Special Report: Ardiden’s (ASX:ADV) upcoming drilling campaign is aimed at unlocking the potential of its flagship Kasagiminnis gold deposit, but it’s not the only iron in its fire.

The company recently secured the necessary permits to start its summer drilling campaign at Kasagiminnis, within its Pickle Lake gold project in Ontario, Canada, with managing director Rob Longley hoping to get between 3,000m and 4,000m into the ground before the Festive Christmas Season arrives.

“Then in January, we will be setting up again, thickening up the ice on Kas lake and drilling through the shallow lake, which is about 6 feet deep. You are not drilling through Loch Ness or anything substantial.”

Ardiden is planning a much bigger program during winter, with Longley noting that ice will actually make it easier to move the rig around.

“But you need to do some preparation around winter drilling, you basically pump water out onto the ice daily and thicken the ice pad where you want to be drilling,” he explained.

While Kasagiminnis currently has a JORC resource of 790,000 tonnes grading 4.3 grams per tonne (g/t) for 110,000oz of gold estimated over a strike length of 600m and to a depth of 280m, the drilling is aimed at testing the broader exploration target of between 500,000 and 1.2 million ounces.

This is based on extending the resource definition out to a strike of over 2km and drilling down to 500m, with Longley noting that while the mineralisation might pinch and swirl along the structure, neighbouring projects go on much deeper.

“The Pickle Crow underground mine went down over 1km, Central Patricia was the same depth. All the signs are there that mineralisation structures are steep, high grade, and go to the ‘centre of the earth’ so to speak. I’m not assuming that, so we are cutting it off at 500m for a sensible Exploration Target for now,” he explained.


More gold targets on the horizon

But Kasagiminnis is not the only deposit in Ardiden’s district-scale Pickle Lake Gold project.

There is also the South Limb gold prospect that is immediately south of the Dona Lake underground gold mine, which is currently being assessed by Canada’s Metals Creek Resources.

Dona Lake was mined between 1987 and 1993, producing more than 246,500oz of gold at a grade of 6.6g/t to depths of 450m below surface.

However, the surface footprint of the main lode was only 130m of strike length, emphasising the importance of depth testing below any anomalous near-surface values.

Ardiden’s pipeline of prospects Pic: Supplied

“There are some really interesting results in there (South Limb) that we would like to follow up,” Longley said.

“It is brownfields, that’s immediately along strike of an underground gold mine, so it is not too remote and there are good prospects of that continuity into our property.”

He noted that Ardiden had a collaboration going on with Metals Creek that included improving the all-season track that continued into that property.

“So potentially that is a year-round property that we can work at.”


Giant gold potential to come

Ardiden is also looking to get on the ground at the Dorothy and Dobie prospects, which come with a combined non-JORC historical estimate of 99,600oz gold at a grade of 5.7g/t, defined to less than 150m below surface.

This might be just scratching the surface at the prospect, which spans over 20km to 30km of strongly mineralised strike.

“There are a number of prospects along it and a historical underground gold mine developed to 750m below surface, smack bang in the middle of the trend,” Longley noted.

He added that most of the investors that came in during the company’s capital raising in July probably saw the potential for the deposits to be very similar to Great Bear Resources’ Dixie project, just to the west, at Red Lake.

Great Bear currently has five rigs operating at Dixie and recently reported a high-grade intersection of 10.5m grading 81.22g/t gold.

“That is going to be a much bigger program at Dorothy-Dobie and we still need to negotiate a mutually acceptable First Nation agreement to get rigs out on those areas,” Longley said.


Pipeline of gold prospects

Beyond these deposits and prospects, Ardiden also has a sizeable pipeline of both brownfields and greenfields gold targets.

“It is all on our ground and all connected. We have one reasonable sized area that is a modest earn-in, but everything else is 100 per cent owned,” he said.

“If we can step out of Kasagiminnis and replicate that at some of our other prospects, we are talking a large district scale gold province.”


This article was developed in collaboration with Ardiden, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.