Signature Resources CEO Walter Hanych has led his company in advancing its Lingman Lake property in Ontario, Canada.
Following extensive reviews of historical data collected in the 1940s and 1980s, as well as an airborne survey that was recently conducted on the project, Hanych believes that the project has significant potential to be a district-scale gold project.
In the interview below, Hanych and Signature’s founder, John Leliever, address the property’s history and how the company has used its vast data sets to make decisions for the project in an unstable gold market. They also discuss the next steps they envision for the property as they embark on further exploration initiatives.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Signature Resources CEO Walter Hanych and the company’s founder, John Leliever. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Please give our investor audience an overview of Signature Resources and its flagship property in Ontario, Lingman Lake.
Signature Resources CEO Walter Hanych: Signature Resources’ flagship property is a high-grade gold project located 300 kilometers north of Red Lake, in the Lingman Lake greenstone belt. It was initially developed in the 1940s, during which time a 30,000-ounce gold resource was established and a shaft was sunk on three levels to begin underground mining operations.
At the end of WWII, the markets changed and the project could no longer be financed. It was only revisited in the late 1980s, when a consortium of companies undertook a 30,000-meter drill program, which outlined a resource of 234,000 ounces of gold, and the consortium had every intention of advancing the project through to production. However, their progress was halted by the crash of the equity market.
The project went into a receivership and it underwent legal disputes which fragmented the property. Following this, John Leliever settled the lawsuits and consolidated the fragments under the umbrella of Signature Resources between 2013 and 2015. As it stands today, we have 15,000 hectares open for exploration, including a gold mine located on four patented claims, which are the focus of our next exploration campaign.
INN: What is the story behind the historical Lingman Lake mine that sits on your property?
WH: The Lingman Lake gold mine boasts historically high grades. When owners in the 1940s were considering production, they indicated an average grade of 10 g/t gold. In the 1980s, when the operators were building out a prefeasibility study, the average grade was 7 g/t gold. The project is divided into five zones and each hosts significant gold content supporting the high-grade values reported historically.
It is a high-grade gold project and it has the potential to host several hundreds of thousands of ounces. Our immediate goal is to double the historical estimate of 234,000 ounces and we anticipate that those grades will help us get there.
INN: How has Signature Resources made use of the historic data tied to Lingman Lake?
Signature Resources Founder John Leliever: The historical dataset on the property is expansive. When we first looked at the property in 2003, we were given boxes of data to review. Walter and another pair of geologists reviewed this and arrived at a consensus that every effort should be made to acquire the project.
At the time in which I acquired the property, we made use of our network of contacts to uncover additional data. This led us to even more boxes of historical information dating back to the 1940s and including significant insight into the work conducted in the 1980s. This is what assured our team that we were dealing with a project with major potential to become an active gold mine. It also gave us the ability to tell a factual story to potential investors.
With the data in hand, we began doing a duplicate core sampling program of stored core at the mine site to see if we could replicate the historical results. Walter worked with our QA/QC company, Caracle Creek International Consulting, who gave us the green light to resample 22 holes of the vast amounts of stored core samples. The program returned a 94-percent correlation to the original results, giving us further confidence in the project’s potential.
INN: What do the results of your recent airborne survey mean for the project and for Signature Resources as a whole?
JL: Our driving force behind acquiring the additional land package to the west of the property and the associated data set was Walter’s research. He uncovered reports of work that had been done 20 kilometers to the west, including 40 mineral occurrences that were explored and recorded. With the greenstone belt being known for occurrences bearing gold and having an exemplary geological environment, we acquired that ground so as to not have any competition in the space.
In trying to navigate a difficult stage in the markets, we made the decision to fly an airborne survey, which has proven to be quite valuable to us. The results were better than expected and we are excited about the project growing beyond the border of our existing property.
WH: Beyond what John has mentioned, we were also motivated by the insight that the Lingman Lake gold mineralization is associated with a northern contact between volcanic terrain to the south and granitic rocks to the north. Last year we staked about 9,300 hectares to protect that contact and to carry the property forwards. The airborne survey was flown to measure the geophysical nature of the rocks in that area and it indicated a strong correlation between the conductive and magnetic components.
Our geophysical consultant quickly realized that the geophysical signature at the Lingman Lake mine site extends to the west from the mine site for approximately 16 kilometers, and he was able to zero in on 12 high-priority zones, giving us another level of exploration. This indicates the potential for a district-scale project.
INN: What is next for Signature Resources and how does that fit into the company’s long-term plans?
JL: I believe that Signature’s future is really bright. We have generated a lot of recent interest as a result of our airborne survey. Our short-term plans are to put boots on the ground this summer and conduct resampling in existing trenches at the mine site. We would also like to do prospecting and exploration work in new areas, particularly where there is lots of bedrock exposed.
Over the next couple of months, we will be looking to enter another financing phase, to raise capital for a summer program and for our first phase of drilling targeting the historical ounces. This would lead to a future NI 43-101 report, as well as the potential to build up what I would hope to be approximately 0.5 million ounces within our first two campaigns. Once that’s done, we’ll be looking at conducting follow-up or continuous drilling through the winter months as our project is not restricted by weather conditions.
When it comes to this project, I’m really happy that I made the initial investment. Walter has been a driving force alongside our management team and they have been extremely disciplined in leading the company. I am really looking forward to meeting and beating the challenges that most juniors have been facing in the last four to six years. I will continue telling the Signature story and discussing its potential to be one of Canada’s next real gold camps.
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