Opawica Explorations Inc. is a Canadian junior exploration company actively engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral resource properties. Opawica has traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange for over 20 years (TSX-OPW) and has advanced staged gold and gold/copper projects in mining friendly Ontario. Recently announced near surface resources are potentially suitable for open pit mining methods.
The Company’s current exploration efforts are concentrated on its 100% owned Maybrun-Atikwa Lake Copper–Gold Project located about 120 road kilometres southeast of Kenora, Ontario and its 100% owned Dingman Gold Project near Madoc, Ontario, which is situated about one and a half hour drive east-northeast from the Greater Toronto Area. During 2008 the Company completed its drill programs on these properties, reported assay results, and commissioned Golder Associates Ltd. to prepare NI 43-101 reports on the Atikwa Lake and Dingman properties. These reports will provide an independent mineral resource estimate, for both Atikwa Lake and Dingman, conforming to the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve definitions referred to in the National Instrument 43-101, Standards of disclosure for Mineral Projects. In addition, Golder has conducted property and core logging facility visits on both properties in order to collect core and surface samples and observe Opawica’s sampling quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) program. It was observed by Golder that Opawica was following their QA/QC program and the samples collected by Golder confirmed gold mineralization in quantities representative of the Atikwa Lake property and the Dingman property.
ATIKWA LAKE, GOLD-COPPER PROPERTY, NW Ontario
The mineral resource estimates by Golder are classified as Indicated and Inferred for a range of gold equivalent (Au-Eq) cut off grades of which 0.40 g/t Au was used. Some preliminary economic considerations with respect to Au-Eq cut-off grades, average in-situ US$/ Tonne value for Indicated resources, were calculated based on forward looking estimates of gold and copper metal pricing, mining and milling cost estimates. The mineral resources estimates of the Atikwa Lake property are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
There are three mineral zones outlined in the mineral resource estimate consisting of the Maybrun Main Zone, Maybrun footwall Zone and Maybrun North Zone. The mineral resource estimates are classified as Indicated and Inferred for a range of US$ per tonne cut-off grades. The large majority of the resources, including all of the Indicated resource, are within 130m of surface.
The North Inferred Resource is situated about 600m north of the Maybrun Main Zones. Drilling in this 600m gap is recommended as these zones may connect or in some way be related. In addition, deep drilling of at least four holes is recommended to depth on the Maybrun Main Zone which is clearly open at depth below 130m. Further infill drilling of the Main Maybrun zones is also recommended.
All statistical, geostatistical, mineralization modelling, grade modelling and classification work was done using the Datamine Studio 2.0 software. In addition, all gold assay values above 31.1 g/t Au were cut to 31.1 g/t Au.
The block model for mineral resource estimate used a block size of 5m by 5m by 5m and was based on the drill hole spacing, continuity of data and the mining method proposed by Opawica’s qualified person Mr. R.W. Laakso, P.Eng. The mining being an open pit bulk mining method estimated at a 1:1 stripping ratio. Preliminary mining, milling and capital costs were estimated by R.W. Laakso, P.Eng. using US$21 per tonne.
The Ordinary Kriging (OK) interpolation method was used for resource estimation purposes using variography parameters defined from geostatistical analysis. In addition, a US$ per tonne value was used in the mineral resource estimate. This value, was provided by Opawica, was calculated using US$750 per ounce for gold and US$1.75 per pound for copper. The mineral resource estimate is an in-situ resource for gold and copper and does not include external dilution or recoveries from mineral and metallurgical processing.
There is other low grade mineral content known to be present in the Atikwa Lake ores such as silver, magnesium and titanium. It may be possible to recover portions of these minerals as by products. Further assaying and metallurgical test work is required and ongoing to determine if any such recoveries may be realized using existing commercial flotation methodologies.
In this regard, Opawica has received an initial head grade assay result from Gekko regarding four samples weighing 100 grams each. These samples were taken from the initial 300kg representative sample of Atikwa Lake ores from representative sections for 72 Opawica drill holes that the Company provided to Gekko at an estimated average head grade of approximately 1.2 g/t Au and 0.70% Cu with no grade determination for silver, magnesium, titanium or Ni-PGE’s having been undertaken by Opawica. Ni–PGE potential exists on the property outside of the Maybrun Zone.
This 300kg sample was sent to Gekko in order to carry out mineralogy testing and metallurgical test work and to assist in developing a flow sheet design initially, and primarily, for gold and copper for the Atikwa Lake project. Initial Gekko test work has established that crushing to at least minus 200 mesh will be required for Atikwa Lake ores in order to obtain an acceptable commercial recovery of the gold and copper. Final recovery rates have yet to be determined.
The overall average grade taken by Gekko for the first 400g Atikwa Lake sample returned 1.60 g/t gold, 5 g/t silver, 0.91% copper, 3.0% magnesium and 0.434% titanium. Gekko will now continue to carry out metallurgical test work on samples consistent with the grade outlined in the above noted published resources for gold and copper. In addition, metallurgical test work will be carried out to determine the recovery, if any, of all other minerals reported in the above 400g sample from Atikwa Lake ores, with said samples being averaged in grade commensurate with and proportionate to the gold and copper grades published in the resources noted above. All of the above noted metallurgical tests and mineralogy tests concerning the Atikwa Lake ores by Gekko is expected to be completed within the next three months.
