West Red Lake Announces Deeper Gold Discovery at Madsen Mine

West Red Lake Gold Mines Ltd. (TSXV: WRLG) (OTCQB: WRLGF) reported additional drill results from its 100% owned Madsen Mine located in the Red Lake Gold District of Northwestern Ontario, Canada.

Bottom Line: 2023 and early 2024 drill results continue to prove the gold resource is larger than previously known at West Red Lake’s previously producing Madsen mine. An increasing resource at Madsen derisks the coming restart of production while also improving the economics and annual cashflow of the project.

West Red Lake’s purchase of the Madsen mine for approximately C$30 million last year, after the previous operator sunk over $300 million of capex into the mining infrastructure, is increasingly looking like a home run transaction.

West Red Lake has a number of important catalysts coming over the next 18 months including:

West Red Lake Future Catalysts

  • Additional 35,000 metre (“m”) drill program planned for Rowan Property commenced in early 2024, adding second drill and to include systematic in-fill drilling and expansion drilling of high-grade zones and begin testing high priority drill targets at Mt. Jamie, Red Summit and the NT Zone.
  • Complete initial Preliminary Economic Assessment (the “PEA”) on entire portfolio of Properties by Q2 2024 (based on drilling cutoff date of Oct 1, 2023)
  • Complete updated Mineral Resource Estimate (“MRE”) at Rowan by Q4 2024 (to include all anticipated drilling up to Q3 2024)
  • Complete 3,000 m drill program at Wedge, aimed to expand deposit and complete MRE by Q4 2024
  • Complete 38,000 m underground drill program at Madsen Mine by Q4 2024
  • Complete 3,200 m of underground development by Q4 2024 for access and required infrastructure to support underground drilling.
  • Develop a connecting ramp between the East and West declines at Madsen to increase waste hauling capacity from the West ramp which previously crossed two public roads, further reducing operating costs.
  • Put the Madsen Mine back into production in 2025.

New Drill Results at Madsen Mine

This round of drill results from the Madsen Mine were all drilled from underground on the North Austin Zone, which represents a new area of high-grade mineralization extending the current Madsen resource to the northeast. This program was designed for expanding the North Austin zone to follow-up on the initial results previously announced in November, 2023 (see press release dated November 21st).

Notably, hole MM24X-03-5195-006 intercepted 8.12 g/t Au over 2m, suggesting vertical continuity of almost two full mine levels, or approximately 50m, below any workings at the East Portal. Additionally, holes MM24X-03-5195-001, -003 and -004 all intercepted high-grade mineralization beneath current workings effectively extending a known ore shoot approximately 25m down plunge.

The WRLG team believes these intercepts are indicative of the resource growth potential that still exists at the Madsen Mine asset. The North Austin Zone sits adjacent to existing underground development marking it as a high caliber target that could potentially be developed early during future mine restart and production. The North Austin Zone remains open down-dip and along strike to the northeast and will continue to be a priority expansion target as underground drilling continues.

DRILLING HIGHLIGHTS:

Hole MM24X-03-5195-003 Intersected 3.3m @ 9.15 g/t Au, from 148.7m to 152m, Including 1m @ 15.91 g/t Au, from 148.7m to 149.7m, also Including 0.7m @ 18.62 g/t Au, from 150.7m to 151.4m.

Hole MM24X-03-5195-001 Intersected 2.6m @ 10.66 g/t Au, from 154.4m to 157m, Including 0.9m @ 18.35 g/t Au, from 155.4m to 156.3m.

Hole MM24X-03-5195-006 Intersected 2.4m @ 8.12 g/t Au, from 85.3m to 87.7m.

Hole MM24X-03-5195-004 Intersected 1.4m @ 10.55 g/t Au, from 141m to 142.4m.

This latest round of North Austin results are very encouraging and demonstrate the untapped growth potential that still exists in this part of the Madsen deposit. As we continue to advance the East Portal decline, we will be establishing additional drilling platforms to continue extending this zone at depth.Shane Williams, President & CEO, West Red Lake Gold Mines Ltd.

