2020 was a year of economic insecurity, and as a result, gold stocks are now soaring on the Canadian Stock Market. Gold has always been considered a safe bet for investors during uncertain times, and as gold extraction continues to decline globally, a lack of reserve replacements could indicate a potential bull market.
Last year I covered Québec-based AMEX Exploration Inc. (TSX-V:AMX, FRA:MX0, OTCQX:AMXEF), and as we set off into 2021, a year that will bring renewed optimism and economic recovery, the company has more exciting news to share.
A bit of background
Amex has 100% ownership in the high grade Perron Gold Project, located about one hour north of Rouyn-Noranda in Québec. The stretch of Abitibi Greenshields that crosses Ontario and Québec is host to some of the richest deposits in the world and Québec has put many measures and initiatives in place to attract and retain mining companies.
Since 2019, Amex has intersected significant gold mineralization in three zones that stretch 3.2 kms along the Perron Fault Zone. In addition to the Perron project, Amex has 100% ownership in multiple other highly prospective gold projects including the Eastmain River Gold Properties consisting of 119 claims covering 6,071 hectares and the Lebel-sur-Quévillion Gold Project comprising 73 claims covering 4,071 hectares.
In one of my 2020 Insights, I spoke about the company’s resilience and how Amex managed to forge ahead through the pandemic while ensuring compliance with COVID-19 health & safety requirements. The company has managed to continue all planned exploration activities while respecting and adhering to evolving health regulations including those introduced in Québec on January 6, 2021.
Building on major achievements in 2020
The company recently recapped its major achievements from 2020, and these achievements are impressive. Amex expanded their drill program from 100,000 m to 300,000 m, expanding from three drills onsite to 10 drills by mid-November, making the Amex drilling campaign one of the largest and most aggressive exploration programs in the country in 2020.
The company expanded all three known gold zones along strike and to depth, and identified a 3.2 km Perron Gold Corridor along the 15 km prospective thrust faults yet to be explored. To date, very little drilling has occurred outside the Perron Gold Corridor, and as such, there is much potential still to be uncovered.
In addition, Amex identified high grade gold mineralization down to 1.1 km vertical depth at High Grade Zone (HGZ), completed metallurgical testing on the HGZ of the Eastern Gold Zone (EGZ) showing recoveries of greater than 99% for gold and silver, and demonstrated a simplified gold processing flowsheet.
The company strengthened and diversified its Board of Directors by welcoming two new Board members, Mr. Bryan Coates and Ms. Anik Gendron, both who have played active roles on the Amex Board, offering strategic insights to the management team – a team that is comprised of Amex shareholders – over the past year. The company also secured two financings and ended the year with approximately $32M cash, while adding cornerstone investors.
Approximately 120,000 m of drilling has been completed on the Perron project with another 180,000 m left to be completed in 2021. Amex is planning a significant 15,000 m regional exploration program for 2021 with a goal to identify additional gold zones on the property.
Last year, the stock reflected Amex’s achievements, allowing Amex to outperform its peers:
The Eastern Gold Zone
In 2020, Amex doubled the vertical extension of the HGZ, down to a vertical depth of 1.1 kms, intersecting 3.85 metres of 25.04 g/t Au. Interpretations of the HGZ suggest that gold mineralization has been traced over 350 metres along strike, from near surface to over 1.1 kms vertically, averaging approximately 7 metres in core length. The highest grade core of the system is more than double the vertical distance at depth when compared to the near-surface portion of the HGZ.
In 2021, drilling of the HGZ will focus on definition drilling down to the 1.0 km level for a resource calculation starting at the end of 2021 as well as continued step out drilling to expand the strike length of the system at depth.
The Denise Zone
Last year also marked significant progress on Amex’s nearby Denise Zone which lies parallel and approximately 50 m to the south of the HGZ. In 2020, drilling demonstrated the potential to add significant near surface gold ounces to the project. Recent drilling confirmed the presence of a high metal factor core within large intervals of gold mineralization as demonstrated in Hole PE-20-199 which intersected 81.50 metres of 1.51 g/t Au at a vertical depth of approximately 190 metres.
Drilling continued to yield wide near surface gold mineralization at Denise which improves the overall open pit potential of the entire Eastern Gold Zone. Amex also completed metallurgy testing at the HGZ to demonstrate ease of recovery at the Perron property.
Results indicated exceptional gold and silver recovery (+99%) using a 3-stage processing technique including gravity, flotation, and cyanidation. The Phase 2 metallurgy program determined that very high gold (+99%) and silver (89.5%) recoveries could be achieved using a simplified two stage process that eliminates floatation. Additional metallurgy testing is planned for the other gold zones at Perron following these extraordinary recovery rates at the HGZ.
Gratien & Grey Cat Gold Zones
2020 marked a successful year for Amex in expanding and defining the near surface mineralization of both these zones while confirming Grey Cat’s open pit mining potential. Drilling is focused on defining the Gratien to approximately 250 metres vertical depth while testing Grey Cat’s depth to approximately 500 metres vertically.
Of note, at Grey Cat, intercepts included 1.22 g/t Au over 39.00 metres at a vertical depth of about 80 metres as well as 4.54 g/t Au over 10.30 metres at a vertical depth of about 70 metres. Mineralization at this site is easily identifiable in three dimensions, and as such, easy to target.
Forging Ahead Full Steam In 2021
In its latest press release, Amex announced that it is currently awaiting assay results from 9,000 samples completed in 2020. The company also reported visible gold intersected in drill holes each day since its drilling program resumed on January 4, 2021.
Looking forward, Amex intends to complete the drilling program which will progress through to the fall of 2021 at which time the company will initiate a property-wide NI43-101 compliant resource calculation. Furthermore, Amex has identified several additional potentially gold bearing structures outside the three known gold zones. Follow up drilling on these new structures will be completed before the end of 2021.
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Securities Disclosure: I do have a sponsorship relationship with this company and have been paid for publishing work. I also have bought stock in the open market.
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