Fenelon Gold Project, Québec, Canada

Project Snapshot

Status:

Advanced exploration stage (mineral resource definition)

Location:

Detour-Fenelon Gold Trend, ~80 km east of Detour Lake gold mine (Kirkland Lake Gold)

Commodity:

Gold

Ownership:

100% Wallbridge

Current exploration activities:

170,000 m of drilling for 2021; starting a 2-year underground development program of 10,000 m

Mineral resources:

Maiden mineral resource expected in Q3 2021

  • Overview

    The Fenelon Gold project is located approximately 75 kilometres west-northwest of the town of Matagami, Québec, Canada. With the acquisition of Balmoral, Wallbridge increased its land position from 10.5 km2 to 739 km2 along the eastern extension of the Sunday Lake Deformation Zone ("SLDZ"), a major east-west structure in the northern Abitibi greenstone belt which hosts the Detour Lake mine in Ontario (Kirkland Lake Gold). The Fenelon Gold project is part of the Fenelon property, a group of contiguous claims and leases totaling 85.6 km2.

    Since the acquisition of the Fenelon Gold project in late 2016, Wallbridge's exploration efforts have successfully expanded the Fenelon Gold System with the discovery of Area 51 in late 2018 and the Lower Tabasco-Cayenne shear zones in 2019, new geologic settings with extensive vein- and shear-hosted gold mineralization along and within the Jérémie pluton.

    The Company’s 2020 drilling program of approximately 102,000 metres successfully expanded the size potential of the Fenelon Gold System to a strike length of 1.8 kilometres.

    Maps & Images (click to enlarge)

    Fenelon Geology Map
    Regional Overview Geology
    Detour-Fenelon Gold Trend Map
  • Current Program

    Details of the drilling program:

    • Six drill rigs targeting the Tabasco-Cayenne-Area 51 mineralization to approximately 1,000 metre vertical depth, carrying out a combination of 75-100-metre step-outs and tighter-spaced (50-60-metre) in-fill drilling
    • Two drill rigs focusing on near-surface, open pit resource drilling in the western portion of Area 51
    • One additional drill rig devoted to regional, grassroots exploration at various projects of the Company’s Detour-Fenelon Gold Trend land package

    A total of 75,000 metres were drilled in 2019, and a fully-funded 100,000 to 120,000 metres of drilling was originally planned for 2020. Due to the temporary COVID-10 shut-down, the Company now estimates to be able to complete between 70,000 and 80,000 metres of resource drilling at Fenelon in 2020 with an additional ~20,000 m of exploration drilling on the newly acquired surrounding ground. Exploration activity has resumed at Fenelon ramping back up to six surface drill rigs by early July.

    Prior work by Wallbridge:

    Wallbridge initiated exploration immediately after the acquisition of the Fenelon Gold project. The first phase of work was comprised of a review of historic drilling and additional sampling of previously unsampled historic drill core followed by a drilling campaign in 2017 to expand the exploration target near existing infrastructure and above a depth of 150 metres.

    Wallbridge has drilled a total of 203,500 metres to the end of 2020. The Company has significantly expanded the footprint of the Fenelon gold system to 1.8 kilometres of strike length, along the Jérémie pluton.

    2017-2020 Summary of Exploration and Development Activities

    2017

    6,348 m in 33 holes (surface)

    • Mineralization confirmed up to 120 m away from the existing deposit (Main Gabbro Zones)
    • 2 new gold-bearing structures identified: Cayenne and Tabasco corridors 

     

    Prefeasibility study on Main Gabbro Zones (February)

    • PFS estimated a Pre-tax Net Cash Flow of $6.6 M and a pre-tax IRR of 92% for the initial ~18 month mine life for the known reserves located above 100 m depth and in close proximity to the existing ramp
    • Measured and Indicated resources for the Main Gabbro Zones were estimated at 91,100 tonnes grading 12.97 g/t Au (38,000 oz) and Inferred resources at 6,500 tonnes grading 9.15 g/t Au (1,900 oz) (based on 5 g/t Au cut-off grade)

    2018

    9,730 m in 21 holes (surface)

    • Following known mineralized zones to depths of 300 to 400 m and testing for additional zones away from the mine workings
    • Last hole (FA-18-051) intersected ~200 m wide, previously unknown package of favorable intermediate to mafic host rocks with broad low-grade gold mineralization throughout: 0.90 g/t Au over 105.0 m
    • New discovery named Area 51

     

    10,959 m in 92 holes (UG)

    • UG drilling mainly targeted the high-grade shoots down to 5,130 Level (~125 m depth
    • Highlights included: 137. 63 g/t Au over 4.85 m and 48.81 g/t Au over 6.13 m in the Naga Viper Zone and 50.31 g/t Au over 10.13 m and 144.96 g/t Au over 2.12 m in the Chipotle Zone.

