Building a High-Grade Mine on Quebec’s Cadillac Trend
This Granada Gold Mine Inc. profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
The past-producing mine property is located on the Cadillac trend near other mines in an area where over 75 million ounces of gold have already been produced.
In a surprise to the geologists at Granada, the company recently unexpectedly discovered a deposit of rare earths and alkali metals located in the northern part of the property above the downward-sloping gold veins. This discovery is being closely examined to determine its size and exact composition.
With respect to the gold at Granada, the company is in a unique and potentially advantageous position. Not only does it have a well-defined open-pit, but it has already successfully gone through a lengthy permitting process and is the only non-producing gold deposit on the Cadillac trend that has mining permits allowing it to open-pit mine and ship to a local mill.
In addition, recent drill results showing wide high-grade areas near the surface (11.45 g/t gold over 33 meters) have supported a recent shift to a higher-grade mining scenario at Granada over the coming years – starting with open-pit mining at 2 g/t Au (up from 1 g/t in the previous estimates) – and then moving to underground mining with average grades of 4-6 g/t Au. Past underground mining at Granada during the 1930s recorded gold grades – in the range of 8-10 g/t. The restructuring of the resource estimate to a higher grade involved a reduction in the size of the pit to reduce the need for the clearing of overburden in order to improve the profitability of mining the deposit.
- Gold veins visible in drill core at Granada
The potential of open-pit mining at higher grades for several years is also supported by a 2014 PFS which identified selected pit areas totaling 600,000 tonnes averaging 4.24 g/t that could be readily mined and shipped to a local mill.
The expectation of eventual underground mining in the 4-6 g/t Ag range as outlined in the recent 43-101 resource estimate is supported not only by the past mining experience at Granada but also by the company’s numerous drill intercepts showing very high grades along the downward sloping vein structure, as indicated in the cross-section of the deposit shown below. These high-grade intercepts occur below the defined pit, with the deposit open at depth and to the north and east.
Granada Gold Deposit Cross Section
Looking West, Showing High-Grade Intercepts and Prospective Zone for Future Exploration and A Potential Rare Earth and Alkali Metals Zone
The latest 43-101 resource calculation (published in a technical report in March 2021) estimates a pit-constrained measured and indicated gold resource of 5.1 million tonnes grading 2.06 g/t containing 339,000 ounces and an underground measured and indicated resource of 807,000 tonnes grading 4.02 g/t containing 109,000 ounces. These resource numbers are expected to be revised upward in the future to take into account the 30,000 meters of drilling the company has carried out so far in its current 120,000 meters drill program.
Recent activity at Granada includes:
- High-grade drill results near the surface in the pit area obtained from fan drilling (a recent change in drill patterns) including 11.45 g/t gold over 33 meters and 7.67 g/t gold over 15 meters.
- New discoveries from successful drilling at underground targets such as the Genesis target (8.39 g/t gold over 6 meters including 12.41 g/t gold over 4 meters).
- Exploration in other areas along the strike indicates the potential to find more high-grade gold on the property since only 20% of the strike length has been explored so far.
- Bulk sampling program of up to 500 tonnes is planned to evaluate the native gold component in the mineralized structures (primarily Veins 1 and 2).
- Pre-concentration testing for the conversion of low-grade material below 1 g/t gold into much higher grades (a range of 5 – 10 g/t gold range likely best to maximize recovery) for shipping to local mills or eventually an on-site mill (current permits allow shipping 550 t/d (approx. 200,000 tonnes per year) to local mills with discussions continuing to secure a milling contract).
Granada Gold boasts an experienced management team with noted expertise in all aspects of mining. Heading the team is President and CEO Frank Basa P.Eng., a metallurgical engineer and milling expert, who also heads Canada Cobalt Works Inc. (TSXV:CCW).
- CEO Frank Basa examining mineralized rock at Granada
Granada Gold previously announced that it is planning to pay a dividend equivalent to a three percent NSR to its shareholders once the company begins production at the Granada deposit.
Granada Gold’s Company Highlights
- Granada Gold’s high-grade past-producing project is located in the mining-friendly jurisdiction of Quebec on the Cadillac trend.
- The Granada project is located in proximity to 10 gold mines and can easily access the established mining infrastructure in the area.
- The Granada project is a production-ready property with open-pit mining permits already in place.
- Only 20 percent of the LONG Bars zone strike length has been explored to date, offering the company expansion potential.
- Granada Gold has plans for further exploration and resource expansion.
- Metallurgical test work is underway to lower capital and operating costs, provide processing options and de-risk the Granada project.
- Three percent NSR to be paid as dividends once production begins at the Granada project.
- An experienced management team leads Granada Gold and has years of experience in metallurgy, mining, geology and exploration.
