NioGold is an extremely compelling gold play, management has a well thought out plan for success and they are operating in the heart of one of the most prolific gold producing areas in the world – 170 million ounces of gold have been pulled out of the Abitibi gold belt.
NioGold has consolidated a large 120 km2 land package in the heart of the Cadillac, Malartic and Val-d’Or gold mining camps. The Cadillac, Marlartic and Val-D’or gold camp projects have area mine production of 45 million ounces of gold.
The Malartic project holds NI 43-101 compliant Indicated resources of 600,000 ounces gold in addition to Inferred resources of 360,000 ounces gold. The gold resources are defined along a three-kilometre segment of a regional gold mineralised fault zone, in and around the former Marban, Norlartic and Kierens gold mines.
Marban deposit drilling - The 2011 first phase drill program demonstrated the continuity of the mineralisation between surface and -250 metres vertical depth, as well as the grade consistency, and led to the discovery of the Western High Grade Zone.
This first phase also identified the Eastern Down Dip Extension Zone which is located below -250 metres vertical depth and remains open at depth and laterally.
The second phase program will include 34,000 metres of diamond drilling, an updated mineral resource estimate and basic technical studies, including metallurgical testwork. Drilling commenced on December 13, 2011, and four drill rigs are currently in operation to expand the mineral resources of the Marban deposit.
NioGold Mining Corp. has provided the following update to shareholders.
Two thousand thirteen was a difficult year for junior gold companies, but NioGold has persevered and is well positioned to capitalize on the positive developments of the past few years. The company's flagship project, the Marban block property, hosts no less than three identified deposits, namely the Marban, Kierens and Norlartic deposits, and is once again 100 per cent owned and controlled by NioGold.
The Marban block has seen a considerable investment of $11.6-million in exploration expenditures over the past three years, solely financed by a prior joint venture partner and at no cost to NioGold. This drilling has grown the original 2010 resource estimate to the current 1.53 million ounces gold (32.1 million tonnes at 1.48 grams per tonne), a 255-per-cent increase, in the measured and indicated resource categories, plus an additional 599,000 ounces gold (16.5 million tonnes at 1.13 g/t), a 165-per-cent increase, in the inferred resource category (see news release dated July 23, 2013). During this period, NioGold also completed preliminary metallurgical testing on the Marban deposit with very encouraging recoveries of up to 97 per cent (see news release dated April 24, 2012).
In March, 2013, NioGold completed a $2,549,700 flow-through financing at a price of 45 cents per share, of which approximately $1.3-million remains to be spent in 2014, providing a ready supply of funds for further exploration. NioGold is currently planning an exploration drilling program covering approximately 10,000 metres, with the aim of upgrading the resource estimate on the Marban block and targeting promising showings on the Malartic block property (notably around the former Malartic Hygrade mine) and the Malartic H property. As at the end of the financial year (Aug. 31, 2013), NioGold had working capital of approximately $4.2-million including approximately $1.4-million in flow-through funds to be expended.
In 2013, infill drilling on the inferred resource of the Kierens and Norlartic deposits and in the gap between them indicated a strong potential at Kierens for extension at depth, and a potential to build some lenses of resources near the underground drifts connecting the former Kierens and Norlartic mines. Drilling in the gap between the Marban and Norlartic deposits further extended the Norlartic trend over a strike of 1,200 m, and appears to confirm a possible convergence between the Norlartic zone and the hangingwall of the Marban deposit -- which could potentially have the added benefit of reducing the amount of waste rock in a possible open-pit design for the Marban deposit. In all, the 2013 drill results have identified several very promising areas with the potential to generate and grow new resources (see news release dated Oct. 8, 2013).
NioGold also continues to be on the lookout for quality acquisitions. In 2012, the company acquired a number of claims hosting the past-producing Malartic Hygrade mine, as a contiguous extension of the company's existing Malartic block property (see news release dated May 3, 2012). Recent resampling of 10 holes drilled by the previous owner returned strong results, with expected narrow high-grade values as well as unexpected wide low-grade intervals near surface, all less than two kilometres northwest of the Kierens deposit (see news release dated Dec. 4, 2013).
"I am very pleased with what we've accomplished," said Michael Iverson, NioGold's president and chief executive officer. "Our work has revealed a strong potential for growth in all three deposits at the Marban block property, as well as the newfound gold showings on the adjacent Malartic block property. These opportunities in the Val d'Or area are excellent -- the area is dotted with current and historic producing mines and has a well developed infrastructure to go along with it. On behalf of NioGold, I would like to thank all of our shareholders for their support, and look forward to building shareholder value in a productive and prosperous new year."