Prospectors have had an increasingly difficult time finding new deposits in recent decades. Here is the exception to that rule: STRATABOUND MINERALS of Calgary has reported the discovery of significant gold mineralization where construction of the Trans Canada Highway cut across its Big Presque Isle claims.
The company says an outcrop 30-m by 7-m in size, situated behind the road cut, comprises iron carbonate breccia exhibiting abundant mineralized gabbro fragments. A representative composite grab sample returned 3.80 g/t Au across its exposed 7-m width, which may extend further beneath overburden. The property is situated near the Bathurst base metal camp in northern New Brunswick.
Preliminary geological mapping indicates the gold-pyrite-arsenopyrite mineralization is associated with Silurian-age argillaceous limestone interbedded with calcareous shale and quartzite, which have been injected by a swarm of gabbro and diabase dikes along a major fault zone, all intersected by two directions of pervasive cross-faulting. These represent potentially favourable conditions for fluid movement and ore deposition, says Stratabound. The company has staked the entire dike swarm thought to be associated with the mineralization.
Not everyone in the Canadian mining industry is old enough to remember some of the other serendipitous discoveries of the past. The nickel occurrences of the Sudbury Basin were noted as early as 1856, but it wasnt until the railroad cut through the area that the first claims were staked in 1883. The prolific Dome mine near Timmins was found by accident in 1909 when a prospector slipped, tearing away the moss covering a gold-bearing quartz structure that is still producing the yellow metal nearly 100 years later.
Todays highly sophisticated and computerized exploration tools provide invaluable information that encourages the hunt for most new discoveries. But good, old fashioned luck can still play an important part in mineral discovery.