Granada Gold Project
The Granada gold project is located seven kilometers south of the mining-friendly community of Rouyn-Noranda in Quebec, Canada. The property sits in the heart of the Abitibi Greenstone belt, which has produced 160 million ounces of gold since the start of the 20th century. The property is also located on the prolific Cadillac trend, which has highly-prospective geology and is host to many mining communities.
The Granada property is easily accessible by highways and roads and supported by the appropriate infrastructure for a large open-pit, bulk tonnage gold deposit. The property is also supported by a power line that provides up to 1,200 horsepower, a natural gas pipeline and water supply from nearby lakes.
Granada Gold has been conducting a community engagement initiative where representatives from the company engage with local residents, members of the nearby First Nations communities, elected officials and other relevant public servants.
- Granada Gold Property – Located seven kilometers south of the mining-friendly community of Rouyn-Noranda in Quebec, Canada.
Rouyn-Noranda has a rich mining history that began in the 1920s with the discovery of the Horne copper-gold deposit. Following that, 15 other deposits were discovered in the region, including Granada, which was originally staked in 1922 and brought to production in 1930. Five veins were found on the property, and an on-site mill processed 51,476 ounces of gold from 181,744 tonnes of ore with an average grade of 9.7 g/t gold and 1.5 g/t silver. In 1935, the surface structures of the mine were destroyed by a fire, stopping production entirely.
In the 1980s, Kewagama Gold conducted a series of exploration activities that continued until the mid-1990s. Their initiatives included detailed ground geophysics and geological mapping. Kewagama Gold sold the mine to Mousseau Tremblay Inc. in 1998, and the new proprietors mined a total of 2,200 ounces of gold from one of the veins. Granada Gold acquired the property in 2006.
Since its acquisition, Granada Gold has conducted several exploration activities on the property, including an initial drill program in late 2009 which resulted in the discovery of mineralization in previously undrilled land more than 500 meters away from the past-producing shaft. Drilling continued on the property and by 2012 the company had a defined resource in the LONG Bars zone.
The company conducted additional drilling programs in 2016 and 2017 which produced notable results. Highlights include 14.5 g/t gold over four meters, including 55.9 g/t gold over one meter at 881 meters and 7.3 g/t gold over one meter at 710 meters.
- Located adjacent to the prolific Cadillac Break shear zone, hosted in Pontiac metasedimentary rocks and granitic sills along the Granada Shear Zone (“LONG Bars”) Zone
To date, only 20 percent of the LONG Bars zone has been explored. While Granada Gold prepares the project for production, it is also working on plans for expanding the existing gold resource by exploring additional target areas.
In November 2017, the company was granted exploration permits for the former Aukeko mine site, which resides two kilometers east of the LONG Bars zone. Work conducted in 2018 on the LONG Bars zone included trenching and drilling in an area where three bulk samples were reported to have been taken in 1938 from a trench approximately 50 meters to 150 meters east of the Aukeko shaft that had an average grade of 240 g/t gold.
Isometric View Looking South-southeast Showing the Block Model of Granada Deposit Updated Mineral Resource by Grade, and its Whittle Pit
Mineral Resource Estimate
On March 15, 2021 the Company released an updated NI 43-101 resource estimate for the Granada Gold project (Please see January 29, 2021 news release) with a combined total of 713,000 gold ounces of measured, indicated, and inferred. This estimate contains 351,000 gold ounces of combined measured, indicated, and inferred for the open pit and 362,000 gold ounces of combined measured, indicated, and inferred for the underground. Please see Table 2 below for full details. Report reference: Granada Gold Project Mineral Resource Estimate Update, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada authored by Yann Camus, P.Eng. and Maxime Dupéré, B.Sc, P.Geo., SGS Canada Inc. with an effective date of December 15, 2020 and signature date of March 15, 2021.
Table 2: Mineral Resource Estimate Showing Tonnes, Average Grade, and Gold Ounces
|Category||Tonnes||Avg Grade Au (g/t)||
|Measured + Indicated||5,113,000||2.06||339,000|
|Measured + Indicated||844,000||4.03||109,000|
“These robust numbers confirm our longstanding belief in the merits of this property, and they form the backbone for our next efforts. We intend to see how we can turn Granada into a bulk-tonnage mine, and we believe the improving mining markets position us well for this effort,” said Basa.
Following the release of the updated resource estimate for the project, Granada Gold announced its intent to add to the resource for the property through drilling concentrated on target areas next to and underneath the pit-constrained resource area to expand the resources. The company also plans on evaluating the economic and engineering aspects of the current resource.
The Path to Production
Due to the property’s opportunities for both open-pit and underground mining, Granada Gold has entertained a variety of options for how to initiate production and achieve the goal of producing 100,000 ounces of gold per year. One variable consideration for the company has been the lack of an operating mill on the property, which has encouraged discussions with nearby operators for the use of their mills.
