Matador Mining (ASX:MZZ) has launched its largest-ever drilling program at their Cape Ray Gold Project with upwards of 20,000 metres of drilling planned.

Importantly, unlike the majority of their peers who generally target deeper mineralsation (400m to 600m below surface), Matador has proven over the past number of seasons there is plenty of shallow gold around Cape Ray, as drilling is typically only around 100m from surface – meaning more results and more economic mineralsation.

The Cape Ray Project in Newfoundland already boasts an impressive open-pittable mineral resource of 840,000 ounces — 96% of which sits within 200m of surface — in a Tier 1 gold jurisdiction.  Based on the Scoping Study, with a head grade of 2.6g.t Au this ranks as one of the highest open pit projects in the world.

It’s just the beginning.

Exploration activities at Cape Ray have now started for the 2021 exploration season and are anticipated to continue through the North American winter (for the first time) into 2022 meaning there will be continuous news flow.

The aim is to grow the resource as defined in the Cape Ray Scoping Study, which outlined an initial seven-year mine life, with a forecast strong IRR (51% post tax), rapid payback (1.75 year) and life-of-mine all-in costs of $US776/oz.

This drilling could add mineral resources into the future pre-feasibility study.

The 2021 drilling will initially focus on targets identified through interpretation of 2020 exploration results.

Specifically, the extensions at depth and laterally around ‘Window Glass Hill’ (WGH) and further definition and step-out drilling at the new Angus discovery.

Additional extensional drilling is also anticipated to take place at ‘Isle aux Morts’ (IAM) during the second half of the year, following the identification of untested down-plunge potential in 2020.

Making new discoveries

The 2021 drilling program is also aimed at testing up to nine new greenfield target areas beneath shallow ‘till’ cover over 45km of project strike.

Unlike places like WA, where soil sampling can often be done at surface, Matador must sample underneath this till to dial in on potential drilling targets.

An initial greenfield auger geochemistry drilling program will focus on the areas between BP and IAM with the intention that any refined target within this area can be diamond drilled during the current summer season on completion of the WGH and Angus diamond drilling program.

The greenfield exploration program has also been designed to generate additional longer-term drill targets.

This second stage of the power-auger and backpack geochemistry drilling will extend further north-east, testing target areas beyond IAM.

Drilling targets defined within these areas will form the basis for the diamond drill program that is being considered for either Matador’s first winter drill program at the start of 2022 or for the start of the 2022 summer drill season.

“Following our successful 2020 exploration season, we are excited to start this year’s program in what is shaping up to be the largest undertaken by the company,” Matador executive chairman Ian Murray says.

“We see excellent potential for Mineral Resource growth at each of our known deposits, which will be the initial focus of our diamond drilling program.

“However, the potential for transformational new discoveries across our underexplored package is the most exciting part of the program.

“Preliminary work on the first of nine new high priority target areas is underway.”

Importantly, each of these target areas is within only 15km of existing Mineral Resources and the Central Project Area, Murray says.

“This year promises to be an exciting one for the company on a number of fronts and should ensure strong ongoing news flow throughout.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Matador, 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.