Labrador Gold has wrapped up the first phase of detailed exploration for its Hopedale project and is optimistic about the gold deposits in the Florence Lake greenstone belt.
“What we saw out there was certainly encouraging,” Roger Moss, Labrador Gold CEO, told The Labradorian. “Overall, I’m pretty optimistic we’ll come up with some good results.”
In a press release issued last week, the company detailed its summer program of soil sampling, rock sampling, geological mapping and prospecting noting a particularly promising area known as the Thurber Dog gold showings.
Preliminary results from fall field work in 2017 on Thurber Dog samples indicated concentrations of up to 7.87 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold in the area. The World Gold Council defines a high grade gold occurrence as 8 to 10 g/t.
The company has another round of field work scheduled for September.
Marjorie Flowers, the mayor of Hopedale, is cautiously optimistic about the long-term prospects for economic development.
“(The company) did come and have one meeting,” she said. “They are hoping to turn it into a mine, but it’s really going to be based on the results of their findings.”
The company has not yet seen results from nearly 8,000 soil samples and some 300 rock samples taken in July and August, Moss said.
Aside from the 2017 sampling results, there is cause for optimism.
“It’s a fairly unique situation, in that the rocks we’re looking at there, basically comprise a greenstone belt; elsewhere in the world, greenstone belts are usually quite prolific hosts of gold mineralization,” Moss said.
That, he said, makes it easier to explain the potential of the project to investors and other stakeholders and why the company is currently focussed on Hopedale rather than its other properties near Nain and Ashunanipi (north of Labrador City near the Quebec border), which are more geologically complicated.
Meanwhile, even in the exploration phase, Hopedale is seeing some economic benefit in the form of local employment and sourcing of goods and services.
Flowers said the company hired a cook and cook’s assistants as well as field assistants from the town for this summer’s work.
“Anything that brings money into the town, I think is a positive experience for a town that really has very little resources economically,” she said.
Not everyone agrees it is positive. The mayor noted that attitudes toward Labrador Gold’s presence are mixed.
“Some people say it’s good, some people say it’s not,” she said.
Moss said the company’s local sourcing extends economic benefits to Labrador in general as they are using Air Borealis and Universal Helicopters out of Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
He is also encouraged by Labrador Gold’s engagement with the Nunatsiavut government as the Hopedale property lies within the Inuit Land Claims Settlement area.
“We have a pretty close relationship with them,” he said. “All in all, it seems like they’re pretty happy with what we’re doing.”
Gold prices have been declining throughout 2018 and Labrador Gold’s stock price has taken a bit of a hit, but Moss says is not worried about that.
“The gold price has gone down a bit and gold companies generally haven’t been doing too well, but in that kind of environment, I think our stock price is holding up pretty good,” he said. “And I think when we get our results back, we should have some results that will generate some excitement.”