Proposed acquisition of advanced Pickle Lake Gold Properties significantly strengthens Ardiden's exploration and development pipeline, with historical (non-JORC compliant) estimate of 500,000oz of gold
Expands Project Portfolio with Option over Highly Prospective Gold Project
- Option Agreement signed with White Metal Resources Corporation (CVE:WHM) to acquire 100% of the Pickle Lake Gold Properties in Ontario, Canada.
- Proposed acquisition includes four separate gold properties offering both advanced development opportunities and early stage exploration:
o Dorothy-Dobie Lake Property
o Kasagiminnis Lake Property
o South Limb Property
o Pickle Lake West Property
- Over 25,000m of historical diamond drilling completed across the Pickle Lake Gold Properties, confirming the potential for multiple extensive gold mineralised zones at both Dorothy-Dobie Lake and Kasagiminnis Lake, with gold mineralisation remaining open along strike and at depth.
- Impressive historical grades up 472.8 g/t Au over 0.5m reported from the Dorothy Main Gold Zone by Major General Resources Ltd in 1988 (DDH DOR-90-43) and 153.5 g/t Au over 0.44 metres reported by Trillium North Minerals Ltd in 2007 (DDH 07-DOR-005).
- Dorothy-Dobie Lake Property has several gold mineralised zones traced over a strike length of 10km, along strike from the historical Golden Patricia Mine (operated by Barrick Gold from 1988 to 1997, with production of 619,796oz at a head grade of 15.21 g/t Au).
- Ardiden can acquire a conditional 100% interest in the Project for staged payments of CAD$140,000 and the issue of 5.6M shares to White Metal Resources Corporation, with a 12-month exclusive period to conduct due diligence exploration activities.
- Historical data review, field mapping and exploration program is now underway, with drilling to follow if warranted.
The Option Agreement was signed with TSX-listed White Metal Resources Corporation (TSX-V:WHM - "White Metal Resources"), and provides Ardiden with a low-cost, low risk opportunity to assess a highly prospective project that offers advanced development targets, as well as early-stage exploration opportunities.
The project has numerous substantial gold mineralised zones already identified across multiple locations, with over 25,000m of historical diamond drilling completed and three known gold deposits identified with a combined 500,000 ounces (historical only, not to be relied upon and not reported in accordance with historical or current JORC or CIM 43-101 guidelines, Refer to Table 1 in the link below).
The three gold deposits comprise:
- Dorothy Main Deposit: 46,600 ounces of gold @ 6.17 g/t Au
(MNDM Mineral Deposit Inventory Number: MDI52O06NW00003, deposit located at 617883E and 5698053N)
- Dobie Lake Deposit: 53,000 ounces of gold @ 5.5 g/t Au
(MNDM Mineral Deposit Inventory Number: MDI52O06NE00004, deposit located at 623400E and 5692095N); and
- Kasagiminnis Lake Deposit: 400,000 ounces of gold @ 4.79 g/t Au
(MNDM Mineral Deposit Inventory Number: MDI52O08SW00007, deposit located at 682186E and 5683313N).
Resource information extracted from the Technical Report on Three Gold Exploration Properties Pickle Lake Area, Ontario, Canada, for Manicouagan Minerals Inc, G.A. Harron, P.Eng., G.A. Harron & Associates Inc, October 13, 2009, page 4.
It should be noted that the historical resource estimates for the Dorothy Main, Dobie Lake and Kasagiminnis Lake gold deposits were calculated prior to CIM National Instrument 43-101 or JORC (2012) guidelines and, as such, should only be considered from a historical point of view and not relied upon. Ardiden cautions that a Competent Person has not done sufficient work to classify this historical estimate as a Mineral Resource in accordance with the JORC Code 2012 Edition. It is uncertain that, following evaluation, it will be possible to report a Mineral Resource in accordance with the JORC Code 2012 Edition.
The Pickle Lake Gold Properties are located within the prolific gold-producing Meen-Dempster Greenstone Belt of the Uchi Geological Sub-province of the Canadian Shield, in close proximity to several of the Company's existing projects and to the regional mining centre of Thunder Bay.
