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Wallbridge and Fenelon Quebec’s Discovery of 2020

Jan 19, 2021

Quebec’s Discovery of the Year is on track to become that province’s next big mining camp. Not just big, real big. Wallbridge Mining’s Fenelon exploration project is not quite a camp, but that isn’t stopping investors like the enigmatic Eric Sprott from calling it one.
The junior miner still has a lot of drilling to do and according to company President Marz Kord, Wallbridge is on track to release a maiden resource estimate by the third quarter of this year.
“That’s still there, unless we get some surprises like another COVID wave that is not bearable, and we have to react to it. But otherwise, we’re still on for Q3 of this year for the maiden resource, mainly from Tabasco and Cayenne zones, and also a continuous focus of ours, but also Area 51. We think that the Area 51 is going to be a good, substantial addition to the Tabasco and Cayenne resource as well.”
It has been a whirlwind year for Wallbridge. The company’s stock took a hit during the March 2020 stock market blip, but it has rebounded nicely.

Wallbridge Drilling Fenelon

As for the ongoing multi-million-dollar drill results themselves, in an exclusive interview with Mining Life, Kord says the Wallbridge exploration and management teams couldn’t be happier.  
“Well, I think (Nov. 19/2020)’s press release was indicative of the type of a deposit you might have. And I’ll give you a good example.
Typically, in terms of underground, a lot of people consider themselves high grade, or ultra-high grade, based on certain circumstances. Kirkland Lake’s Macassa, is what I call an ultra-high grade, because the veins may be 10 to 30 centimeters, but they chase these veins that could potentially have 30 centimeters of 1,000 grams a ton, and then overall, they still mine half an ounce to an ounce per year.”
Kord points out the Alamos Young-Davidson Mine has veins that are 20 to 30 meters wide, and they are mining under three grams a ton. “Tabasco-Cayenne, could be a Young-Davidson in terms of size of the veins, 20, 30, 40 meters or even sometimes 100 meters. But it is great, with grades twice as much as what Young-Davidson is mining and those kinds of grades are still very viable operations at these gold prices. We see Fenelon, Tabasco, Cayenne being a high-grade underground bulk mine as opposed to what say Young-Davidson does. Or in terms of even Area 51 we see the potential for again, large underground bulk mining.”
Kord and his team are plotting the Fenelon results methodically – determining as much gold content as possible so they avoid a short-term, high-grade life of mine.  
“In terms of going back to what I was talking about Macassa, so they mine very little tonnage but good ounces. But if those tonnages were on a lower grade following vein, it would be very costly. You know, you’re going after the 10 or 30 centimeter vein chasing that, it takes a lot more resources, dollars, time to follow that vein, whereas in terms of a large bulk mining, you put this drift and then you create these, what we call stopes or cavities. You can be mining that for months from the same draw point.”
Kord says the cost component could be as much as 20-25% of what it would take if they were to mine by following veins.
“If you have a meter wide, 5 grams a ton, it’s not a high grade, it’s a mediocre type of grade or maybe even lower grade. But if you have 30 meters and this to be mining at the same grade, now all of a sudden, it’s high grade, because you’re certain your margins are going to be very good compared to following a narrow vein. So, we really see this Tabasco-Cayenne as being a large underground bulk mine, or what we call high grade, could still be in the area 5, 6, or 7 grams a ton. But it would be high grade in terms of what I just compared to say, the Young-Davidson’s project.”
When it comes to specifics, Kord is able to rattle off impressive results (see the video version of this interview on our website www.mininglifeonline.net).
“We’re extremely optimistic about the fact that when you get 100 meters of 5 grams, 75 meters below we have another hole that is 56 meters of 4.84. Below that, you have 51 meters or five something grams. And then above that, you see these other holes that have 48 meters of 22 grams but surrounding that might be lower grade.”
“But overall, it still makes sense to have 10, 20, 30 meters of these higher-grade cores. So, when you look at it, 500-600 meters strike to this, 500-600 meter vertical, thicknesses of 30 to 50 meters, that’s quite a number of tonnes. It could be 8-10 million tonnes. So, 8-10 million tonnes being able to be mined much more effectively, rather than following veins, even at 5 grams, it still fetches quite a number of ounces that you can produce.”

Wallbridge core pic

Kord says another thing in mining is that you can have a high grade mine, but if you’re going to mine it over 30 years, as opposed to someone who can mine their deposit with the same number of ounces, over 10 years, “there’s a lot more value in being able to extract that in 10 years rather than 30.”
The next 12 months are going to be watershed moments for Wallbridge as the company has a massive exploration program in store for 2021.
“We’re planning 150,000 meters of drilling. But more importantly, we’re also starting an underground development. Reason for those activities is to create these underground drilling platforms to be able to drill from underground. There are two primary focuses.”
“Number one is that some of these intersections that we get are high grade. And we don’t want to have the experience of some failures in the past. And I won’t mention names that companies that come up with the resources and they went underground, put $600-700 million worth of capital expenditures and when they realized that wow, we got the geology wrong.”
“So, the last thing we want to do is do that, so it’s best to go and actually get into these veins and understand them. Because it’s not like Timmins or Val-d’Or, where you can kick them off the moss, that’s how they found those mines. Here, it’s 20-30 meters of overburden. So, you really need to get underground to see these veins to see how they behave, the structures and everything else. So that’s the primary focus for us to be able to get into these areas, such as the high-grade Tabasco zones.”
Kord says when companies drill down to 1,500 meters it’s not accurate, it’s costly, and it’s less efficient. “But if you drill it from underground, you can get better accuracy, you can get closer to the zone. So that’s the second focus or second function of this underground drilling platform developing that we’re doing. In fact, to be able to extend the Tabasco Cayenne zones to deeper depths, perhaps 1,500 meters or even down to 2,000. Because in Abitibi, we all know that the mines don’t stop at 1,000, and so far, we’ve been drilling only down to 1,000 meters.”
Kord continues, “So the focus is for us to say, okay, maiden resource is going to come up with say X million ounces, then how do we know that? You know, let’s not measure that based on the original results, whatever that number comes, because that’s only down to 1,000 meters. Geologically, gold comes from underground, not above. So, we know that it’s still going, unless we have good reasons not to because there’s a fault or whatnot, which we’ve not seen so far.”
As for the company’s stock performance, with Kirkland Lake Gold as a partner on the Detour East property, and Eric Sprott who has said publicly many times he has never sold any shares in Wallbridge, patience is the key.
“Today, we’re in a different stage. We’re a bit more advanced with respect to our Fenelon,” said Kord. “We’re near the resources, and that sort of, I call it the sexiness of the stock may have for the long termers, it’s the same, because the long termers understand where they’re going to get. But in terms of retail short term investments, it is difficult. But my answer to that is the patience will be rewarded.”

To see more articles in our January Issue click on the link.


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