     

    Extraction of UG bulk sample

    • Dewatering of the open pit and existing underground infrastructure (Main Gabbro Zones)
    • Completed 2,100 m of underground development, establishing 4 mining horizons and infrastructure required for exploitation of the first 100 m. 
    • Bulk sample completed in Q1’2019 produced 33,233 tonnes of material (from 5 stopes) yielding a reconciled average grade of 18.49 g/t Au containing 19,755 oz and 2,277 tonnes of low-grade material (the remaining material from the 2004 bulk sample) yielding a reconciled grade of 4.23 g/t Au for a gold content of 310 oz. Gold recovery for the bulk sample exceeded 98%.

    2019

    42,889 m in 56 holes (surface)

    • Tabasco Zone: known to be a narrow high-grade shear zone in near-surface sediments has been extended to 850 m vertical depth showing continuity and increasing gold endowment with depth as it approaches more favourable host rocks, like the Jérémie Pluton or the Main Gabbro. Highlights from this zone include: 22.73 g/t Au over 48.01 m (FA-19-086), 43.47 g/t Au over 19.00 m (FA-19-103) and 32.18 g/t Au over 9.70 m (FA-19-094).
    • Area 51 Zone: zone tested while drilling the Lower Tabasco Zone. Area 51 system consists of wide intersections of gold mineralization with higher-grade subintervals, such as: 1.46 g/t Au over 227.8 m, including 15.93 g/t Au over 11.22 m (FA-19-052); 1.21 g/t Au over 71 m, including 5.13 g/t Au over 7.29 m (FA-19-080); 1.02 g/t Au over 78.75 m, including 3.28 g/t Au over 17.60 m (FA-19-059); and 0.99 g/t Au over 191.9 m, including 5.00 g/t Au over 12.71 m (FA-19-065).

     

    31,558 m in 167 holes (UG)

    • UG infill drilling program, designed to extend known zones below the 2018-2019 bulk sample development to a depth of 350 m, was performed from the 5150 level and from the 230-m-long exploration drift on the 5130 level (125 m depth).

     

    OreVision® surface IP survey

    • Testing a 600-m strike length of the gold-hosting environment northwest of the Fenelon Gold deposit

    2020

    102,000 m in 163 holes (surface and UG)

    • Demonstrated multi-million-ounce potential of Fenelon Gold System
    • Definition and expansion of zones discovered in 2019
    • Definition drilling outlining high metal factor domains and demonstrating good continuities of gold zones
    • Initial drilling on newly acquired ground from Balmoral Resources greatly expands size potential of gold system
    • Exploration drilling outlining 1.8 km strike length of mineralized Jérémie Diorite


    Fenelon 2020 drill hole info (March 26, 2021)

    Fenelon 2021 drill hole info (June 2, 2021)

    Fenelon 2021 drill hole info (October 5, 2021)

  • Brief History

    Gold mineralization on the Fenelon Gold property was first intersected by Cyprus Canada in 1988. The Discovery Zone (now referred as Main Gabbro Zones) was discovered in 1994. In 1997, Cyprus and Fairstar reported a resource (uncategorized) of 252,000 tonnes at 14.2 g/t Au for a total of 115,000 ounces of gold1. In 1998, Taurus Resources acquired Cyprus’ interest in the joint venture. Between 1998 and 2004, the following advanced exploration activities were conducted on the Discovery Zone:

    • Drill testing (>300 drill holes)
    • Open pit bulk sampling (2001): 13,835 tonnes returning 4,245 oz of gold for a reconciled grade of 9.84 g/t Au at a calculated recovery of 97% (milled at the Camflo Mill)
    • Initial underground test mining with bulk sampling (2003-2004): 8,169 tonnes returning 2,596 oz of gold for a reconciled grade of 10.7 g/t Au (milled at the Camflo Mill) 

    In 2004, then operator International Taurus Resources Inc. was forced into near-bankruptcy while preparing the property for underground production. The Company agreed to combine with American Bonanza Gold Mining Corporation (“American Bonanza”) to create a new company and also acquired Fairstar’s interest in the Fenelon Gold property. 

