Wesdome Gold Mines – hitting gold underground

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   Vol. 90 No. 45 Since 1915      NORTH AMERICA'S MINING NEWSPAPER                                 JANUARY 7-13, 2005




                    Wesdome Gold Mines –
                    hitting gold underground




                                                                                                                               Photo by Pattie Beales
From left to right: Pierre Jeansomme, geological technician and Michel Lafleur, mine captain, underground in the
machine shop at Wesdome’s Kiena mine.
           BY PATTIE BEALES                Two more holes cut 3-9.5 metres           From 1982 to 2002, the Kiena mine
L AC DE M ONTIGNY , Q UE . — Wes-          grading 4-5.5 grams gold.                 produced 11 million tonnes grading
dome Gold Mines ( WDG - V ) has               All the holes were fanned from the     4.75 grams gold per tonne.
renewed exploration and develop-           same setup, with drill angles spaced at      Wesdome bought the Kiena mine
ment, and intersected significant gold     20° (between 4° and 82°).                 property at the end of 2003, and in so
at the past-producing Kiena mine, on          Drilling focused on the VC zone,       doing doubled the size of its local
an island 10 km west of Val d’Or.          which has at least three en echelon       land package, which includes contigu-
   Drilling from the 520 level is high-    lenses. The zone is open at depth.        ous properties to the north and south.
lighted by 14 metres (true width)             Gold is associated with silicified     The acquisition included a 2,000-ton-
grading 20.89 grams gold per tonne         and albitized breccias within mafic       per-day carbon-in-leach mill and per-
(or 9.7 grams when gold is cut to 34.3     volcanic rock. Intermediate-to-felsic     mitted tailings facilities. The 269
grams per tonne); another hole cut 17      porphyry dykes cutting this basalt-       claims and seven mining concessions
metres (true width) grading 9.85           komatiite sequence appear to have         that constitute the property host eight
grams gold, and another, 8 metres          influenced gold enrichment.               past-producing underground mines.
(true width) grading 7.2 grams gold.          In 2002, the Kiena mine was esti-         The Kiena mine has a 930-metre
   In addition, two of these holes hit a   mated to contain a measured and           shaft. The Northern Miner descended
second zone, from 8-10 metres wide         indicated resource of 3 million tonnes    to the 520-metre level, where Wes-
grading 3.8-4 grams gold per tonne.        grading 4.25 grams gold per tonne.        dome is developing a drift toward the


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                                                     REPRINTED FROM




   Vol. 90 No. 45 Since 1915        NORTH AMERICA'S MINING NEWSPAPER                                     JANUARY 7-13, 2005




Wesdome deposit and the VC and               southwesterly trend and dips to the          itic rock. Drifting is set to reach this
north zones.                                 southwest (toward a large quartz dior-       zone by mid-year.
   Most of Kiena’s resource is in the        ite intrusion); the zone has an average         Wesdome has about 60 people
388, VC and Lower North zones. Wes-          thickness of 3.2 metres.                     working at Kiena, 35 of them working
dome plans to develop a series of satel-        Gold and pyrite are associated with       underground. Several employees
lite zones and gradually extend the          shear zones containing quartz veins.         have been working here for years.
main drift 4 km to the north, to gain        Albite, chlorite, muscovite and rutile       The Miner spoke with the shift boss
access to the Wesdome deposits. Crews        are found locally in quartz veins,           and a geological technician, both of
are also drilling for additional deposits    which crosscut mafic volcanic rocks          whom have worked in this mine for
along the length of the main drift.          and felsic dykes. Gold is found in           more than 15 years under previous
   At least seven holes have been            pyrite; associated with, but on the          owners. They seem to know the mine
drilled at 60-to-90-metre spacings           margins of, other minor sulphides;           like the back of their hands and are
along the primary drift. At the end of       and as free gold.                            enthusiastic about production.
November 2004, assays from four of              The known ore blocks are large, so           “Val d’Or is the best place in North
these were reported, the highlight           Wesdome President Paul Cregheur              America to operate,” Murray Pollitt,
being 2 metres grading 10 grams gold         envisions “very cheap mining [at] a frac-    a director of Wesdome, stated, stress-
per tonne. Three other holes hit 1.4-4       tion of the cost of narrow vein deposits.”   ing that both the government and the
grams gold over 3-12.5 metres.                                                            steelworkers’ union have been sup-
   Wire-mesh netting lines the drift          Wesdome envisions                           portive. “The town wants the jobs,”
where a drill is testing the VC zone.                                                     he says. “It’s a mining town, and they
The core exhibits moderately intense              ‘very cheap                             know the peripheral benefits of min-
quartz veining crosscutting mafic vol-                                                    ing.” Costs are lower, in part, because
canic rock. The mine itself is dry and           mining [at] a                            experienced employees live nearby.
well-maintained with a large under-                                                          The cost of bringing the mine into
ground maintenance garage and                   fraction of the                           production at the daily rate of 1,100
machine and welding shops.
                                               cost of narrow                             tonnes is estimated to be $15 million.
                                                                                          A production decision is expected in
Wesdome and Shawkey                             vein deposits.’                           June, with startup to follow sometime
   Significant gold resources have                                                        before year-end.
been delineated on the Wesdome and              Drifting is under way on the 330-
Shawkey properties (contiguous with          metre level to gain access to the            Other exploration
the Kiena mine property).                    Shawkey zone (about 2 km east-                  About 20 km north of Val d’Or is
   The Wesdome “A” zone has an               southeast of the Kiena mine shaft)           Wesdome’s McKenzie Break property.
indicated resource of 145,000 tonnes         and the 388 zone (north of the north         The company has just completed a 4.7-
grading 5.36 grams gold per tonne and        zone). The Wisik and Martin zones            km access road, off Hwy. 397, into the
an inferred resource of 615,000 tonnes       will also be tested from this level.         area. The property straddles Fiedmont
grading 5.13 grams gold.                        There are 12 km of underground            and Courville twps. Most of the
   The Wesdome property is overlain by       development on the Shawkey proper-           resource is hosted by two lenses; an
Lac de Montigny; however, in the mid-        ty, dating back to the 1930s, when           indicated resource of 186,000 tonnes
to-late 1990s, a shaft was collared and a    Shawkey was a producing mine. All            grading 10 grams gold per tonne exists
hoist installed on an island. In addition,   the development occurred above the           at shallow depths.
tailings facilities were permitted on the    250-metre level. In 1991, Placer Dome           Wesdome, which is a 51%-owned
northern shore of the lake, and an access    estimated that Shawkey contained a           subsidiary of Western Quebec Mines
road was built. But work was curtailed       mineral inventory (inferred resource)        (WQM-T), bought the Kiena mine and
because of the then-low price of gold.       of 900,000 tonnes grading 4 grams            mill from McWatters Mining for $2.8
   The plan now is to drift to the “A”       gold per tonne.                              million. In addition, Wesdome issued
zone, confirm its resource, then raise          The Shawkey “22” zone has been            350,000 shares at $1.10 per share to
a shaft so that waste material can be        traced over a strike length of about         Western Quebec Mines.
transported via the shaft while ore is       700 metres and to a depth of 300                Wesdome has 38 million shares
trammed back to the Kiena shaft.             metres. The zone is hosted by a              issued and outstanding (43.5 million
   The “A” zone has been traced over         quartz-tourmaline stockwork in a             on a fully diluted basis) and recently
a length of 900 metres, has a west-          porphyry sill, which intruded komati-        traded in the range of $1.80-2.


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