Shining Tree (Gold)
- Location: Shining Tree, Ontario, Canada
- Land package: 23,242 ha (232 km2)
- Target commodities: Gold, Silver, Copper
The Shining Tree Project is a distict-scale gold property. It covers a large section of the Ridout Tyrrell deformation zone (RTDZ) which trends as far west as Newmont’s Borden Mine, through the area of IAMGOLD’s Cote Gold deposit, and across Aris Gold’s Juby Project.
- Property includes one historical gold producer and over 30 underground developments and prospects.
- Drill hole HU89-08 intersected 35.4m grading 1.1g/t Au
- 620 gold-in-till samples have identified a provincially significant gold dispersion train with indications of the source areas coinciding with the RTDZ
- 40 IP anomalies have been identified on the property for follow up and 16 of these coincide with the RTDZ.
- Current work focused on exploration targets around historic deposits including Herrick, Churchill/Corona and Ronda as well as generating new exploration targets in highly prospective and underexplored areas of vast land package including the RTDZ.
Location and Access
The Shining Tree property is located near the small town of Shining Tree approximately 100 km southeast of Timmins and 125 km north of Sudbury. Access is via Hwy 560 which runs directly through the property. The property is well serviced with infrastructure and is accessible for exploration 12 months of the year.
Gold was first discovered in Shining Tree in 1911 which led to a gold rush and a proliferation of small, high grade, claim holdings. Many of these, over 30 on the property, were developed underground by shafts and drifts. This first phase of exploration resulted in production from the Ronda Mine, but in 1940 all operations were shut down for the war effort. A land dispute after the war suppressed much of the exploration until 1995. The bulk of the work on the Shining Tree property since that time has been carried out by Platinex.
Geology and Mineralization
On a regional scale the property is located within the prolific Abitibi greenstone belt which is renowned for its concentration of world-class gold and Cu-Zn-Ag-Au deposits. Such lode and orogenic gold deposits are spatially and genetically associated with major trans-crustal structures which separate terrains of different ages and persist to the mantle of the Earth.
The Shining Tree property is underlain by the Ridout-Tyrrell Deformation Zone (RTDZ), which is such a trans-crustal structure, along which several world-class gold deposits are spatially and genetically associated. The Shining Tree property is also centred on the axis of a regional gravity high signifying an area of thick supracrustal rocks and under-plating by oceanic crust. In the Abitibi these associations are conducive to the discovery of major gold deposits. In fact, the Shining Tree property is situated on the strongest gravity anomaly in the entire gold belt of several hundred kilometres length.
The RTDZ mainly separates the older Keewatin Volcanic Assemblages (2.704 to 2.760 million years) from the younger Porcupine Assemblages (2.680 to 2.690 million years) in Shining Tree area. The Porcupine Assemblages comprise felsic intrusions, conglomerate and turbidites and calc- alkaline to alkali volcanics. The RTDZ is associated with second and third stage deformation in the area. Several NNW trending regional late faults associated with fourth stage deformation also cross the Shining Tree property and offset the RTDZ six km to the left.
Gold mineralization is associated with three or four stages of deformation. A total of 30 prospects and developments on the property have explored principally lode gold deposits on the property with production having been achieved at the Ronda Mine in 1939-1940. Not so well explored but evidenced by the abundance of fine grained gold in glacial till, orogenic gold is believed associated with the RTDZ and associated splay faults. There is significant potential for the property to host one or more Tier 1 gold deposits especially associated with the RTDZ.
The property is underlain by an Early Precambrian assemblage of WNW trending, steeply dipping felsic to mafic and ultramafic metavolcanic rocks as well as metasedimentary rocks and alkali metavolcanic rocks of Porcupine age. These rocks are intruded by pre-orogenic feldspar porphyries and hypabyssal diabase dikes and sills of Nipissing Age. The Porcupine aged metasedimentary rocks are believed to have accumulated in a regional rift. Later south to north compressive faulting along the axis of this rift has been identified as the Ridout-Tyrrell Deformation Zone. Major NNW sinistral wrench faults, including the Michiwakenda Lake Fault which crosses the Shining Tree property, are regional in scale. Related subsidiary parallel shears and possible splays carry significant gold mineralization on the Shining Tree property.
