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Commodity: Gold
Deposit Type: Orogenic shear-hosted gold
Location: Ontario, Canada
Size: 5,680 hectares
Status: Available for Option

The Oakes Project is centered on the Oakes Township just north of Canadian National Highway 11 and about 2km north of the town of Long Lac, Ontario. The Oakes Township is part of the well-endowed Beardmore-Geraldton Greenstone Belt, located northeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Geraldton region has a long and rich mining history and has produced over 4.1 million ounces of gold over the past 100 years including the combined MacLeod-Cockshutt Mine, which produced 1.5 million ounces of gold. More recently, the Hardrock Project held by Greenstone Gold Mines (jointly owned by Equinox Gold and Premier Gold Mines) has elevated attention to the area by announcing their intention to mine their gold resource near Geraldton, Ontario. The Hardrock Project has Proven & Probable Reserves of 5.5Moz at 1.27 g/t Au1.1 Riverside sees Oakes as an exploration potential eastward extension of this geology and the potential for big new discoveries.

[1] https://www.equinoxgold.com/_resources/projects/technical_reports/2021-Hardrock.pdf

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Figure 1: Geraldton Greenstone Belt showing the location of Longrose,
Pichette and Oakes projects with past producing mines (+4.1M Oz Au in past production)1

Riverside commenced its self-funded drill program at the Oakes Gold Project in March 2022. The first holes of the drill program targeted the principal HG Target previously identified during the earlier exploration work programs. Additional few holes were drilled to test parallel IP anomalies named the Crib and Brinklow targets to the south of the HG trend.

The drill program consisted of 12 inclined diamond drill holes totaling 1,700m. The HG Target is the primary target deducted from field work. Corresponding geophysics shows a linear, eastwest trending structure identified through an IP survey (see figures below). The original IP work was followed up by stripping and trenching which returned gold over several meters in channel assays. Over the past two years Riverside’s team has been able to gain an understanding of the mineralization, structural geology and stratigraphy to a confidence level whereby Riverside self funded the drill campaign.

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Figure 2: 2022 Planned Drill Program at Oakes which was then completed and summarized results in news releases and on this website here.

 

Results from the first 5 holes released focused on the central area of the HG Target identified and expanded by Riverside’s 2021 IP program. All holes intersected anomalous gold in the anticipated target “zone” with the widest drilled interval so far being 5 m estimated true thickness with 2.1 g/t Au in hole DDH2022-02 and the highest assay value being 8.4 g/t over 1 m with visible gold. All 12 holes were drilled to between 115 m and 146 m total depth thus only testing the shallow along strike trend and leaving fully open the shallow and down-dip continuation.

 Table 1: Spring 2022 Drill Program Highlights at Oakes (first 5 holes)

HOLE# FROM (m) TO (m) INTERVAL (m) GOLD (g/t)
DDH2022-01 95 96 1 1.7
DDH2022-02
 including
77
78
83
79
6
1
2.1
8.4 (VG)
DDH2022-03 73 74.5 1.5 4.0
DDH2022-03 84 85 1 1.4
DDH2022-03 105 106 1 3.6
DDH2022-03 114.5 120.5 6 0.6
DDH2022-04 83 96 13 0.2
DDH2022-05 94 96.5 2.5 0.8
DDH2022-05 102 103.5 1.5 1.5

 

fig2Figure 3: Map view of the 2022 drill program showing all 12 holes and some of the eastern intersections plotted on regional geology map. Graphics from the press release are more up to date and below as further drill results have been released.

This drill campaign has now successfully expanded the known gold mineralization well beyond the outcrops and laid the groundwork for a further drill campaign to continue expanding the Oakes gold camp beyond the 2022 drilling. IP data provided strong conductivity and complimentary resistivity anomaly trending roughly east-west parallel to the geological units with greater confidence for further drilling as well as down dip wide open. The best hole in the second batch of reporting was DDH-22-06 which returned 1.7 g/t over 4 m (shown in Table 2).

 Table 2: Spring 2022 Drill Program Highlights at Oakes (holes 6-12)

Hole No. from (m) to (m) length (m) Au (g/t)
OAKES-22-06 72 76 4 1.7
including 72 73 1 4.9
OAKES-22-06 85 88 3 1.0
OAKES-22-07 98 100 2 0.9
OAKES-22-08 9 10.5 1.5 >0.4
OAKES-22-09 18 18.5 0.5 1.0
OAKES-22-11 22 23 1 2.2<
OAKES-22-11 96.5 98 1.5 1.0
OAKES-22-11 113.5 115 1.5 1.1
OAKES-22-11 125.5 127 1.5 2.3
OAKES-22-11 151 152 1 0.9
OAKES-22-12 106.5 108 1.5 2.4
OAKES-22-12 130 131 1 0.4

All samples comprised half-core, saw-cut samples with QA/QC described below and further at www.rivres.com. Samples are generally considered to be 90-95% to true width.

