Gold explorer Ardiden (ASX: ADV) has secured an additional 165 square kilometres of highly-prospective acreage adjoining its Pickle Lake gold project in the Uchi sub-province of north-western Ontario.
The new property is known as Fry-McVean and directly adjoins Ardiden’s high-grade Dorothy-Dobie prospect where the company recently announced historical high-grade results over a 25km strike length with drill intercepts of up to 472.8 grams per tonne gold and broad mineralised intercepts including 20.65m at 3.5g/t gold.
Fry-McVean boosts Ardiden’s landholding to 664sqkm and it is now believed to be the largest in the Canadian province, comparable in size to the world-class Red Lake gold district which has produced more than 30 million ounces to date.
The tenure comprises a significant regional structural zone running east-west across its 20km width and includes multiple deformation zones such as crustal scale folding and shearing structures.
These structures are believed to be conducive to the production of deep geological features capable of transporting gold bearing fluids.
Managing director Rob Longley said the additional landholding provides Ardiden with “truly exciting” discovery opportunities within a large exploration portfolio in a tier one jurisdiction.
“The Pickle Lake project area has been vastly unexplored and is ripe for [us] to apply modern exploration methods systematically across the landholding,” he said.
“This affords [us] a significant opportunity to progressively build a considerable high-grade gold resource over time.”
Ardiden’s connected gold properties at Pickle Lake represent a district-scale package with multiple structures identified which are known to be favourable for gold mineralisation.
Full ownership of the area has enabled the company to compile available geophysical surveys and to reprocess these using modern software techniques.
“We are now able to view this project through a completely new lens,” Mr Longley said.
“We have barely scratched the surface of the prospective strike length where favourable lithologies and structures have now been identified through the use of reprocessed geophysics and drill core examination.”
Ardiden has an existing high-grade inferred resource estimate of 110,000 ounce gold (790,000t at 4.3g/t gold) at the Kasagiminnis target within the Pickle Lake portfolio.
Subject to final approvals and prevailing COVID-19 restrictions, the company said it would prioritise another round of drilling to extend the resource.
Meanwhile, Ardiden’s technical team is using the current period of remote working to re-interpret data sets and develop exploration targets based on identifying known geological settings which host significant gold mineralisation at nearby mining and exploration projects within the neighbouring Uchi greenstone sub-province.
Gold mines and deposits within the area are believed to be associated with a combination of known lithological and structural settings including dilation zones, fold hinges, deformation zones and unconformities, all of which have been identified at Pickle Lake.
“Our work continues to identify the best areas for follow-up exploration across the broader project area which will involve additional ground and airborne geophysics together with test and resource definition drilling,” Mr Longley said.
“[We believe] the exploration and resource definition work undertaken so far at Kasagiminnis is just the start of a much larger project.”