NEW YORK, Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- So far this year, the price of gold has risen nearly 30%, continuing its push to and beyond the mythical $2,000 per ounce mark. . Much of this newfound value comes directly from lower interest rates and widespread stimulus measures being put in place by major central banks across the globe. Now analysts see it going even higher, with Bank of America recently raising its forecast to $3,000. As currency debasement fears grow, this ongoing rally has created plenty of renewed interest in the gold market—and in particular, its miners. Gold exploration companies are rapidly receiving the funding needed to spark a wave of exciting discoveries and share-price increases, including from First Energy Metals (CSE:FE) (OTCPK:ASKDF), Galiano Gold Inc. (NYSE:GAU) (TSX:GAU), Kirkland Lake Gold (NYSE:KL) (TSX:KL), KORE Mining Ltd. (TSXV:KORE) (OTCQB:KOREF), and New Gold Inc. (NYSE:NGD) (TSX:NGD).
Since US President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency on March 13th of this year, gold stocks have in many ways gone parabolic. Over that span, First Energy Metals (CSE:FE) (OTC:ASKDF) (FRA:DFLB) has seen its stock price more than triple.
As gold has rallied, so too has the junior gold miner, which comes to the table with a 70,000 oz gold historical resource on its Scramble Mine (Ontario), identifying a sizeable (2,000 m by 500 m) mineralized outcrop during July 2020 exploration work at its flagship Kokanee Creek project in British Columbia, and leaps and gains made on its Independence Gold (BC) properties.
Revitalizing Historic Mining Projects
Spanning almost 1,600 hectares, the Kokanee Creek Gold Project is often referred to by First Energy Metals (FE.CN) (ASKDF.PK) as the company's lotto ticket.
In July 2020, the Company completed exploration work at its Kokanee Creek and Independence Gold Properties in British Columbia, Canada. The work included prospecting to locate historical mineralization areas, carry out surface sampling, and mapping of historical gold mineralization veins and structures. A total of 45 grab rock / sediment samples were collected from various outcrops and mineralized areas mentioned in the historical exploration work reports. The samples are submitted to ACME Analytical Laboratories in Vancouver, BC and the results are expected in three weeks time.
During 2020 fieldwork at the Kokanee Creek Property, a mineralization area with 2 kilometres by 500 meters dimensions was targeted where historical drilling in 1997 returned encouraging gold, silver, lead or zinc mineralization at shallow depths. In this area, historical drill hole KC97-02 (Azimuth 052°/ Dip -45°) returned 26.11 grams per ton (g/t) gold over 0.7m from 7.0-7.7m, and 13.52 g/t gold over 1.4m from 21.8-23.2m. In addition, rock samples within the zone returned values of 3.54 percent (%) zinc, 4.22 g/t gold, and 48.0 g/t silver. A continuous chip rock sample taken along a road cut returned 0.3% zinc over 55 m, and 2.26 g/t gold over 5m.
At its 1,100 hectares Independence Gold Property, work done in the 1980s turned up very promising gold and silver anomalies. A gold occurrence was exposed at the head of Slewskin Creek where there are several quartz veins from 2 to 30 cm wide—the highest sample returned contained 10.1 g/t gold.
Both BC Properties of First Energy Metals are located 1.5-2 hours by road from Teck's Trail Operations, located in the community of Trail in British Columbia, which is one of the world's largest fully integrated zinc and lead smelting and refining complexes. The metallurgical operations produce refined zinc and lead, a variety of precious and specialty metals, chemicals and fertilizer products.
On the other side of the country is another of First Energy Metal's properties. Comprising six mining claims covering approximately 140 hectares of land in Northwestern Ontario's Kenora Mining District, the Scramble Mine is precisely the type of project that came back to life in gold rush periods. Northwestern Ontario is home to six producing mines operated by Goldcorp, Barrick Gold Corp, North American Palladium, Nelson Granite and De Beers with an additional 32 major exploration projects currently underway.
