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Ardiden warming up for Pickle Lake winter drilling

ASX-listed Canada gold explorer, Ardiden, has skidded into the northern winter festive season with plans to fan out the drilling coverage at its Pickle Lake gold project in north-west Ontario beyond the promising 110,000-ounce Kasagiminnis gold deposit to test a couple more underexplored, brownfields prospects.

The Perth-based company recently completed a 15-hole diamond core summer drilling program for an aggregate 3,117m at Kasagiminnis, which it says points to a significant gold mineralised system. Better intersections from drill results received to date were 6.0m grading 4.23 grams per tonne gold from 193m including 2m at 9.53 g/t, 6.5m at 4.28 g/t from 159.5m. Assays for the remaining holes are expected next month.

According to Ardiden, which released a maiden inferred resource estimate for Kasagiminnis last year of 790,000 tonnes of ore going an impressive 4.3 g/t for 110,000 ounces of contained gold, the potential at the deposit “remains outstanding” due to a lack of systematic previous exploration.

Over the past 12 months we have built a compelling, fully connected gold landholding at Pickle Lake with 22 identified gold deposits and prospects. The recent drilling at Kasagiminnis has been a great start to our increase in exploration and drilling activities at our Pickle Lake gold project.

While we await final results for the last few holes of this program at Kasagiminnis, we are already preparing for winter drilling both at Kasagiminnis and at the two brownfields gold prospects, South Limb and Esker. Both of these prospects are geological extensions of high-grade underground gold mines, and we are genuinely excited with what lies ahead next year on the exploration front for Ardiden.

The company has flagged an exploration target range over Kasagiminnis of 4.0 to 5.8 million tonnes at an average grade ranging from 3.9 g/t to 6.6 g/t for between 500,000 ounces and 1.2 million ounces of contained gold content.

However, by expanding its drilling further out to South Limb, Esker and then the Dorothy-Dobie mineralised system, Ardiden believes it “is enhancing its ability to make a significant Tier-1-scale gold deposit discovery” at the Pickle Lake project.

Ardiden says it plans to “skid” the on-site rig back to Kasagiminnis over the frozen lake to recommence resource definition drilling totalling 4,000m in February after the short winter drill program at the South Limb gold prospect, 17km to the north east.

Construction of a winter vehicle trail or track from the main highway to the Kasagiminnis deposit is under way.

A five-hole, 1000m diamond drill program has been earmarked to kick off next month at South Limb within the 857-square-kilometre Pickle Lake project area’s eastern hub to probe for gold mineralisation within iron formations along strike of, or extending south from Newmont Corp’s adjoining historic Dona Lake underground mine.

Dona Lake produced 246,500 ounces of gold from ore that averaged a grade at 6.6 g/t to a depth of 450m before, Ardiden indicated, weak gold prices led to its closure more than 25 years ago.

The company has also got the ball rolling on seeking a mines department permit, which has been granted, and a First Nation Communities and stakeholders’ agreement to drill at the underexplored Esker prospect in Pickle Lake’s western hub.

A technical review of airborne magnetics flown by the company over its entire New Patricia prospect area in the western hub showed what it calls multiple Tier-1 large-scale structural targets, similar to known gold mine settings in the auriferous district.

Ardiden suggests Esker is the most obvious large-scale target as it sits directly along strike of the historic high-grade Golden Patricia underground mine that produced 619,796 ounces of gold from ore averaging 15.2 g/t to depths of 750m between 1988 and 1997.

Is your ASX listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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