Following a busy March quarter preparing, Canada-focused Matador Mining (ASX: MZZ) has kicked off the 2021 exploration season at its Cape Ray gold project in Newfoundland with $8 million in cash to fund its plans.
The exploration program is starting three months earlier than previous years, and the company anticipates it will continue through the northern winter and into 2022.
It will also be Matador’s largest ever diamond drill program with more than 20,000m planned. This year also represents the company’s first ever winter program at Cape Ray.
The project hosts 120km of continuous strike in a multi-million-ounce gold province.
“Following our successful 2020 exploration season, we are excited to start this year’s program in what is shaping up to be the largest undertaken by the company,” Matador executive chairman Ian Murray said.
“Significant planning occurred during the northern winter season to allow for the early start of the drilling campaign, and I would like to thank our geological team and in-country contractors for the effort they have put in.”
Mr Murray said the company hoped to both grow resources and make new discoveries.
“Preliminary work on the first of nine new high priority target areas is underway.”
“Importantly, each of these target areas is within only 15km of existing mineral resources and our central project area.”
He added the 2021 exploration season “promises to be an exciting one for the company on a number of fronts” with ongoing news flow.
Near mine and greenfield targets
In the 2021 program, Matador will attempt to grow its existing mineral resource which stands at 840,000 ounces of contained gold at 2 grams per tonne.
The program will initially focus on targets identified from the 2020 field season and a review of those results.
Priority targets include Window Glass Hill, the Angus discovery, and Isle aux Morts.
To firm up greenfield targets, Matador will carry out a 30m-line spaced heli-magnetic survey which will focus on a 45km section of the tenement package from Big Pond in the southwest to Benton Five in the northeast.
Interpretation of the data will assist Matador with refining and ranking targets for drilling.
The aim of the greenfield program is to generate longer-term drill targets.
Preparation for current program
During the March 2021 quarter, Matador continued planning for the exploration program that was announced today.
The company also received final assays from what it describes as a “highly successful” season in 2020.
This program uncovered Matador’s best ever drill intercept at Cape Ray which returned 18m at 11g/t gold from 7m at the Isle aux Morts prospect.
Other results from Isle aux Morts were 19m at 4.6g/t gold, 15m at 2.5g/t gold and 6.6m at 2.6g/t gold.
Over at Window Glass Hill, final assays were 10.5m at 2.4g/t gold from 58.5m and 7.1m at 6.9g/t gold from 118.5m.
All-up, the 2020 program comprised 75 diamond drill holes for 10,768m and included greenfield, extensional and infill targets.
A scoping study was published in May last year on Cape Ray.
The study found the project could host an initial seven year operation, with a rapid 1.75 year payback.
Life of mine all in sustaining costs of US$776 per ounce of gold were estimated.
Matador’s Europe and North America listings
According to Matador it has received mounting enquiries from investors globally.
As a result, the company plans to list on European-based and US trading platforms “in the coming week”.
Matador anticipates the multiple listings will increase investor awareness of its activities in new jurisdictions.
In Europe, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange will host Matador under the ticker FSE: MA3.
Matador noted about 8% of the company’s share register are European investors.
In the US, Matador will list on the OTC market under the code MZZMF.
This listing is to meet “increased demand” from North American investors who want to purchase shares in their own currency and time zone.