Thanks for the new photos. I guess the term “highly-mineralized” would be an understatement. I think the most remarkable thing about all of these recent photos taken from the Antonino Adit, especially past the 50-meter mark or so of the currently 255-meter-long adit, is the increase in widths of the mineralization as well as, of course, all of the samples of what appears to be (no promises yet) VISIBLE GOLD OR “VG”.
By now I think we’ve all read of how mesothermal veins really do get richer and wider with depth. In a “tectonic/fault breccia” environment like we are in, the amount of faulting and fracturing of the rocks is crazy. Somewhat vertically-oriented thrust faults just so happen to widen with depth. When they get filled up with ore they become “veins” or sometimes “breccias”. It’s true that gold, pyrite and chalcopyrite can all present as yellowish/bronzish stuff with a “metallic luster”. An armchair quarterback will be quick to point out that pyrite is known as “Fool’s gold” and this is true. What this QB is not saying is that pyrite is one of the leading mineral indicators for gold.
Golds travels upwards from magma chambers in hydrothermal fluids and gases. It often travels in association with “chlorite” or with sulfur in what are called “thiosulfate complexes”. Being bonded to sulfur makes gold soluble (dissolvable) in these liquids and gases. If you want gold to be deposited in a location, you need to separate the gold from the sulfur so that it becomes “insoluble” and it “precipitates” out of solution and becomes a solid. “Boiling” will do it but so too will magnetite. Magnetite is also called iron oxide. Magnetite has a strong affinity for sulfur. When magnetite steals the sulfur ion from these gold-sulfur complexes, it becomes “pyrite” and the gold is deposited as free gold. So “pyrite”, which used to be magnetite, hangs out in the same neighborhood as free gold. The presence of this shiny yellow stuff known as “pyrite” is a good thing.
“Chalcopyrite” is basically “pyrite” with a copper atom attached. It is also shiny and yellow with a “metallic luster”. It is the most common source of copper. It is a very good thing. Gold, of course, is also shiny and yellow and it has a “metallic luster”. SHINY AND YELLOW WITH A METALLIC LUSTER is a very good thing for different reasons. It’s all over the place in the last 200 meters of the Antonino Adit.
Up higher in the structure of the DL1 Vein, SMFL was mining an average 64 gpt gold for 30 straight years. The ACA Howe report cited that there was ZERO visible gold present up near surface despite those insanely-high grades. The gold was very, very fine-grained. ENAMI used a “grind” of “minus 200 Tyler mesh” to liberate these super-fine particles way back then. That’s a tiny mesh size. There was a nice overall concentration of gold but it wasn’t visible to the human eye. This is the norm. VISIBLE GOLD IS VERY RARE although we’ve all seen samples of visible gold in quartz veins.
We need to be patient and wait for the assay reports on these areas with all of this SHINY YELLOW STUFF WITH A METALLIC LUSTER. For me, what’s a little bit scary is that the average producing underground gold mine is cranking out 7 gpt gold and making big bucks at $1,800 per ounce gold.
You also need to keep in mind the mining concepts of OPTIONALITY and SCALABILITY. Auryn has run into about 20 different zones of mineralization on their way to the 255-meter mark. I’m not interested in the AVERAGE grade of those 20 areas. Auryn is going to produce from the best of the best sites at first. As Auryn chases down the best of the best zones, new high-grade zones will be intersected that will totally blow away the AVERAGE grade content of those first 20 sites.
The results of the trenching program done by Auryn several years ago revealed over 5,000 meters of gold-bearing veins having made it all of the way to surface. A lot of underlying veins do not make it to surface. It is no surprise that the Antonino Adit is intersecting mineralized structures right and left. There is a 200-meter-wide zone of argillic alteration present at surface around the DL1 Vein. This alteration is caused by hydrothermal fluids and gases making it all of the way to surface via cracks and fissures and converting the host rock granodiorite into argillic clay. These same fluids and gases carry the gold up towards surface until it finds an area where the sulfur bonded to gold can be displaced.
I’m not sure who whispered into Kevin’s ear to keep an eye on Kirkland Lake Gold as a template for the ADL. It’s interesting how KLG always has 2 mines that rank in the top 5 gold mines by richness of the gold grade. They are Macassa and Fosterville.