  

Technical Interpretations & Observations:

Mineralized zones are being successfully hit in the drilling program and are associated with altered mafic volcanics intercalated with thin sections of metasediments and narrow tuffaceous sections showing minor hydrothermal breccia. Core near the top of these holes comprises strong chlorotic alteration with overall strong silicification and lesser carbonate bleaching along foliation and bands of biotite alteration throughout. Quartz veins make up about 5% of the mineralized zones with pyrite and pyrrhotite fracture fillings and blebs being a key mineralization an indicative feature so far in this early stage of drilling analysis.

Overall, mineralization increases with depth comprising pyrite-pyrrhotite up to 3% total sulfides. Semi-massive pyrite-pyrrhotite was noted in several holes and correlates to increased gold content. Visible gold was found in two holes associated with pyrite and lesser pyrrhotite in areas of quartz veining. The end of the zones is often marked by sections of millimeter-scale porphyroblastic garnets. At Holes -01, -07 and -08 gabbroic units mark the beginning of the mineralized zones (assays are pending on the higher numbered holes). These geologic aspects will form the basis for developing the third dimension and understanding of the HG zone which continues to be progressing.

 

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Figure 4: Plan view of IP geophysics inversion data with Riverside’s 12-hole drill program completed on the HG zone superimposed.

HG Target:

Three trenches were completed in along the HG zone. Trench #1 in particular showed several shears, the largest being 3 m wide and exposed over an 80 m long strike within the trench. Two quartz-carbonate shears were sampled by Riverside in Trench #1. These shears are within mafic volcanics with sulphide mineralization; primarily pyrrhotite and pyrite. Two of the 5 samples taken from this trench returned 19.7 and 31.9 g/t gold (see Figure below). Another sample 30 m to the east returned 6.9 g/t and still another sample 275 m along trend returned 1 g/t gold. These Riverside samples are on trend with drill hole GL-93-2, drilled by Greater Lenora Resources Corp. in 1993 which returned >3 g/t gold within sheared metavolcanics rocks. Riverside believes this drill intercept and the trench samples demonstrate a 400 m strike length for this target (HG Target) that could extend, based on interpretation of geology and geophysics for 2 km in total strike length (this total strike length needs to be confirmed with more field studies). Thus Riverside is building upon previous work and expanding with the HG Target.

The HG Zone at Oakes has been proven to extend well beyond the strike extent defined by trenching and has now been drill proven to at least 1.1 km in length. To date the drilling has only tested the upper 100 m of the structure where mineralization appears associated with quartz veins that show visible gold within pyrite rich veins. Thus now the target is 3x longer and wide open at depth and warrants aggressive further exploration. The gold mineralization is associated with quartz and quartz-carbonate veins in shear zones within metavolcanic rocks often (near-vertical which can bode well for potential future mining and predicting the next round of drilling). Quartz veins that are subparallel to foliation appear to be the veins that carry gold. The quartz veins are mostly associated with brittle type fracturing with lesser semi-ductile type, potentially indicating that drilling was approaching the upper brittle-ductile transition which can be highly favorable in large orogenic gold deposits. The nature of the fracturing suggests that the shallow drilling is primarily within the upper brittle deformation zone as shown in cross section. The fact that the gold veins can now be traced in drill holes more than 3x beyond the previous surface trenching expands the Oakes project potential greatly.

DDH-22-06 & 07 were designed to intercept the HG Zone beneath Trench 1 at about 100 m depth. The target zone comprises strongly foliated, fine grained, metavolcanic rocks showing strong silicified zones with narrow bleached sections. Alteration comprises abundant biotite and chlorite bands, the top of the unit shows quartz veining with semi-massive pyrite-pyrrhotite and trace chalcopyrite which generally described the mineralized environment at Oakes. Quartz carbonate veinlets and stringers are more frequent from 80 m to 110 m down the hole consistent with the drill target gold bearing area. The overall 25-30m mineralization halo and main zone which is near vertical, now demonstrates strong consistency and provides the Company confidence of a significant gold system at Oakes.

