Perth-based Matador Mining (ASX: MZZ) continues to build the gold footprint at its large Cape Ray gold project in Newfoundland with more encouraging intersections at the Window Glass Hill prospect.
New assays include 8m at 5.5 grams per tonne gold from 43m down hole — and, significantly, drilled 70m outside the existing mineral resource area.
Another hole unearthed three separate gold zones, starting with 1m at 14.7g/t at 19m from surface, followed by 21m at 1g/t from 92m down hole, and then 1m at 4.5g/t from 122m.
Four separate gold intervals were hit in another hole, including 2m at 4.2g/t. The first interval was found just 18m down hole.
All results from the 2020 program have now been received and a 2021 exploration strategy will be released early in the June quarter.
The Cape Ray project consists of 120km of continuous strike in what the company describes as a “proven, yet under-explored multi-million ounce” resource.
Executive chairman Ian Murray says the assay results from Window Glass Hill continue to impress and highlight its resource potential.
“Coupled with the new discovery at depth, the company has multiple high-confidence drill targets at Window Glass Hill to test when exploration recommences next quarter,” he said.
Largest landholder along Cape Ray shear
Cape Ray was discovered in 1977 and has been explored by several mining companies, with more than 85,000m of drilling having been done (much of that before 1989).
The project is in the south-western area of the Canadian province of Newfoundland, 25km northeast of the coastal town of Port aux Basques.
Matador is the largest holder of ground along the Cape Ray shear, with its tenement boundary located approximately 50km along strike from Toronto-listed Marathon Gold’s 4.2-million-ounce Valentine Lake gold project.
In this latest release, Matador noted that in 2020 the drilling program extended mineralisation at Window Glass Hill along strike as well as discovering a new high-grade lode at depth.
Last month the company announced that its Angus prospect greenfield exploration target had increased the mineralised footprint by 300m to 450m.
Angus, where the first hole intersected 20m at 3.28g/t at 82m from surface, was the first new greenfield discovery at Cape Ray in more than 20 years
The deposit remains open in both directions.
“Multiple expansion drill targets have been identified at Window Glass Hill and will be targeted during the upcoming 2021 exploration season,” the company added.
Newfoundland — ‘Land of Gold’
Newfoundland is keen to attract explorers and is encouraging development of new mines, similar to fellow Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Both regions are underexplored and have been largely overlooked.
Newfoundland has a strong history of gold mining, but mainly this occurred between the late 1800s and 1940.
In fact, in 1933 Newfoundland — then an independent dominion within the Commonwealth, merging with Canada only in 1949 — issued a 75c airmail postage stamp “Newfoundland — Land of Gold” showing prospectors panning on a riverbank.
Part of the North America land rush
Matador’s move into Canada added to the growing spread of Australian miners in North America that gathered steam in 2019 and early 2020.
As the company pointed out in a presentation in early 2020, in just 18 months, Australian resources companies spent $3 billion getting set in North America, with $2.21 billion of that coming from just three players.
These were Northern Star (ASX: NST) with its outlay of $347 million for the Pogo gold mine in Alaska, Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) spending $1.1 billion for 70% of the Red Chris mine in British Columbia, and St Barbara (ASX: SBM) paying $768 million for Atlantic Gold’s mine in Nova Scotia.
At that time, juniors were also moving across the Pacific.
Vital Metals (ASX: VML) had acquired the Nechalacho rare earths project in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Broken Hill Prospecting, since renamed American Rare Earths (ASX: ARR), had picked up the La Paz rare earth project in Nevada.
Matador offers ‘cheap exposure’
Last month a client note from Melbourne-based broker Shaw and Partners said that Matador was trading at an enterprise value (EV) of $54 per ounce, compared to $122/oz for a basket of ASX-listed gold explorers.
The TSX-listed Marathon, Matador’s neighbour in Newfoundland, trades at an EV in Australian dollars of $167/oz.
“A$54/oz is more in line with explorers in Africa and Papua New Guinea,” the note added.
Another Toronto-list company, New Found Gold, is exploring 200km northeast of Cape Ray and has produced some high-grade hits including 19m at 92.9g/t and 4.75m at 41.2g/t.
Shaw’s analysts said that Matador offered “cheap exposure to [an] exciting new gold exploration program”.