James Bay – Quebec’s Emerging Gold Mining District


Geologists from Virginia Gold Mines had been taking a look at a copper exhibiting close to Ell Lake within the James Bay territory in 2002 after they discovered a boulder containing gold mineralization that didn’t appear to slot in the encircling setting. A pattern taken from the oddly formed boulder returned 13.9 grams per tonne gold (13.9 g/t Au).

The glacial path close to the boulder advised it got here from an space a couple of kilometers north-northeast. In 2003, a stripping program (the place overburden is eliminated and rocks are uncovered) revealed a restricted space that finally proved to be the supply of the boulder. One other boulder pattern within the new space assayed nearly 19 g/t Au.

But it surely wasn’t till summer season 2004 that Virginia geologists discovered the Roberto exhibiting, the place an assay from a trench returned a strong 15.8 g/t Au throughout 3 meters. By the autumn of 2005, Virginia had drilled 170 holes into Roberto.

In December 2005, Goldcorp made a takeover bid for Virginia Gold Mines valued at US$420 million, plus a manufacturing royalty that fluctuates with the gold worth. Former Virginia shareholders are nonetheless reaping the rewards because the Roberto deposit is now a key a part of Newmont Corp.’s (NEM:NYSE) Éléonore gold mine, one of many largest underground gold mines in Quebec.

The James Bay territory has a floor space that’s about 60% the dimensions of France or about the identical dimension as Arizona. It’s a part of the James Bay lowlands and was first occupied by the Cree First Nation.

Gold was initially reported within the space within the Eighteen Nineties. However it could take greater than a century and a few important growth to get the eye of traders.

“Within the Seventies the Quebec authorities launched a multi-billion-dollar hydroelectric mission within the territory. This resulted within the development of greater than 3,000 km of roads, airports, and group infrastructure, in addition to six hydroelectric energy vegetation. This fully modified the logistical setting of this territory, for the reason that area was now not a distant space,” defined Normand Champigny, CEO of Quebec Treasured Metals Corp. (QPM:TSX; CJCFF:OTCQB), which is creating the corporate’s 100%-owned Sakami gold mission within the James Bay territory.

The Quebec authorities’s large industrial transformation of its northern area additionally resulted within the first ever treaty between the First Nations and a provincial authorities in Canada: the James Bay and Northern Quebec Conference.

Subsequent agreements had been signed, the most recent of which occurred in 2020. It goals to foster the long-term financial growth of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory over the subsequent 30 years.

“A gold exploration staking rush in Quebec within the Nineteen Eighties didn’t lengthen to the James Bay territory as a result of the mineral rights had been held by a provincial mining company created within the Seventies to speed up the mining growth within the territory. That modified within the late Nineteen Eighties,” Champigny mentioned.

By the Nineties, one gold mine and one copper mine had opened. These had been important property however wouldn’t present sufficient momentum to create an space play.

Extra not too long ago firms have began exploring for diamonds and lithium within the James Bay territory, however most exploration exercise stays targeted on gold.

Goldcorp’s deal for Virginia and its Éléonore gold mission finally set the bar for different junior explorers and the lure of a big discovery proved troublesome to withstand.

The checklist of firms that are actually exploring within the James Bay territory embody: Azimut Exploration Inc. (AZM:TSX.V), Benz Mining Corp. (BZ:TSX.V), Dios Exploration Inc. (DOS:TSX.V), Genius Metals Inc. (GENI:CSE), Fury Gold Mines Ltd. (FURY:TSX.V), Harfang Exploration Inc. (HAR:TSX.V), LaSalle Exploration Corp. (LSX:TSX.V), Midland Exploration Inc. (MD:TSX.V), Sirios Assets Inc. (SOI:TSX.V), and Newmont.

Nonetheless, even after the Goldcorp deal closed in March 2006, Newmont (which subsequently merged with Goldcorp) took one other eight years to place Éléonore into manufacturing in 2014.

“Gold-bearing rocks on the Éléonore mine are discovered alongside and inside about 5 km of a positive geological function, referred to as a contact or metamorphic entrance. Exploration for the reason that mine’s discovery has proven that gold might be discovered by following this contact. Exploring in James Bay is much like exploring 100 years in the past on what’s right this moment the prolific Abitibi gold mining district,” Champigny advised Streetwise.

Champigny explains that exploration work on this setting begins with prospecting, adopted by soil surveys in areas the place there are not any rocks uncovered at floor.

“Geophysical surveys are additionally executed utilizing helicopters or floor devices to measure the magnetic and different properties of the rocks, which give a sign of the kind of rocks, geological options, and presence of sulphides which might be usually related to gold,” Champigny mentioned.

He added: “As soon as these issues are full, drill targets are chosen, ranked, and examined so as of precedence. Diamond drilling is mostly as much as 500 meters under floor, and the samples are analyzed off-site by a industrial assay lab.”

Champigny helped create Quebec Treasured Metals in 2018 in a bid to seek out the subsequent Éléonore.

The junior controls 23 km of a positive geological contact the place gold mineralization happens. Not removed from the place QPM is exploring, there are three Cree communities: Chisasibi, Wemindji, and Radisson.

These are well-established communities with infrastructure providers, and they’re related by dependable roads.

“Though thought-about distant, this space is accessible, and an organization can work 12 months a 12 months at an inexpensive price,” Champigny mentioned.

In 2020, QPM made a discovery alongside strike from the La Pointe deposit — which is now referred to as the La Pointe Extension.

Champigny says there is just one path from right here.

“The plan is to drill, drill, and drill, to get to a multi-million-ounce deposit that might be of a dimension that’s enough to be bought to an organization who can develop it,” Champigny advised Streetwise.

QPM is one in a protracted checklist of firms exploring for gold within the James Bay territory, a clearly rising gold exploration district.

 

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