Auteco Minerals Ltd (ASX:AUT) more than doubled after declaring a maiden JORC 2012-compliant inferred resource gold of 830,000 ounces at 11.6 g/t for the Pickle Crow Gold Project in Ontario, Canada.
The company is confident of building on this through its maiden drilling program, which started last month, with results to form part of a resource update later this year.
Mineralisation at the project in a world-class gold mining province is open in every direction and there are numerous walk-up targets to test.
Shares surged to a new 12-year high on volume of more than 74 million and have been up as much as 112% to 17 cents before closing at 16 cents.
Strong start at Pickle Crow
Auteco executive chairman Ray Shorrocks said the company had made a strong start in its strategy to establish Pickle Crow as a world-scale project in a Tier-1 location.
“This maiden JORC resource, which has been independently calculated, confirms Pickle Crow is a significant, high-grade deposit with immense growth potential,” he said.
The resource at a lower cut-off of 3.5 g/t runs from the surface immediately adjacent to existing underground and surface infrastructure.
This estimate stems from a review of the existing data at Pickle Crow, including previous non-JORC compliant resources and has been completed by Perth-based Cube Consulting.
Shorrocks said: “The resource validates the geological model of our technical team, which in turn supports their view about the scope for further resource growth.
“We are now undertaking the first systematic exploration program at Pickle Crow for 50 years.
“Our confidence in the project has been strengthened by the visual results from the first few drill holes and as a result, we have added a second drill rig and increased the program from 5,000 metres to at least 10,000 metres.”
Maiden drilling progresses
Auteco started its maiden drilling program at Pickle Crow late last month and since then nine holes have been drilled with assays pending analysis.
Visual inspection of the initial drill intersections validates the geological interpretation with significant mineralisation, veining and visual gold intercepted.
With numerous high-grade targets identified since the acquisition, Auteco aims to continue drilling in 2020.
“This is just the beginning of work at Pickle Crow,” Shorrocks said.
“Our active exploration has three goals, firstly near-term resources growth focused on adding geological confidence to already identified areas of mineralisation that can be brought into the resource inventory.
“Secondly, extensions to the current known resources which remain open in both along strike and down dip.
“Finally, new discovery through step-out exploration, with numerous high priority targets identified outside the Core Trend.”
In Tier-1 region
There are a number of large projects within the world-class Uchi sub-province of Ontario, including Evolution Mining Ltd’s (ASX:EVN) 25-million-ounce Red Lake, Newmont Corporation’s (NYSE:NEM) Musselwhite (5.7 million ounces) and First Mining Gold’s Springpole of 4.7 million ounces).
Pickle Lake is one of Canada’s highest-grade gold mines, historically producing 1.5 million ounces at 16 g/t.