SOURCE: VantageWire.com -- Last May the Quebec government launched its 25-year Plan Nord economic development strategy, worth over $80 billion. The plan is designed to create or consolidate 20,000 jobs a year in energy, mining, and forestry north of the 49th parallel.
Even without this government initiative, it’s well known within the mining investment world that working in Quebec comes with many perks. Cheap power, ample labour, and up to a 30% rebate on all exploration investment put into the ground make Quebec a darling jurisdiction to move about within. But, for some companies, Plan Nord is even more icing on the cake.
For junior explorers TomaGold Corp. [LOT.V], all three of its primary properties fall within the borders of Plan Nord’s 1,200,000 km2 (463,000 sq mi) area. This trio includes the company’s flagship Monster Lake property that lives up to its name in terms of its grades.
Having recently secured a joint venture with Quinto Real Capital Corporation on Monster Lake, it appears the company will be able to advance the project without increasing shareholder dilution. And now that the cold fronts of December have touched down, the drills can get moving again on the hardened ground. The junior company has already announced a busy winter drilling program ahead, which (given the previous results) should be quite newsworthy going forward.
Located in northwestern Quebec, 44 kilometres southwest of the town of Chibougamau, the Monster Lake property is easily Toma Gold’s flagship. It’s massive, covering 5,807 hectares of land along a 4.5km gold-bearing structure. Prior to TomaGold’s involvement, the property already had over 25,000 metres of diamond drilling performed on it since 1984.
Far from being isolated, the property is surrounded by nearby gold camps, including those of IamGold [IMG.TO, IAG.NYSE], Cartier Resources [ECR.V], Northern Superior [SUP.V], Soquem, Geomega [GMA.V], and Murgor [MGR.V]. Thanks to this previous attention, the property is quite “linked in” so to speak, being accessible by road, and in very close proximity to powerlines that are primed to deliver Quebec’s famous cheap electricity.
But more important than what surrounds the Monster Lake project, is what’s underneath it. TomaGold has already completed over 30,000 metres of drilling up to this point, and has identified numerous high-grade zones along the way. Most notable of the results that have been obtained was the discovery of a major bonanza grade of 237.6 g/t Au over 5.7m.
The bonanza came in early March within the Annie discovery zone that yielded ten drill intersections with grades ranging from 10.0 to 237.6 g/t Au in the process. The minerlization is associated with dark quartz-sulphide veins within a shear zone of 3-10 metres wide. This is quite dense, and allows for a lot of potential for continued exploration. In total over winter 2012, TomaGold drilled 16 additional holes for a total of 2,420 metres that included the big bonanza.
What the work done so far has shown us is that the Monster Lake has some very strong exploration potential going forward. The project comprises 12 other gold showings, all with economic gold grades that have more or less been underworked and left open in most cases.
A high-nugget effect has already been observed in Monster Lake’s main gold structures. The company plans to initiate bulk sampling to close out 2012 in order to determine a more representative grade for the gold resource potential of the project as a whole.
The sample will consist of 9,000 tonnes, and should better identify the relationship between the high- and low-grade zones already identified. Up until now, every time that the company has drilled a lower grade hole, they have held the belief that the overall area is of a higher grade than what is being presented. But even the low-grade zones have ranged from 1 to 5 g/t Au, which are higher than producing mines in other parts of Canada.
After the bulk sampling, the company plans to continue its negotiations with First Nations in early 2013, as well as move further through the permitting process, which is set for March. With the addition of the JV partner in Quinto, TomaGold appears to have secured a better financial standing to continue its aggressive drilling stance.
THE BOTTOM LINE
News flow on TomaGold should be steady for the next nine months. Though the site is accessible year-round, the company prudently waited until December’s frost to harden the ground, and reduce the impact of equipment on the environment. Gestures like this should help when the company meets with First Nations groups on the road to permitting.
It appears that the company is taking the steps necessary to best capitalize on its choice of jurisdiction. Quebec is known for its favourable incentives for industry, but those perks are multiplied when you fall within the Plan Nord borders which fall mostly above the 48th parallel. Monster Lake, along with the other two projects, Lake Urban and Vassan, all fit within this region that’s slotted for a governmental boost.
TomaGold is led by an experienced and financially-committed group of managers and directors. Lean in numbers, but strong in years under their belts, Team TomaGold has the wherewithal to see itself through each phase of its company’s ongoing story.
Going forward, the TomaGold story is a high-grade Plan Nord story, complete with a news cycle that should be interesting in 2013. With bulk sampling on the horizon, and plenty of more drilling ahead, this company has the potential to be the one of the best examples of Plan Nord being a wise investment, making both the politicians and investors look good in the process.
G. Joel Chury
for the Bottom Line Report
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