The island of Newfoundland forms part of the Paleozoic Appalachian-Caledonian Orogenic Belt which on the island can be subdivided into distinct tectonostratigraphic zones including the Humber and Dunnage zones. These zone record the formation and destruction of the late Precambrian – early Paleozoic Iapetus Ocean. The Humber Zone represents the passive continental margin of Paleozoic North America and it comprises shelf-facies carbonate and siliciclastic rocks deposited upon crystalline Precambrian basement. The Dunnage Zone is often referred to as the vestiges of Iapetus as it contains sequences of ophiolitic and volcanic, volcaniclastic and sedimentary rocks of island arc and back-arc origins.
The Baie Verte Peninsula occupies portions of both the Humber and Dunnage zones which are separated by a major arcuate, structural zone known as the Baie Verte Line. The Dunnage Zone comprises: i) Cambro-Ordovician ophiolitic sequences, the Baie Verte Oceanic Tract; ii) Ordovician volcanic/volcaniclastic cover sequences; iii) Silurian terrestrial volcanic and sedimentary rocks, which unconformably overlie the Ordovician sequences; and iv) Siluro-Devonian intrusive rocks. The protracted interaction between the Baie Verte Line and the sequences lying mainly to its east produced the prolific gold occurrences of the Baie Verte Belt.
Local Geological Setting
The Point Rousse Project is underlain by Cambro-Ordovician ophiolitic and cover-sequence rocks of the Point Rousse Complex, which is part of the Baie Verte Oceanic Tract. The Point Rousse Complex comprises a dismembered ophiolite sequence conformably overlain by a mafic volcanic–volcaniclastic cover sequence. The ophiolitic Point Rousse Complex consists of ultramafic and gabbroic rocks, sheeted dykes, and mafic volcanic rocks. The cover sequence consists of: banded magnetite and jasper iron formation (including the Goldenville Horizon); mafic volcanic rocks including high-Ti tholeiitic basalts; calc-alkaline basalt, clinopyroxene-phyric tuff and tuff breccia; and mafic epiclastic wackes and conglomerates. This cover sequence is correlated regionally with the Snooks Arm Group and where practical the formational nomenclature of the Snooks Arm Group is applied.
The Point Rousse Complex lies in the core of the Baie Verte Flexure where the Baie Verte Line swings abruptly from a northeast-southwest to an approximately east-west orientation. Internally the complex is disposed in a broad, generally east-trending, structurally-modified synclinorium. Ophiolitic plutonic rocks lie to the north and south of the cover sequence which is exposed in the core of the syncline. The ophiolitic components are confined to structural blocks bounded by high angle and thrust faults which dip moderately to the northwest. The rocks of the Point Rousse Complex have been affected by at least four phases of regional deformation, D1 – D4. The main deformational event resulted from south-directed thrusting, accompanied by folding and shearing, of the Point Rousse Complex. This thrusting occurred along several parallel west-trending south directed reverse faults culminating with the Scrape Thrust, a ductile shear zone that juxtaposes the Point Rousse Complex over the Pacquet Harbour Group. South-southeast to south-trending transverse faults that dissect the west-trending thrust and reverse faults may represent lateral ramps or tear faults. Deformational fabrics related to this event have been affected by at least two younger events that have folded the older features.
The Point Rousse Complex is host to both orogenic-style gold and volcanogenic sulphide mineralization. Anaconda has identified three mineralized trends within the Point Rousse Project: the Scrape Trend, the Goldenville Trend, and the Deer Cove Trend. The majority of known gold occurrences including the significant deposits all sit within these trends. Gold mineralization appears to be largely restricted to the cover sequence rocks and is best developed in titanomagnetite-rich mafic intrusive or volcanic rocks and oxide-facies banded-iron formation. Leucoxene is common to most of the occurrences and its presence and genesis is thought to play a crucial role in host rock preparation. Known gold occurrences with the ophiolitic rocks of the Point Rousse Complex are few and typically small.
The gold is structurally controlled and localized within deformation zones subsidiary (2nd or 3rd order features) to major regional structures. These structures are generally pre- or syn-D2 since the mineralization is folded by F3 and F4 folds. Typically the variation in rock type, and resultant rheological contrast during deformation, appears to play an important role in mineralization since it is commonly the more competent of the rocks present which host gold.
