Orogenic Au, Intrusion-related Au, VMS
The Frotet Project covers 39,365 hectares of the Frotet-Evans greenstone belt within the Opatica geological sub-province of Quebec. The property is adjacent to the past-producing Troilus Au-Cu mine and covers several major deformation zones associated with known orogenic gold prospects, as well as stratigraphy hosting VMS deposits elsewhere in the belt. The project hosts the Regnault gold system, a greenfields discovery made by Kenorland and Sumitomo Metal Mining Canada Ltd. in 2020.
The project is currently held under a Joint Venture agreement between Sumitomo Metal Mining Canada Ltd. and Kenorland Minerals Ltd., with participating interests at 80% and 20%, respectively. Under the Joint Venture, exploration is funded pro-rata and Kenorland is presently the operator of the project. Any party which does not contribute and is diluted below a 10% interest, converts its interest to a 2% uncapped net smelter royalty.
Location and Access
The project is located 100 kilometers to the north of Chibougamau, Quebec. Favorable infrastructure exists in the project area with an extensive forestry road network as well as the Route-du-Nord crossing the southwestern portion of the property. A power transmission line also crosses through the property which supplied power to the past producing Troilus mine.
Geology and Mineralisation
The Archean Frotet-Evans greenstone belt (2793-2755 Ma) is comprised of a volcanic package dominated by mafic to felsic metavolcanic rocks. The lower volcanic sequences are mafic dominant, composed of basaltic komatiites and high magnesium to iron tholeiites, while the upper sequences are generally intermediate to felsic in composition. Mafic intrusions are volumetrically abundant throughout the stratigraphic sequence, generally present as differentiated sills contemporaneous with the volcanic strata. Thin horizons of sedimentary rocks consisting of argillites, greywackes and minor conglomerates are intercalated throughout the stratigraphy. Structurally, the volcanic sequences have been strongly deformed as a result of at least two major deformation events (2720-2690 Ma and 2690-2680 Ma) marked by several regional-scale folds dominating the core of the belt, and numerous major NE and E-W trending structures transecting the property. A significant number of small, high-grade gold-quartz veins have been discovered across the belt, as well as multiple Zn-Cu-Ag-Au VMS deposits occurring in the southern portions of the belt. Together, the structural architecture combined with favourable lithological constraints and proven fertility indicate the Frotet-Evans Project is highly prospective for significant orogenic gold, intrusion-related gold (e.g. Troilus) and VMS mineralisation.
The most significant discovery made to date by Kenorland is the Regnault gold-silver mineralised system. The main host rock of known mineralisation is the multiphase Regnault intrusive complex (diorite, amphibole-phyric diorite, xenolith bearing diorite, and marginal intrusive breccia phases), which have been cross-cut by multiple dyke swarms (quartz-feldspar porphyry, plagioclase porphyry and lamprophyres). The intrusive complex is spatially associated with the fold closure of the Cuvette synform, which has been structurally juxtaposed along the southern limb of the major Frotet antiform. Interpreted to be early, the Regnault intrusive complex and surrounding Frotet Formation volcaniclastic rocks have undergone extensive D2 deformation, focussing strain development along generally east-west trending, steeply dipping shear zones and represent the primary control of high-grade quartz vein hosted mineralisation.
Mineralised structures transect both the multiphase Regnault intrusive complex and surrounding volcanic rocks, defined by steeply dipping zones of moderate-strong strain, biotite-calcite ± silica-chlorite alteration and disseminated pyrite locally up to 3-10% (dominant style for R1 and R2 East). High-grade intercepts are characteristically shear-hosted, laminated quartz-carbonate-pyrite veins, often haloed by variably deformed extensional stockwork quartz veining locally containing up to 20% pyrite along with trace chalcopyrite and occasional Au±Ag tellurides and visible gold. Where east-west shear zones intersect the diorite-volcanic contact, rheologically controlled zones of dilation has resulted in stacked, shallow north dipping extensional type quartz-pyrite veins (dominant style for R2 West).
Limited systematic historical exploration had been completed across Kenorland’s claim package. The discovery of copper-nickel bearing float samples in 1958 led to a staking rush, and subsequent discovery of many of the VMS occurrences to the south of the current property. The past producing Troilus Au-Cu deposit was discovered in the mid 1980’s as the result of reconnaissance exploration programs by Kerr Addison (lake sediment and soil sampling, and prospecting) concentrated along the western half of the Frotet-Evans greenstone belt. The region has seen very little follow-up exploration since the 1980’s, but modern geophysical surveys have added to the structural understanding of the Frotet-Evans greenstone belt architecture.
Summary of exploration activities conducted by Kenorland Minerals
The Frotet Project was acquired by Kenorland through map staking in March, 2017 and was optioned to Sumitomo Mining Metals Canada Limited (“SMMCL”) in April, 2018. In summer of 2018, Kenorland and SMMCL completed a property-wide B-horizon soil sampling program (till substrate) over 55,921 ha on an approximate 1500m x 150m grid for a total of 2,308 samples. In winter of 2018-2019 a high-resolution helicopter-borne aeromagnetic survey was flown over areas of gold-in-soil anomalism. In spring of 2019, a property-wide LIDAR survey was flown to give context to surficial geology conditions and structural geology. In summer of 2019, infill soil sampling, till sampling, geologic mapping and boulder prospecting were conducted in geochemically anomalous areas. This work defined the Regnault target area, which was selected for a maiden diamond drilling program in winter of 2020. In preparation for diamond drilling Kenorland conducted further geophysical work including a high-resolution drone magnetic survey and an induced polarisation (IP) survey to aide in the delineation of targets.
