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Eagle River continues exploration to build ounces

Dec 9, 2022

Wesdome is a Canadian focused gold producer with two high grade underground assets, the Eagle River mine in Ontario and the recently re-started Kiena mine in Quebec. The Company also retains meaningful exposure to the Moss Lake gold deposit in Ontario through its equity position in Goldshore Resources Inc. The Company’s primary goal is to responsibly leverage this operating platform and high-quality brownfield and greenfield exploration pipeline to build Canada’s next intermediate gold producer.
Wesdome seen a productive year as the Eagle River Mine, near Wawa, Ontario completed a planned shut down in July in order to complete mill upgrades and refurbishment work. Wesdome had also planned a shutdown at its Kiena, Quebec mine in July for necessary hoist upgrades. As well, the critical components of the paste fill plant were delivered and installed in Q3, with plant commissioning on track for later in Q4. Once the paste fill system is fully operational, Wesdome will focus on mine development resulting in increased operational flexibility and be better positioned to operate successfully in the challenging ground conditions encountered in Kiena Deep.
The company is aggressive in exploration as they are spending roughly $15 million at each site annually.
Wesdome is currently aiming to produce towards the lower end of the 120,000 – 140,000 combined guidance range this year. Forecasted gold production at the Eagle River mine for 2022 is 85-95,000 ounces and 34-43,000 ounces at the Kiena Project. Wesdome has been one of the best performers (in the top 30) on the TSX for the past three years.
As the company grows it is committed to a strong sustainability performance. Wesdome was named to the Globe & Mail’s 2022 report on business Women Lead Here list. The company has spent $109 million in local procurement expenditures in 2021 and has a company wide Equity, Diversity and Inclusion program in development.
The company continues to have exploration success at their two brownfield discoveries, the Eagle River in Ontario and Kiena in Quebec.

Eagle Rive Mine

The big drivers for Wesdome’s Eagle River over the last few years is the identification of the parallel zones to the 8 Zone that has been mined for 20 years which is the bulk of the reserves and resource right now. They also have discovered in 2018 the Falcon Zone which will expand their resources and reserves outside the mine diorite. The Falcon Zone is currently in production with Wesdome taking out two stopes already. “These are the successes we have to keep building on,” stated Michael Michaud, Vice President of Exploration at the September Gold Forum Americas conference.
The Eagle River has ramped up to 100,000 tonnes per day. The reason for this was they had the Mishi open pit which was a 2g/t project and they had the Eagle River mine which was 15g/t so it didn’t take long for Wesdome to end the Mishi open pit which was supplementing the feed to the mill and going over to the Eagle River mine and finding more zones, ramping up the production from underground and replacing 2 gram material with 15 gram material. This is what helped to increase the production from 50,000 to 100,000 ounces annually. Wesdome is continuing to build on that success to exceed 100,000 ounces at Eagle River.


The Mine Plan

With the mine operating at a depth of 1km it is noticing the margins start falling off a little as it is more expensive to mine at depth. The company believes that finding more mineralization off to the east which has a shaft then that would warrant the deepening of the shaft in that area and the margins would then again be added to the deeper ounces. “That is kind of the next 20 years of resources down in that area of the mine but I think the other part that’s interesting is we found the Falcon Zone which is located in volcanic rocks. It’s in a new setting and it’s the first time we found anything there and now we are developing over to it which gives us access to drill this zone off and look for more parallel zone like what we’ve done in the diorite and also to find more high grade shutes,” said Michaud.
Michaud went on to say that those would be easy ounces to get as they are close to surface and can be accessed from the development that already exists within the diorites and it could come up a different ramp system as opposed to going over to the shaft and to the mineralization at depth which is getting to be a congested area.
A big part of the production profile over the next few years will be the Falcon Zone. Since having developed into this zone they have over 80 holes, 15,000 metres drilled already and have a clear understanding of the zone moving forward.


Two New Zones in Hanging Wall Basalt of Kiena Deep Zone, Including 2,850 g/t Gold over 1.5m discovered


At Wesdome’s Kiena Mine Complex located in Val d’Or Quebec, underground drilling focussed on exploration to test sectors proximal to the Kiena Deep A Zones. Early success discovered the Footwall Zones last year. Earlier this year, exploration confirmed the presence of the South limb in the folded Kiena Deep A Zone at depth. Recent drilling has continued to return high grade assays from this South limb area. This area remains open along strike and down dip. The discovery of additional zones proximal to the A Zones represents a significant benefit to the mining from using common infrastructure. Development metres planned per sub level will leverage access to more ounces, thereby positively impacting future mining.
Most recently, drilling intersected two new zones in the hanging wall basalt. The first zone was observed in holes N103-6839W1A, N103-6839W2, and N103-6839W3. Up to now, the strike, dip and true thickness of this zone are unknown. The second zone, observed in hole N103-6839W4, consists of a quartz-cabonate vein ( <10 cm-thick) with visible gold that returned 2,850 g/t Au over 1.5 m. Currently, the strike and dip of this vein are unknown. These new basalt zones all occur below an observed bend or steepening in the plunge of the Kiena Deep A Zone. Early hypothesis is that folding/faulting represented by fracturing in the hanging wall basalt could allow for a favorable environment for this type of mineralization.


For this article and more visit the digital copy of: The Northern Ontario Mining Report

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