    In 2005, a NI 43-101 compliant technical report reported Measured and Indicated resources after depletion of 47,927 tonnes grading 19.61 g/t Au (30,216 oz) and Inferred resources of 27,245 tonnes grading 12.79 g/t Au (11,203 oz)1. Additional drilling by American Bonanza was conducted from 2005 to 2008 (approximately 65 holes) targeting the Discovery Zone extensions and other targets on the property.

    In late 2010, Balmoral Resources Ltd. (“Balmoral”) acquired American Bonanza’s Fenelon Gold property. In 2011, Balmoral drilled 41 holes testing the test lateral and down-dip/plunge extensions of the Discovery Zone and its eastern and northern ends. The drilling program extended some mineralized veins in the zone along strike and to a vertical depth of 250 metres.

    In October 2016, Wallbridge completed the purchase of the Fenelon Gold property from Balmoral for a purchase price of $3.7 million and subsequently in March 2020 announced the acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Balmoral in an all-stock transaction valued at equivalent of $110 million, based on 28-day trading value of Wallbridge shares as of February 28, 2020.

    1. These “resources” are historical in nature and should not be relied upon. It is unlikely they conform to current NI 43101 requirements or follow CIM Definition Standards, and they have not been verified to determine their relevance or reliability. They are included in this section for illustrative purposes only and should not be disclosed out of context.

  • Geology and Mineralization

    The Fenelon Gold project is located in the northwestern Archean Abitibi Subprovince, in the northernmost volcano-sedimentary belt segment. It is located less than 1 kilometre north of the Sunday Lake Deformation Zone (“SLDZ”) and is mainly underlain by a turbiditic sedimentary basin and the eastern margin of the Jérémie Pluton. 

    The gold mineralized zones defined to date are structurally controlled and affected by ductile deformation. The mineralization shares many similarities with orogenic gold deposits in terms of metal associations, wall-rock alteration assemblages and structural controls. Secondary splays of the SLDZ have controlled the emplacement of a significant gold system along and within the Jérémie Pluton. Historically, exploration has focused on the high-grade shear zones hosted in the Main Gabbro area (location of the open pit and underground workings).

    Three domains of gold mineralization are present on the property: The Main Gabbro zones, and the newly discovered Tabasco and Cayenne, as well as Area 51 zones. Gold is associated with disseminated pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite and pyrite, and minor sphalerite, arsenopyrite and marcasite. Native visible gold is fairly common in all zones. 

    The Main Gabbro area contains seven zones: the Fresno, Chipotle, Anaheim, Naga Viper, Paprika, Habanero and Serrano zones. These mineralized zones are restricted to a wide corridor of intensely altered gabbro between two panels of argillaceous sediments. 

    The Tabasco and Cayenne mineralized system occurs in turbiditic sediments between the Main Gabbro and the Jérémie Pluton. The zones trend northwest/southeast (130°) and dip steeply south. They form an anastomosing and sheared system with numerous secondary splays. The mineralization is discrete with a low sulphide content (<5%) and is mainly associated with silicification and sericitization. Gold intervals are associated with a pyrrhotite-chalcopyrite assemblage. Arsenopyrite and sphalerite are locally present. The best gold intervals associated with veining are in intersections with light grey quartz veins. High-grade gold intervals of more than 10 g/t over 0.5 to 1 m are common. 

    The Area 51 Zone is hosted in the Jérémie Pluton and its contact. It occurs as a series of parallel mineralized subzones grouped into two ENE-WSW trending corridors (Andromeda and Orion) parallel to the SLDZ. Gold mineralization is mainly associated with isolated or regularly spaced subparallel translucent grey quartz veins generally less than 2-3 cm thick.