At least three ages of gold mineralization are known on the property with coarse gold having been found in some of the older vein deposits which are in abundance. The RTDZ mineralization is estimated at 2676.5 to 2677.5 Ga in age and the possibly related Herrick and Ronda Mine deposits are believed associated with the younger transpressive structures.
Gold in Till
Prospecting for gold by sampling glacial till on the property has identified a provincially significant gold dispersion train. Related anomalous pathfinder elements and minerals have also been identified and are correlative with the gold indicators. The study has enhanced geological mapping through identification of the cobbles and boulders in the till.
Of critical note is that the high gold counts are providing targets for follow up exploration along the Ridout-Tyrrell Deformation Zone (RTDZ) and associated splay faults. Due to the measured quantity of fine gold in the till fines and the high gold grain counts in the till there is a high potential to locate one or more Tier 1 gold deposits.
Compilation of all gold in till grain counts and analyses of geochemical data in the till have been completed on the property. A total of 620 glacial till samples within a 14 km long and 9 km wide, 90 km2 gold dispersion train reveal significant gold grain counts and 397 gold in till fines analyses for gold indicating that one or more potential significant sources of gold were scraped by Wisconsinan glaciation. The average grade of the till samples derived from the gold in fines analyses is 11.79 parts per billion gold (equivalent to 0.01179 g/t Au) and is derived from samples from much of the gold dispersion area. From test pitting, by hand and with a backhoe to collect the till samples, the till ranges in depth from 0.5m to 1.75m and averages approximately 1.5m thick.
From all gold in till work on the Shining Tree property and published data nearby a total of 766 till samples have been collected of which 312 samples have returned gold particle counts equal to or greater than 10 grains, 105 samples with counts equal to or greater than 25 grains, and 23 samples with counts equal to or greater than 50 grains.
Herrick Gold Deposit
The Herrick gold deposit discovered in 1918 has been developed by a shaft to 94 metres and some 345 m of lateral development by several operators between 1918 and 1940. The property was re-examined on surface by Unocal in 1989 and later Fort Knox Resources before Platinex acquired property in 2008.
Gold mineralization at the Herrick Deposit is associated with quartz veins, pyrite, tourmaline and arsenopyrite, with better gold values often occurring in pyritic quartz vein breccias. The quartz veins occur along a north-south trending zone of high strain that has displaced trachytic volcanic rocks and clastic sedimentary rocks and provided a conduit for hydrothermal fluids. Exploration work by Unocal Canada Ltd. delineated this high strain zone along a strike length of 300 metres and a maximum width of 80 metres.
Very high-grade shoots were defined in surface channel sampling, sampling in the shaft, underground on the level at 90 m and in four drill holes by Herrick Gold Mines from 1918 onwards. In 1989 Unocal drilled 11 holes for 1,473m, cut over 201 channel samples and took 35 composite grab samples on the two veins to test a stated potential, solely from historic data, of the system to carry 1,732 tonnes per vertical foot at 7.2 g Au /t over a width of 1.8 m and 50% dilution. Surface sample gold values of up to 56.5g per tonne /1.0 m (45 samples) were reported.
Platinex has drilled 51 holes for 6,190m on the Herrick deposit. All but one of the holes have returned gold values and the deposit has been tested along a 400m strike length and to 300m depth. It is open in all directions. The Company has completed in-house resource estimate work (non-compliant 43-101).
The geology of the Herrick area is interpreted to be dominantly Porcupine age. Regional mapping (Ayer et al 2002) indicated that a thick sequence of Porcupine-age sediment is located just to the north of the area. Property scale work by Unocal Canada Limited revealed that alkalic extrusive/intrusive rocks (trachyandesites based on whole rock geochemistry) are intercalated with conglomerate and wackes and extend further south than previously mapped during regional mapping programs. The alkalic rocks are assumed to be related to the Porcupine sediments further north. The stratigraphic relationship of a locally pyritic felsic fragmental unit located north of the main Herrick showing, in fault contact with greywacke, is unknown. The felsic fragmental is either part of the Porcupine-aged sequence or is faulted or in-folded portion of the older Keewatin sequence. Strong silicification has been noted at the faulted felsic/greywacke contact and was called a “silica cap”. Another observation from drilling is that the Herrick veins appear to dilate towards the volcanic contact. Parallel or sub parallel to the sedimentary and trachyte units the sediment volcanic contact trends WNW and dips steeply south.
