By Rose Ragsdale
For Mining News 

Proven hunter scents possible gold giant

New Break readies 2024 exploration campaign in Nunavut North of 60 Mining News - February 2, 2024

 

Last updated 2/1/2024 at 1:01pm

A colorful sundog encircles the sun over a frozen plain in Canada’s North.

Adobe Stock

New Break's Sundog gold project is named after a phenomena that occurs when sunlight refracts off of ice crystals in the air.

As Nunavut officials hail the Canadian government's recent decision to grant devolution to the country's newest territory, one junior explorer is planning to undertake a summer exploration program this year that highlights the extraordinary mineral prospectivity of the Far North jurisdiction.

Toronto-based New Break Resources Ltd. recently reported encouraging assays from rock chip and grab samples recovered by an exploration team during a September visit to its Sundog gold property in the highly prospective Kivalliq region.

New Break also reported its intention to follow up on the results in 2024 with a significant exploration program.

The company said it identified new gold-bearing structures on the property, with half of eight rock chip and grab samples taken in 2023 grading higher than 7.5 grams per metric ton gold, including one rock chip sample grading 9.68 g/t gold.

New Break's field team included famed Canadian prospector Ken Reading, who visited the remote property about a month before his 94th birthday.

"The results of New Break's September trip to Sundog exceeded our expectations," said New Break Resources Vice President of Exploration Bill Love. "The assays from the limited sampling program confirmed the existence of high-grade gold at surface, including visible gold in the trench 10 sample and new gold-bearing structures, which were located with very little effort."

Reading also confirmed that no historical glacial movement has occurred at Sundog, meaning the gold found in the overlying surface rubble reflects in-situ gold and not a glacial dispersion train. This "significantly increases our ability to target planned drilling," Love explained. "The evidence of coarse gold also has the potential to yield a higher average resource grade (assuming) a mineral resource is ultimately estimated in the future."

"Combined with the historical assay results at Sundog, these results confirm that in addition to New Break's Moray property in Ontario, the company has another significant Canadian gold exploration property of merit," he added.

An underexplored region

Situated about 370 kilometers (249 miles) from Rankin Inlet on Nunavut's Hudson Bay coast, Sundog is comprised of a parcel AR-35 of Inuit Owned Lands and covers roughly 9,415 hectares (23,265 acres). The surface rights are managed by the Kivalliq Inuit Association, and the administration of mineral rights is managed by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

The area represents an under-explored part of the Henik Group, central Ennadai-Rankin Archean greenstone belt near the Henik Lake and Kognak River map sheets. This 700- by 200-kilometer (430 by 124 miles) greenstone belt is one of Canada's largest, second only to the Abitibi greenstone belt in Ontario and Quebec, which has yielded over 180 million oz gold.

The Sundog property hosts high-grade surface gold exposures over at least a 2,500- by 500-meter area, including two banded iron formations on the property with the potential for gold mineralization similar to those found at Agnico Eagle Mines' Meadowbank and Meliadine properties in Nunavut. The Ennadai-Rankin greenstone belt has the potential to host giant mineral deposits.

Between October 1981 and September 1985, the nearby historic Cullaton Lake Mine produced 100,000 oz gold from 383,000 short tons averaging 8.95 g/t gold.

The Sundog property was discovered in 1961 by H. Macdonald, a prospector working for Selco Exploration Co. Ltd. Grab samples from quartz veins associated with the original 1962 Macdonald Showing assayed up to 102.9 g/t gold.

In June 1986, Reading visited the property on behalf of Abermin Corp. and collected nine grab samples located in Pit 1 (now Trench 29), includingone sample that returned 62.8 g/t gold and 8.6 g/t silver.

Two months later, a field crew conducted a nine-day sampling program from the Sundog trenches, which included 26 rock samples and 13 panned concentrate samples that yielded spectacular visible gold in rock rubble from Trench 29 and from Pit 2 (now Trench 17). Trench 17 yielded the best assays of 39.1 g/t gold from a grab sample and 206.7 g/t gold in panned concentrate. The gold was associated both with the quartz veins and as fine disseminations in highly altered volcanics, volcaniclastics and schists.

Summarizing Abermin's further exploration results in a 1988 report, David Reid, the company's senior geologist, reported: "A significant amount of coarse gold exists both in samples containing gold prior to the metallics analysis and also in samples considered to be background in concentration."

A living legacy

Reading's return to Sundog in 2023, almost a decade after his last visit, marks his involvement with the property spanning nearly half of his nearly 80-year career in mineral exploration.

New Break said Reading's prospecting experience in the Arctic may be unmatched, given his track record of seeking various minerals over the years for Pan Ocean Oil Ltd., and mostly gold for Abermin, Homestake Mineral Development Corp. on what is now New Break's SY property in Kivalliq, and for Comaplex Minerals Corp.

The company noted that Reading's groundbreaking exploration work and report led to the discovery of the Tiriruniak gold deposit, which is known today as the Meliadine mine, operated by Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.

"The world will never see another Ken Reading," observed Love. "At age 94, his prospecting mind is as sharp as ever. He is quite literally a living database of knowledge as it relates to gold exploration in Nunavut."

The significant mineral potential of the Sundog project is what led New Break to target Nunavut for gold exploration starting in 2020. In June 2021, New Break purchased all of Reading's historical library of exploration data, which includes information on both the Sundog and Sy gold projects but also on areas only previously known to Reading.

"Ken has emphasized that you drill where you find gold, as was the case at Meliadine, and New Break's Sundog property has a lot of gold at surface. And Sundog has yielded high-grade gold assays from samples taken from outcrops and trenches exhibiting visible gold, that have never been tested through drilling," Love added.

Next Exploration steps

Subject to regulatory approvals from Nunavut and Inuit officials, New Break plans to undertake an exploration program at Sundog this summer with the following objectives:

Systematically sample potential gold-bearing structures and in-situ veins.

Complete drone magnetics and very-low-frequency geophysical surveys.

Complete reconnaissance mapping and sampling at Sundog.

Further define gold-bearing systems between fine and coarse gold environments.

Complete a preliminary drilling program on the Sundog property, the first of its kind.

Miners welcome devolution

Canadian and territorial officials Jan. 18 signed the Nunavut Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement, which transfers management and responsibility of the territory's lands and resources to the Government of Nunavut.

Map of the Sundog, Noomut, Sy, and Angikuni Lake gold properties in Nunavut.

New Break Resources Ltd.

New Break's portfolio of Nunavut gold exploration projects.

The territory's mining sector welcomed the move, saying Nunavut residents will now have greater say in how their lands and resources are managed.

NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines says devolution "provides opportunities to strengthen governance and accountability, create new economic opportunities and revenue streams and ultimately achieve economic self-reliance."

"Maintaining and growing a strong minerals industry is critical to Nunavut's economic self-reliance," said Kenny Rupashi, president of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines. "Keeping this economic engine strong is imperative for Nunavut's continued journey towards economic self-reliance."

Mining and mineral development accounted for nearly half of the 25-year-old territory's GDP in 2022, the highest reliance of any jurisdiction in Canada on the resource sector, the chamber noted.

 

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