Plan maps and sections for the North Austin drilling outlined in this release are provided in Figures 1 through 5.

During 2023, the Company drilled a total of 28 holes for 2,524m of NQ diamond drill core (Expansion) and 71 holes for 4,611m of BQ diamond drill core (Definition) from underground at Madsen.

Since underground drilling resumed in early January 2024 the Company has completed 1,651m of Expansion drilling and 689m of Definition drilling.

In total, 23 diamond drill holes for 2,340m have been completed so far in 2024 at the Madsen Mine.

Fire and metallic screen assays have been returned for 20 out of 23 holes completed, with 2 holes pending assays and QAQC.

TABLE 1. Significant intercepts (>1 g/t Au) from drilling at North Austin Target.

*The “From-To” intervals in Table 1 are denoting overall downhole length of the intercept. True thickness has not been calculated for these intercepts but is expected to be ≥ 70% of downhole thickness based on intercept angles observed in the drill core.

FIGURE 1. Deposit-scale plan map of Madsen Mine.

TABLE 2: Drill collar summary for holes reported in this News Release.

DISCUSSION

Accessed through the Madsen Mine East Portal, the North Austin Zone sits northeast in the footwall of the main Austin Zone. Like the main Austin and South Austin Structures, the North Austin domain is hosted within broad, kilometer-scale planar alteration and deformation corridors that have been repeatedly reactivated during gold mineralization and subsequent deformation and metamorphism.

At the deposit-scale the Austin, South Austin, North Austin, and McVeigh Zones are locally folded and structurally dismembered by transposition and rotation into the penetrative S2 Foliation. In addition to this intense deformation overprint, the mineralized veins and alteration have been subjected to the relatively high temperatures of amphibolite facies metamorphism, which led to extensive recrystallization and growth of the skarn-like replacement mineral assemblage of diopside-amphibole-quartz-biotite.

All significant gold mineralization on the mine property is demonstrably early relative to the most significant, penetrative deformation (D2) and metamorphic events. The North Austin Zone displays ‘mine-style’ alteration and mineralization and consists of multiple mineralized domains defined over a strike length of 0.5km. Mineralization remains open at depth and along strike to the northeast.

In drill core, or at underground face exposures, gold-bearing zones at the Madsen Mine are best identified visually by fine (sub-millimetre) grains of free gold within strong alteration and veining. All high-grade intervals generally contain visible gold on drill core exteriors, although numerous examples exist of high-grade assays where visible gold was only identified within the interior (cut surface) of the core samples. Apart from the presence of free gold, pervasive silicification (locally accompanied by discrete quartz veining) and quartz-carbonate or diopside veining are the best indicators that a given interval is within a high-grade zone along/within the mineralized structure.

The current underground drilling program at the Madsen Mine is focused on further definition of near-term mining inventory, as well as growth of the current mineral resource. Drilling has been focused on the more continuous and higher-grade portions of the Austin, South Austin, and North Austin Zones. This will continue to be the strategy moving into 2024.

High resolution versions of all the figures contained in this press release can be found at the following web address: https://westredlakegold.com/february-release-maps/

FIGURE 2. Madsen Mine long section showing location of North Austin Zone.[1]

FIGURE 3. North Austin plan view drill section showing assay highlights for Holes MM24X-03-5195-001 through -010.[1]
*Geologic domains and 2021 block model have not yet been updated to incorporate drill results in this press release.

FIGURE 4. North Austin cross-section showing assay highlights for Holes MM24X-03-5195-001 through -005.[1]
*Geologic domains and 2021 block model have not yet been updated to incorporate drill results in this press release.

FIGURE 5. North Austin cross-section showing assay highlights for Hole MM24X-03-5195-006.[1]
*Geologic domains and 2021 block model have not yet been updated to incorporate drill results in this press release.

