Preliminary figures for 2001 indicate that the total value of Ontario’s mineral production was $5.63 billion, down slightly from $5.87 billion in 2000. Lower nickel prices were primarily responsible for the decline in the value of metals, while nonmetals were up slightly in 2001. The contribution of the three commodity groups included metals ($3.4 billion), nonmetals ($2.1 billion) and fuels ($130 million; structural materials are now included with nonmetals). Ontario was responsible for about one-third of Canada’s metallic minerals and 28% of the nonmetals.
Ontario maintained its status as the lead jurisdiction in Canada in terms of value of non-fuel mineral production. The province accounted for 29% of Canada’s non-fuel mineral production value in 2001 compared with 31% in 2000, and had a margin of more than $2 billion over the next closest jurisdiction.
The five highest value metallic minerals produced in Ontario in 2001 were nickel ($1.118 billion), gold ($1.052 billion), platinum group elements ($514 million), copper ($450 million) and zinc ($104 million).
In 2001, the top two commodities produced in Canada were gold and nickel; Ontario provided 63% of the country’s nickel production as well as 50% of its gold production.
Final exploration and deposit appraisal expenditures for 2000 totaled $117.9 million. In contrast to the national trend, preliminary estimates for 2001 decreased slightly to $113.6 million. Expenditures are expected to increase to $126.7 million in 2002.
Spending intentions for 2002 indicate that Ontario will lead all Canadian provinces and territories in exploration and deposit appraisal expenditures for the third consecutive year with 25% of Canada’s total expenditures.
Preliminary figures for 2001 indicate that $308.6 million was spent on mineral exploration, deposit appraisal and mine development expenditures in Ontario. This total consists of $74 million (24%) for exploration, and $39 million (13%) for deposit appraisal, while mine development expenditures are estimated at $195 million (63%). Forecasts for 2002 estimate that total expenditures will decline to $301 million. The decline is attributable to reduced spending on mine development, which is on a downward trend that began in 1998.
In 2001, spending by Ontario’s junior mining companies increased by more than 45% to $40 million while spending by Ontario’s senior mining companies decreased by more than 15% from 2000 to $74 million. Forecasts for 2002 indicate that spending by Ontario’s junior companies will increase by more than 5% from 2001 to $42.3 million and spending by Ontario’s senior companies will increase by 14% to $84.4 million. Ontario’s senior companies account for about two-thirds of Ontario exploration expenditures, a decline from over 75% in 1999 and 2000.
The number of mining claims in good standing in Ontario at the end of 2001 was 184,433, an increase of 13.6% from 2000. The increase can be attributed to the ongoing interest in gold as well as continued interest in exploring for diamonds and platinum/palladium.
De Beers Canada Exploration Inc. continues to explore and conduct advanced exploration on and around the Victor diamond project, 90 km west of the community of Attawapiskat. The company will conduct a winter exploration program again this year and carry out other work in support of a feasibility study. The Victor pipe has an inferred diamond resource of 36.2 million tonnes with a preliminary revenue value of $92 per tonne.
In July 2002, Placer Dome Inc. and Kinross Gold Corp. merged their Timmins property assets as the Porcupine Joint Venture. The joint venture has announced a $5.26-million diamond drilling program on the Hoyle Pond and Dome mine properties, on the Pamour, Hallnor-Bonetal-Broulan area as well as the Owl Creek, McIntyre and Buffalo Ankerite properties in Timmins. At the beginning of 2002, the Porcupine JV had a 2.3-million-ounce gold reserve and an additional 5.2 million-ounce gold resource.
Pele Mountain Resources Inc. has discovered and sampled more than 20 new diamondiferous volcanic units in the southwestern corner of the Festival property north of Wawa. The newly-discovered Genesis diamond occurrence has returned 53 commercial-sized diamonds from a bulk sample of 4.5 tonnes.
