HISTORICAL EXPLORATION AND DRILLING
- Gold was originally detected in pan concentrates from the Gatsuurt valley during a Mongolian government mapping program in 1970. The Gatsuurt placer deposit was discovered during detailed exploration in the district in 1991. The initial placer resource was estimated at 2.7 grams per cubic metre or 2,500 kilograms of contained gold (80,000 ounces).
- In 1995 mining licenses covering the Gatsuurt placer deposit were issued to Mongolian company Gurvan Gol Co. which later became Gatsuurt Co. The placer deposit was mined from 1995 until 2002, with the last year of operations essentially reprocessing tailings.
- In 1996 and 1997 Cascadia acquired three major exploration licenses in this part of northern Mongolia, including the Haraagol license, which covers a significant part of the Yeroogol gold trend and contains the Gatsuurt placer area. In 1997 quartz veins with visible gold were observed in the Gatsuurt placer bedrock floor and altered granite was noted in the placer debris. Cameco acquired an initial interest in Cascadia in 1997 and by 2004 had consolidated a 100% interest in the project.
- In 1998, detailed mapping of the placer floor and a soil sampling survey were completed. Strong gold and arsenic soil anomalies were detected on the South Slope and over the Main Zone. Topographic, ground magnetics and IP surveys were completed over the Gatsuurt area, and major chargeability anomalies were detected over the South Slope, Central Zone and Main Zone. Four diamond drill holes tested the IP anomalies and bedrock targets in the Central Zone and the Main Zone.
- Limited drilling programs were completed in 1999 to 2000 with 16 diamond drill holes totaling 2,138 metres completed at the Central Zone and 8 diamond drill holes totaling 1,174 metres completed at the Main Zone. Preliminary metallurgical testwork on drilling samples determined that the gold mineralization at both zones was refractory.
- During 2001 and 2002, an additional 80 diamond drill holes totaling 7,552 metres were completed at the Central Zone. Much of the Central Zone deposit was systematically tested to vertical depths of 75 metres to 100 metres. Drilling information was compiled and a resource estimate was prepared.
- During 2003, 15 RC and diamond drill holes totaling 1,993 metres were completed in the Central Zone to test for strike extensions to the mineralization and other targets in the immediate vicinity. Ten shallow RC holes totaling 435 metres were also completed in the Main Zone to determine the cyanide leachability of the shallow oxidized mineralization.
- The 2004 exploration program at the Gatsuurt Central Zone largely comprised in-fill drilling and systematically drilling the deposit to greater depths. Four drill holes were also completed at the Main Zone to test this target at greater depths. A total of 110 drill holes for 17,066 metres were completed.
- In 2005, the Gatsuurt project continued to be extensively studied and developed in many technical areas. The geological model and resource model for the Central Zone were completed following drilling and compiling data from 28 additional drill holes. The Main Zone ore body was defined by an additional 59 holes totalling 10,524 metres.
- 2007 reserves and resources were approved.
- 2010 the road construction to Gatsuurt was completed.
- The bio-oxidation plant construction is planned on receipt of final approvals and regulatory commissioning of Gatsuurt to commence mining.