Project 81 prepares to show its hand
Following more than five decades of exploration, Project 81, an extensive collection of contiguous claims in proximity to the historic mining city of Timmins, Ontario, is about to show some of its hand. Historical drilling from the 60’s reveals that the circa 70,000 hectare property could feature multiple viable gold and base metal targets, and a recent flurry of exploration work by owners Noble Mineral Exploration Inc. (TSXV: NOB) (“Noble”) will culminate in an ocean of processed data this December, potentially resulting in massive stock volatility.
The exploration data is currently being compiled by renowned geophysicists Orix Geoscience after months of drilling and airborne electromagnetic surveys targeted areas that were identified as prospective. In anticipation of a ‘big reveal’ from such a large project, what follows is a rundown of what Noble has to offer to investors looking for their next major play, but, personally, I feel that the project represents a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on a relatively underexplored and massive section of one of Canada’s most prospective regions.
Promising drill targets were identified through a combination of historical results and recent testing programs, including volcanogenic massive sulfide ore (VMS) targets that are thought to be similar to the geology of Glencore’s Kidd mine at nearby Kidd Creek, the deepest base-metals mine on Earth and the nearest accessible point to the center of the planet as more than 150,000 million tonnes of ore has been mined from the site in just over 50 years.
If the old adage about the best deposits lying close to the best mines is to be believed, Project 81 stands a phenomenal chance of succeeding based on its size and position alone. Timmins, too, is widely known for being one of the richest goldfields in the world, born out of the Porcupine gold rush of the early 1900s, it has since been home to the most prolific gold mines in Canada’s history.
Crucially, Noble’s CEO and President, Vance White, already has previous high-profile Ontario successes under his belt; Mr White was President and Director of Dickenson Group before it was bought out by Goldcorp in 1989, and the resource that sealed the deal went on to become the record-breaking Red Lake mine, coughing-up over 22 million ounces of gold and still producing to this day. A good team in a good location is one thing, but it will always be the geology that seals the deal for investors.
An airborne geophysical survey was recently completed over the northern 8 of 12 townships that lie within Project 81, and a wide range of targets were identified for further exploration. Among this work will be a gravity gradiometry survey of the entire 70,000 hectares that will more accurately identify and define the numerous mineral deposits throughout the area. This data will be released by mid-December when Orix has finished compiling all findings into a digestible format, but many anomalies have thus far proven enticing.
In particular, the Lucas target is a large granite-based anomaly that appears to be faulted straight through the middle. Typically, these shear zones are associated with significant mineral values; add this to the fact that the Lucas site has historically assayed up to 3.5 g/t Au, and we have a potential winner. Although with around 40 priority trends identified for exploration on the property, it likely won’t be alone.
The property is so large that Noble are even optioning off sections of entire townships to other prospectors, which, combined with recent private placement closures, has returned the company millions of dollars in cash, stocks and contractual first year payments, and that’s just since the beginning of September. During Vance White’s time there, the market cap of Dickensen went from Cdn$2 million to well over Cdn$100 million; with cash to spend and a gargantuan property in a region so prolific as Timmins, the results that tip the scale could be mere weeks away.
Furthermore, once fully established, it is thought that the company would separate its mineral assets into two distinct packages, with one focused on its gold-bearing assets and the other on its VMS, base metals and nickel assets. Any investor who chose to get in before the project progressed to this point would stand to benefit from both of these ventures in the future.