Gold mineralization at the Herrick deposit occurs along a north-south vein/shear structure. Movement along the structure is dextral and multi-staged, as evidenced by offset of an intruding diabase dyke along the Herrick structure. Porcupine aged rock units are displaced up to 50 metres horizontally and an unknown distance vertically. Alteration consists of strong iron carbonatization, a moderate increase in potassium and a moderate decrease in sodium. Sulphides are common in the 1-3% range, with minor arsenopyrite and tourmaline.
Quartz veins, stringers and breccias occupy the main 2 to 5 metre wide portion of the structure, as well as numerous narrow sub-parallel to strongly discordant fracture, shear and alteration zones. These smaller features locally contain gold mineralization. Larger splay features or parallel gold-bearing features have been designated as zones (Central Zone, West Zones and East Zones), such that the measure of the entire width of structure in which gold mineralization occurs is up to 80 metres, east to west. Platinex’s drilling showed that the splay structures are attractive targets for follow up exploration achieving widths of 46m in hole HP10-44.
Several types of porphyritic intrusive/extrusive rock types have been delineated. The main units of interest are described as trachytes in surface mapping or red porphyry in drill logs. The trachyte or red porphyry is assumed to be an extrusive volcanic or synvolcanic intrusive sill that has suffered metre to 10’s of metre scale movements along earlier north (Herrick vein structure) and later northwest and west-northwest trending faults. The trachytic rocks are observed to have undergone high strain, strong carbonate alteration, strong to intense quartz veining, and localized mineralization of pyrite, tourmaline, green mica, and minor arsenopyrite.
There is evidence that another east zone occurs within hole HP09-33 which was not assayed towards the end of the hole. There is ample potential for such zones between the Herrick Central zone and the Michiwakenda Lake Fault.
Work in 2021 on magnetic inversion and down hole IP inversion demonstrated significant additional potential related to the Herrick mineralization. The magnetic inversion study showed that a deep-seated zone of high magnetic susceptibility appears to trend in a NNW direction from Herrick to for at least a 5 km strike length. The zone of high magnetic susceptibility coincides with the interpreted surface trace of the northern spur of the Ridout-Tyrrell Deformation Zone. Further investigation of core logs from previous drilling has demonstrated that an interval of trachyte in drill hole HU89-08 is highly altered and deformed containing fragments of different rock types. It contains pyrite and is manifested as a sericite schist and averaged 1.1g/t Au/ 35.4m with 5 metres of the section not being assayed. The intersection is along strike from a DHIP anomaly which trends East to West and is to the west of existing drill hole collars. It is tentatively interpreted that this is part of the RTDZ and a very high priority target for follow up work.
Ronda Gold Mine
The Ronda Mine was established to mine the Ribble quartz vein now located entirely within the Platinex Shining Tree property. The vein was reported to have a north strike and 60o west dip and is exposed almost continuously for 440 metres and had an average width of 1.5 metres. Two shafts and six levels developed a small portion of the vein with production mainly from the fifth level and upwards. Recorded production occurred only in 1939 and amounted to 2,727 oz. gold and 4,830 oz. silver from 24,592 tons for an average recovered grade of 0.11 oz. Au per ton in 1939. The mine was closed due to the beginning of the war and the resulting shortage of labour and has never reopened.
Ownership and Agreements
Platinex holds a 100%-ownership interest in the property with approximately 10% of the property subject to NSR royalties ranging between 2-3%. Staking and strategic acquisitions were conducted over several years with expansion of the property including the acquisition of the Skead Holdings, Skead-Ashley Gold Mines, Treasury Metals Goldeye-Leonard, and Ronda Mine properties (Alamos) to bring the Shining Tree property to a current size.