Wine Harbour Gold District

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Gold was first discovered in the Wine Harbour Gold District of Nova Scotia in 1860. Between 1862 and 1907 approximately 42,336.5 troy oz of gold (grading an average of 11.73 g/t) were extracted. The bulk of this extraction was from a series of open pits and underground workings. Historical exploitation of gold via surface pits is rare in Nova Scotia, and it is believed that relatively high grades (perhaps greater than 10g/t Au) were found over significant widths in shallow plunging ore shoots.[1]

Modern exploration in the area does not seem to have taken a holistic approach based on written and well documented historical resources and information available to explorers. Instead, it appears the approach has been seemingly random and uncoordinated as many small explorers and prospectors explored individual claims with little reference to past exploration or the competitor's results. Taken as a whole, the body of research covering the district appears to show it has the potential to become a very lucrative prospect for future mineral resource exploration.

Geological and mineralization overview

The Goldenville Formation at this locality is folded into two anticlines, termed the north anticline and the south anticline (the Wine Harbour Anticline), which converge towards the west. The center of the dome lies in the west end of the gold district. The south anticline is considered to be the main anticline, and the north fold is thought to be a crumple on its north limb. A series of radiating faults are found on the south-western portion of the district. The veins are interbedded, and most occur on the south limb of the south anticline (Ham, 2000).

The Geological Survey of Canada produced an excellent map of the district, based on work by Faribault, which includes the quartz leads and slate belts in the area from 1905. It is found on page 16 of Tri-Explorations Ltd. Engineering Report (Dawe, 1990) and has been retrieved from the Geological Survey of Canada and included as Figure 5. Boddy's report includes a first-person recount (Boddy, 1991) that there were at least 11 known quartz belts (leads) described as follows:

Name Description Westcasset 14 to 15 feet wide Washington 10 to 12 feet wide Gillis 15 to 16 feet wide Desbarres 15 feet wide Hattie-Mitchell 16 to 18 feet wide Halliday 2 Inches Wide Solid Quartz Creighton 6 Inches wide Major Norton 2 feet wide Solid Quartz Lincoln 6 inches wide

In 1995, MacNaughton reported, "Native gold occurs in two environments at Wine Harbour, first as native gold in the quartz veins and secondly finer gold associated with the sulfides." (MacNaughton T. , 1995, p. 10) In several reports submitted to the Department of Natural Resources, MacNaughton emphasizes that he believes the deposit is similar in structure to that of recent work at Goldboro by Orex and Tangier by Acadian. An assessment report submitted by Gold Bank Resources (McDougall, 1989) for claims to the north and north-west of the district show evidence of additional leads and quartz belts on crown property. However, these are reported to be covered with thick overburden and swamps. Little exploration seems to have occurred in the northern area of the Wine Harbour District.

According to a report by Wilco Mining Company (Hunter, 1989) describing the "djn z Plough Lead", the Wine Harbour gold mineralization "is associated with sulphidic, arsenical sediments; the sulfides arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, and pyrrhotite are conspicuous, although in general, they compromise less than 1% of the host rocks. Visible Gold is encountered in small milky quartz veinlets which may contain chlorite and carbonate. Highly anomalous values in gold are also known to occur locally within large arsenopyrites porphyroblasts in the host sediments. The old mine workings exploited leads – quartz vein-rich zones in slatey interbeds in the predominate greywacke succession. These slate belts are thin, persistent features that are commonly only one to 5 feet thick and are referred to as belts by past workers.

Extensive exploration work was completed by Acadia Mineral Ventures (AMV) in 1983, 1987 and 1988 in the district. In 1983 five diamond-drill holes were drilled in the district. Details on these holes (depth etc.) are unavailable, but from maps in the AMV's 1988 report, it is believed they are quite shallow. In 1987 and 1988, 38 holes were drilled totaling 18,149 feet of drilling. Gold was found in 26 of 38 holes. All the gold intersections were medium to high-grade and narrow in width. (Black, 1988) Dawe reports that diamond drilling by AMV drilled the Greengoods belt and "a number of the holes showed considerable gold mineralization and the geologist on the job stated he had never seen as much gold mineralization and as wide-spread as he observed in these holes." (Dawe, 1990, p. 4) After reviewing Black's report it is not clear whether Dawe's anecdotal report refers to the Greengoods belt noted on Faribaults plans, or whether the geologist was referring to a series of belts to the west (denoted Murdic, Gillies, McKenzie, and McNaughton on Faribault's plans) which may be a westward extension of the "Greengoods" belt and on which extensive drilling by AMV was undertaken and where good results were obtained. According to AMV's 1988 report, the first eleven holes drilled adjacent "past producers" showed that "no significant results were obtained" (Black, 1988, p. 8).

