After seven years of exploring mineral properties in Rainy River District, Toronto-based Nuinsco Resources Ltd. will step into a new phase early next month when it kicks off the “#17 Zone Bulk Sample Advanced Exploration Project.”
The $1.8-million venture will facilitate the removal of 1,500 tons of gold zone rock from underground in Richardson Township.
Details surrounding the project were at the heart of a public meeting, required by the Mining Act of Ontario, last Thursday in Barwick.
More than 65 people attended the 90-minute session, which was headed up by Douglas Hume, chairman and CEO of Nuinsco, Jim Smith, engineering consultant, and mining expert Garry Hughes, the company’s newly-elected president and COO.
The advanced exploration project, targeted for Lot 5, Con. 1 in Richardson Township, will see the construction of a decline ramp at a 17 percent grade to a depth of 430 m (1,410 ft.)—using explosives and blasting cap agents—to give access to an 80-m deep (250 foot) ore zone.
Building the ramp and the support facilities should take about four months, with another 12-16 week period of evaluation of the bulk sample after the project is over in November.
The contractor had not been chosen yet.
“[Nuinsco] has just scratched the surface here,” Hughes said of the company’s Rainy River properties after the meeting.
“Some part of this whole property has a nice significant, high-grade pod of [ore] and we have to get down there and see it,” he added. “That’s what this [exploration] exercise is all about.”
“We don’t believe the drill holes are giving us a true picture of what’s there,” noted Hume. “In seven years we’ve spent a whole ton of money and before we walk away we must determine [what’s there].
“But remember that this is advanced exploration and not a mining project,” he stressed. “When it comes to a mine, then it’s a whole different ball game.”
Included in Nuinsco’s plans for the project site are a service yard, an area for mine waste rock, and two settling ponds for water encountered underground during the exploration process.
No permanent structures will be built on site, with staff living away from the work area. Chemical and fuel storage will be contained above ground.
But while the meeting dealt with details about the equipment and services slated at the project site, it also touched on Nuinsco’s closure plan of the project should it be temporarily suspended or halted altogether.
If the project results did not warrant a mine there, rehabilitation of the area would commence, with the portal being backfilled with rock, the settling ponds drained down, and the area brought back to its environmental state.
Those on hand for the meeting didn’t object to Nuinsco’s latest move here. There were one or two queries about where the gold ore rock would be analyzed, and whether or not surface drilling in other parts of Richardson Township would still go on.
“No major drilling programs will go on while that ramp is underway,” said Hume, noting the bulk sample brought up from the portal would be shipped to the Timmins area for examination.