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More high-grade heaven at Island Gold Mine

Alamos targets gold extensions with major exploration program at Dubreuilville Mine in 2021
Island Gold gold sample 2
Island Gold sample (Alamos Gold photo)

Alamos Gold continues to post high-grade hits beside and below its always-expanding Island Gold Mine near Dubreuilville.

The Toronto-based miner reported the latest results from surface and underground exploration drilling in three zones beneath the existing mine workings as well as to the east and west.

The Island Gold Mine is 15 kilometres east of Dubreuilville, 83 kilometres northeast of Wawa, and is showing no signs of running out of gold anytime soon.

In a Jan. 27 news release, the company said it was forced to dial back exploration drilling with some down time in 2020 due to pandemic-related health and safety measures. But activity ramped back up in the second half to record the best surface drill hole to date at Island Gold.

One drill hole from surface contained gold content of 28.97 grams per tonne over 21.76 metres.

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Since Alamos acquired the operation from Richmont Mines in 2017, the company has invested heavily in exploration to grow gold reserves and resources.

The successful results have served to justify the operation undergoing a third phase of shaft expansion, designed to increase the mining rate to a 2,000-tonne-per day operation by 2025. Based on gold reserves in the production pipeline, this will double the mine's life to 16 years.

Last year, the exploration focus was to find new gold resources close to the mine and keep building on the high-grade discoveries made in 2019.

The company managed to squeeze in almost 45,000 metres of surface and underground drilling, down from the 70,000 metres originally budgeted.

One assay from its Island Main zone showed 97.76 grams per tonne gold over 2.0 metres. From the Island East zone, one drill hole revealed 54.19 grams per tonne gold over a 6.54-metre core length. Another return from Island West yielded 72.45 grams per tonne gold over 2.04 metres.

This year, Alamos plans to do more of the same.

On tap for this year is a $25-million exploration budget set aside to do more surface and underground drilling aimed at defining new near-mine resources across a two-kilometre stretch of its Main Zone, as well as step out to evaluate several targets on the company's expansive 14,929-hectare property.

“These latest results conclude another successful drilling campaign in 2020," said company president-CEO John A. McCluskey in a statement.

"Despite not completing as much drilling as planned due to COVID-19, the 2020 program included some of the best exploration results drilled to date at Island Gold. We expect these results to drive further growth in high-grade mineral resources at Island Gold with our 2020 year end update, improving already attractive economics with the Phase III shaft expansion, while also clearly demonstrating the significant ongoing growth potential of the deposit."

To create more elbow room for exploration, Alamos increased its land holdings by 57 per cent by acquiring Trillium Mining, its neighbour to the east, last December.

These are exciting times in the Dubreuilville-Wawa area. Alamos' neighbour to the west, Argonaut Gold, has given the green light to proceed with construction of an open-pit mine with site preparation expected to start very soon.

Alamos operates three mines, two in Northern Ontario with Island Gold and Young-Davidson near Matachewan, and the Mulatos Mine in Sonora State, Mexico.

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