NSGold Corp (NSX – $0.10) is commencing a new drill program at its 100% owned Mooseland Gold Project in Nova Scotia, Canada. Contrary to the previous drill campaigns in 2010 and 2011, the Company will now concentrate on gold bearing veins within 75 metres from the surface.
NSGold will drill ten to twelve holes ranging from 50 to 75 meters in length on the West Zone of Mooseland to evaluate the potential for open pit mining. Drilling will commence shortly and first results may be announced before the end the year.
Open Pit Versus Underground Mining
It’s important to know that at Mooseland, similar to many other deposits, gold occurs within a so-called Meguma structure with steeply dipping limbs. It’s best to imagine these structures as inverted U’s. In the image below, from the West Zone on the Mooseland property, these gold bearing structures can be seen very clearly.
Cross section of the West Zone at Mooseland with the obvious inverted U-shape gold bearing veins.
In past drill campaigns, the objective was to drill through both ‘limbs’ of the inverted U’s. As a result, the drill rigs had to be placed away from the center of the gold bearing structures (see encircled red zone 1).
In the current campaign, the drill rigs will be placed where the veins come closest to the surface (see encircled blue zone 2). This has a couple of advantages.
- Because the holes don’t have to be so deep to intersect the veins, drilling will be much less expensive;
- When enough gold is found to be mined, this can be done with a straightforward open pit, while the deeper veins have to be mined underground, which is again much more expensive.
The gold veins very near the surface were, by the way, what attracted the old miners to Mooseland in 1858, making it the very first gold mine in Nova Scotia (pdf).
NSGold continues to advance Mooseland. Although the property already has a significant resource of 454,000 ounces of gold, there’s still good potential to add ounces by doing more drilling. The current resource of the West Zone, for example, is located within a 250 metres strike length, while gold values have been obtained along the full 1,000 metres strike length. So that leaves a 750 metres underexplored area along strike.
Additionally, now the Company wants to determine how it can make the most of a potential open pit operation.
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