Location, Overview, and History
Intermittently, between the 1890's and 1930's, an “official” total of 16,025 ounces of gold was produced from the Foley and Golden Star Mines, both of which are now owned by the Corporation. Although this total production figure may not seem impressive by today’s standards, considering the times, small labour forces, short periods of production, the potential for under reporting of production for tax purposes, and primitive equipment used, this production total may be seen in a different light. In addition, Q-Gold owns or holds options on 3 other area gold mines, the Decca, Ferguson and Manhattan Mines.
The Foley Mine
The Foley Mine is the best-developed mine in the area, having produced 5,267 ounces of gold from the North and South Shaft Zones between 1893 and 1934. Three deep shafts and a winze were sunk and considerable underground development was completed, which consisted of over 2.5 kilometres of drifts on seven levels, as well as the completion of several crosscuts. Mill construction began in 1926 but was interrupted by the onset of the Great Depression in 1928-29 and was never completed.
Approximately 800 tons of additional ore was mined from the South Foley Shaft between 1933 and 1934, producing 855 ounces gold and 149 ounces silver, at an average gold grade of 1.07 ounces per ton.
The Corporation’s 2007-2008 Exploration Programs included an underground Advanced Exploration program at the Foley Mine. After reconstruction of the North Shaft collar, mine de-watering and subsequent inspection was completed.
Recent engineering estimates indicate that, in today's terms, over $12 million of development work (shafts, drifts, etc.) was completed at the Foley Mine from 1923 to 1927. This could save Q-Gold many millions of dollars in future development costs at the Foley, as well as advancing the time when gold production can be initiated.
As reported in November 2006 (read press release), the Corporation located the "ore piles" from surface mine dumps from the Foley Mine totaling an estimated 4,700 metric tons. Samples taken from these dumps assayed an average of 3.63 g/t gold, 3.8 g/t silver and 0.1014% zinc by weight. These will be processed along with initial ore produced from the mine.
Rehabilitation of the Foley Mine
In the late 1890’s, the Foley Mine was developed through a shaft on several levels to 400 feet. In 1900, fire destroyed the mine facilities and mill, shutting down operations.
1923-27 recorded $12 million (in today’s dollars) of new development work, which sunk a winze from 400 to 850 feet and constructed an extensive series of “drifts” on several levels to 850 feet. A mill was under construction when the advent of the Great Depression closed the mine in 1927. Except for an attempt to de-water the mine in 1930, it has remained flooded since that time.
Purchased by Q-Gold in 2006, the Company initiated a Program to water-test, dewater, reconstruct the Mine’s North Shaft, inspect, and conduct any necessary repairs to permit safe entry of the dewatered mine to conduct underground exploration. The principal objective of the Program was to confirm historic (but non-compliant with NI 43-101) resource/ reserve reports as well as prove up new ones to a level that will permit development and commercial gold production to ensue at the Foley Mine.
In July 2007, the Company engaged a mining contractor and began inspection and repair of the collar of the North Shaft, removing 100+ year old timbers and repairing the shaft with a new collar compliant with the Ontario Mining Code. The new collar was toped with a heated pump house and an A-frame that permitted a permanent submersible pump and piping to be lowered to the 400 foot level.
A large heated support building housing generator, instrument panels, hoisting apparatus, compressors, and tool storage was also constructed.
Historical Resource Estimates
An extensive program of diamond core drilling and underground work conducted at the Foley Mine from 1923 to 1927 served as the basis for the OGS’s 2004 report on “Mineral Deposits Not Being Mined in the Kenora Mining District in 1997”, which reported the following resource estimates for the Foley Mine:
Note: The above listed resource and reserve estimates are historical in nature. They have not been verified by the Company's Qualified Person and are not compliant with National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"). The Company is not treating these estimates as current mineral resources or mineral reserves as defined in sections 1.2 and 1.3 of NI 43-101 and cautions that these estimates should not be relied upon.
Foley Mine Maps