Ardiden believes there is significant potential to expand the existing gold mineralised zones within the Pickle Lake Gold Properties, with many areas remaining underexplored and the properties located along strike from substantial historical gold mining operations, including:
- Central Patricia Mine (1935-1951) produced 608,650 ounces of gold @ 12 g/t Au.
- Central Patricia #2 Mine (1938-1940) produced 13,158 ounces of gold @ 23.86 g/t Au.
- Pickle Crow Mine (1935-1966) produced 1,446,214 ounces of gold @ 17.82 g/t Au.
- Dona Lake Mine (1987-1993) produced 218,868 ounces of gold @ 6.62 g/t Au.
- Golden Patricia Mine (1988-1997) produced 619,796 ounces of gold @15.21 g/t Au.
(Information about gold production sourced from White Metal Resources Corp., Corporate Presentation, January 2017.)
Under the terms of the Option Agreement, Ardiden has 12 months to complete a due diligence review of the Pickle Lake Gold Properties. The Company can acquire a 100% interest in the Project claims for total payments of CAD$140,000 and the issue of 5,592,949 ordinary Ardiden shares, payable in staged payments over the 12-month due diligence period to White Metal Resources Corp. ("White Metal Resources") and meeting the ongoing obligations of the underlying Option Agreements with Murchison Minerals Ltd. ("Murchison Minerals" - formerly Manicouagan Minerals Inc.) and Ken Kukkee.
The due diligence program will be designed to verify the historical and current drilling and sample results, and obtain a better understanding of the various known gold mineralisation zones and the influence of the surrounding structures at the Pickle Lake Gold Properties.
The four Pickle Lake Gold Properties comprise 6,560 Ha of mining claims, with over 25,000 metres of historical diamond drilling completed across the Dorothy-Dobie Lake, Kasagiminnis Lake and South Limb property claims. The Pickle Lake West Property has yet to be drill tested.
The Pickle Lake Gold Properties are jointly held between White Metal Resources, Murchison Minerals and Ken Kukkee. White Metal Resources holds Option Agreements with the other two parties to acquire any remaining interest in the various properties that it does not already own.
In April 2016, White Metal Resources Corp. entered into an Option Agreement to acquire 100% of the project claims currently held by Ken Kukkee, including the area of the historical non-JORC compliant Dobie Lake Deposit of 53,000 ounces gold at 5.5 g/t.
In June 2016, White Metal Resources Corp. entered into a further Option Agreement to acquire 100% of the project claims currently held by Murchison Minerals Ltd, including the area of the historical non-JORC compliant Kasagiminnis Lake Deposit of 400,000 ounces gold at 4.79 g/t.
The two options executed by White Metal Resources Corp. with Ken Kukkee and Murchison Minerals Ltd, now means Ardiden has full access to the numerous gold mineralisation zones at the Dorothy-Dobie Lake project which have been traced for a strike length 10kms along the Golden Patricia trend and is along strike from the historical Golden Patricia mine.
Ardiden confirms the South Limb and Pickle Lake West Properties are 100% owned by White Metal Resources.
KASAGIMINNIS LAKE PROPERTY
The Kasagiminnis Lake Property consists of three contiguous staked mining claims covering 752ha in the Little Ochig Lake area. The project is located in north-western Ontario, approximately 25km south-west of the town of Pickle Lake, and approximately 15km west of the Mishkeegogamang First Nation Community of New Osnaburgh. The Provincial Highway 599 is located approximately 9km east of the Kasagiminnis Lake Property.
Murchison Minerals completed two diamond drilling programs on the Kasagiminnis Lake Property between April and July 2011. A total of fourteen (14) drill holes (KAS-11-01 to KAS-11-14) totalling 2,059 metres were drilled, to test a 250-metre interval along the 1,300-metre long gold bearing zone (the Kasagiminnis Gold Zone). The gold mineralisation on the project remains open along strike and at depth.
The Gold Zone had previously been identified by Moss Resources and Power Exploration Inc. in the mid to late 1980's, and Murchison Minerals' drilling program was designed to test the down dip extension of the gold mineralization. Each of the drill holes that reached its targeted depth successfully encountered the Kasagiminnis Gold Zone.