Airborne VLF surveys were conducted in 1981 by Paneast Exploration (Broome, 1981). A survey in 1987 by Terraquest Ltd. for Wilco Mining Company (Barrie, 1987) identified "An east-west trend of low resistivity occurs near the highway across the property... The central part of this resistive zone appears to correlate well with the areas of past gold mining in highly silicified argillites."

Other past work in the vicinity of the property includes two diamond drill holes targeted at the Plough Lead and grab sampling of the Cameron, McFarlane Leads and a quartz vein at Barachois point by Durham Resources (Abolins, 1985). To the west, Seabright resources conducted geochemical soil and till sampling. One sample was reported with 36ppb gold as an anomaly in its survey (Sexton, 1988).

MacNaughton has conducted several placer gold panning samples with positive results in 1995 (MacNaughton T., 1995). The Department of Natural Resources Nova Scan database contains several reports regarding placer gold found in the Wine Harbour district. These reports were not available to the author at the time of writing, but references to the presence of placer gold in several other reports seem to indicate that gold is present in this form (Mills, 1993), (Mills, Paleoplacer Gold Investigation In Nova Scotia, 1993), (Mills, Evaluation of Gold Placer Potential of the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, 1992).

In his 1995 report, MacNaughton states "Excellent reviews of previous work were done by Derek Johnson in August 1966 and Theodore Koulomzinc in 1966 for Nicholas Onassis". The report (Koulomzine, D., H, & N, 1966) has not yet been obtained or reviewed by the author as it is not available electronically.

History, past producers and results

Douglas Boddy included an excellent first-person summary of the past history of producers in the area (Boddy, 1991) which describes the Plough lead/mine (to the south of the target property) in great detail as well as many of the other past producers and leads/quartz veins in the area. In its 1988 Report for Wilco Mining Company, Jaques Whitford and Associates notes that "these operations ceased production for reasons other than depletion of reserves, such as inefficient mining and milling techniques, no inexpensive readily available source of power, and reports of rich gold and silver deposits in Ontario [that] lured the development capital and skilled labor force away." (Jaques Whitford and Associates Ltd., 1988). The following table of past producers and their results is derived from recent reports on the property for Atlantic Gold NL. (O'Sullivan, 2006) However, Sangster and Smith write "Reliable grade and tonnage figures are not available for the Meguma Group gold deposits." (Sangster & Smith).

						Tons		Ounces		Grade 		g/t 
Napier Mill			1889-1898	36,052		26,104		0.72		22.70
El Dorado Mill			1889-1895	1,144		321		0.28		8.56
Adams Mill			1895-1901	2,297		1,058		0.46		13.86
McNaughton's			1898-1903	1,882		992		0.56		16.07
Guysborough			1899-1900	2,069		817		0.40		12.04
Lowe				1899-1901	6,987		3,395		0.56		15.11
Plough				1902-1904	7,138		2,169		0.30		9.26
Old Provincial Pratt		1900-1902	2,239		450		0.20		6.13
Old Provincial Mining Co.	1903-1905	5,594		1,790		0.30		9.76
Wine Harbour Gold Mine Co.	1906-1907	7,191		1,431		0.20		6.07
Mineral Industries Ltd.		1936-1939	6,456		2,014		0.31		9.51

MacNaughton and Mazerolle state that "... an exploration program by Mineral Industries Limited bulk sampled some of the old workings. From the Plough Belt, 7,663 tons were mined. 5,655 tons milled yielding a recovery of about .175 oz/ton with recoveries ranging from 67% to 93.4%." (MacNaughton T., 1995, p. 8) and further states "The grade calculated by Mineral Industries Limited from recovered gold indicates a minimum tenor [sic] of 0.18 oz/ton. Modern recovery methods should be able to raise this value at least 10% and very likely 17% (giving 97% recovery) or about 0.213 oz/ton." (MacNaughton T., 1995, p. 10)

Figure 3[clarification needed] below illustrates the known location of historic workings and some details of modern exploration work. At least 43 Diamond Drill Core samples taken by Acadia Mineral Ventures are not included in this data set, nor are Reverse Circulation and RAB drilling by Atlantic Gold. The database includes only one past producer is included when Faribault's map of the district show at least four distinct producing facilities in 1905.