QUALITY ASSURANCE/QUALITY CONTROL

Drilling completed underground at the Madsen Mine consists of BQ-sized diamond drill core for definition drill programs and oriented NQ-sized diamond drill core for exploration focused drilling. All drill holes are systematically logged, photographed, and sampled by a trained geologist at the Madsen Mine core processing facility. Minimum allowable sample length is 0.5m. Maximum allowable sample length is 1.5m. Control samples (certified standards and uncertified blanks), along duplicates, are inserted at a target 5% insertion rate. Results are assessed for accuracy, precision, and contamination on an ongoing basis. The BQ-sized drill core is whole core sampled. The NQ-sized drill core is then cut lengthwise utilizing a diamond blade core saw along a line pre-selected by the geologist. To reduce sampling bias, the same side of drill core is sampled consistently utilizing the orientation line as reference. For those samples containing visible gold (“VG”), a trained geologist supervises the cutting/bagging of those samples, and ensures the core saw blade is ‘cleaned’ with a dressing stone following the VG sample interval. Bagged samples are then sealed with zip ties and transported by Madsen Mine personnel directly to SGS Natural Resource’s Facility in Red Lake, Ontario for assay.

Samples are then prepped by SGS, which consists of drying at 105°C and crushing to 75% passing 2mm. A riffle splitter is then utilized to produce a 500g course reject for archive. The remainder of the sample is then pulverized to 85% passing 75 microns from which 50g is analyzed by fire assay and an atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) finish (SGS Code GO-FAA50V10). Samples returning gold values > 100 g/t Au are reanalyzed by fire assay with a gravimetric finish on a 50g sample (SGS Code GO_FAG50V). Samples with visible gold are also analyzed via metallic screen analysis (SGS code: GO_FAS50M). For multi-element analysis, samples are sent to SGS’s facility in Burnaby, British Columbia and analyzed via four-acid digest with an atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) finish for 33-element analysis on 0.25g sample pulps (SGS code: GE_ICP40Q12). SGS Natural Resources analytical laboratories operates under a Quality Management System that complies with ISO/IEC 17025.

The Madsen Mine deposit presently hosts a National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) Indicated resource of 1.65 million ounces (“Moz”) of gold grading 7.4 g/t Au and an Inferred resource of 0.37 Moz of gold grading 6.3 g/t Au. Mineral resources are estimated at a cut-off grade of 3.38 g/t Au and a gold price of US1,800/oz. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Please refer to the technical report entitled “Independent NI 43-101 Technical Report and Updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the PureGold Mine, Canada”, prepared by SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. and dated June 16, 2023. The Madsen Resource Estimate has an effective date of December 31, 2021 and excludes depletion of mining activity during the period from January 1, 2022 to the mine closure on October 24, 2022 as it has been deemed immaterial and not relevant for the purpose of the updated report. A full copy of the SRK report is available on the Company’s website and on SEDAR+ at www.sedarplus.ca.

The technical information presented in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Will Robinson, P.Geo., Vice President of Exploration for West Red Lake Gold and the Qualified Person for exploration at the West Red Lake Project, as defined by NI 43-101 “Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects”.

ABOUT WEST RED LAKE GOLD MINES

West Red Lake Gold Mines Ltd. is a mineral exploration company that is publicly traded and focused on advancing and developing its flagship Madsen Gold Mine and the associated 47 km2 highly prospective land package in the Red Lake district of Ontario. The highly productive Red Lake Gold District of Northwest Ontario, Canada has yielded over 30 million ounces of gold from high-grade zones and hosts some of the world’s richest gold deposits. WRLG also holds the wholly owned Rowan Property in Red Lake, with an expansive property position covering 31 km2 including three past producing gold mines – Rowan, Mount Jamie, and Red Summit.

 

West Red Lake Gold is a market awareness client of Capital 10X.

The opinions provided in this article are those of the author and do not constitute investment advice. Readers should assume that the author and/or employees of Capital 10X hold positions in the company or companies mentioned in the article. For more information, please see our Content Disclaimer.

Duane Hope is a Partner at Capital 10X, he brings over 15 years of communications and research experience to the firm. His research and writing have appeared in publications for North American, European and Asian audiences.

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