The gold occurs as either quartz vein-hosted as in the Romeo and Juliet prospect and the Deer Cove Main Zone, or as disseminated (altered-wall rock) style mineralization as in the Pine Cove and Stog’er Tight deposits. In the latter the gold is intimately associated with pyrite either within the host rock or within accompanying quartz-carbonate veins. At the Goldenville Mine quartz veins with narrow auriferous-pyritic halos are developed within the oxide-facies banded-iron formation and are typical of Banded Iron Formation (BIF) gold deposits.
The Point Rousse gold mineralization typically exhibits a relatively narrow, but distinctive alteration halo dominated by Fe-carbonate, albite, sericite, chlorite and leucoxene. The ore mineralogy is relatively simple and is generally comprised of either free gold or as gold coating fractures/grain boundaries in pyrite. Silver and base metals can be present in minor amounts and the deposits typically contain only trace arsenopyrite. These deposits are typically non-acid generating due to the abundance of carbonate.
Volcanic rocks of the cover sequence have the potential to host volcanogenic sulphide mineralization similar to the Rambler Deposits in the Pacquet Harbour Group. The Barry and Cunningham prospect, which is located on the coast approximately 2.5 km north of the community of Ming’s Bight, consists of small lenses of copper-rich massive sulphide mineralization. Zones of semi-massive to massive pyrite are also associated with the numerous bands of iron formation within the cover sequence.
Anaconda’s primary goals are to extend and increase gold production within the Point Rousse Project. The Company has implemented an exploration strategy that includes exploring to: expand the known resources adjacent to the Pine Cove deposit; expand historical resources at the Stog’er Tight Deposit; increase the potential resources at prospects such as Romeo and Juliet, Corkscrew, the Deer Cove Main Zone and Anoroc; and make new discoveries, such as the Argyle zone.
The Point Rousse Project contains a complete pipeline from grass roots exploration to the producing Pine Cove mine. The Company’s approach is to advance projects through the exploration, development and production stages while leveraging the existing infrastructure such as the Pine Cove mill and tailings storage facility. Each individual deposit and prospect is assessed in light of reaching the Company’s goals of increasing the project mining life and an increase of production.
Exploration efforts are focused on three primary prospective gold trends, which have approximately 20 km of cumulative strike length and include two deposits and numerous prospects and showings, all within 8 km of the Pine Cove mill. The three trends include the Scrape trend, the Goldenville trend and the Deer Cove trend.
From 2007 to 2012 Anaconda’s exploration efforts focused mainly on the Pine Cove mine area and were limited to small diamond drilling programs targeting specific areas of the deposit. The Company began to assemble the Point Rousse Project in 2012 and since then it has completed 15,899.42 m of drilling in 140 drill holes. This includes drilling at the: Pine Cove Mine, Stog’er Tight Deposit, Romeo and Juliet prospect; and the Deer Cove Main Zone. More specifically, the Company, since 2012, has conducted the following exploration activities:
- An airborne DIGHEM magnetic and Electromagnetic survey including 725.2 line km at a 100 m line spacing (2012).
- An initial compilation of historical soil samples, ground magnetics and geology over the project area (2012).
- 12,908.93 m of diamond drilling in 89 holes on the Pine Cove deposit.
- Twenty five trenches and test pits and 200 m of channel samples in the area between Pine Cove and Romeo and Juliet (2012).
- 2,004 m of diamond drilling in 19 holes on the Romeo and Juliet prospect.
- 2,100.72 m of diamond drilling in 17 holes on the Deer Cove deposit (2014).
- 2,486.54 m of diamond drilling in 39 holes on the Stog’er Tight deposit (2014 and 2015).
- 121.75 m of channel samples from 12 trenches in the Stog’er North area (2014).
- Collection of 2,494 soil samples in the Argyle and Goldenville areas (2012 and 2014).
- 205.41 m of channel samples from 13 trenches in the Argyle area (2014 and 2015).
- Reprocessing of historical ground magnetic, VLF and IP surveys (2012 and 2015).
- Compilation of remaining geological and geochemical data sets for the project area (2015).