NEW YORK, Aug. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The gold spot price just crossed the $2,000 threshold and broke it's all-time high and analysts say that it could hit $3,500 in two years. Now, as the industry sees the low gold price era in the rear view mirror, the conditions are primed for new high-value mine discoveries that may have been held back for almost a decade. The result in Canada has been a wave of optimism and high-impact development announcements from a wide variety of Canadian miners who have seen their overall market value climb since March, including First Energy Metals Ltd. (CSE:FE) (OTCPK:ASKDF), Kirkland Lake Gold (NYSE:KL) (TSX:KL), Osisko Mining (TSX:OSK) (OTCPK:OBNNF), McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE:MUX) (TSX:MUX), and IAMGOLD Corporation (NYSE:IAG) (TSX:IMG).
A prime example of a beneficiary of the current gold bull market is First Energy Metals Ltd. (CSE:FE) (OTC:ASKDF), which saw its stock price skyrocket 480% between a March 25th low and a May 25th high, before correcting to its current 270% increase from the March figure.
The junior miner has three significant exploration properties across Canada, with two in British Columbia, and a newer addition in Ontario.
Overall, Canada is home to some of the greatest gold districts in mining history, the Abitibi Greenstone Gold Belt in Ontario and Quebec, the Red Lake Gold District in Ontario, and the Golden Triangle in British Columbia. In 2018, Canadian mines produced an estimated 183 tonnes of gold, marking an 88% increase from 2009, with Ontario and Quebec producing more than 75% of the gold mined in Canada.
So far, the market has begun to recognize the potential of this new gold rush, through examples such as First Energy Metals. The junior miner sits in a well known mining district, with past producing mines including the Molly Gibson and Alpine deposits. More recently, a revival of the Alpine deposit area came in with a 142,000 oz gold resource (NI 43-101 Inferred) adding more validity to the potential of the Kokanee Creek project in British Columbia, and in just the last few months, has made leaps and gains made on its Independence Gold (BC) and Scramble Mine (Ontario) gold exploration properties.
But, the gold bull market seems to also be rewarding the larger mining giants too.
Since March 13th (the day the United States officially declared a national emergency), Barrick Gold Corporation has seen its share price rise 108% through July 24.
First Energy Metals Ltd. (FE.CN) (ASKDF.PK) opened July by announcing the completion of its first round of exploratory fieldwork at the Scramble Mine gold property in Northwestern Ontario. The work included prospecting to locate historical mineralization areas, carry out channel and grab surface sampling, mapping historical gold mineralization veins and structures, and developing a detailed Phase 2 exploration work plan. The initial field observations confirmed the location of historical underground workings, mineralized quartz veins, and the host rock in shear zone. In addition, First Energy is pleased to announce that after successful completion of the fieldwork program, two separate permits with the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development, and mines were filed for trenching, blasting, bulk sampling, and diamond drilling.
A second round of exploration results are expected in the future from the Scramble Mine property.
The Detour Lake open pit mine, which is owned and operated by Kirkland Lake Gold (NYSE:KL) (TSX:KL), has been in operation since 2012 and is the second-largest gold producing mine in Canada. Detour Lake has a mine life of 22 years with an average production of 659,000 ounces of gold per year. Last year, the mine poured its 5 millionth ounce and achieved a production of 601,566 ounces. Kirkland Lake Gold also owns the Macassa Mine and the Holt Complex in Ontario.
A new gold mine is coming to northern Ontario, after IAMGOLD Corporation announced it was proceeding with the $1.3 billion Cote Gold mine, with partners Sumitomo Metal Mining. This project is expected to generate more than 1,000 jobs during 32 months of construction, and 450 operations jobs once the facility opens during the second half of 2023. Cote has a mine life that's estimated at 18 years. IAMGOLD holds a 70% interest in the Gogama-area mine, and successfully secured the support of the Northern Ontario community, including its First Nation Partners.
After temporarily suspending operations from March 26th to April 13th, McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE:MUX) (TSX:MUX) announced it produced 2,200 gold equivalent ounces in Q2 2020. On the exploration front, at the Black Fox Mine, a total of 13,650m of underground diamond drilling was completed between April 13th and June 30th. Over that span, high-grade intercepts were generated, including 42.2 g/t Au over 2.0 m, 42.4 g/t Au over 2.5 m, 20.9 g/t Au over 4.8 m.
At its Windfall gold project located in the Abitibi greenstone belt, Urban Township, Eeyou Istchee James Bay, Québec, Osisko Mining (TSX:OSK) (OTC:OBNNF) recently updated the market on its continued infill drilling. Currently, there are 22 drills active at Windfall, all currently focused on what's known as the Lynx deposit. Among the results to date, selected high-grade intercepts included: 199 g/t Au over 5.0 meters; 103 g/t Au over 2.7 meters; 31.0 g/t Au over 6.2 meters; and 49.0 g/t Au over 2.4 meters.
Revived exploration in the Nelson mining district such as the Alpine deposit area has reported a 2018 inferred resource of 142,000 oz at 16.52 g/t Au using a cut-off grade of 5.0 g/t. First Energy Metals Ltd. (FE.CN) (ASKDF.PK) has two significant projects in British Columbia. The other BC project in the company's portfolio is the Independence Gold Project, which the company refers to as its lotto ticket.
In May, the company announced it had developed an exploration work plan for both projects, to be completed in two phases, including ground prospecting, geological mapping, and sampling, before culminating with diamond core drilling at Kokanee Creek.
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