“The Cheechoo project is potentially world-class, which would mean a gold deposit of at least 3 million oz. The probability of a mine being developed from the project is now greater than 75%, which is remarkably high considering the probability of a grassroots project moving into production is far less than 1%.”
Sirios Resources won the Xplor Discovery of the Year award in 2016 for its Cheechoo property. What is the current status of the flagship gold asset?
Since winning the Discovery of the Year award in 2016 for our flagship Cheechoo gold project, located in James Bay, northern Québec, Sirios has continued conducting intense exploration, reaching 50,000 m of drilling on the property. By the middle of 2019, we will produce a first resource estimate. In early 2019, more in-depth metallurgical tests on larger gold-bearing rock material will be performed, which will provide precious information towards the preliminary economic assessment of the project. We are increasing investment into logistics and camp settlement capacity from the current temporary camp set-up that accommodates 20 people, to a permanent camp that will accommodate up to 50 people. Improvements on ground and road access will continue to allow machinery to be transported directly to site anytime of the year.
The Cheechoo property is located 7 km from the Éléonore gold mine. Can you elaborate on Sirios Resources’ relationship with Goldcorp?
Sirios Resources signed an agreement with Goldcorp in 2016, and they are our largest share- holder, ensuring that the Cheechoo site and operating company have a good relationship with the Cree natives and the neighboring Éléonore mine. The road network leading to these sites is well developed and the mine sources its electricity from the hydroelectric plants of the well-known Québec province network, which reduces the cost of electricity as well as the environmental impact.
Are the geological characteristics of the Cheechoo property similar to Goldcorp’s Élénore mine?
The gold mineralization at the Cheechoo deposit is hosted in a tonalite, a granite type of rock, whereas the nearby Éléonore mine is hosted in metasedimentary rocks. However, in both type of rocks we see the same type of alteration. Looking at grade and tonnage, Éléonore is an underground operation with grades varying between five and seven and a half g/t, whereas we expect that Cheechoo would be low-grade with high tonnage in the order of several hundred million tons. Within the low-grade ore envelope, we encounter frequent high-grade to very high-grade (from five g/t to 800 g/t) veins.
The Cheechoo project is potentially world-class, which would mean a gold deposit of at least 3 million oz. The probability of a mine being developed from the project is now greater than 75%, which is remarkably high considering the probability of a grassroots project moving into production is far less than 1%.
Do you believe James Bay has the potential to become as prolific as the Abitibi Greenstone Belt?
James Bay is already one of the top-rated mining regions, even within the Québec province. Firstly, its rich geological diversity includes not only gold and base metals, but also diamonds, lithium, vanadium, nickel, etc. In addition, because of early development in the 1970’s by the Québec government for the major hydroelectric complexes that were constructed, the government signed the important James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement with the Cree and Inuit communities. It ensured that all rules and regulations with regard to natural resources were clearly defined and understood, allowing for a harmonious operating environment.
Will Sirios go to the market to source additional funding?
Junior exploration companies first explore for money, and then explore for resources. Since most juniors do not have revenue, we are always looking for capital input to contribute to the company’s growth and success. Sirios’ financial situation is healthy and working capital is strong – around C$4 million. The current unfavorable market conditions have made it a bad period to raise capital, and Sirios’ share price does not begin to reflect the great potential of the Cheechoo project. The short-term aim is to raise enough capital to optimize development, but not too much or too soon to avoid overly diluting the share structure.
What are Sirios’ main objectives moving into 2019 and beyond?
Sirios has established a talented team working on the strategic development and structure of the company, which will allow for additional growth and development with the capacity to create new job opportunities within the company. We have recruited youthful employees to ensure we take advantage of technological advances such as drones and the newest geological techniques.
We have strong support from various companies, but the door remains open for a significant shareholder to join our operation alongside Goldcorp. While the focus of the company will remain our flagship project, Cheechoo, we are considering all options to finance our other exploration projects, namely, our high-grade gold property, Aquilon.