Kennecott Canada Exploration Inc. has completed a summer program of prospecting, mapping, stripping, channel sampling and soil sampling on the Band-Ore GQ property north of Wawa. A total of eight new areas of heterolithic breccia units, geologically similar to the Engagement Zone have been explored and sampled this year. Over 20,000 diamonds, including 373 macrodiamonds, have been recovered from caustic fusion processing of bulk samples from the Engagement Zone.
A six-hole diamond drill program and outcrop sampling on the Enigma property by Oasis Diamond Exploration, operator of the Enigma Joint Venture with Iciena Ventures and Arctic Star Diamond Corp., has led to the discovery of two new diamond occurrences north of Wawa. Diamond drilling and outcrop sampling has yielded a total of 233 diamonds from a 858-kg sample. A second site, located 7 km from the original showing, yielded 20 microdiamonds and one macrodiamond from a 36.06-kg sample.
Kirkland Lake District
Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. is testing narrow, near-surface, high-grade gold-bearing quartz veins and the “Mud Break” on the Kirkland Lake “Main Break”. Dewatering at the Macassa mine No. 3 shaft is progressing and diamond drilling has commenced on the 3835-foot level.
Queenston Mining Inc. intersected a new gold zone in two diamond drill holes in Gauthier Township, referred to as the Anoki South Zone. Hole AN02-20 intersected 4.48 m grading 6.70 g/t Au and hole AN02-21 intersected 3.02 m grading 18.92 g/t Au.
Acrex Ventures Ltd. completed six diamond drill holes on its Michaud gold property in Michaud Township. Four holes tested the Southwest Zone (inferred resource of 2.4 million tonnes averaging 6.07 g/t Au) and one hole each tested the “04” Extension Zone and the “55” Zone, both west of the Southwest Zone.
Tom Exploration Inc. optioned the Lalonde property consisting of 114 unpatented mining claims in Munro Township. There are 10 areas with documented gold mineralization. The company completed overburden stripping, sampling and detailed ground geophysics over selected areas. Several grab samples returned values up to 29.31 g/t Au.
Cabo Mining Corp. has recovered a total of 95 diamonds including four macrodiamonds from a 9.3-kg sample of diamond drill core from its Cobalt area property. The diamond-bearing sample was taken from a 4.15-m interval within a 61.0-m intersection of a lamprophyric dike within a mafic breccia zone. This zone is open in all directions.
Goldeye Explorations Ltd. completed overburden stripping and channel sampling on the Lacarte property in Tyrell Township. The property covers 5 km of the Tyrrell shear zone, the host of the Lacarte (600,000 tons grading 6 g/t Au) and Big Dome (best drill core assay 1.4 m of 144 g/t Au) gold zones.
Temex Resources Corp. completed a diamond drill program at the Juby deposit in Tyrrell Township. The deposit contains drill-indicated resources of 34 million tonnes grading 1 g/t Au, or 2.2 million tonnes grading 4.65 g/t Au. Temex’s diamond drill hole JU-02-01 intersected an interval of 14.22 m grading 5.04 g/t Au, including 3.95 m grading 8.85 g/t Au.
Sault Ste. Marie District
Amerigo Resources has entered into a joint venture with Falconbridge Limited on the Island Copper property in Aweres Township. Work completed by Falconbridge on the property included airborne geophysics, induced polarization surveys, a residual gravity survey, geological mapping, and geochemical sampling. Past diamond drilling on the property returned a 9.5-m intersection grading 4.02% Cu and 1.03 g/tonne Au.
FNX Mining Company Inc. in joint venture with Dynatec Corp. is exploring Inco’s Victoria, McCreedy West, Levack, Norman, and Kirkwood properties.
On July 23, 2002, Falconbridge reported a preliminary inferred
mineral resource at the Nickel Rim South property of 2.9 million tonnes in the footwall to the Sudbury Igneous Complex, grading 2.4% nickel, 6.6% copper, 4.5 g/t platinum, 5.4 g/t palladium, 3.6 g/t gold and 25.0 g/t silver. Diamond drilling on this target continues.
