Mining in Ontario: Exploring the Shebandowan Greenstone Belt for Gold

Ontario has been a major focal point in the Canadian mining industry for many years. The region’s unique geological history provides extensive deposits of minerals like gold, copper, nickel, zinc, and iron. These mineral deposits are one of the main reasons Canada has emerged as a world leader in mining, mineral exploration, and mining technology. 

Despite the country’s rich geological makeup, recent years have seen a decline in the discovery of new mineral resources in Canada. This has been particularly true in Northern Ontario. 

The exploration industry is intrinsically tied to risk investment appetite. In years where the underlying resources are in a bear market, exploration companies are the ones to suffer most. This situation particularly impacts large mining companies that rely on junior explorers to find the next mine before being acquired. Without sufficient exploration activity, large miners are deprived of a backlog of mining projects as they are not in the business of exploration. 

Recently, movements in the battery metals have seen large exploration upticks and now with the recent price of Gold seeing a significant uptick due to global uncertainty, many under explored areas in Northern Ontario may be the sight of the next discovery of mineral deposits that could allow for new and rewarding mining expeditions. One particularly promising region is Northern Ontario’s Shebandowan Greenstone Belt. The Shebandowan region has recently attracted attention from Canadian junior mining companies. If exploration campaigns are successful, the Shebandowan Belt could become Canada’s next mining camp and particularly in Gold.


Ontario’s Shebandowan Greeenstone Belt Region

Northern Ontario’s Shebandowan region lies to the west of Thunder Bay. Geologically, the Shebandowan region is what’s known as a “greenstone belt”. A greenstone belt is a geological region that is primarily comprised of metamorphosed volcanic rock and interspersed with sedimentary rock. The geological history of a greenstone belt produces large quantities of mafic and ultramafic rocks. This means that greenstone belts tend to contain high mineral content. 

Greenstone belts are likely to contain high quantities of mineable ore, particularly gold, copper, iron, zinc, silver, and nickel. As such, Northern Ontario’s Shebandowan belt region shows significant promise in becoming a future epicenter for mining gold and other minerals in Canada. 

However, despite the potential of the Shebandowan belt, previous Northern Ontario exploration expenditures overlooked the region as a potential hotspot for mineable ore deposits. This was due to mining experts’ lack of knowledge regarding how mineral ore deposits are dispersed in the Shebandowan region. This lack of knowledge, however, was less due to unfamiliarity with the Shebandowan region itself, and more due to a lack of cohesion among mining companies.

In the past, most attempts at exploring the Shebandowan region have been limited to smaller outfits and prospectors, with little to no coordination or communication with each other. Because of this, no company has gotten a big picture of the dispersal of ore deposits in the Shebandowan region. Thus, the region was largely passed over during other expeditions for new mining in Ontario.


New Opportunities for Mining in Ontario

The good news is that this lack of past investment from grass roots exploration companies is changing, with geology researchers from Lake University receiving $315,000 to further investigate the Shebandowan greenstone belt. Today, some of Canada’s most exciting exploration companies are deploying capital to explore the potential of Ontario’s Shebandowan region for new opportunities particularly in Gold. Three companies in particular — Delta Resources (TSX-V: DLTA), Goldshore Resources (TSX-V: GSHR), and Metals Creek (TSX-V: MEK) — are currently in the early stages of exploring the Shebandowan region. These explorers mentioned previously have the potential to make new and significant discoveries and therefore providing a clearer picture of the Shebandowan Region’s mineral deposits and taking advantage of the area’s potential as a greenstone belt.


Companies Exploring Opportunities in the Shebandowan

In the last few years, notably Delta Resources (TSX-V: DLTA) and Goldshore Resources  (TSX-V: GSHR) have taken significant steps toward finding new district scale gold deposits and proving the viability of mining the Shebandowan Belt.

Delta Resources Limited

Based in Kingston, Ontario, Delta Resources (TSX-V: DLTA) (OTC: DTARF) acquired and launched its Delta-1 project which focuses on the Shebandowan belt in late 2019. After initial positive results in the first phase of drilling, Delta hit what can be considered bonanza grades of 31 metres of 5.92 g/t Gold in its follow up campaign. As a result of this excellent result.  Delta has begun a comprehensive drilling campaign towards the east in an area which has never been drill tested.

As of March 1, 2023, the Delta-1 project has successfully completed 13 drill holes and is not finished yet as drilling is ongoing. The zone is open in all directions. Thus far, drilling has confirmed mineralization with visible gold in at least 5 holes reported so far. These results suggest that the Delta-1 zone extends at least 600 metres further east from the initial drilling hole. 

The CEO of Delta Resources André Tessier stated "The preliminary observations of these most recent drill holes at Delta-1 continue to be extremely encouraging. The mineralized zone keeps extending to the east with indications of higher-grade potential to the east and at depth. The visual identification of native gold and strong alteration over persistent widths, is a great sign, and the team is eagerly awaiting the assay results from these holes."

Drilling at the Delta-1 project is ongoing with all results of its lates campaign still pending. Delta Resources is already optimistic that the Delta-1 project may be the early days of a Gold mine discovery and will continue to attract attention from other explorers wanting to get in on the action. The pending results should provide the essential information needed to evaluate the potential at Delta 1 in such early days. This project has already provided much excitement as is evidenced by the stock price action in the last few weeks. Anticipation at Delta is building as so is the prospects for the region.

Shares of Delta Resources were halted this morning as the company delivered another set of assay results from its Delta-1 property located 50km west of Thunder Bay, Ontario.  DLTA has reported its first five drill holes from its Phase-1 drilling program for 2023, and resulted in broad zones of gold mineralization and returned 4.23g/t gold over 26.2 metres and 1.10 metre interval of 49.91 g/t of gold.

Drill holes D1-23-26 to D1-23-29 were drilled above three other holes and appear to have intersected a gold-mineralized halo. Results of the holes, including previously released ones, are shown in Table 1 with true widths estimated to be between 60-87% of reported lengths.

The President and CEO of Delta Resources André Tessier was quoted “The gold zone at Delta-1 continues to provide us with very exciting results as we move eastward and at depth. The higher-grade zone persists, within a broad halo that remains above the cut off grade of most open-pit operations in Canada and throughout the world. We expect to receive assay results from the remaining seven drill holes within a few weeks and look forward to integrate this new data in anticipation of Delta's next phase of drilling expected to begin in late-April after spring thaw."

Metals Creek Resources Corp.

In addition to the Delta Resources Delta-1 project, Ontario’s Metals Creek Resources (TSX-V: MEK) has also recently purchased five claim units — or about 33.73 hectares — of property within the Shebandowan region.

Currently, Metals Creek’s exploration into the region’s gold signatures is still in its preliminary phases. However, pending regulatory approval, the company plans for future geological analysis of the area to assess potential mining operations. Currently, Metals Creek plans on implementing a prospecting program, and drilling and geophysical analysis once the weather improves in the Spring.

Goldshore Resources Inc.

Goldshore Resources (TSX-V: GSHR) has recently announced the results of an exploratory drilling operation as part of its Moss Lake Project in the Shebandowan region. Goldshore’s Moss Lake Project is currently undergoing a 100,000-metre drilling campaign  to expand the current mineral resource which stands at 4.17 Million ounces inferred.

Though the project is still ongoing, recent results have shown a potential for “significant high-grade” mineral shears within the drilling region. These results provide a much more promising estimate of the Shebandowan’s existing mineral resources. If further drilling confirms these estimates, Goldshore Resources is optimistic that it will be able to develop a preliminary economic assessment for future gold mining operations.


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