Integra Resources (ITR.V) wants to make sure it’s taking advantage of its first mover advantage after acquiring the past-producing DeLamar gold mine from Kinross Gold (KGC, K.TO) by locking up all pieces of prospective land. The company had previously defined no less than six gold and silver prospects on a six kilometer long trend called the black Sheep trend, northwest of the DeLamar and Florida Mountain deposits.
ITR also already completed a first field program last summer and the rock samples appear to be very encouraging with grades of up to 1.14 g/t gold and 300 g/t silver, but it’s clear a lot more work needs to be done to follow up on the initial 72 rock chip samples. Declaring the Black Sheep trend an area of interest is pretty logical given the sampling results as well as the historic data on the small-scale mining activities in the area. Some of the pits dug by the artisanal miners didn’t contain any precious metals mineralization, but according to Integra’s interpretation that’s because they were digging the pits too high up in the system, and none of the pits have reached the ‘productive’ zones of the mineralized system.
On top of that, subsequent drill programs were also targeting near-surface mineralization as the average depth of the drill holes was just 100 meters. That’s also not deep enough to reach the theorized hot spot of gold and silver mineralization, but the assay results are actually really good. Integra’s press release calls them ‘encouraging’, but we think they are a bit better than encouraging given some of the widths (55 meters and 67 meters) and the gold-equivalent grades (respectively 0.62 g/t and 1.19 g/t).
Now Integra has added 15 square kilometers of land to its DeLamar land package, it’s safe to say the company has now pretty much locked up the entire district, which will allow it to conduct more regional exploration programs which will include more sampling, mapping and airborne magnetic and radiometric surveys.
The Greater DeLamar Area keeps on giving, and we are looking forward to Integra’s resource update and maiden PEA later this year. We aren’t expecting too much from the first resource update, but we are increasingly confident to see at least 5 million ounces gold-equivalent in a subsequent resource update and then it will be up to Integra’s technical team and consultants to bring as many of those ounces into a mine plan.