Brinklow Target:

Similar parallel targets were delineated to the south of the northern most HG Target. These zones are oriented roughly east-west and coincident with VLF, IP chargeability and soil geochemistry anomalies. The Brinklow zone may align with the historical hole DDH50-01 which intersected anomalous gold (>3 g/t) within mafic volcanics at only 7.6 m downhole. DDH-22-09 was intended to target this zone. While the hole drilled through highly altered rock it did not intercept any gold mineralization. More refined drilling is required here to test this target. Target is set for further drilling.

Crib Target:

The third and most southern target, the Crib Target, is located along the boundary of mafic volcanic and pillow basalts that also coincides with a VLF and partial gold-in-soil anomaly. DDH-22-10 was intended to test the contact zone at this target however the hole did not intercept any mineralized zones. Further drilling is warranted and positive for exploration potential.

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Figure 5: Assays and projected drill holes for 12 holes plotted on IP chargeability Map

DDH-22-11 was targeting an IP conductivity anomaly associated with the HG Zone on trend with the mineralization defined on surface (and in drill core) at Hole 6 located 600 m to the east along what is believed to be the same structure. Assays returned gold results associated with veining throughout the hole and as high as 2.3 g/t gold. Hole 11 was collared in metasedimentary rocks and drilled northward into metavolcanic rocks. Bedding and the contact between the two units was measured at 50 degrees to the core axis whereas foliation and shearing is at about 45 degrees. Alteration comprises moderately to strong biotitic and weak to strong chlorite zones sometimes associated with carbonate zones. Quartz veining and silica content increases starting at 80 m downhole. Sulphides are associated with quartz veins and comprise 2-5% disseminated Pyrite-Pyrrhotite seen within local fracture fillings and stringers.

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Figure 6: Interpreted North – South Cross Section DDH-22-11 demonstrating the progression from brittle down into brittle-ductile deformation as the targeting model having found gold over 55m drill width zone in hole 11

DDH-22-12 was collared in gabbro and drilled north through metasedimentary rock into metavolcanics. Mineralization is noted within similar altered rock but only within shears in the mafic volcanics and does not appear to be associated with the contact zones. Sheared zones commonly a focus for gold mineralization in orogenic systems like this one are expressed as altered, fine-grained, metavolcanics with moderate to strong chlorite-biotite alteration with quartz-carbonate veins and stringers with 1-2% disseminated pyrite and pyrrhotite.

 

Past work on the Oakes project includes two historic drill campaigns, more recent VLF, Mag and IP geophysics in addition to a soil chemistry survey and trenching campaigns. Historical drilling by Hard Rock Gold Mines includes 7 short, BQ-sized holes drilled between 1949-51. Five of the drill holes from the 1950s intersected gold grades above 3 g/t . Only a few rare pieces of core from these past programs are available such that the old work will need to be confirmed and incorporated into new work being conducted by Riverside to produce bonified exploration targets. Drill logs report the mineralized zones that were sampled historically comprised quartz-carbonate veins within sheared mafic volcanics with sulphide mineralization (pyrite, chalcopyrite and galena). This drilling campaign was conducted to trace known veins discovered at surface at depth.

In 1993 in a different area two holes were drilled by Greater Lenora Resources Corp. to test two coincident VLF and copper-in-soil geochem anomalies. Drill logs from the historical reports show the mineralized zones that were sampled comprised meta-basalts (greenschist to amphibolite facies) and tuffs showing silicification and sulphide mineralization (pyrite, chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite). Hole GL-93-1 was drilled to a depth of 153 m and returned anomalous results in gold and copper. Hole GL-93-2 (155 m) intersected an 8.3 m length of semi-massive pyrrhotite mineralization starting at 112m down hole with one, 1.5 m long sample returning 3.3 g/t gold.

More recent work by Golden Chalice Resources (2010-12) included an IP survey and a trenching campaign. The trenching campaign identified several mineralized shears coincident with VLF and IP chargeability geophysical anomalies. The best trench of six, Trench #1, returned three channel samples of 4.77, 4.17 and 3.41 g/t gold within shear-hosted quartz-carbonate veins. In addition, 26% of the 20 samples taken at Trench #1 returned greater than 1 g/t gold. The best composite sample results from this older work in Trench #1 were 1.3 g/t over 4 m and 1.32 g/t over 4 m. None of the trench work has been followed-up on and most of the complimentary geochemical anomalies have not been drilled. Riverside sees ample opportunity at Oakes to further consolidate the past work and build on the survey work that has showed positive results for gold so far. Riverside in July of 2019 sampled selective sections of the shear zones showing sulphide mineralization that retuned good gold values of 19.7, 31.9 g/t and 6.9 g/t (see press release dated July 29, 2019).

