Gold formations know no political boundaries. Areas of promising geology frequently cross international boundaries, such as Barrick’s Pascua-Lama project on the Chile-Argentina line. Development has been allowed to proceed there only after years of negotiations.
How much more convenient when the line runs between Canadian provinces. That is the case with the Rice Lake Gold Belt that crosses the Manitoba-Ontario border. The belt is located 80 km west of the Red Lake Mining District, home of Goldcorp’s exceedingly rich Red Lake and Campbell mines.
A recent independent evaluation of the district points toward its potential. The Rice Lake research report highlights and supports a direct comparison between the Rice Lake and Red Lake districts in terms of their geology and potential, and underscores the fact that the main difference between the two districts is the level of exploration money spent to develop the resource. The report estimates that over the last five years, 50 to 60 juniors were active in Red Lake and less than a dozen in Rice Lake. Moreover, the level of expenditure at Red Lake is estimated to be in the order of more than 100 times that spent in the similarly promising Rice Lake Belt.
The report was commissioned from Goldmau by five exploration companies active in the Rice Lake area: Harvest Gold, Wildcat Exploration, San Gold, Marum Resources and Grandview Gold. The report, entitled “Could Rice Lake be the Next Red Lake Gold Mining District?”, may be read in its entirety at www.HarvestGoldCorp.com.
Of the companies that paid for the Rice Lake report, only San Gold has moved into the ranks of gold producers. It opened its Rice Lake and San Gold No.1 mines in August 2006. It is also giving its San Gold No.2 & 3, Gabrielle and Cartwright deposits a thorough examination. The company reports that grades are close to 15 g/t Au at depth.
The price of gold is currently in the US$620 range, and some predictions say it is headed for US$850. If that can be translated into increased spending in the Rice Lake Gold Belt, Canada may have a major new gold camp.