The Scramble Mine was originally discovered in the late 1800s, the project was revitalized in 1984 with approximately 5,200 meters of diamond drilling, 250 meters of surface stripping with sampling, and 450 meters of underground development. The size of the deposit is almost a full kilometer long along strike, 3.7 meters wide, and 366-475 meters deep, and originally had a historic resource calculated prior to the 43-101 standards implemented decades later.
Immediately upon acquiring the property in June, 2020, First Energy Metals began conducting surface field exploration work. This work included prospecting to locate historical mineralization areas, grab surface sampling, mapping historical gold mineralization veins and structures, and developing a detailed Phase 2 exploration work plan.
This historical resource (NOTE: meaning it hasn't been updated to modern NI-43-101 compliance) was estimated at 150,000 tons at an average grade of 6.8 g/t gold, having grades of up to 259 g/t gold. The deposit is historically documented to have 70,000 ounces of contained gold using a cut-off grade of 1.42 g/t gold.
Now is an exciting time for First Energy Metals to wait for the sampling results from laboratories and plan Phase 2 work to properly assess, with modern standards and guidelines, what type of asset they truly have in place.
To date, First Energy Metals (FE.CN) (ASKDF.PK) has completed initial exploration work on its properties, developed a detailed Phase 2 exploration work plan, and completed filing permitting applications with Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines for trenching, blasting, bulk sampling, and diamond drilling; and a drill permitting application for Kokanee Creek Gold Property with BC Ministry of Energy and Mines. All this in just a few months' after announcing the acquisition of the properties itself.
The Big Boys Also Grabbing Gains
The 130-day period of March 13 to July 20 was also very kind to gold miners with much higher market caps, ranging from hundreds of millions to tens of billions.
Over that period Galiano Gold Inc. is up roughly 62%, Kirkland Lake Gold is up 100%, New Gold Inc. is up nearly 224%, and KORE Mining Ltd. is up a whopping 725%.
In Ghana, West Africa, Galiano Gold Inc. (NYSE:GAU) (TSX:GAU) announced an update from its 50:50 joint venture with Gold Fields Ltd. on the Asanko Gold Mine. Its 2020 exploration program consists of approximately 36,000m of diamond and reverse circulation drilling, which has been underway with four drill rigs, and, as of July 6, was 40% completed.
Despite its gains, Kirkland Lake Gold (NYSE:KL) (TSX:KL) continues to be embroiled in what appears to be a shareholder revolt, with over a dozen law firms pursuing action on the company. Due to health protocols, the company also has suspended operations on its Holt Complex, while taking the time for a strategic review to assess when to potentially restart the Ontario operation.
New Gold Inc. (NYSE:NGD) (TSX:NGD) recently provided preliminary second quarter results from its Rainy River and New Afton mines. Despite its own health precautions, the company managed to produce a total of 98,079 gold equivalent ounces—64,294 ounces of gold, 134,282 ounces of silver, and 16.9 million pounds of copper.
Receiving a generous strategic investment from mining magnate Eric Sprott, KORE Mining Ltd. (TSXV:KORE) (OTC:KOREF) is making gains on its projects, including receiving a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment on its Imperial Oxide Gold Deposit in California. The PEA demonstrated the project's potential to be a robust mid-tier gold mine with compelling economics. The company also has upside potential for the project from deposit extensions and exploration nearby.
Now that gold has hit a nine-year peak based on stimulus talks, the market is looking at the precious metal as the safe haven it has always been historically. As Citigroup is now saying, it's "only a matter of time" before gold breaks its own price record.
(Cautionary Statement: Investors are cautioned that the above information has been taken from Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) online database. The reference for Scramble Mine information as documented in MNDM records is: "Parr, M. and Kuehnbaum, R. 1990. The Scramble Mine gold Deposit; Field Trip No.2, Canadian Institute Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Exploration and Mining Geology, 14th Annual Meeting, pp. 41-65". The Company has not verified the information available. A qualified person from the Company has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves; and the Company is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves. The Company believes that the historic estimate is relevant to an appraisal of the merits of the property and forms a reliable basis upon which to develop future exploration programs. The Company will need to conduct further exploration which will include drill testing the project, and there is no guarantee that the results obtained will reflect the historical estimate.)
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