Gatling Exploration Connecting the Dots Between Major Gold Discoveries

March 13, 2020 - Baystreet.ca


In mineral exploration, it is not uncommon for one explorer to pick up where others left off to continue delineating a resource. It is a little more uncommon, though, for a junior to get to benefit from millions of dollars’ worth of work by majors in an area that is documented to be steeped in gold mineralization.

Call it fortuitous or one savvy move by management, but that is exactly what Gatling Exploration (TSX-V: GTR)(OTCQX: GATGF) is doing at its Larder Gold Project straddling 9 kilometers of the Cadillac-Larder fault in Ontario’s gold-rich Abitibi Greenstone belt near Virginiatown. The 3,370-hectare project is strategically located in the mining friendly Kirkland Lake-Larder Lake mining district between Kirkland Lake Gold’s (TSX: KL)(NYSE: KL) eponymous project (24 million ounces gold) and Kerr Mines’ (TSX: KER)(OTCQX: KERMF) Addison deposits (11 million ounces gold) and contiguous to Agnico Eagle’s (TSX: AEM)(NYSE: AEM) advanced exploration project hosting multiple deposits with over 3.5 million ounces of gold defined collectively.

Historic Gold: 3 Deposits Become 1 Large System

With its acquisitions consolidating the land adjacent to Agnico Eagle’s property, Gatling combined a slew of inherited historical data. Diamond drilling and other work dates back more than 80 years, including limited production from 1991-1996 and a 6-level vertical mine shaft to a depth of almost 1,100 feet. The main area of focus at the project – consisting of the Fernland, Cheminis and Bear deposits – has a historic database containing more than 200,000 meters of drilling, geophysics, detailed mapping and sampling. Most recently, Gold Fields (NYSE American: GV) spent $6.0 million across 2012-2013 on exploration in this area of Larder.

The Bear and Cheminis deposits have a historic mineral resource estimate from 2011 showing 960,000 ounces at 5 grams/tonne gold.

There are two key points surrounding the estimate of nearly one million ounces of gold. One, the estimate covers only about 1 kilometer of the 4.5-kilometer strike. Two, another 70,000 meters of drilling has been completed post-resource estimate. According to Gatling VP of Exploration Nathan Tribble, P.Geo. in a phone conversation with Baystreet.ca, the company’s modeling displays significant increase in volume of mineralized gold zones compared to historic resource domain models.

In his young career, Tribble is emerging as a rock star, including serving as Senior Principal Geologist for mining legend Eric Sprott’s Sprott Mining and being part of the exploration team that discovered the 8.2-million-ounce Côté Lake gold deposit for Trelawney Mining and Exploration. IAMGOLD (TSX: IMG)(NYSE: IAG) acquired Trelawney in 2012 in a deal valued at $608 million, with Côté Lake the main asset.

Interestingly, Fernland, Cheminis and Bear have only been explored as individual deposits. Gatling leadership believes that was oversight by previous explorers. The company is out to prove that the 4.5 kilometers the deposits span are actually part of one, large mineralized system. A drilling program in 2019 by Gatling confirmed continuous mineralization over 2.5 kilometers at Bear and Cheminis while making a near-surface cut of 11.2 g/t gold over 5.0 meters in areas of the deposit not included in the historic resource estimate. The strategy for 2020 includes 35,000 meters of drilling to connect Fernland to the other two, completing the full 4.5-kilometer strike.

As explained by Tribble, last year Gatling flew a Lidar (light detection and ranging) survey and then overlaid the Lidar data with magnetics and geochemical data to identify new structural trends that have not been considered to date. The company has identified multiple new targets that match their criteria for high potential that will be tested in 2020.

And More Gold to the North

On the northern side of Gatling’s project, 6 kilometers north of the Larder deposits, is the recently acquired Kir Vit claim package. Not long ago (2016-2017), Teck Resources (TSX: TECK.B)(NYSE: TECK) completed $2.0 million of exploration at Kir Vit, including surface samples, soil samples and a 3D IP geophysical survey. This data was utilized by Gatling for planning a drill program by mapping the correlation of the resistivity and chargeability contacts, which may indicate silica-sulphide rich zones.

Armed with that information, Gatling recently undertook a maiden drill program at Kir Vit, which hit gold mineralization in 13 of 16 drill holes over a 500-meter strike length while discovering 2 new gold trends.

All 13 of the intercepts cut gold grading higher than 1 gram/tonne (g/t) and 4 holes the gold values topped 4 g/t.

The new trends remain open at strike and depth. Moreover, the gold values increased at the edges of the trends, engendering optimism for additional gold findings with more drilling. To that point, Gatling is planning a 5,000-meter drill program at Kir Vit this spring to further test the extent of the gold mineralization.

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