Gold results from Mary March site a ‘game changer’
© Sue Hickey
Mineral potential for gold and base metals is promising for Canstar Resources and its exploration of the Mary March property near Buchans, according to CEO Danniel Oosterman. He was in Grand Falls-Windsor recently on his way to visit the site.
For 10 years, a region 20 km northeast of Buchans was the centre of a tug-of-war between two junior mining companies – Canstar Resources and Vinland Resources over the rights to what is known as the Mary March property.
After a series of appeals by Vinland over claim rights, Canstar was the victor, and they can finally start exploring.
Canstar now has a new CEO, Danniel Oosterman, who visited the central region the weekend of May 11 to check out the exploration work at the site.
To geologists and other players in the mining industry, Mary March has long been suspected as a home for rich metal deposits. That’s because part of the region known as the Central Mineral (or Roberts Arm) Belt is known for being rich in VMS (volcanogenic massive sulphides) deposits, associated with the presence of gold and base metals.
“It’s along the same sort of lithological trend as the Buchans mine. The Buchans mine basically, produced from the 1920s to the 1970s on and off, produced over 16 million tonnes,” he explained. “It’s a polymetallic VMS deposit. It’s not only polymetallic, but it has gold in it as well.”
In laymen’s terms, that means there are various base metals like zinc, copper and metal at the site, as well as gold.
The deposits are the result of ancient geological activity. Between 450-550 million years ago, most of that area was underwater, part of the long-ago Iapetus Ocean. There were active submarine volcanoes, too. Thanks to that volcanic activity, the end result was left behind as mineral deposits like gold and base metals.
The Buchans mine showed over a gram per tonne of gold. In the late 1990s, Phelps-Dodge put a number of holes in the property. Those holes drilled in 1999 and 2000 produced some of the highest grade base and precious metal intersections ever achieved in the area outside the Buchans mine, said the CEO.
“One of those holes ended up hitting a nine-metre intersection of high-grade massive sulphides, over 16 per cent zinc but more significantly, over four grams per tonne of gold in it,” he added.
In today’s gold prices, this suddenly becomes a very interesting project, said Oosterman.
As of press time, gold was US$1436.33 per ounce. As with other metals and minerals commodities, it fluctuates.
“One of the slights against zinc deposits is that the price of zinc is very low,” said Ooesterman. “The copper grades are not as impressive as the zinc and lead grades. The prices for those are very low. But when you have four grams per tonne, suddenly, that’s a game changer.”
He explained with that intersection in place, one of the other things the drilling confirmed, the rock stratigraphy (layering) at Mary March is very similar to what is at Buchans.
The CEO added the exploration work is confirming similar rock types and mineralization styles and grades, and in some cases, impressive grades when compared to Buchans.
He said there has been very little drilling on the property over the past several years, because of the debate between Canstar and Vinland.
“The company is finally able to explore,” he said. “We had a small program last year, and the results that have come in certainly demonstrated that the system is there.”