Gold mineralization in the Kasagiminnis Gold Zone occurs within a silicified zone containing disseminated sulphides (pyrite, pyrrhotite) along magnetite which was historically called "iron formation". Significant assay results returned from this program included 7.24 g/t gold over 6.60 metres (including 12.70 g/t over 1.9 metres) in hole KAS-11-04 (refer to Tables 2 and 6 in the link below). (Drilling information extracted from the Manicouagan Minerals Inc. Work Report of 2011 Phase One and Two Diamond Drilling Programs Kasagiminnis Lake Project Pickle Lake Area, Ontario, Bruce W. Mackie P.Geo., Bruce Mackie Geological Consulting Services, October 2011, page 1.)
The 2011 drilling confirmed the near-surface gold zone ranges from 3m to 15m true width and is typically characterized by silicification, sulphide (pyrite +/- pyrrhotite) mineralization often accompanied by the development of garnet, diopside and grunerite alteration.
The 2011 drill program was successful in confirming the continuity of this portion of the Kasagiminnis Main gold zone, which is virtually untested and remains open below 225 metres depth and along strike. The Pickle Lake Greenstone Belt is part of the prolific Uchi Geological Sub-province, which hosts the Pickle Lake, Red Lake and Rice Lake gold camps.
The Bruce Mackie 2011 report states that the gold bearing target horizon is described in the past as an iron formation. Magnetite is also commonly present, usually as fine disseminations but rarely exceeding 5%. The unit appears highly altered, no original metamorphic textures can be observed. Common altered minerals besides garnet include diopside and grunerite. The unit is invariably silicified and occasional quartz "veins", while not common, can be observed.
Typically, it contains 1-2% pyrrhotite/pyrite, but locally up to 10%. It varies from 2 to >20 metres in true width and is in general anomalous (>100ppb) in gold. In general, the better gold mineralization encountered was associated with the more strongly silicified and sulphide bearing portions of the target horizon.
The 2011 diamond drilling program undertaken by Murchison Minerals continued to demonstrate extensions to the known gold mineralisation zones (Refer to Figures 5-7 and Table 2 in the link below).
DOROTHY-DOBIE LAKE PROPERTY
The Dorothy-Dobie Lakes Property consists of a contiguous block of staked 19 claims, covering 3,184 Ha in the Dobie and Meen Lake areas. This block adjoins the western end of the historical Golden Patricia Mine Property and extends for approximately 14km to the north-west, covering the projected strike extension of the favourable geological host structure.
The Dorothy-Dobie Lakes Property is located within portions of the Mishkeegogamang First Nation traditional lands. Portions of the Dorothy-Dobie Lakes Property fall within the Cat Lake and Slate Falls land use planning area. This property is accessible by chartered aircraft from Pickle Lake (70km east) or Slate Falls (approximately 40km south-west).
This Dorothy-Dobie Lakes Property hosts six significant gold occurrences extending north-west for approximately 10km along strike from the past-producing Golden Patricia Mine (the Golden Patricia trend):
- Cooper/West Zone;
- Dorothy Main Zone;
- Tonsil Lake Zone;
- Spike Zone;
- Dobie Zone; and
- North Dobie Zone (see Figures 8 and 10 in the link below).
Approximately 10,000m of diamond drilling was completed on the Dorothy deposit in 1987-1988 by Umex and later by Major General Resources Ltd., focused on the Dorothy Main and Cooper/West zones. The Dorothy Main Zone is comprised of multiple vein systems within a diorite intrusive and the Cooper/West Zone is hosted in mafic volcanic rocks.
Both gold zones are located within the same major shear zone structure accompanied by a 50m wide alteration envelope. Gold mineralization in the Dorothy Main Zone is associated with intense silicification, quartz veining and pyrrotite-pyrite concentrations up to 10%. Gold mineralization in the Cooper/West Zone is accompanied by pervasive carbonatization and quartz veining. Diamond drilling in Cooper/West Zone in 1988 (DDH #DR 88-34) returned a best assay of 13.7 g/t Au over 1.5m, and drilling in the Dorothy Main Zone in 1988 returned a best assay of 472.8 g/t Au over 0.5 metres (DDH # DOR-90-43; located at approximately 61775E and 5698200N) (see Figures 10 and 11 in the link below). Ardiden notes there is no other public assay or drill hole location data available for drill hole DOR 90-43.