Riverside’s fieldwork indicates gold mineralization at Oakes is hosted within shear zones along contacts between mafic volcanics and gabbroic sills or felsic volcanics

In November 2019, Riverside completed a second round of exploration. The second phase of recently completed work was conducted to identify the east and west extension of this HG shear zone. Riverside geologists mapped and sampled the eastward extension on this shear and found more high-grade gold including 7 g/t gold from the HG shear zone. The new surface samples are believed to demonstrate a mineralized strike length for the HG zone of about 600 m. These samples align with older VLF (1999) and IP anomalies from a survey completed in 2010. The older geophysics shows the anomaly extends both east and west along strike suggesting a potential mineralized strike length of 2.6 km from this data.

Preliminary prospecting and mapping work has traced the known quartz-carbonate vein beyond the high-grade sample location over a strike length of 400 m, and historical surveys and field observations indicate that this vein may extend over a strike length of up to 2 km.

The recent work confirmed three previously identified areas and three other possible target zones.

There are two predominant target orientations:

The first orientation trends east-west and is associated with contact zones that have been delineated by VLF and IP chargeability geophysical surveys
A second orientation target zones trend at 340 degrees (NW) and is defined by linear magnetic lows, field geology and soil geochemistry.

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Figure 7: Oakes project with regional geology and distance from large gold deposits

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Figure 8: Oakes Project showing geology, gold-in-soil geochemical anomalies, historical drill hole locations and Riversides proposed target locations

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Figure 9: Oakes Project compilation showing HG Target with VLF anomalies trend, 2010 IP survey results and recent Riverside sampling delineating high priority drill target extent 

The Beardmore-Geraldton Greenstone Belt (BGGB) has produced about 4.1 million ounces of gold and retains gold resources of several million ounces. The BGGB in the area of the Project is located along the boundary between the Wabigoon and Quetico sub-provinces in the Superior province of the Canadian Shield. These boundaries are often major fault breaks, which can host large gold resources as is found further to the east in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt. Targeting on the Oakes Project and in the belt has focused on the steeply dipping, brittle-ductile shear zones which can comprise various lithologies, metamorphic grades, and alteration styles. The shear zones at Oakes typically strike east-west along the boundary or parallel to the BGGB similar to other past producers and identified gold resources in the area.

The host rock in the project area comprises Archean-aged, meta-volcanics known as the northern volcanic panel part of the larger BGGB and is located where the panel appears to wrap northward around the Croll Lake Stock similar to structural styles of Abitibi gold camps in Eastern Ontario. Specifically, the bedrock comprises a suite of felsic, intermediate and mafic volcanics with gabbroic sills. Volcanic rock types include rhyolitic and andesitic flows, tuffs and breccias, chert, iron formation, minor metasedimentary and intrusive rocks. The more mafic units include basaltic and andesitic flows, tuffs and pillow basalts. The Croll Lake Stock comprises diorite through to granodiorite and syenite. The youngest bedrock includes the northwest trending diabase dikes which are noted throughout the property and region. The metamorphosed mineralized zones are marked by silicification and sulphide mineralization including pyrite, pyrrhotite, galena and arsenopyrite found along contact zones or cross-cutting structures. These mineralized contact zones have been defined by past VLF/Mag surveys complimented and further refined more recently (2008) by follow-up IP surveys and confirmed by trenching in 2010.

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Figure 10: Geology at the Oakes District

As part of the quality control Riverside inserted blanks, duplicates and two different standards, into the sample stream prior to delivery at Activation Laboratories in Thunder Bay. Logged core was delivered from site to a core cutting facility in Thunder Bay by Riverside and trucked to Activation Laboratories from this facility typically in batches of 2 to 4 holes at a time. Multi-Element Analysis using Aqua Regia Extraction and (40 element) Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry Analytical and fire assay for gold methods where used.  The Company also ran 4-acid total digestion in conjunction with aqua regia over several mineralized zones as a check for the best analysis method. Activation Laboratories is an ISO/IEC accredited laboratory.

The scientific and technical data contained in this news release was reviewed and approved by Freeman Smith, P.Geo., a non-independent qualified person to Riverside Resources, who is responsible for ensuring that the geologic information provided within this news release is accurate and who acts as a “qualified person” under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

 

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Photo: Drill Rig at the Oakes Gold Project 

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Photo: Drill core from DDH2022-02: 2.1 g/t Au over 6 m (Including 8.4 g/t Au over 1 m)

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Photo: Drill core from DDH2022-03: 4 g/t Au over 1.5 m

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