The maiden drill program at the Regnault target consisted of 5,920m of diamond drill core, which intersected significant gold mineralisation in 8 out of the 15 holes testing various geological and geophysical targets. A follow-up 1,902m diamond drill program in the summer of 2020 also intersected significant gold mineralisation in the Regnault target area, including the discovery of additional gold-bearing structures. Following the initial discovery, an additional detailed helicopter-borne magnetic survey was flown along with a detailed 3D IP survey extending along the Regnault trend to the south of the initial discovery area. Additional infill detailed B-horizon soil sampling was also completed along the Regnault trend. Significant drill results returned during 2020 included:
- 20RDD002: 3.75m at 16.06 g/t Au
- 20RDD007: 29.08m at 8.47 g/t Au incl. 11.13m at 18.43 g/t Au
- 20RDD021A: 2.66m at 33.69 g/t Au
2021 Winter Program
The Company and Sumitomo completed a winter diamond drill program between March and April of 2021 at the Regnault discovery area. The drill program consisted of 8,591m of diamond drilling and 30 completed drill holes. The objectives of this drill program were to follow up on known mineralised structures identified during the 2020 discovery drill programs, as well as continue exploration along strike and to the south of the Regnault Discovery area, testing additional regional targets within the Regnault area. This phase of drilling helped define the mineralised R1 Trend which generally strikes east-west, dipping steeply to the north and had been traced for 550m along strike, open in either direction. The R2 Trend was also identified during this phase of drilling, a structure located over 500m to the south of, and oriented sub-parallel to, the R1 structure. Significant drill results returned from the R1 Trend during this phase of drilling included:
- 21RDD024: 5.72m at 90.56 g/t Au incl. 3.89m at 132.57 g/t Au
- 21RDD037: 25.33m at 6.29 g/t Au incl. 4.59m @ 22.06 g/t Au
At the completion of the winter drill program, Sumitomo had incurred a total of $8.3 million in exploration expenditures towards the earn-in and joint venture exploration agreement, earning an 80% interest in the Frotet Property.
2021 Summer Program
Between July and October of 2021 the Company completed its 2021 Summer exploration program which included 57 diamond drill holes (17,792m) at the Regnault gold discovery. This program was designed to systematically step-out along strike and down dip of the known structures (R1, R2 West, R2 East Trends) which were defined during the 2021 winter drill campaign, as well as explore for additional mineralised structures within the Regnault gold system.
Along the R1 Trend, the vein system was drilled on approximately 50m centers, testing down to approximately 275m depth, as well as extending the east-west strike length to 750m. At R2 West, stepping out on approximately 50m centers, drilling demonstrated the presence of several stacked, high grade, extensional type quartz veins. Drilling on 100m spaced sections along R2 East intersected wide, east-west trending mineralised shear zones which intersect the diorite-volcanic contact. Drilling completed on the R2 Trend identified gold mineralisation along 950m of strike length trending east-northeast and to depths of 350m below surface. Assay results from 32 of the 57 completed drill holes have been received to date, significant results include:
- 21RDD056A: 15.40m at 17.96 g/t Au incl. 7.20m at 36.29 g/t Au
- 21RDD060: 3.00m at 32.21 g/t Au
- 21RDD074: 3.45m at 17.53 g/t Au incl. 0.50m at 114.60 g/t Au
- 21RDD077: 14.20m at 3.91 g/t Au incl. 2.73m at 15.34 g/t Au
- 21RDD088: 1.77m at 117.86 g/t Au
- 21RDD100: 6.88m at 23.79 g/t Au incl. 2.60m at 60.77 g/t Au
In addition to the drill program, follow-up surface exploration, including mapping, prospecting, infill till and soil geochemical sampling, was also completed over multiple regional target areas within the Frotet Project.
2022 Winter Program
A multi-disciplinary program was completed at Frotet between January and March of 2022 including diamond drilling at Regnault and ground IP surveys at the Cressida and Chantillon regional targets. Drilling completed at Regnault was designed primarily to expand the strike extent along the R2 and R4 trends, testing the down dip extents of the R1 mineralised structure, and explore for additional mineralised structures immediately to the south of R1. Along the R1 Trend, drilling successfully extended the mineralised structures for a known strike length of 850m and to depths of 400m below surface. Immediately to the south of the R1 Trend, drilling discovered multiple sub-parallel mineralised structures, including the R5, R6, R7 and R8, which can be traced for a strike length of 400m, and to 450m at depth. Results from these new vein discoveries are comparable to some of the best results from the R1 trend, which has been one of the main focuses of the deposit since the initial discovery in 2020.
- 22RDD130A: 3.85m at 44.95 g/t Au incl. 1.20m at 127.83 g/t Au
- 22RDD133: 6.65m at 19.50 g/t Au incl. 1.06m at 98.34 g/t Au
In addition to the drilling at Regnault, ground IP surveys were completed over the Company’s Cressida and Chantillon regional targets. The Cressida target is located directly along strike and within the main mineralised corridor hosting the former producing Troilus Gold Mine, currently being explored by Troilus Gold Corp. The Cressida target is located between and along strike of Troilus Gold’s Southwest Zone (2.5km to the northeast) and their recently discovered Beyan Gold Zone (3km to the southwest). Initial drill testing of the Cressida target is to be completed Q2-Q3 2022.