The Nova Scan database contains a reference to a report on a Bulk Sample conducted in 1993 by Cole, but at the time of writing this report had not been reviewed. (Cole, 1993)

A plan of the district is also included in the Prospectus of the Eureka Gold Mining Company from 1868. At the time of writing this report, it had not been reviewed. (Eureka Gold Mining Company, 1868) (Eureka Gold Mining Company, 1868)

References

  1. ^ (Utley, EL5802 Wine Harbour Assessment Work Report, 2006)
  • (1911). Retrieved from http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/meninmines/archives.asp?ID=300
  • (2009, October 31). Retrieved December 28, 2009, from The Nova Scotia Mineral Occurrence Database: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/links/modblinks.asp
  • Abolins, U. (1985, June 5). Retrieved December 28, 2009, from Nova Scan Database, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Nova Scotia: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/data/ar/1985/AR_ME_1985-035.pdf
  • Atlantic Gold NL. (2007, July 31). Retrieved December 28, 2009, from http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20070731/pdf/313qlv8gg02dv4.pdf
  • Barrie, C. (1987, August 18). Retrieved December 28, 2009, from Nova Scan Database, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Nova Scotia: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/data/ar/1987/ar_me_1987-214.pdf
  • Black, D. L. (1988, August 8). Retrieved December 28, 2009, from Nova Scan Database, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Nova Scotia: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/data/ar/1988/ar_me_1988-284.pdf
  • Boddy, D. (1991, August 6). Retrieved December 27, 2009, from Nova Scan Database, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Nova Scotia: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/data/ar/1991/ar_me_1991-101.pdf
  • Broome, H. J. (1981). Report on Airborne Geophysical Surveys on Behalf of Paneast Exploration Limited In Southeastern Nova Scotia. Sander Geophysics Ltd.
  • Cole, C. D. (1993). Initial Technical Evaluation of an Agglomeration/Vat Leaching Process for Recovery of Gold from Ore Sample WH-Bulk*1. Halifax: Technical University of Nova Scotia.
  • Dawe, J. (1990, July 31). Retrieved December 27, 2009, from Nova Scan Database, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Nova Scotia: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/data/ar/1990/ar_me_1990-082.pdf
  • Eureka Gold Mining Company. (1868). Retrieved December 2009, 2009, from https://archive.org/details/cihm_02922
  • Eureka Gold Mining Company. (1868). The prospectus, reports, and statistics of the Eureka Gold Mining Company of Nova Scotia [microform] : with a plan of the Wine Harbour Gold District : limited liability, capital stock, $100,000 in 100,000 shares of $1 each : to be organized under a special cha. Toronto: The Company.
  • Faribault, E. R. (1905). Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved from MIRAGE - Map Image Rendering Database for Geoscience: http://apps1.gdr.nrcan.gc.ca/mirage/mirage_list_e.php?id=108146
  • Ham, L. (2000). Retrieved December 27, 2009, from Nova Scan Database, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Nova Scotia: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/pdf/01re01/01re01_05ham.pdf
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  • Koulomzine, T., D., J., H, M. J., & N, O. (1966). Gold, Wine Harbour, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. Report on Geology and Rock Geochemistry.
  • MacNaughton, T. (1995, September 18). Retrieved December 28, 2009, from http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/data/ar/1995/ar_me_1995-077.pdf
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  • MacNaughton, T. (2004, February 17). Retrieved December 2009, 2009, from Nova Scan Database, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Nova Scotia: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/data/ar/2004/ar_me_2004-047.pdf
  • MacNaughton, T. (2005, February 17). Retrieved December 27, 2009, from Nova Scan Database, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Nova Scotia: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/data/ar/2005/ar_me_2005-052.pdf
  • McDougall, K. (1989, March 22). Retrieved December 27, 2009, from Nova Scan Database, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Nova Scotia: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/data/ar/1989/ar_me_1989-118.pdf
  • Mills, R. (1992). Evaluation of Gold Placer Potential of the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. Halifax: Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.
  • Mills, R. (1993). Paleoplacer Gold Investigation In Nova Scotia. Halifax: Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.
  • Mills, R. (1993). Placer Gold Potential In Nova Scotia. Halifax: Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.
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