    Maps & Images (click to enlarge)

    Fenelon Geology Map
    Regional Overview Geology
    Fenelon Gold, Main Gabbro Zones Long Section
    Fenelon Gold, Tabasco Shear System, Inclined Longitudinal Section
  • Mineral Resource Estimate

    Fenelon (effective date of November 9, 2021)

    Fenelon Gold Category Cut-off Grade (g/t Au) Metric Tonnes Grade (Au g/t) Troy Ounces (oz Au) Total Ounces
    Gabbro Indicated in Pit > 0.35
    UG > 1.50
    555,900
    66,400
    4.15
    2.49
    74,200
    5,300
    79,500
    Inferred in Pit > 0.35
    UG > 1.50
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    Tabasco/Cayenne Indicated in Pit > 0.35
    UG > 1.50
    12,706,500
    6,296,200
    1.77
    3.32
    725,000
    671,700
    1,396,700
    Inferred in Pit > 0.35
    UG > 1.50
    6,878,100
    2,481,200
    1.00
    3.02
    220,900
    241,000
    461,900
    Area 51 Indicated in Pit > 0.35
    UG > 1.50
    14,869,600
    1,523,200
    1.06
    2.91
    508,400
    142,300
    650,700
    Inferred in Pit > 0.35
    UG > 1.50
    15,224,300
    4,407,500
    1.27
    2.72
    620,500
    385,000
    1,005,500
    Total Indicated   36,017,800 1.84   2,126,900
    Total Inferred   28,991,100 1.57   1,467,400

    Note: Numbers may not add due to rounding

    Notes on the MRE of the Fenelon Gold Project (November 9, 2021):

    1. The Qualified Persons for the current MREs are Mr. Carl Pelletier, P. Geo. and Mr. Vincent Nadeau-Benoit, P.Geo., both from InnovExplo. The MREs follow 2014 CIM Definition Standards and the 2019 CIM MRMR Best Practice Guidelines.
    2. These mineral resources are not mineral reserves as they do not have demonstrated economic viability.
    3. The qualified persons are not aware of any known environmental, permitting, legal, title-related, taxation, socio-political or marketing issues, or any other relevant issue, that could materially affect the potential development of mineral resources other than those discussed in the MRE.
    4. For Fenelon, a density value of 2.80 g/cm3, supported by measurements, was applied to the bedrock. Sixty-one high-grade zones and five low-grade envelopes were modelled in 3D using a minimum true width of 2.0 m. High-grade capping was done on raw assay data and established on a per-zone basis and ranges between 25 g/t and 110 g/t Au (except Gabbro zones where it ranged from 35 g/t to 330 g/t) for the high-grade zones and ranges between 8 g/t and 35 g/t Au for the low-grade envelopes. Composites (1.5 m) were calculated within the zones and envelopes using the grade of the adjacent material when assayed or a value of zero when not assayed.
    5. The reasonable prospect for eventual economic extraction is met by having constraining volumes applied to any blocks (potential surface or underground extraction scenario) using Whittle and the Deswik Stope Optimizer (DSO) and by the application of cut-off grades, as shown in the above table, were calculated using a gold price of US $ 1,607 / oz and an Exchange rate of US $ 1.31 / CAD $.
    6. Results are presented in-situ. Ounce (troy) = metric tons x grade / 31.10348. The number of tonnes and ounces was rounded to the nearest thousand. Any discrepancies in the totals are due to rounding effects; rounding followed the recommendations as per NI 43-101.
  • Maps and Sections
    Fenelon Gold System, Cross and Long Sections - Nov 9, 2021
    Fenelon Gold, Tabasco-Cayenne-Gabbro Zones Long Section
    Fenelon Gold, Plan View
    Fenelon Gold, Zoomed-In Plan View, Surface down to 250 m Depth
    Fenelon Gold, Drill Hole FA-120A-W1 Cross Section
    Fenelon Gold, Plan View
    Fenelon Gold System plan view
    Fenelon Gold, Tabasco Shear System
    Fenelon Gold, FA-19-086 Wedges, Plan View and Cross Section
    Fenelon Gold, Plan View
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 9750_E
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 9825_E
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 9900_E
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 9975_E
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 10050_E
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 10125_E
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 10200_E
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 10250_E
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 10275_E
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 10350_E
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 10425_E
    Fenelon Gold, Cross Section 10500_E
    Fenelon Gold, Main Gabbro Zones Long Section
    Fenelon Gold, Cayenne Zone Longitudinal Section
    Fenelon Gold, Plan views at 100 and 500 m depth
    Fenelon Gold, Area 51 Andromeda Corridor Longitudinal Section
  • Technical Report

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