Beaufield Resources is advancing its 100% owned Opinaca Project located in James Bay, Quebec. The property is adjacent to the new world-class Éléonore gold mine which Goldcorp is slated to bring into production towards the end of 2014.
Surface exploration has uncovered multiple gold showings over a 2 kilometre long trend in the northern portion of the property. Follow-up drilling has intersected several gold zones with the best result being 1.1 g/t over 20 metres (press release of June 5th, 2006) ). High grade molybdenium and anomalous copper and gold has also been identified in the northern portion of the property, which may be indicative of porphyry-style mineralization.
Location and Infrastructure
Located within the Opinaca reservoir in James Bay, Quebec, the property is adjacent to Goldcorp, where the world-class Éléonore gold mine is set to enter production in late 2014. The mine is planned to produce over 600,000 ounces of gold per year and to date contains over 5.3 million ounces of gold.
Goldcorp has been adding key new infrastructure to the area, including an all weather road, an airfield and power lines. The new road passes only 5 kilometres north of Beaufield’s boundary and allows much easier access to the property.
Geology and Resources
The property is situated in the Superior province, within the Lower Eastmain Greenstone Belt, near the northern contact between the La Grande and the Opinaca Sub-Provinces. The different lithologies found on the property include volcanics, mostly metabasalt with minor intermediate to felsic tuffs, sediments (conglomerates and graywackes with slivers of siltstones and mudstone) and intermediate (diorite) to felsic (pegmatite and tonalite) intrusive rocks.
To date, most of the anomalous gold values obtained on the Opinaca property are from The Vortex Zone discovered in 2005. The alteration zone, which is characterized by a tourmalinized and amphibolitized basalt, mineralized in arsenopyrite and pyrrhotite, can be followed over 2 kilometres. This mineralized basalt is similar in mineralization (pyrrhotite and arsenopyrite) and in alteration (tourmalinization) to the Goldcorp’s Eleonore gold discovery.
Geological mapping of the area started in 1947, but it is during the summer of 1964, that while a Noranda exploration team was working on the Eastmain River approximately 80 kilometres south, reports by local Natives of copper mineralization lead a party to the Ell Lake area. Floats and outcrop material containing copper mineralization was discovered on the west Shore of Ell Lake. The showing was subsequently called the “Ell Lake Showing”. Exploration continued throughout the 1960s and focused mainly on copper mineralization which was deemed insufficient to warrant any further exploration.
In 2001, Virginia Mines began a surface exploration of the area which permitted the discovery of a gold-rich boulder. Further work to uncover the source of this boulder eventually led to the Eléonore discovery in 2004. This event was followed by a huge staking rush in the region. Beaufield Resources was one of the first companies to stake ground in the area and ended up acquiring a property close to Virginia’s discovery and within a favorable geological setting.
Beaufield initiated exploration on its Opinaca property in the early part of 2005 with line cutting (63,3 km) followed by a magnetometer (63.3 km) survey on the central-east part of the property. During the summer of the same year, a shoreline geological reconnaissance program and additional magnetometer (71.7 km) surveys were carried out on the North and Southwest portions of the property. Geological mapping and rock sampling covered most of the channel area during this time.
During the winter of 2005-2006, a 9 hole diamond drill program totalling 2600 metres was realized on the property where hole OP-06-01 obtained the best results with 1.1 g/t Au over 20m. The drill program permitted to confirm the presence of gold mineralization associated with alteration and arsenic values within the volcanic units in the NE part of the property and also the gold anomalous values associated with Copper values in the gneissic intrusive bodies in the North part of the property.
In the summer of 2006, surface exploration focused on the areas where gold showings where discovered during the previous summer. Numerous new gold showings along the Channel zone where located in the central portion of the property. Grab samples ranged from 13.7 g/t Au to 1.1 g/t Au. Two new showings (Kessel and Ylesia) areas where discovered in the northwest portion of the property. A grab sample from a coastal outcrop obtain 6.5 g/t Au, 33.6 g/t Ag, 1.36% Cu and 12% Mo (press release of November 14th, 2006) and another sample further north obtained 4.3 g/t Au and 28.7g/t Ag. ((press release of September 29th, 2006). Both were within in a series of quartz veins hosted in a diorite over a distance of 350 metres.
In 2013, a drill program was undertaken on the property targeting strong induced polarization targets coincident with gold mineralization; possible extension at depth of gold mineralization at surface and of previous drilling results; highly anomalous gold, copper and arsenic soils samples indicative a possible underlying mineralization.
Drilling in the northern portion of the property located prospective geology for new discoveries. Hole OP-13-25 encountered monzonite (with porphyry of potassic felspar) intruding the same type of sedimentary rock which host the Eleonore deposit. Pegmatite dykes are also present. Finely disseminated chalcopyrite (about 1%) and associated with quartz veins occur in several intersections with significant widths of anomalous copper, silver and gold, indicative of porphyry-style mineralization.
Molybdenum showings located one kilometre northwest of this area also tend corroborate the porphyry-style mineralization. A recent grab sample from this area returned 1.29% Molybdenum. The northern portion of the property shows features of porphyry-type mineralization. Such features include sericite alteration, locally very-fine veins in stockwerk, silver and copper anomalies. Previous work has also shown significant molybdenum mineralization (up to 12% Molybdenum) in the same area (press release of March 23rd, 2007). This porphyry intrusion (monzonite) is in contact with Eleonore-type sedimentary rocks and remains to be tested.
Exploration and Outlook
Further exploration of the property will concentrate on its northern portion of the main block and newly acquired claim further east. Goldcorp is adding infrastructure to the area which will allow Beaufield easier access to its property and lower exploration costs.