NEW YORK, July 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Already one of the largest and highest-grade gold producing districts, the Red Lake Mining District in northwestern Ontario has produced roughly 30 million ounces of high-grade gold. But through a series of recent discoveries in the region, it's evident that miners have still just barely scratched the surface, and that another gold rush catalytic moment is underway. The Red Lake region is still home to many mining and exploration projects making headway in 2020, including from Portofino Resources Inc. (TSX-V:POR) (OTCPK:PFFOF), Great Bear Resources (TSX-V:GBR) (OTCQX:GTBAF), Pure Gold Mining (TSX-V:PGM) (OTCPK:LRTNF), Newmont Corporation (NYSE:NEM) (TSX:NGT), and Yamana Gold (TSX:YRI) (NYSE:AUY).
The Red Lake district's ~30 million ounces of gold have come mostly from the iconic Campbell and Red Lake gold mines, as well as ten smaller mines. Now with its South of Otter and Bruce Lake projects underway, Portofino Resources Inc. (TSXV:POR) (OTC:PFFOF) (FSE:POTA) has set itself up in close proximity to the high-grade Dixie gold project being drilled and explored by Great Bear Resources (TSXV:GBR) (OTCQX:GTBAF).
All of Portofino's projects are strategically located in historical and current mining districts, with nearby infrastructure and road access at hand.
Recently, the company announced it had commenced exploration on the 1,427-hectare Bruce Lake Gold Property, consisting of prospecting, rock, soil, and glacial till sampling, and geological mapping. Portofino hasn't wasted any time, having only acquired the Bruce Lake property at the end of June.
Using a sampling method that's recently proven successful in the Red Lake area on nearby gold mineralization, Portofino plans to collect approximately 200 soil samples for conventional analysis over a 50-meter sample spacing, including up to 50 glacial till samples over a 300-meter sample interval for gold grain analysis.
Located only 10km away from Portofino's Bruce Lake is the Dixie Gold Project from Great Bear Resources - dubbed as one of Canada's largest new gold discoveries.
The Dixie project was secured by Great Bear five years ago, which now consists of 9,140 hectares of contiguous claims that extend over 22km. Earlier this July, the company made a major announcement that it had expanded its LP Fault Gold System at depth, with 10.06g/t gold over 31.25m. Great Bear has completed 120 of approximately 300 planned drill holes into the LP Fault target, as part of its 5 kilometer long by 500 meter deep grid drill program.
Located just east of Ontario Highway 106, and only 9km east of Dixie, is Portofino's South of Otter Property, which comprises 5,207 hectares. Both Dixie and South of Otter share similar geology and structures.
The area where South of Otter resides has traditionally been known for its copper and zinc volcanogenic massive sulphide ("VMS") potential. However, the recent successes at Dixie have very seriously opened the possibility for significant gold mineralization at South of Otter.
Portofino Resources Inc. (TSXV:POR) (OTC:PFFOF) (FSE:POTA) has discovered geophysical anomalies coinciding with gold-in-soils chemical anomalies, and has applied for a trenching and drilling permit to test these targets. In June, the company announced it had mobilized a crew to follow up on sulphides discoveries made on the project.
The Changing of the Guard
Back in November of 2019, Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM) (TSX: NGT) made headlines when it sold its historic Red Lake mine. However, the company still maintains its Musselwhite Mine, located in the lesser explored portion of the Red Lake district known as the Birch-Uchi Greenstone Belt, in the Uchi Subprovince of the Canadian Shield.
So despite having sold the Red Lake Mine to Australia's Evolution Mining for US$375 million, Newmont's Musselwhite Mine is still an important asset for the company. Essentially a fly-in/fly-out operation located almost 500km north of Thunder Bay, the Musselwhite Mine initiated extraction in 1997. After a brief shutdown period for health reasons, in May, the company was able to restart operations as restrictions eased.
En route to starting production on another new Red Lake mine, Pure Gold Mining (TSXV: PGM) (OTC: LRTNF) recently celebrated the receipt of a "milestone" environmental permit. On what's been dubbed the Pure Gold Mine, the company still awaits the receipt of an amended industrial effluent permit for its sewage works. But after an initial regulatory review has already been completed, Pure Gold has said it's applied for an expedited approval process for this permit.
Pure Gold has also said that the underground operation will generate more than CA$470 million in direct salaries over the first phase of the mine's life, offering incentive for the jurisdiction to carry out the operation. The company is continuing its exploration drilling on the property, by following the trail of a gold system that's 7km in length, while also tapping into multiple other discoveries to help build out and prolong the mine's life.
Located to the southwest of the Red Lake Mine, Yamana Gold (TSX: YRI) (NYSE: AUY) is developing its own Red Lake project. Consisting of 542 hectares in two property positions—North Madsen and Headway—Yamana has secured significant mineral envelopes nearby Premier Gold Mines' Hasaga gold deposit and Newmont's former Red Lake Gold Mines operation. After seeing temporary suspensions at two of the company's mines earlier this year, Yamana revised its annual guidance in April, saying that its gold production is now tracking above expectations and ramping up mines that were closed faster than expected. Relief coming from revenues generated from gold production could provide exploration budgets on Red Lake, should the company allocate funds in that direction.
The ongoing trend at the moment is that Canadian interests should feature prominently during this economic shift. Most current mining mega deals involve Canadian companies, while record gold price forecasts are set to continue to boost prospects for junior mining companies. As the globe continues to struggle economically, Canadian miners are proving to be resilient, thus leading to the potential for regions such as Red Lake to continue to thrive and develop.
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