In 2007 Trillium North Minerals Ltd reported in the Tonsil Zone significant gold intercepts including 153.5 g/t Au over 0.44 metres in hole 07-DOR-005 from 111.40m downhole (see Figures 11, 15 and Table 3 in the link below). It should be noted that a significant number of assay certificates and drill logs pertaining to this occurrence are missing from the public record.
Historical diamond drilling outside of the Dobie Main Zone indicates the presence of two additional gold bearing structures. DDH # M86-18 drilled at the Dobie #1 site returned 1.9 g/t Au over 3.0m and DDH # MD88-41 in the Spike Zone returned a best assay of 5.99 g/t Au over 2.9m from 163.85 m downhole (Drilling information extracted from the Technical Report on Three Gold Exploration Properties Pickle Lake Area, Ontario, Canada, for Manicouagan Minerals Inc, G.A. Harron, P.Eng., G.A. Harron & Associates Inc, October 13, 2009, page 22 - 24; and Manicouagan Minerals Inc. Work Report of 2011 Phase One and Two Diamond Drilling Programs Kasagiminnis Lake Project Pickle Lake Area, Ontario, Bruce W. Mackie P.Geo., Bruce Mackie Geological Consulting Services, October 2011, page 18).
The Dobie Main Zone hosts the non JORC 2012 compliant Dobie gold deposit. This zone is open to the west and is located along the Pickle Lake Deformation Zone.
In 2009, Manicouagan Minerals Inc. drilling intersected a mineralized gold zone on the western end of the Dobie gold deposit. Drilling was successful in identifying a potential bulk tonnage gold exploration target at the Dobie Zone. Diamond drill holes DOB-09-10, 11, 13 and 14 encountered broad zones of gold mineralization (see Tables 3 and; plan map in Figure 11 in the link below):
- DOB-09-10: 20.0m @ 1.52 g/t Au including 2.7m @ 5.65 g/t Au.
- DOB-09-11: 31.5m @ 1.39 g/t Au including 1.5m @ 6.48 g/t Au.
- DOB-09-13: 33.2m @ 1.04 g/t Au including 1.0m @ 6.27 g/t Au and 2.0m @ 4.34 g/t Au.
- DOB-09-14: 27.9m @ 1.53 g/t Au including 2.0m @ 5.64 g/t Au.
The Dobie Zone is characterized by strong carbonate-silica alteration hosted within mafic volcanic rocks. To date, the gold bearing zone of mineralization has been traced by Manicouagan Minerals Inc. for approximately 180 metres along strike and to a depth of 100 metres. It remains open at depth and to the north-west (Assay and drilling results sourced from Manicouagan Minerals Inc., TSXV News Release" MANICOUAGAN MINERALS ANNOUNCES FINAL DRILL RESULTS FROM THE DOROTHY-DOBIE LAKE PROPERTY", dated 19 January 2010).
Wheeled aircraft can access an airstrip at the Golden Patricia Mine, with the permission of Barrick Gold Corporation. Access to all parts of the property will require helicopter transport from a central camp facility. Servicing the camp will require fixed wing aircraft support. In winter time, access to the airstrip and other parts of the property can be achieved using a winter road extending from Pickle Lake. An electric power line that once connected the Golden Patricia Mine to the provincial hydro electric grid at Central Patricia still exists. This utility could be reactivated if required. (Information extracted from the Technical Report on Three Gold Exploration Properties Pickle Lake Area, Ontario, Canada, for Manicouagan Minerals Inc, G.A. Harron, P.Eng., G.A. Harron & Associates Inc, October 13, 2009, page 21)
The Harron 2009 report states, that there are two main types of gold deposits occurring in the area. The most common is the quartz lode type, which occupies fractures and may follow a single fissure with well-defined walls, or may consist of parallel veins surrounding inclusions of wall rock. Veins of this type are generally contorted and drag-folded. They may contain tourmaline, chlorite, sericite and native gold with a very low content of sulphide minerals. This group of veins is represented by most of the veins in the Pickle Crow Mine area, including the main (Howell) vein, and the quartz veins at the Central Patricia No. 2 Operation. The veins tend to be relatively long and narrow with raking shoots developed at irregular intervals.