Aurora Platinum Corp. is active in its option-joint venture agreement with Falconbridge Limited to explore for magmatic sulphide deposits.
Ursa Major Minerals Inc. conducted extensive diamond drilling at the former Falconbridge Ltd. Sudbury-Shakespeare deposit (Nipissing diabase, approx. 2.2 billioin years old).
Pacific North West Capital Corp. explored its holdings by extensive diamond drilling, and detailed geophysical surveys in the River Valley, Agnew Lake, and East Bull Lake differentiated mafic intrusive rocks. Partners include Anglo American Platinum Corp. Ltd., Platinum Group Metals Ltd. and Lonmin Plc.
Mustang Minerals Corp. and partner Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. also conducted extensive diamond drilling campaigns at the East Bull Lake and River Valley differentiated mafic intrusive complexes.
For details from this district, see “Good News for the Sudbury Basin”, starting on page 5.
Red Lake and Kenora Districts
Goldcorp Inc.’s Red Lake mine enjoyed continued success in outlining high-grade reserves and exploring other areas of high potential. Approximately US$12 million was spent in 2002 to explore the immediate mine property. The company is also spending approximately US$4 million on surface drilling of significant targets on adjacent properties.
Placer Dome’s Campbell mine continued underground exploration this year and has successfully delineated new reserves and resources in the DC Zone. Placer Dome is also drill-testing a new gold discovery on its Madsen option from Claude Resources, which has a very similar style of mineralization to the main Campbell-Red Lake gold deposit.
Rubicon Minerals Corp. acquired the McFinley mine property that saw underground development work in the 1980s. A preliminary 3,000-m diamond drill program is planned to test multiple mineralized zones in altered and deformed mafic rocks. Significant winter diamond drilling will also take place on other Rubicon and Rubicon-AngloGold (Canada) Exploration’s joint venture properties in the Red Lake belt.
Planet Exploration will continue drill- testing its Sidace Lake property in the Red Lake belt. A recently completed 12-hole (2,200-m) program intersected significant mineralization (97.03 g/t Au over 0.20 m) hosted in quartz-sericite schist with appreciable stibnite.
Tribute Minerals Inc. completed a four-hole (2,000-m) drill program on its Dixie base metal property in the Confederation Lake area. Previously-completed TITAN-24 surveys were instrumental in targeting the drilling, which intersected 12.2% Zn over 1.0 m. Down-hole geophysics is expected to vector future drilling efforts.
King’s Bay Gold and Solitaire Minerals drilled a small portion of a 700-m-long zone of intrusion-hosted sulphide mineralization on their Garnet Lake property, located in the Confederation Lake area. Values as high as 2.83% Cu and 1.30 g/t Au over 0.60 m have been intersected.
Wolfden Resources Inc. and First Au Strategies completed a 2,000-m drill program on their Casummit Lake property, site of the past-producing Argosy gold mine, in the Birch-Casummit lakes area.
Champion Bear Resources Ltd. undertook a four-hole diamond drilling program on the Marko’s North pegmatite. Tantalum mineralization was confirmed along a 300-m strike length.
Southern Rio Resources Ltd. completed an eight-hole drill program on the Minnitaki Lake property. Visible gold was noted in late quartz and/or carbonate veins cutting strongly-silicified and pyritized porphyry. The property is the subject of a joint venture agreement with Wheaton River Minerals.
Thunder Bay District
PGM Ventures Corp. has initiated an exploration and evaluation program on the Thierry mine property at Pickle Lake. A $1-million program involving drilling, geophysics, surface trenching and metallurgical studies will be conducted to evaluate the PGE-nickel content at this historic copper producer. Diamond drilling on the property returned up to 3.1 m grading 3.42% Cu, 0.63% Ni, 2.6 g/t Pt and 4.78 g/t Pd, and 6.1 m grading 2.64% Cu, 0.62% Ni, 1.64 g/t Pt and 3.21 g/t Pd.
