ST. LUNAIRE-GRIQUET, N.L. — Although a gold mine on the Northern Peninsula is still a long way from going into production, if it ever does, excitement is already building over a precious metal strike in Gunners Cove.
“We’re absolutely optimistic,” said St. Anthony Mayor Desmond McDonald. “This is a long-term project, obviously, it’s probably going to be five to 10 years before any real development, maybe even longer. It depends on how the process unfolds, but any time there’s any kind of mineral exploration, or a major mineral find in your area, it can be exciting for your town.”
Jean-Pierre Colin, president and CEO of Ontario-based White Metal Resources, the company that owns the mineral rights to the property, told The Northern Pen the find is “superlatively compelling” based on the endorsement of numerous Earth sciences professionals.
“White Metal Resources, is fully confident in the Gunners Cove project in Newfoundland. It is our flagship property and we are totally committed,” he said. “At White Metal, we have expert award-winning prospectors engaged and dedicated to making exploration a success, and, therefore, we see many choices of gold exploration properties offered to us on a weekly basis.
“Our 100 per cent-owned Gunners Cove property stands out among the best of the best, as far as we can determine.”
That determination is based on preliminary samples that show grades of up to 5.86 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold. Of course, high spot grades do not necessarily make a deposit an economic resource, but considering the average grade of operating gold mines is 1.06 g/t, the Gunners Cove property shows promise.
McDonald was cautious about projecting any short-term economic benefits for St. Anthony and other communities in the area, but noted St. Lunaire-Griquet has seen some spinoff revenue.
“I know that this past summer they had a number of individuals in doing some testing and they hired a couple of local guides to help them out with their prospecting and their testing,” he said. “They stayed at one of the local accommodators down there. They’ve been here quite a while, so it seems to be a very serious project and they’re investing some money into it. We’ll see where it goes.”
For his part, Colin was unequivocal about the short-term prospects for the area, calling the area promising an extensive exploration programme continuing this August that will definitely have local benefits.
“We depend on all the people and the businesses of the resident community and spend funds locally for most of our living needs when we are undertaking an exploration programme… and much more,” he said. “I witnessed the same scenario when I was a director of Pelangio Mines where we were exploring the Detour Gold project in a remote part of Ontario, today one of Canada’s largest gold mines.
“We brought business spending to northern Ontario and hired locally as much as possible. It’s good for our neighbours and its fabulous common-sense business practice as Canadians.”
There are several other exploration programs going on in the area, including a big silver find near Roddickton. Whether or not the Gunners Cove gold mine gets off the ground, McDonald sees mining as one of the long-term components of future economic prosperity for the region.
“We’ve got some work being done at our port and there’s a large project being proposed for the harbour next door to us,” the mayor said. “Along with those and also the opening of a gold mine, what have you, all these components added together lends to a great future for the area.”
The province is also banking on mining being a significant component of Newfoundland and Labrador’s future prosperity.
“As part of The Way Forward, the province’s vision for sustainability and growth, our government has committed to partnering with key community stakeholders, Mining NL, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Prospectors Association to develop a responsible, sustainable and competitive framework for mining growth,” according to a statement from Siobhan Coady, minister of natural resources.
Preliminary testing of Gunners Cove samples also showed promising grades for silver, copper and molybdenum.