The second type of gold deposits is characterized by a stockwork mineralization in iron formation. The laminated chert magnetite rock contains a network of fractures filled with quartz, pyrite, pyrrhotite, arsenopyrite and native gold accompanied by sulphidic wall rock alteration. The ore bodies tend to be wide but discontinuous along strike, occurring where the formations are intersected by D2 shear structures. The ore bodies at the Central Patricia Mine and some of the mineralized zones at the Pickle Crow Mine are of this type. (Deposit information extracted from the Technical Report on Three Gold Exploration Properties Pickle Lake Area, Ontario, Canada, for Manicouagan Minerals Inc, G.A. Harron, P.Eng., G.A. Harron & Associates Inc, October 13, 2009, page 54)
SOUTH LIMB PROPERTY
The South Limb Property consists of seven contiguous staked mining claims covering 1,056ha in the Dona Lake area. The project is located in north-western Ontario, approximately 10km south-east of the town of Pickle Lake. The Provincial Highway 599 is located approximately 1km west of the South Limb Property, providing road access to the drill targets areas.
The South Limb Property has good exploration potential and covers the southern extension of the gold bearing iron formation that hosts the past-producing Dona Lake Mine. White Metal Resources has identified numerous EM anomalies representing possible structural gold targets and historical drilling has incepted good gold results.
PICKLE LAKE WEST PROPERTY
The Pickle Lake West Property consists of five contiguous staked mining claims covering 1,088ha in the Kapkichi Lake area. The project is located in north-western Ontario approximately 6km south-west of the town of Pickle Lake. The Provincial Highway 599 is located approximately 4km east of the Pickle Lake West Property.
The Pickle Lake West Property is an early-stage exploration opportunity, with no previous drilling completed at the project.
The Pickle Lake West Property is considered highly prospective due to:
- White Metal Resources staked the project in 2016 due to the identified folding and deformation based on magnetics which have a similar footprint to a number of other gold mineralisation zones in the area;
- White Metal Resources obtained anomalous gold assay results in grab samples from a boulder located south of magnetic disruption; and
- The project is along strike to the west of the Central Patricia mine.
MULTI ELEMENT POTENTIAL
The Pickle Lake Gold Properties also have the potential to contain other base metals including copper, nickel and Platinum Group Elements (PGE) as demonstrated by the Thierry Open Pit and Underground Mine which has a combination of copper, nickel, silver, gold, platinum and palladium (Resource information sourced from Cadillac Ventures Inc, website www.cadillacventures.com/s/Ontario.asp, 30 July 2017), located just north of the Pickle Lake West Property, and the copper mineralisation identified on the western side of the Dorothy-Dobie Lake Property (see Figures 3 and 8 in the link below).
The proposed acquisition of the Pickle Lake Gold Properties is consistent with Ardiden's strategy of establishing a strong pipeline of prospective mineral projects ranging from greenfields discovery opportunities to more advanced, near-term resource development projects that can create shareholder value. These projects are all located in Tier-1 jurisdictions with exposure to outstanding market fundamentals.
The Pickle Lake properties provide the potential for near-term development and gold production, which alongside Ardiden's fast-tracked development of the North Aubry prospect at the Seymour Lake Lithium Project, provides an opportunity to diversify the Company's commodity base and potentially provide multiple revenue streams.
OPTION AGREEMENT TERMS
The Dorothy-Dobie Lake Property and Kasagiminnis Lake Property are jointly held between White Metal Resources, Murchison Minerals and Ken Kukkee, and are subject to the conditions of Option Agreements that were executed in 2016. The South Limb and Pickle Lake West properties are 100% owned by White Metal Resources.
