Overview of Bison Gold
Bison Gold Resources Inc. (formerly Bison Gold Exploration Inc. (Bison)) is a mineral exploration company that was formed through the business combination of Mid-North Resources and a group of financial professionals. The two groups 1) Bison and 2) Mid-North complemented each other’s strength and together, created a dynamic junior exploration company. Management’s immediate focus will be on the 2, 100% owned, strategically situated gold properties, the Central Manitoba (CM) and the Ogama/Rockland (OG) past producing mines which have been consolidated and are now called the Central Manitoba Property (CMP) and the Cryderman property. The CMP lies within the 42km productive area of the 92km long Rice Lake Gold Belt (RLGB). Historical production of this 42km length accounts for 86% of the 2.1 million oz/t recovered along the full length of the RLGB. CMP produced over 205,000 oz over 13 years of mining at an average recovered grade of 0.35oz/t (12.0g/t).
The San Antonio Mine, located 25km to the NW of CMP was by far the largest operation producing over 1.4 million oz/t from 1932 to 1968 at similar grades. Also noteworthy is the Gunnar Mine, 15km east of CMP, which produced approximately 100,000oz from 1936 to 1942. The San Antonio Mine (recently renamed to the Rice Lake (RL)) closed in 1968 due to a combination of high mining costs, the head frame and hoist room being destroyed by fire and relatively low gold prices due to price pegging. Throughout the 1990’s over $120 million was spent on a new shaft, mine development and the construction of a new conventional gold mill by Harmony Gold and the now insolvent Rea Gold Corp. The RL assets were purchased by San Gold Corp (SG) in 2004 for cash and stock totaling to a minuscule $7 million. The RL was re-opened by San Gold and gold production began in mid 2006. The re-opening of the RL is significant to exploration projects along the entire RLGB since the mill is vastly underutilized, running at only half capacity. The mill could and will act as the cornerstone for the processing of any newly discovered ore bodies along the RLGB, hence allowing such projects to quickly move from exploration to production. With the exception of San Gold, very little attention has been given to the exploration potential for gold in Manitoba, specifically within the RLGB. The reasons for this can be debated however, the fact that the RLGB was once a prolific gold producing area, that is vastly under explored, and that it is probably the most favourable place to explore (i.e. the MEAP1 program and the low power costs) in Canada. Although there are a few other exploration projects along the RLGB, Bison’s CMP tops the list in potential due to it being the second largest past producer along the belt and the fact that all mining on the property was conducted above the 300m level. Note also that the 205,000 oz/t were produced prior to 1952 with relatively primitive geological, mining and processing methods.
The CM and OG were inactive from 1951 to 1980 when Mid-North Ltd. acquired both and amalgamated them into the CMP. Through the 1980’s and 1990’s the CMP was optioned to various exploration companies however limited work programs were conducted producing little information of any use. In 2003, Placer Dome Ltd optioned the CMP and drilled 8 holes totaling 2,733m. The drill program hit numerous high-grade intercepts (in the order of 0.128 oz/t to 4.827 oz/t) but Placer Dome ultimately returned the CMP to Mid-North citing that there was little potential for the property to host a gold resource large enough to be of significance to its current gold portfolio. Funds received from the completion of the business combination were used in 2006 to drill an additional 10 holes on the CMP. Again, a number of holes hit high grade intercepts (in the order of 0.120 oz/t to 0.505 oz/t), at relatively shallow depths. Bison’s management continues to be focused on expanding its core drill program to verify and expand current known gold occurrences and their discipline has paid off. On August 17th 2010 Bison Gold released its most significant drill results after the results came back (from an intensive 2007/08 drill program that had been implemented by its new management team); Diamond drill hole OG-11-09 intersected 7.96 meters grading 46.5 g/t Au, including 95.56 g/t Au over 1.68 meters, in a zone of intense quartz-carbonate alteration, shearing and quartz veining containing visible gold within a granodiorite.
Previous to 2006 Bison had shown to have limited capacity to promote and raise the required capital for a meaningful exploration program on the CMP. The “new” Bison group approached old Bison management and worked out new financing terms and management changes. This “new” Bison group is young, yet extremely experienced in the financing and mining sector.
The stagnant behaviour of Bison’s share price in the past had been due to its infancy as a company, a small public float, lack of appropriate financing and the previous CNQ listing. The new management has since effectively eliminated these challenges. An intensive road show throughout the Canadian investment communities highlighting Bison’s unique merits through 2011 is expected to bring about awareness and thus additional liquidity. Finding economical ore bodies have been proven to be exponentially more successful in areas that have previously been exposed to successful mining and that is the reason for management’s excitement in this endeavour. The CMP has produced over 205,000 oz of Au with primitive mining methods, all without barely scratching the surface (i.e. all mining was done above the 300m level – compare that to San Gold at 1,400m), thus indicating the property has much more to offer at depth.