Sum­mer drilling pro­gram con­firms high gold grades on prop­erty near Grand Falls-Wind­sor

Soko­man Iron plans sec­ond round of drilling to be­gin Oct. 1

The Central Voice - - Natural Resources - BY THOM BARKER

As a child Tim­o­thy Froude ex­plored the wilds sur­round­ing Grand Falls-Wind­sor with a fish­ing pole and youth­ful en­thu­si­asm. Now he’s do­ing it with di­a­mond drills and the keen eye of a pro­fes­sional ge­ol­o­gist.

“It’s kind of ironic, I’ve spent 30 years of my ca­reer ba­si­cally glo­be­trot­ting and here I am home in my own back­yard now with ar­guably the hottest prop­erty I’ve ever been in­volved with,” said the CEO of Soko­man Iron.

That prop­erty, dubbed Moose­head, is lit­er­ally a po­ten­tial gold mine just 20 kilo­me­tres east of Grand Falls-Wind­sor where the com­pany re­cently con­cluded its first phase of drilling since ac­quir­ing the prop­erty from Altius Min­er­als.

Ini­tial re­sults of 6.2 to 208 grams gold per tonne (g/t) build on his­tor­i­cal drilling that also showed ex­tremely high val­ues.

“It’s a high-grade prop­erty and A di­a­mond drill op­er­at­ing this past sum­mer on the Moose­head gold prop­erty near Grand Falls-Wind­sor.

grade is king, as they say in this busi­ness,” Froude said.

High grades do not nec­es­sar­ily make an eco­nomic de­posit, how­ever, and the com­pany is still a long way from defin­ing a mine­able re­source.

“It de­pends on how con­cen­trated the drilling is,” Froude said. “These high-grade vein sys­tems are gen­er­ally no­to­ri­ous for re­quir­ing lots of tight-space drilling.

“In spite of the fact that there was over a hun­dred holes drilled on the project be­fore we came along, in the big scheme of things, that’s still not a lot of holes.”

Nev­er­the­less, it is and ex­cit­ing prospect, he said, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the lo­ca­tion.

“The Trans-Canada High­way runs through it,” he said. “It’s an old logged off area so there’s lots of ac­cess trails; it’s a prop­erty we can ex­plore very cheaply.”

Froude also noted other in­fra­struc­ture ad­van­tages, such as the prox­im­ity to the deep-wa­ter port at Bot­wood, should Moose­head even­tu­ally be­come a mine.

There is a lot of in­ter­est in gold in New­found­land and Labrador right now.

“I have to tip my hat to com­pa­nies like Altius and cer­tainly Marathon Gold,” Froude said.

“Tra­di­tion­ally New­found­land has never been a place that peo­ple would say is prime gold coun­try; we’ve al­ways been known more for our base met­als. But thanks to peo­ple like Altius, who have done a won­der­ful job de­vel­op­ing prop­er­ties and farm­ing them out, and Marathon now with north of three mil­lion ounces al­ready de­fined—it wouldn’t sur­prise me at all to see at the end of the day some­where be­tween five and 10 mil­lion ounces, and I’ll stand by that— at Valen­tine Lake (north of Port aux Basques).

“Peo­ple now re­al­ize, hey, you can find large gold de­posits in New­found­land, you can find high-grade gold de­posits in New­found­land.”

Froude ex­plained that prior to 1980 there had only been 35 doc­u­mented gold oc­cur­rences in the prov­ince. Now there are more than 500 and there have been four pro­duc­ing gold mines since then.

“We’re just get­ting started,” he said.

He also cred­ited the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment for do­ing the base science that prospec­tors and ex­plo­ration com­pa­nies rely on and for pro­grams such as the Ju­nior Ex­plo­ration Pro­gram, which pro­vides fund­ing for com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Soko­man.

See, THE NEXT, page B2

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