jurisdiction in Canada, just outside Sudbury, ON – close to the trans-Canada highway, with power, rail and a skilled workforce nearby. We’ve completed about 6,000 metres of drilling to date at Scadding and we have successfully shown that the high-grade gold mineralization extends beyond the footprint of the historical Scadding Mine. We plan to continue exploration in 2020 and news should be consistent.
Mike: Well congratulations on the early success and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and look forward to getting back on site when things settle down.
MacDonald Mines has a lot going for them on the SPJ property including and not limited to a few upcoming assays which were reported to have VG in them, as per the diagram in their last news release. If they can prove continuity of the gold structure in the north pit area the company can use it to start putting together their resource update. The grades that they a have reported to date are very encouraging and we are looking forward to the upcoming results. This year will be a big year for the team as they continue to show that the previous explorers on the property overlooked the controls feeding the system with gold. This new understanding could be the difference in making a much larger discovery so this is definitely a company to keep an eye on!
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Macdonald Mines Exploration is a Sponsor of Insidexploration however, the thoughts and opinions expressed are the Author’s and do not represent that of the company. The Author does currently hold a position and may buy or sell without warning.
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