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NuVision seeks partnership at Mine Centre as new chapter begins

Aug 5, 2020

By Kevin Vincent

It has all the markings of a made-for-tv movie. A solitary prospector. A hammer in one hand - a magnifying glass in the other. If he or she is lucky, they will literally trip over an outcrop and from that moment forward, the movie’s scenes fall into place.

One of northern Ontario’s most-traveled and experienced consulting geologists, firmly believes that there’s a big story with a few missing chapters to give it a blockbuster ending.

If you Google “Mine Centre, ON” and click on the Google map that pops up, you’ll see a photo of not one, but two albino moose standing next to a lonely stretch of highway. Finding an albino moose in northern Ontario is rare - finding two together, almost unheard of.

The same goes for mineable gold deposits. They’re out there. You have to know where to look.

So when Max Reiter, John Williams and geologist Ray Bernachez set out on a quest in 2013 and 2014 to search for gold on a package of land they had claimed near Mine Centre, 300km west of Thunder Bay, their work led them to Andrew Tims.

Tims, a geologist with an enviable track record, has spent most of his adult life scouring the rocks of Northern Ontario armed with a mountain of government data that provides strong clues on where to look.

Tims was instrumental in the work that led to Newgold Rainy River Mine, a flourishing mine that started production in late 2017 containing nearly 5 million ounces of gold and 11.5 million ounces of silver.    

“It’s very old,” says Tims in describing Mine Centre. “Not as old as the Cobalt area, but as far back as 1893 prospectors had been in the area before there was a highway or a railroad and they come across quartz veins. They got backing and they started developing the area. By the 1900’s they had shafts in the ground and they used mill stamps, an early version of a gold mill, pumping out gold.”

Tims, who spent eight years as a consulting geologist with the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, says the combination of a low gold price and forest fires burning down their mills, things pretty well stopped after the 1900’s and didn’t resume until the 1930’s.

His grasp of the area’s history was the perfect fit for Max Reiter and his partner John Williams at NuVision Resources.



During one of his contracts for a junior miner that took him to Mine Centre, “A company that wasn’t flush with money but they had to keep the ground in good standing, so they asked me to go find a prospective area and do some trenching that would hold the claims in good standing for at least a year,” said Tims.

“I looked at the data available from government files, went out with an excavator and did some trenching, washing and sampling, and found some interesting stuff, which I wasn’t expecting, which was gold-related because I was looking for copper-lead-zinc targets. And of course that was the end of the money, the company packed up and left. I wrote the report, the company never came back and they faded away into corporate oblivion.”

Max and geologist Ray Bernatchez (who has since passed away, is featured in the photo above kneeling on the property outcrop) were looking around and they came across Tims’ reports and it caught their attention. That’s where NuVision focused their first work program - where Tims had worked.

They started in 2014 with a bunch of trenching. “I had done 8 years at the Rainy River deposit during its development. Early stages to advanced. I had seen a lot of rock in the area. When I worked for the Ontario government I had visited the area with the resident district geologist and they (NuVision, Max and Ray) thanked me, and I said what for? For bringing us here, they said.”

If you count all the claims the private company has worked on its properties in the area, they’ve spent close to $10 million.

“The real story is a gentleman, (John Williams) who financed all that “playing prospector”. He had the financial luxury of playing prospector. He was having fun is what he was doing, tapping into Max’s knowledge base, Ray’s knowledge base, and having fun spending some money.”

Williams passed away leaving partner Max to carry out the journey.

“The old model was to go after quartz veins,” explains Tims. “The amount of gold was highly variable and nothing was really consistent. What got us into the Bush Rat Zone (part of the NuVision land package) was an old prospector’s trench, which was discovered during the previous year’s drilling. We did not know it was there. We were spotting a drill hole and came across the trench. We took a sample and it came back with anomalous gold (2016) and lo and behold it also came back with an interesting interval of gold with no quartz veins - totally different. It was an alteration of the rock, no one had looked rocks on other sides of the veins.”

Tims continues. “So we had a good look at it and it was hard, solidified, the quartz had shot through the rock pervasively. And with it pyrite. The pyrite was carrying the gold, this was a totally different ball game and so we stepped out, 25m beside the first hole and it was there, again. So we needed to map this out systematically, so I designed a drill program to try to follow the trend - and we drilled it off in 50m spacings and it held together. It increased the tonnage of gold-bearing rock dramatically until we got to 350m in strike length. And we knew by then we had something serious here.”

Tims explains that in the old model, you get extensions of quartz showings, as opposed to what they had now which was two different types of rock (sheared). “One hard one soft and it opens up channels for fluids to come through, not just quartz but other minerals. So we knew this was a different gold model because the gold permeates throughout. This way, the size of the deposit would be bigger.”




Tims says the discovery was anomalous to the Mine Centre area because there had never been anything reported in that area. “Rainy River is similar because it’s based on hot fluids going through the rocks and depositing the gold as the fluids come from deep - go through the rocks to the surface and it was all under water at the time.”

Tims says Rainy River is a much larger system but this one (Cat Key NuVision) is producing the same results, depositing gold. “As heated water rises to the surface, it strips metal(s) out of the rock. It will strip, iron, copper, lead, zinc, gold and as it goes to the surface the chemistry changes and the metals will then precipitate out,” he explains.

“What we have now is gold that has come up from depth with pyrite. Nothing came out the same way, one (type or rock) was more plastic, another was more brittle, and when you get two different competencies together you’ll open cracks and fluids, (metals) came shooting through. That means it’s a much bigger and more continuous kind of deposit. More tonnage. And theoretically much more gold.”

“More tons means there is more to mine, less waste rock. If you’re a miner there’s only two types of rock, ore and waste. With quartz you have lots of waste. It’s more economic to operate.


Tims, a veteran of both private-side and public-side exploration practices, isn’t ready to file a 43-101 even though many have encouraged him to do so. “For my comfort I’d like to do another 20 holes. I would be open to criticism if we filed now. We want to prove it without a doubt. We didn’t go very deep either - only 100m. That’s only scratching the surface. There’s a lot of potential here.

In the 1980’s the Mine Centre was a hot area for copper-lead-zinc, Minnova was in the area evaluating. There were a lot of drill holes over 20km. They drilled and sampled, did a thorough job, but things changed and they left the area. They left a large database in government files. Some of those drill holes are on the Cat Key (NuVision) properties. “I went through data looking for similarities, and lo and behold there are instances where they drilled through the same rock.”

This made-for-tv movie is far from over. The best scenes, are definitely yet to come.

Tags: Northern Ontario / Exploration / Gold / All Articles