Windfall Lake is finally giving up its secrets.
The 12,000-hectare property in the Abitibi gold belt of Quebec has a long history of exploration, but until now been something of an enigma to prospectors and geologists.
A previous explorer once struck a rich, narrow vein that included 52.3 ounces of gold per ton over 4.8 meters, but failed to follow up on the discovery and virtually abandoned the claim.
“It’s not an easy deposit to model, and they (the previous owners) couldn’t do it,” says Brad Kitchen, President and CEO of Eagle Hill Exploration (TSXV: EAG). “It’s very, very difficult. But we’ve now got the geological model solved. That literally just happened. That’s a huge step for us and further development of the gold deposit.”
Eagle Hill recently negotiated a three-year extension of its 75-per-cent option on the Windfall Lake property, bringing it one step closer to its goal of developing Quebec’s newest gold mine.
Kitchen says the key to the puzzle of Windfall Lake was to understand the historical geological forces that shaped and defined the reserve.
Figuring that out involved more brainpower than drill power.
“We’ve got one of the most focused geological teams in Canada working on the project,” says Kitchen, citing the presence on the team of Dr. Jean-Philippe Desrochers, an acknowledged expert on the Abitibi gold belt.
What Desrochers and his colleagues have discovered is that the Windfall Lake gold zones are structured in a series of vertical and parallel lenses.
“We’ve had one drill hole that intersected three different lenses —one close to the surface, one 200 meters down and another 400 meters down,” says Kitchen.
“We’ve got a strike length of these lenses that’s about 750 meters on the surface, and we are continually hitting at depth. The majority of our gold resource is between about 50 meters and about 450 meters. We are still open on strike to the south west and open at depth.
Windfall Lake is mesothermal gold deposit that are typically four to five times deeper than the strike length. So, with 750 meters at surface we should be 2.8kms to 3.5kms below surface. With the current resource and not taking into consideration any increase in the strike, applying the rule of mesothermal deposits, then the Company could be looking at an eight million ounce resource.
Recent discoveries of near-surface, high-grade gold have dramatically raised expectations of the amount of gold the property might contain — and how economically it could be extracted.
The most recent resource estimate at Windfall Lake — released in July 2012 —showed 822,00 inferred ounces and 538,000 indicated ounces, but Kitchen believes those figures are already dated.
“We plan to convert the majority of the inferred resource to the indicated category and then use these resources to establish a reserve — that’s the crux of our whole plan right now,” says Kitchen.
Results of drilling programs in late 2012 and early 2013 suggest Eagle Hill is on track.
An announcement in April 2013 included 40 meters of 6.18 g/t and 12.2 meters of 19.14 g/t. It also showed mineralization at a depth of some 800 meters.
Newer results from a 10-hole, 3,996-meter drill program during February 2013 were even more encouraging to say the least: The new results, announced May 14, include 288.5 g/t over 12.4 meters and 22.1 g/t over 5.5 meters.
Kitchen says these positive results will help steer the direction of a new 50,000 to 60,000-meter drill program later this year.
“Our goal is to have an indicated reserve of more than one million ounces and we are very confident that we will be able to get to that one million ounce reserve within about nine months to a year. And we are talking very high-grade reserve.”
Kitchen stresses that the near surface deposits will make the gold easily minable. “It’s like low hanging fruit,” he says. “It’s easily accessible from our existing 1500-meter underground ramp.”
There is also “great infrastructure,” including a 58-person camp, and the property is accessible 365 days a year.
“It’s now just a case of turning Windfall into a fairly major development project and then a mine. If we can establish a large, high grade reserve over the next year, then it will raise the level of this project to an even higher level then it is now.”
The ultimate aim at the end of the three-year extension period is to produce a Bankable Feasibility Study, and along the way an updated NR 403-101 report.
“What we are doing is spending a lot of effort putting together the right geological model so that we can either take the project into production or find a partner with the expertise that wants to create a high-grade mine,” says Kitchen.
And he is confident the future will be good for the Company’s shareholders.
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