Pistol Lake Gold Property and an Overview of the Similar Gold Deposits in Nunavut, Canada
The Pistol Lake property is at 67.0486° N and 108.7861° W, approximately 16 km west of Portage Bay on Bathurst Inlet, Nunavut Territory. The property is approximately 600 km northeast of Yellowknife. But most importantly, it is located within a new and exciting gold camp in Canada, with one new gold mine under construction and more exploration programs ongoing.
Geologic Setting and Mineralization
Gold exploration and mine development in the Bathurst Inlet area has recently accelerated. Two gold mines, Hope Bay and Goose Lake, are being prepared for production. Three gold deposits, the Doris, Madrid and Boston, are located along the north-trending Hope Bay Deformation zone. This gold trend extends approximately 80 km from north to south. The central Bathurst zone extends from Turner Lake to Goose lake, a distance of over 259 km. The third Ulu zone is located west of the Bathurst Fault zone. Ulu extends about 80 km in length.
Along the major Bathurst Fault Zone, there are gold deposits of significance These include Turner Lake, Pistol Lake, George, Boulder, Boot, Del, and Goose Lake. The proximity to the Bathurst Fault to these gold-mineralized areas strongly indicates a genetic connection. Similarly, the overall nature of the two parallel deformation zones would also suggest an association with the known gold showings.
There are two types of gold mineralization in this region. They are orogenic gold and iron formation gold. Even between these two types, there may be a close genetic association. Consider faulting as the universal conduit for gold-bearing hydrothermal solutions into local fault structures, forming orogenic gold deposits. When these fluids intersect, reactive iron formation units cause the gold to fall out of the solution. In addition to structural similarities, quartz flooding and associated sulphides such as pyrite, pyrrhotite, and arsenopyrite, along with metamorphic facies changes can be observed.
In the case of Pistol Lake, there is a direct association between the Bathurst Fault with the fault forming the eastern margin of the folded iron formation. Locally intense silicification, and the presence of sulphides, arsenopyrite are present in higher-grade gold mineralized sections of the core. Thus, all the factors which make Pistol Lake, a potential gold mine in the future, are in place. (James Davis, 2022)
History of Pistol Lake Project
Historical drill results at Pistol Lake were confirmed by Qikiqtaaluk Corporation in 2000 (WGM). A review of all work done on the property was undertaken, plus an additional eight-hole drill program. This confirmed the previous drilling. The review included a compilation of all past drilling (80 drill holes, 11,089.2 m).
Allan, J.R (1992), Pistol Lake Gold Property, Taiga Consultants Ltd., reports an estimate by Chevron Minerals Limited for the “F” and “G” zones at 580,000 tons grading 0.406 oz/ton Au, or by today’s metrics, say 526,000 tonnes @ 12.63 grams per tonne. As the work was done before NI 43-101 standards was implemented, further work must be done to bring this up to current requirements. Numerous untested gold surface showings on the property and continued systematic exploration drilling is expected to provide further gold mineralization along strike and at depth. A recent NI-43-101 Technical Report by Stantec Consulting Services for Pistol Lake was completed in the fall of 2020 and is published in the reports section on this website.
The Pistol Lake leases are located within the Archean Yellowknife Supergroup in the Yellowknife greenstone belt. Adjacent to Pistol Lake is the Bathurst Aulacogen, a major, deep-reaching regional structure. The table below illustrates Pistol Lake’s features compared to other gold deposits in Nunavut. Mineralization at Pistol Lake is found in two layers of banded iron formation, siliceous shear zones and fold structures. Regionally, the iron formation at Pistol Lake is within the same productive stratigraphic layer that hosts the mesothermal gold deposits at the past producing Lupin Mine (produced 3,000,000 oz gold) and Sabina Gold and Silver’s George Lake and Goose Lake Mine.
North of Pistol Lake, Agnico Eagle’s recently acquired Hope Bay Mine is described as an orogenic gold deposit. Much further away from Pistol Lake but also located in Nunavut are Agnico-Eagle’s Meadowbank, Meliadine and Amaruq gold deposits. These deposits share characteristically similar host lithologies (iron formation), structural features, and gold and gangue minerals as found at Pistol Lake but located in a different region within Nunavut.
The gold-bearing banded iron formation at Pistol Lake has had at least three phases of deformation, resulting in faulting and recumbent isoclinal folds.
To date, exploration at Pistol Lake has defined silicate iron formation hosting significant gold mineralization and oxide facies cut by gold-bearing quartz veins. Gold mineralization is often associated with arsenopyrite, faulting, folding and silicification.
A NI-43-101 report on the Pistol Lake gold property is available for download in the reports section on this website. A LIDAR survey has been completed to provide accurate ground control to plot past drilling, surface gold occurrences and all future work. Structural geologists will work with all available data to produce a structural analysis of the property, tying known mineralization into a model. Detailed mapping will be completed as well as geochemical and geophysical surveys, leading to a drill program that will target and expand upon the historical data and bring Pistol Lake to the resource estimation phase.
Infrastructure has improved and continues to improve in this area of the arctic, allowing us to utilize the current and future infrastructure.
Gold Deposits in Nunavut
This chart of published data for gold deposits in Nunavut illustrates some exploration projects and producers. Sabina Silver and Gold’s Back River Property (now B2Gold), Agnico Eagle’s Hope Bay and Leeward’s Pistol Lake are in the Bathurst Camp. Agnico Eagles’ Meadowbank & Meliadine are in the eastern part of Nunavut and Blu Star’s Ulu is just west of the Bathurst Camp. Work at Pistol Lake must be completed to expand the resource, better define it, and bring the data into compliance with NI-43-101 standards. This work is planned for 2023-24.
|Property||Resource||tonnes||diluted grade Au||ounces Au||Phase|
|Total Back River Property-Sabina Gold and Silver||Proven||8,008,000||5.54 g/t||1,426,000||Mine Construction|
|Hope Bay, Agnico Eagle||Proven & Probable||15,874,000||6.5 g/t||3,334,000||suspended- temp.|
|Meadowbank, Agnico Eagle||Proven & Probable||20,589,000||3.92 g/t||2,595,000||Producer|
|Meliadine, Agnico Eagle||Proven & Probable||19,162,000||5.93 g/t||3,653,000||Producer|
|Pistol Lake, Leeward Capital Corp.||not measured||580,000||12.6 g/t||213,623||Exploration last done 2001|
|(no drilling at Pistol Lake since 2001)||Chevron/WGM/Silver Hart||Chisholm (1994), Kelley (1997)|
|Ulu, Blu Star Gold Corp.||Measured & Indicated||2,500,000||7.53 g/t||605,000||Drilling & exploration|