Thanks to Golden Band Resources of Saskatoon, wheat isn’t the only thing giving off a “golden glow” in Saskatchewan these days. In fact, wheat pales by comparison to the shine coming from Golden Band’s new gold deposits located approximately 480 km north of Saskatoon.
With more than 875 km2 of claims with 12 known gold deposits and four former producing mines in the historic La Ronge Gold Belt, Golden Band Resources is now Saskatchewan’s newest gold producer, and four of its 12 deposits (Bingo, Komis, EP, and Golden Heart) are some of the more promising gold properties being developed in recent years in all of Western Canada. Only Komis is a former producer while Bingo, EP, and Golden Heart are greenfield sites.
Getting these four properties into the headlines, however, has been no easy task because as every miner knows, bringing past-producing mines back into production requires a solid strategic plan supported by, most of all, confirmed mineralization of a worthy grade, and enough money to get it to market.
In Golden Band Resources’ case, the company has these qualities and more because it has been focusing on the La Ronge Gold Belt since 1993 and it knows that its properties still contain enough high-grade gold to make their efforts worthwhile.
Adding to that, there’s also the licensed Jolu Gold Mill (built in 1988 but extensively refurbished and upgraded for Golden Band’s operations) in the heart of the district (within 75 km of all deposits) to make processing of the gold financially feasible. And Golden Band Resources recently put the mill to use by producing its first gold from the greenfield Roy Lloyd Mine at its Bingo deposit.
As mentioned earlier, Bingo is one of 12 deposits Golden Band Resources has in the La Ronge Gold Belt, and in April, 2011, the company achieved commercial production.
Gold production from the Jolu mill is expected to be 45,000 troy ounces for the first year of commercial production, and production from the Roy Lloyd Mine will continue from the reserve block above the 1265 Level and from development of the next reserve block down to the 1200 Level, and gradually transition to full production from the 1265 Level reserves.
Development of the decline ramp will extend down to the 1200 Level, in preparation for the development of a diamond drill drift, expected to be completed this Fall. Golden Band Resources expects that drilling of the Inferred Resources below the 1200 Level will be completed in the Winter of 2011-12, and is planned to upgrade the Inferred Resource to Measured and Indicated Resource status. The Lower Level contains an Inferred Resource of 155,074 tonnes at 13.89 g/t Au.
From its Komis deposit, development of this property is well advanced and dewatering of the former mine’s underground workings is completed. Based on underground mining of high-grade veins, there is an Indicated Resource of 191,740 tonnes at 7.85 g/t Au (48,398 ounces) and an Inferred Resource of 10,746 tonnes at 7.91 g/t Au (2,831 ounces) to a depth of only 150 m. The deposit remains open and exploration is underway both along strike to depth.
Golden Band Resources’ EP Mine is a 260-m-long open-pit greenfield operation with a Measured and Indicated Resource of 102,000 tonnes at 3.81 g/t Au (12,494 ounces). It will produce 50 tonnes per day. Pre-stripping at the site has been completed and supergene ore in the upper portion of the deposit indicates the potential for very high-grade gold content.
The Golden Heart gold deposit boasts a Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource of 362,423 tonnes grading 7.94 g/t Au (92,50 ounces) plus an Inferred Resource of 7,479 tonnes at 9.36 g/t Au (2,250 ounces).
When the Golden Heart goes into production in 2013, Golden Band Resources’ production target from these four deposits is from 60,000 ounces in 2011 to up to 100,000 ounces of gold per year in 2014.
It’s an ambitious goal but one that Golden Band Resources believes is achievable because, after all, the company has had faith in the La Ronge Gold Belt for almost two decades now and it looks like that belief in the district will pay off.