DINGMAN GOLD & AGGREGATE PROPERTY, SE Ontario
The mineral resource estimates by Golder at Dingman are classified as Indicated and Inferred for a range of Au g/t cut-off grades. A cut off grade of 0.40 g/t Au was used. For Indicated resources only, an average US$/ Tonne value was included in support of economic considerations and this value is based on forward looking estimates for gold. The mineral resource estimates for Dingman are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The Dingman resources are situated within one mineralized zone and the large majority of the resources, including all of the Indicated resource, are within 200m of surface. The Dingman zone is primarily open to depth and has some potential for further gold mineralization on strike to the east. Further drilling to depth and on strike to the east is recommended. This drilling should test and focus on narrower and higher grade zones known to exist within the overall Dingman zone and granitic stock.
All statistical, geostatistical, mineralization modelling, grade modelling and classification work was done using the Datamine Studio version v2.0 software. In addition, all gold assay values above 30 g/t Au were cut to 30 g/t Au.
The block model for mineral resource estimate used a block size of 10m by 5m by 10m and was based on the drill hole spacing, continuity of data and the mining method proposed by Opawica’s qualified person Mr. R.W. Laakso, P.Eng. being an open pit bulk mining method estimated at a 1:1 stripping ratio. Preliminary mining, milling and capital costs were estimated by R.W. Laakso, P.Eng. using US$21 per tonne.
The Ordinary Kriging (OK) interpolation method was used for resource estimation purposes using variography parameters defined from geostatistical analysis. In addition, a US$ per tonne value was used in the mineral resource estimate. This value, provided by Opawica, was calculated using US$750 per ounce for gold.
The mineral resource estimate is an in-situ resource for gold and does not include external dilution or recoveries from mineral and metallurgical processing.
Gekko is carrying out metallurgical test work on Dingman ores. Initial testwork by Gekko has established that crushing to at least minus 200 mesh will be required for Dingman ores in order to obtain an acceptable commercial recovery of the gold. Final recovery rates will be determined by Gekko within the next three months.
Dingman – Aggregate Products Indicated Resource: 14,000,000 tonnes of granite and limestone aggregate. These resources were outlined using historical drill logs and 19 drill holes completed by Opawica throughout the drilling of the auriferous granitic stock that hosts the Dingman gold resources noted above. There is excellent potential for outlining additional and accessible Aggregate Resources by further drilling. The aggregate resource has been calculated by R.W. Laakso, P.Eng.
There is very little overburden covering the Dingman limestones while the granite is totally exposed as a prominent hill in the local area. Studies carried out by Qualified Person, R.W. Laakso, P.Eng., has found that limestone is a marketable commodity in the Toronto, Ontario, corridor from Burlington to Kingston, Ontario, as aggregate for road mine site. Depending on pit design, the cost of producing like aggregates from open pits in this area ranges from $4.30 to $5.45 Cdn per tonne. These costs were obtained from local aggregate mine contractors for road base, concrete, rip-rap and ornamental stone. In addition to limestone, a quantity of the waste rock from the stripping of the proposed open pit model for the gold resources will be the granite itself. The granite does not contain any deleterious elements which enables this aggregate to be prospectively used in the manufacture of asphalt. Recent quotations for the various products from similar quarries in this part of Ontario range from $8 per tonne to $10 per tonne F.O.B.. These are current estimates only and do not constitute executed contracts with mine contractors or for the purchase of aggregate products from Opawica at this time. Such contracts cannot be completed until mine or quarry permitting has been obtained and mining operations commissioned. Mine or quarry permits have not at this time been obtained by the Company.
The qualified person for the Dingman and Atikwa Lake properties is Mr. R.W. Laakso, P.Eng. of Holland Landing, Ontario.
OUTLOOK AND STRATEGY
The Company will commence additional drilling at Atikwa Lake in January 2009 and expects to file NI 43-101 reports for the Atikwa Lake and Dingman properties in the first calendar quarter of 2009. Assuming positive report results and subject to financing, the Company will proceed with base line studies and potentially with preliminary scoping studies and if sufficient economics are determined then the Company would have to complete a bankable feasibility study in order to secure mining permits and production financing. The Company may also consider a strategic alliance with another company to advance its properties.
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Forward Looking Statements:
Some of the statements contained herein may be forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization, resources and expansion of resources, recoveries, exploration results, and future plans and objectives of the Company are forward looking statements that involve various degrees of risk. The following are important factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements: changes in the world price of mineral commodities, general market conditions, risks inherent in mineral exploration, risks associated with mine permitting, metallurgy, development, construction and mining operations, the uncertainty of the determination of mineable ounces of gold and copper in pounds or other minerals in pounds, or the future profitability of the companies projects.