Under the terms of the Option Agreement, Ardiden can acquire a conditional 100% of the Pickle Lake Gold Properties ("the Project") for aggregate payments to White Metals Resources of CAD$140,000 and 5,592,949 ordinary Ardiden shares as follows:
- Ardiden shall pay White Metal Resources a non-refundable deposit of CAD$70,000 and 1,592,949 Ardiden shares, within 5 business days of executing the Option Agreement (this includes C$40,000 and 592,949 shares as reimbursement to White Metal Resources for annual instalment payments made during negotiations, pursuant to the original Kukkee and Murchison Option Agreements);
- Ardiden will have the exclusive right to complete due diligence on the project for 12 months (to allow access to site in the 2017/2018 field season);
- After 6 months of Due Diligence review, Ardiden is required to make an additional payment of CAD$20,000 and 1,000,000 Ardiden shares, to retain the exclusive due diligence right for the remaining six months;
- Upon completion of due diligence, Ardiden may elect to exercise the option to acquire the Project; and
- Should Ardiden elect to acquire the Project, Ardiden shall pay White Metal Resources a further CAD$50,000 and 3,000,000 ordinary Ardiden shares.
To acquire a full 100% interest in all of Pickle Lake Gold properties, Ardiden will assume White Metal Resources' obligations existing in the underlying Option Agreements that were executed with Murchison Minerals and Ken Kukkee in 2016.
2016 OPTION TERMS
Ken Kukkee: The option required White Metal Resources to pay Kukkee CAD$80,000 (balance of CAD$40,000 outstanding) and issue 1,500,000 shares (balance of 1,050,000 White Metals Resources shares outstanding, which converted to Ardiden shares equals 2,490,387 shares) over the four-year option period to acquire 100% ownership of the project claims. Further, Kukkee is entitled to an annual advanced royalty payment of $50,000 from 15 April 2026, if commercial scale production is not achieved by that time.
Murchison Minerals Ltd: The option required White Metal Resources to pay Murchison CAD$50,000 (balance of CAD$20,000 outstanding) over the three-year option period and expend CAD$1,200,000 over three years (work commitment) to acquire 100% ownership project claims.
White Metal Resources will maintain the right to purchase an existing 1% NSR (held by Murchison Minerals) on the Murchison joint venture claims on the Dorothy-Dobie and Kasagiminnis properties, of which 0.5% NSR can be purchased for CAD$1,000,000 and the second 0.5% NSR may be purchased for CAD$1,500,000. White Metal Resources will also have the right of first refusal ("ROFR") on the NSR.
Ken Kukkee, the original vendor of the Kasagiminnis property, will retain a 2% NSR of which 1% NSR can be purchased by Ardiden for CAD$1,000,000 along with a ROFR on the remaining 1% NSR.
With respect to the Ken Kukkee claims located within the Dorothy-Dobie claim group, Kukkee retains a 2% NSR, of which 1% NSR can be purchased by Ardiden for CAD$1,000,000. Ardiden shall retain a ROFR on the remaining 1% NSR. In addition, White Metal Resources will hold a 1% NSR on this same Kukkee Option claim group.
Finally, White Metal Resources will retain a 2% NSR on the Pickle Lake West and South Limb Properties, of which 1% NSR can be purchased by Ardiden for CAD$1,000,000. Ardiden will have a ROFR on the remaining 1% NSR.
Ardiden has commenced a full review of all historical drilling, sampling and metallurgical data available for the Pickle Lake Gold Properties, and will then undertake further geological exploration, potentially including but not limited to, surface sampling, soil surveys and further drilling.
In parallel with the completion of due diligence for the Pickle Lake Gold Properties, Ardiden will continue to rapidly progress the maiden JORC 2012 Mineral Resource drilling program underway at the Seymour Lake Lithium Project.
These activities, combined with exploration programs underway at the Company's other projects, will create a diverse exploration and development pipeline, ranging from early-stage exploration to advanced resource development opportunities.
Ardiden looks forward to providing further updates as they come to hand.
The reader is cautioned that Ardiden has not undertaken any independent investigation of the dimensions, quantity or grade of the gold mineralization referred to above, therefore the historical data should not be relied upon. At best, Ardiden views this historical data as a conceptual indication of the potential size and grade of the gold deposits in the area, and this data is relevant to ongoing exploration efforts. The reader is further cautioned that the information in this section is not necessarily indicative of the mineralization on the property that is the subject of this report.
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About Ardiden Ltd
Ardiden Limited (ASX:ADV) is an emerging international diversified exploration and development company possessing a mature multi-element asset portfolio, with a near term development pipeline, focused quality projects located in the established mining jurisdiction of Ontario, Canada.
White Metal Resources Corp