THE CORPORATE MANDATE
Processing of the surface ore-bearing stockpile will facilitate the mineral characterization representative of the host rock mineralized trends, simultaneous with evaluation and development of the 'proximal mine' gold mineralization within 1 km of the stockpiles, which could potentially generate feed for future operations. Initial work will consist of relogging of drill core, and stripping-sampling existing (and new) gold bearing veins to outline wide gold bearing stockworks.
LAURION’s Ishkoday Property hosts the former Quebec Sturgeon River Gold Mine, which produced 73,322 ounces of gold, and 15,929 ounces of silver between 1936 and 1942.
Gold was associated with the mined white quartz vein material, which was reportedly hand sorted and milled at an average grade of 15.71 g/t gold. The host rock which was lower grade material from the mining operation was deposited onto a surface stockpile. Phoenix Gold (1984) reported a historical grade of 2.95 g/t gold from a bulk sample, providing the indication of the potential gold grade of the Stockpile (Mackasey 1975).
On the basis of these initial encouraging results, LAURION commissioned a comprehensive program to accurately determine the location and volume of the Stockpile, and to sample the Stockpile using an excavator to dig pits for acquiring representative samples for gold analysis. The objective of this program was to complete additional test work to complement the 2010 assay and metallurgical testing as outlined in the 2013 NI 43-101 Technical Report, to not only ascertain a greater level of confidence in the gold grade as well as silver, zinc and copper but to clearly define optimum processing stages of the Stockpile.
In 2010, thirty pits were excavated in the Stockpile, totalling 1.22 tonnes and 46 assay samples were collected, with deeper pits (maximum 5.2 meters deep) providing 2 or 3 selective samples at successively deeper levels. Sampling of the excavated material was carried out to acquire samples that were representative of rock types and broken rock size. Samples were collected in 20 litre pails for processing. Individual sample weights were between 20.8 and 30.7 kg, and the total sample weight tested was 1.22 tonnes. The <2mm fraction had the highest gold grade material averaging 6.20 g/t gold, and all samples in this size fraction had assays greater than 1.75 g/t gold. The coarsest > 63 mm fraction had highly erratic values of nugget gold, and also contained the highest-grade sample of 32 g/t gold (QSWR-10-018).
The 2013 NI 43-101 Technical Report stated the Stockpile contained 144,070 tonnes grading 1.59 g/t gold in the Indicated Mineral Resources category. The resource estimate for the Tailings Area is 137,501 tonnes grading 0.67 g/t gold for 2,944 contained ounces of gold in the Indicated category. Total Indicated mineral resources for both deposits totals 281,571 tonnes grading 1.14 g/t gold for 10,327 contained ounces of gold.
Metallurgical tests Indicates 87% Gold Recovery in Gravity test work from the Mine Waste Pile, and 96% Recovery of Gold in Cyanide Leach test work from the Tailings.
The Stockpile appears to host a significant amount of fines material. As outlined in the Technical Report, the fines material (<2mm) from the sampling work completed in 2010 carried average values of 6.20 g/t gold, thus showing a significant potential for higher-grade gold values at the base of the tailings where gold would have percolated from gravity settling of the Stockpile.
Ore Sorting Technology
On November 23, 2022, the Company announced that it engaged DRA Americas Inc. (“DRA”) in order to determine if it may be possible to monetize the gold-bearing surface stockpile left over from historical mining operations at the former Sturgeon River mine.
The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) recently completed test work in Q1 2023 using a two-tonne sample of 20-to-60-millimetre-sized material sourced from the stockpile to simulate a sensor-based sorting (SBS) operation and develop a sorting algorithm for future pilot plant work.
The results of the test work demonstrated that the SBS laser and colour sorting methods were successful in removing a significant proportion of vein host rock while still efficiently recovering small, fragmented quartz particles that are often associated with gold. Specifically, the SBS laser threshold setting could remove an estimated 92.6 per cent of host rock (compared with vein material), while the SBS colour and optical tests removed an estimated 89.6 per cent of host rock, with efficient recovery of the quartz fragments often times associated with gold.
SRC recommended that pilot plant testing be completed on Ishkoday material using the sorting algorithm to economically validate the use of sorting technology. These promising results suggest that SBS could be a valuable tool for improving the efficiency and profitability of gold extraction processes.
The objective of ore sorting is to reduce handling costs and increase gold grades of ore sent for processing.
LAURION has initiated work required to apply for environmental permits in support of the advanced exploration Ishkoday shaft project, which currently entails dewatering an existing shaft for access and exploration purposes, and treating the dewatering output to acceptable limits prior to discharge. Permits will be required from the provincial government of Ontario, and are anticipated to include a mine closure plan, permit to take water and environmental compliance approvals. The mine closure plan will require LAURION to describe rehabilitation measures that are to take place, and to post financial assurance for the rehabilitation work prior to commencing advanced exploration. The permit to take water and environmental compliance approvals, obtained through the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, are required to allow for dewatering and treatment activities.
Consultations regarding LAURION’S plans and permits with its indigenous partners and stakeholders have been initiated and will be continuing throughout the permitting, exploration and closure phases.