JV Article: Gatling Exploration grows footprint in Abitibi gold belt

When Gatling Exploration (TSXV: GTR) recently revealed that drilling in Zone 2 at the Fernland deposit at its flagship Larder asset in Ontario intersected 200.7 metres of 1.5 grams gold per tonne, it marked the highest metal factor recorded to date and confirmed growing gold zones at Larder. 

The Larder property comprises three deposits: Cheminis, Bear and Fernland. All are on the Cadillac-Larder fault, in the heart of Canada’s Abitibi greenstone belt, just 35 km east of Kirkland Lake, and adjacent to Agnico Eagle Mines’ Upper Beaver project. 

The Larder project has a historic resource of 43,800 indicated gold ounces at 4.1 grams gold per tonne and 917,000 inferred ounces at 5.6 grams gold per tonne. 

Over the last year, an aggressive but also highly targeted exploration program has proven that the three deposits are part of a single mineralized system stretching for over 4.5 kilometres. The mineralized footprint for all three deposits has been expanded in every direction and the company is now sitting on more than 150 kilometres of successful drill results outside of the historical estimate. 

Since late last year, the company has turned its attention to Fernland — the most underexplored deposit at Larder.

“Approximately 9,000 metres of drilling at Fernland has been completed during the ongoing 25,000 metre drill program, yielding consistent grades over long intersections across all three zones, which combine for nearly 1 km in strike length,” said Jason Billan, Gatling’s president and CEO. 

“To date, our exploration team continues to see our Fernland deposit deliver drill results which have exceeded our expectations both from a size as well as grade perspective, laying the groundwork for this deposit to form a near surface component while remaining open at depth,” he said.

Billan knows promising projects. As the sole corporate development professional reporting to the senior executive team at Nevsun, and after evaluating hundreds of gold and copper opportunities, Billan says he was instrumental when the company acquired the world-class Timok copper-gold project in Serbia for over US$500 million. Billan then evaluated the hostile bid of Nevsun by Lundin Mining and later evaluated numerous strategic alternatives  – leading to the successful US$1.9 billion acquisition of Nevsun by Zijin Mining in 2018.

After joining the board at Gatling in the spring of 2019, Billan took over as president and CEO in late 2020, with an eye to changing the exploration strategy at Larder, focusing on untapped potential. 

“Being on the board I was in tune with the evolution of Gatling, and knew there was more value to be unlocked at the project, and we were in a great position to do so, it just required a bit of a step back, and thinking about the project in a new way,” Billan said.

“We began by proving these three deposits are continuous,” Billan said. “We have now shifted focus to highlight the shallow mineralized horizon, and are working toward what could ultimately be an economic project, between these three deposits. The success we are demonstrating at Fernland thus far in 2021 could ultimately be the first phase of a potential production profile at Larder.” 

Billan said Gatling’s shift in strategy and the series of consistent results has unlocked opportunities for further footprint expansion in the Abitibi greenstone belt. 

“We see Larder as very dynamic, all three of the deposits have fairly unique characteristics, with mineralization starting at surface across three different zones at Fernland, two of which could form nicely into a single pit, and continuing as deep as 1,300 metres eastward at the Bear deposit Ultimately, we envision a compelling, open pit deposit with big underground potential along the break.” 

Drilling at Larder continues apace with a second rig coming to site early next month, to ramp up drilling at Fernland as well as the Bear deposit, to complete the remainder of the current drill program and initiate Phase 2 drilling at the Kir Vit discovery.

Gatling anticipates releasing an updated resource estimate by the end of the third quarter this year.

The preceding Joint-Venture Article is PROMOTED CONTENT sponsored by Gatling Exploration, and produced in cooperation with MINING.com. Visit www.gatlingexploration.com for more information.



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