And another great article discussing the impact that Ressources Appalaches (TSXV: APP) Dufferin Mine project will have on the local area and the province as a whole by kick starting the next gold rush.
This is just awesome stuff..... keep it going APP.... and lets get some gold out of those veins.....
A GLITTERING PRIZE MAY FLOW FROM OLD VEINS – CHRONICLE HERALD 29 NOV 2012
New techniques, new exploration give miners hope for gold revival
is on the verge of seeing its first significant gold mining activities since the 1940s.
Skyrocketing gold prices, now hovering around $1,700 an ounce, and the introduction of new mining techniques have made long-abandoned deposits look profitable to junior exploration companies.
There are about 180 exploration licences for gold held in Nova Scotia, and two proposed mines are well on their way to becoming realities at Moose River and Dufferin, near Sheet Harbour.
“Despite its long history with gold mining, Nova Scotia is relatively under-explored,” said George O’Reilly, a mineral geologist with the Natural Resources Department.
The Meguma geologic zone, running approximately from Canso to Yarmouth, contains extensive gold deposits.
“Within that area, which is at least 300 kilometres long, we have one of the largest gold anomalies in the world,” said John Wightman, who has 20 years’ experience as a geologist and prospector in the province.
While Nova Scotia has experienced three relatively short-lived gold rushes over the past 150 years, the persistent issue has been mining gold profitably.
Nova Scotia gold deposits are referred to by geologists as “nuggety” pockets of high gold concentrations located sporadically in quartz veins. The difficulty this has long posed is access — how to chase narrow veins of rock with random pockets of gold at a reasonable cost.
DDV Gold, a subsidiary of Australian mining company Atlantic Gold, plans to solve this problem in its proposed Moose River mine, projected to open in 2015, by accessing a wider amount of rock.
The company was recruited by Moose River Resources, a consortium of Nova Scotia geologists and prospectors who discovered large amounts of tiny gold fragments within the rock surrounding long-abandoned veins. The company proposes an open-pit mine that will crush the rock and, with a centrifuge, remove 80 per cent of the host rock before using chemicals to extract the gold from what remains.
“This new style of gold mineralization is what most of these explorers are looking for,” said Wightman. “It’s easier to process and the deposits tend to be bigger, with size making for efficiency.”
The Moose River deposit is expected to take five to seven years to mine, employing about 150 people during production. Another deposit at Cochrane Hill could last a similar length of time, and Wightman expects the company to move on to other deposits yet to be confirmed.
But everyone is not in support of the proposed projects. To make the mine possible, the province expropriated 14 hectares from Moose River residents who refused to sell. As well, environmental groups have expressed concerns that open-pit mining permanently alters the physical landscape.
“Today we are much more stringent on any environment rules and regulations than we had been in the past,” said Charlie Parker, minister of natural resources, on Thursday.
He pointed to the requirement that mining companies file remediation plans with the Environment Department, along with a bond to ensure reclamation work is performed after the mine moves on.
There are 2.7 million ounces of proven gold reserves in Nova Scotia, but O’Reilly said the province hasn’t yet been prospected for disseminated gold like that found in Moose River or gold located deep underground.
Mines in Australia, which has nearly identical rock formations to those in eastern Nova Scotia, go down as deep as 1,200 metres. Exploration hasn’t gone deeper than 300 metres in Nova Scotia.
Jean Claude Morel, executive vice-president of Quebec company Ressources Appalaches, got one big step closer to reopening the abandoned Dufferin mine, near Sheet Harbour, on Wednesday.
The company secured $10 million in financing, to be repaid in gold, from a bank in the United States.
The mine operated for eight months in 2001 under a different owner but was closed because it wasn’t profitable, with the gold price at the time about $320 per ounce.
“We want to restart production with the existing facility as a step one; we’re looking at having around 50 staff in order to process 300 tonnes of mineral per day,” said Morel, who expects to start production late next year.
“After a year at that level of production, we will reinvest our profits to increase production to double the capacity, producing 600 tonnes per day and employing about 65 staff.”
Morel said the company will then seek to expand exploration in search of more gold.
High gold prices are essential to continuing exploration in Nova Scotia, where it’s not cheap to mine the shiny stuff.
Those prices have been driven by the declining value of the American dollar, said Toronto analyst John Ing on Thursday.
National banks are buying gold because its value is a safer bet than the American currency.
Ing said it’s impossible to predict the direction of gold prices in the long term, though he expects they will continue to rise.
“I remember the old high of gold was $100 (per ounce), then $400 and then $1,000.
“My prediction is that the price of gold will continue up.”