In 2012, the company conducted a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for a combined open-pit and underground mine that had an operating mill on the property. Results of the PEA outlined production of 100,000 ounces per year for 11 years, mining 7,500 tonnes a day with a CAPEX of C$259 million. Soon after the report was published, lowering gold prices and funding challenges made this option not economically feasible.
As an alternative, Granada Gold conducted a PFS in 2014 for a “rolling start” plan. This plan suggested the launch of an initial phase of reduced-scale production in the form of open-pit, selective high-grade mining. The PFS outlined a three-year-long production phase of 25,000 ounces per year, mining 550 tonnes a day at an average grade of 4.24 g/t gold. The CAPEX for this initiative was reported at C$6.7 million and assumes a partnership with a nearby mine for mill use.
Since publishing the 2014 PFS, Granada Gold has obtained all the necessary permits for open-pit mining and entered into the appropriate First Nations agreements for launching the ‘rolling start’ phase of production, making the property production-ready. However, discussions with the local mills at that time showed that they were not willing to engage in a longer-term agreement to process the sizeable amount of ore that would come from the Granada property.
Additional discussions have been initiated more recently with local mills. Also, Granada Gold intends to conduct a fully bankable feasibility study (FS) for the company to have its own mill on the property, producing 80,000 to 100,000 ounces of gold a year. Gold prices have improved since 2012, making this approach more economically viable.
As part of the company’s project optimization work, Granada Gold has been conducting metallurgical testing with material from the resource areas with the hope of increasing the resources. The company also plans to demonstrate the advantages of pre-concentrating lower-grade gold-bearing rock from the Granada gold project. Higher grades could have an impact on future mill feeds, the size of the gold deposit and the costs associated with future mine production.
“These metallurgical results can further de-risk the project and provide additional processing options for the company. They potentially expand the existing resource by lowering the average gold grade that could be mined and processed using pre-concentration by gravity separation,” said Basa.
In March 2019, the company announced that a 260-kilogram sample assaying 0.6 g/t gold was sent to Gekko Systems Inc. in Australia for testing. Gekko Systems’ innovative pre-concentration system increases recovery values, improves feed rates and reduces ore mass, weight, water use and power requirements, all of which have the potential to lower capital and operating costs.
Gekko Systems was able to upgrade the grade from 0.6 g/t gold to 6.0 g/t gold with an overall recovery of 60 percent. The sample was crushed through different size fractions, homogenized and split before conducting gravity tests. A grade of 21.0 g/t gold was achieved from the coarse size fraction with a recovery of 40 percent.
Subsequently, Granada Gold also began a testing program at Canada Cobalt Works’ pilot plant. A 120-kilogram sample of low-grade mineralized rock was processed by screening the material into three screen sizes followed by gravity separation. The two-stage gravity concentration program was able to upgrade the low-grade gold mineralization of 1.01 g/t gold to 67.99 g/t gold.
Granada Gold’s Management Team
Frank J. Basa, P.Eng. — President, CEO and Director
Frank Basa has been a Director of Granada Gold Mine Inc. since 2004. He has over 30 years of global experience in gold mining and development as a professional hydrometallurgical engineer with expertise in milling, gravity concentration, flotation, leaching and refining of precious and base metals. He is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario and a graduate of McGill University.
Jacques F. Monette — Director
Jacques Monette has been a Granada Gold Mine Director since 2008. He is a career miner who has been engaged in every facet of underground mining for over 40 years. His previous positions included Shaft Project Coordinator with Cementation Canada Inc., Vice President of Operations and the Mining Division for Wabi Development Corp., Vice President of Development for CMAC Mining Group, Operations Manager for Moran Mining and Tunneling, as well as Area Manager for J.S. Redpath Group.
Ryan Webster – CFO
Mr. Webster has more than 15 years of experience in public company financing and as CFO for mining companies. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA) and Chartered Financial Analyst.
Dianne Tookenay, M.P.A, B.Admin. — Director
Dianne Tookenay holds a Certificate in Mining Law from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, a Joint Masters of Public Administration from the University of Manitoba, a Bachelor of Administration from Lakehead University and Native Band Management and Indian Economic Development Diplomas from Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology. Her experience, knowledge and deep roots within the First Nation communities adds significant value to Granada’s development now and in the coming years.
Robert Setter, B.A. (Econ) — Director
Robert Setter was the Senior Financial Editor for Report on Mining and a Director for a publicly-traded company. He has also been a consultant for several public resource companies since 2010 and has been a board member with Canada Cobalt Works Inc. since January 2016. He brings over two decades of business, marketing and communications experience to the company and holds a degree in Economics from UBC.
Tina Whyte — Corporate Secretary
Tina Whyte brings over 20 years of experience in the corporate and securities industry. Her expertise spans to areas of corporate governance, continuous disclosure, financing transactions, regulatory filings and compliance. She holds corporate secretary positions with other publicly-listed companies.
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