East West Resource Corp. continued diamond drilling on the down-plunge extension of the Norton Lake Cu-Ni-PGE prospect. A 15-m-wide pyrrhotite-pentlandite brecciated sulphide zone separated from a lower chalcopyrite-pyrrhotite-pyrite zone by a 1 m gabbro-pyroxenite layer were intersected. Mineralization has been extended 500 m west with geophysics and to a depth of 225 m by diamond drilling.
The Lac des Iles mine of North American Palladium Ltd. produced in excess of 167,000 ounces of palladium in the first three quarters of 2002, while the company continued exploration in the mine area. Work included 47,000 m of diamond drilling on the Main High Grade Zone as well as underground scoping and pre-feasibility studies.
Platinum Group Metals Ltd. has recently published results from diamond drilling on the Stinger Zone on its Lac des Iles River property. Initial drilling indicated 4.92 g/t Au+Pt+Pd over 3.1 m within a layered series of pyroxenite and hornblende leucogabbro. The results included a 19-m section grading 1.06 g/t Au+Pt+Pd.
Houston Lake Mining Inc. and Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. completed a $500,000 exploration program on the Tib Lake Intrusion. Exploration included mechanical stripping, prospecting and sampling, humus geochemical sampling, geological mapping, channel sampling and diamond drilling. Previous drilling on the property had returned 18.47 m of 1.68 g/t PGE including 7.47 m of 2.76 g/t total precious metals (Pt-Pd-Au).
The Smoke Lake project, northeast of Marathon, is being explored by Freewest Resources Canada Inc., JonPol Explorations Ltd. and Saxony Explorations Ltd. Results include the discovery of mineralized boulders (returning up to 312.9 g/t Au) and several bedrock showings including the Lucky 13, MZ, J&J, and UGM, with grab sample assays ranging to 22.16 g/t Au.
Linear Resources Inc. received the final rare earth element assay results from its summer diamond drilling program at the Seymour Lake tantalum property, located east-northeast of Armstrong. Recent diamond drilling on the North Aubry zone in 2002 returned up to 7.55 m grading 0.054% Ta2O5 and 17.7 m of 0.046% Ta2O5.
In August 2002, Fortune Minerals Ltd./ Formosa Environmental Aggregates Ltd. updated the status of their Formosa Greenock High Calcium Chemical Limestone Quarry project. Formosa intends to develop the property to mine a 15-million-tonne resource, grading 99% calcium carbonate.
ONTZINC Corp. has acquired mineral leases on 3,700 hectares in Bruce and Grey counties to explore for Mississippi Valley-type zinc targets. The company has budgeted for the drilling of 100 holes to provide initial testing of 24 anomalies that have been outlined in the project area. The estimated cost of the program as defined is $3.5 million.
In 2002, Derek McBride Management and Geological Services Inc. assembled a land position covering the Limerick Township “Macassa” nickel-copper deposit. A new resource calculation of the north zone suggests a drill-indicated resource of 3,700,000 tonnes grading 0.57% nickel and 0.17% copper to a depth of 300 m. A second zone has an indicated resource of 4,600,000 tonnes grading 0.17% nickel and 0.07% copper to a depth of 75 m.
In November 2002, Lydia Diamond Exploration of Canada Ltd. announced the results of independent sampling of a micaceous dike on the company’s Wolf Lake property in Tudor Township. Seven diamonds were discovered when the 27.65-kg sample was subjected to caustic fusion analysis. The largest stone is 0.63 mm x 0.46 mm x 0.32 mm.
Peter Cashin ([email protected]) is information officer and Brock Greenwell ([email protected]) is senior statistical analyst, Information and Marketing Services, Ontario Ministry of Northern Development & Mines in Sudbury, Ont. i>