Terra Nova Gold-Silver Claim Group, located in NW Ontario for OPTION
The Terra Nova property is located north of the town of Atikokan in Northwestern Ontario. The property is ~620 hectares’ large and hosts entirely of the Marmion Batholith. The property is approximately 10 km south of Agnico Eagle’s Hammond Reef Project. The Hammond Reef project released a positive internal technical study which includes:
Open pit mineral reserves are estimated at 3.3 million ounces of gold (123.5 million tonnes grading 0.84 g/t gold). In addition, the project contains 0.8 million ounces of measured mineral resources (47.1 million tonnes grading 0.54 g/t gold) and 1.5 million ounces of indicated mineral resources (86.3 million tonnes grading 0.53 g/t gold).
The Terra Nova property hosts elevated gold within a continuous metre-wide quartz vein within sericite-carbonate-pyrite altered tonalite localized along northeast-southwest oriented structures within the Marmion Batholith. More thorough prospecting will follow.
Contact: Troy Gallik
A total of 16 samples were collected in the summer of 2021. These samples consist of tonalite, sericite altered tonalite, gabbro, and quartz veins. Thus far one sample hosted within a frost-heaved quartz vein returned 1.7g/ton Au. This new discovery suggests the potential for gold mineralization similar to the Hammond Reef deposit and warrants significant follow-up prospecting.
The Terra Nova Property is located approximately 210 kilometres west of Thunder Bay. The property is accessed via the Trans-Canada Highway 11 from Thunder Bay to the town of Atikokan; from there, it may be reached via a secondary highway with several logging roads providing access within the property itself. A major railway line and an electrical grid are located just a few kilometres south of the property. These infrastructures serve the community of Atikokan and the surrounding areas. Both skilled and semi-skilled labour is readily available from Thunder Bay and Atikokan, respectively. The economy of Atikokan is based on forestry, a thermal generating station, government services, retail services, tourism, and a mixture of light manufacturing businesses.
The Terra Nova Property is situated on the southern margin of the Marmion terrane within the central Wabigoon Subprovince. The Marmion terrane represents a block of old crustal material made up of a basement complex (Marmion batholith, ~ 3.0 Ga) mantled by younger greenstone sequences. The southern margin of the Marmion terrane comprises tonalitic to granitic rocks of the Marmion batholith and metamorphosed volcanic, sedimentary, and plutonic rocks of the Lac des Mille Lacs greenstone belt, which extends from Atikokan east to Lac des Mille Lacs, where the belt subsequently tapers off to the northeast toward Legris Lake. To the south, the Marmion terrane is in fault contact with the metasedimentary rocks of the Quetico Subprovince (Stone 2004). These metasedimentary rocks of the Quetico Subprovince represent an accretionary prism that is interpreted to have been tectonically joined to the south margin of the Wabigoon Subprovince at 2.69 Ga (Percival and Williams 1989). The fault contact is the dominant feature in the regional geological setting, Located on the property. This boundary, a major east-trending structural zone that is characterized by intense and steeply dipping foliations and deformation, is referred to as the Quetico Fault. This fault zone is, in some places, up to 1 km or more in width (Purdon 1989). Dextral displacement along the Quetico Fault is estimated by various workers to be in the order of 120 km (Bau 1979; Williams 1991). M.A. Puumala et al.
Stone (2010b) describes 3 main phases on the Marmion batholith as comprising: i) biotite tonalite, ii) tonalite gneiss and iii) hornblende tonalite suites. The biotite tonalite suite is the most common rock type while the hornblende tonalite suite occurs in irregular to oval and highly elongate forms along the west, north and a portion of the southeast margin of the Marmion batholith. The tonalite gneiss suite occurs on the northeast and southeast margins of the Marmion batholith. A summary of the 3 phases are described by Stone as follows (2010b):
• Biotite tonalite to granodiorite (2994 to 2688 Ma): white to grey, generally medium grained and variably massive to foliated and weakly gneissic; an average of 11% mafic minerals with accessory magnetite, titanite, ilmenite, and zircon, amphibole inclusions.
• Hornblende tonalite to granodiorite (3002 to 2721 Ma): compositionally this suite ranges from tonalite through to granodiorite to granite and may also include quartz diorite and quartz monzodiorite. The rock is typically coarse-grained grey to white rock (locally grades to pink) massive to weakly foliated and has distinct lensoid diorite inclusions. Mafic minerals include amphiboles and biotite and accessory magnetite, titanite, apatite, allanite, ilmenite and zircon.
• Tonalite gneiss (3009 to 2673 Ma): texturally and compositionally heterogenous, layers vary from leucocratic to mesocratic tonalite and granodiorite to diorite and amphibolite. Layers range from a few centimetres to a few metres and have a wide variety of textures including boudinage of competent layers, folding, and development of foliated to mylonitic zones.
Within the Marmion batholith, gold is associated with large-scale deformation zones and northeast-trending fault zones. These structures appear to be secondary splay faults off the main Quetico Fault zone (Poulsen 2000). Pye and Fenwick (1965) produced a map identifying a set of parallel northeast-trending splays off the Quetico Fault (Figure 19). These major northeast-trending regional lineaments extend for approximately 20 km from Sapawe Lake through the Minto Mine, Minto North, Melema Lake, and North Melema gold occurrences (Wilkinson 1982)
The property is underlain by granitic rocks of the Marmion batholithic complex which hosts some of the gold deposits on the adjacent Hammond Reef property. Volcanic and gabbroic rocks dominating the southern half of the property are bound by a major crustal break, the Quetico Fault, and its subsidiary structures. Gold and copper mineralization in the volcanic and gabbroic rocks is structurally controlled by east–northeast to east–striking shear zones which are possibly related to the Quetico Fault system. Gold mineralization on the property is associated with pyrite +/- arsenopyrite and occurs within shear zone-hosted quartz veins/stringers and altered host rocks.
A 1980 OGS open file report discusses the gold occurrences in the Atikokan area and defines three types of gold mineralization as being present:
• Marmion Lake Batholith Type – occurs in the gneissic massif core of the batholith associated with NE trending regional lineaments and late trondhjemites which are locally sheared. Shearing strikes parallel to the lineaments and occurred during, at least, two episodes, the latest of which is related to the mineralization.
• Contact Zone Type – is contained by the plutonic rocks which border the gneisses batholiths along the meta-volcanic belt contact. Thin, discontinuous shear zones host the mineralization which is related to at least two episodes of shearing.
• Metavolcanic-hosted, Stratabound Type – is associated with laterally extensive beds of altered felsic tuffs and pyrite-bearing chemical sediments. The mineralization is due to epigenetic enrichment of gold associated with, in one instance, the intrusion of quartz-feldspar porphyry and, in the other, faulting and shearing.
Gold, in all three types of mineralization, is concentrated in quartz and quartz-carbonate veins with subsidiary Ag, Cu, Pb, and Zn. The process of gold enrichment into the veins is multi-stage and involved.
In 2011, Fairmont Resources Inc. conducted a helicopter-borne electromagnetic and magnetic survey was flown by Fugro Airborne Surveys in July 2011 over a significant portion of the Marmion Lake Batholith which includes the Terra Nova Property. The survey was comprised of 1,348 line-kilometres of data acquired on a grid pattern of 75 m spaced traverses oriented north-south, controlled by 75 m spaced tie lines oriented east-west. The survey was completed without incident from a base of operations at Atikokan, approximately 210 kilometres by tarred road west of Thunder Bay.
The original objectives of this survey were two-fold:
- provide high resolution electromagnetic and magnetic data for the direct detection and delineation of sulphide-associated gold occurrences
- facilitate the mapping of bedrock lithologies and structure which in turn influence the emplacement or hosting of economic mineralization.
These objectives have been or are being met via this interpretation; the data has enabled both the mapping and delineation of controlling structures, and identification of anomalous conductivity suggesting sulphide mineralization. 20 high-priority targets zones were presented as the basis for further investigation and ground follow-up. Two high-priority targets are located within the Terra Nova Property.
The Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET) based at the University of Western Australia has developed algorithms for Texture Analysis, Phase Analysis, and Structure Detection of potential field data sets. These are versatile algorithms useful for grid texture analysis, lineament detection, edge detection, and thresholding; this technology was utilized on the Marmion South Contact claim group. Gold mineralization is known to occur near major crustal breaks manifesting as large-scale shear zones, which act as conduits for mineralising fluids. Mineralization occurs in regions of structural complexity adjacent to the shear zones.
With elevated gold assayed in a very preliminary pass, this property is deemed fit for significant follow up prospecting and other grass roots techniques.
The Hammond Reef property is a multimillion ounce deposit however the average grade for the open pit is only 0.84 g/ton. This will likely be an issue for developing the property unless there is a significant increase in gold’s value. It is likely a higher Au grade satellite deposit, proximal to the Hammond Reef Property would be appealing to Agnico Gold.