By Andrea Klassen
Kamloops This Week
When First Americas Gold took over a series of mine claims about 70 kilometres north of Kamloops, they knew there was probably some gold in the land.
They didn’t, however, expect to find evidence of quite so much of it.
Earlier this month, the Vancouver-based company announced it had identified a six-kilometre-long, one-kilometre-wide area at its Kamloops Copper-Gold property that appears to be rich in gold.
“It was a little bit of a surprise for us to discover the magnitude of that zone,” First Americas CEO and president Drew Bonnell told KTW.
“There was some historical evidence that there was some gold there and some good grade gold way back into the ‘80s, but not to the scale that we’ve actually uncovered,” Bonnell said.
We’re pretty excited about that opportunity. It’s a large system and it seems to have all the right components to it, the right geology.”
First Americas’ geology team also believes it has located a massive sulfide-copper deposit on the property 24 kilometres northeast of Barriere.
That find is less surprising, Bonnell said. First Americas’ claims surround a copper deposit discovered in the 1980s, and Bonnell said multiple deposits are not uncommon.
“These deposits of mineralized ore seem to accumulate in clusters, in pods very similar to a pearl necklace,” he said.
“Where there’s one massive sulfide deposit in this region, typically there’s others along the string of pearls and it’s a matter of just trying to find where they are.”
Bonnell said the difficulty at the site is that there is little visible rock to give clues about what lies in the ground.
It’s only because of recent developments in geo-chemistry that the team was able to locate the deposits as quickly as it has — First Americas only took over the site fully this summer.
“By using these new techniques, we think we’re on to something,” Bonnell said. “And some of these techniques have only been available in the mining world really for the last six months. So, we’re using some pretty sophisticated science.”
Now that it has identified possible deposit sites, the company wants to begin drilling in the area this year, Bonnell said.
If early findings are positive, more exploratory drilling would follow next spring. While the project is in the very early stages, Bonnell said First Americas is hopeful it may eventually be able develop a mine at the site.
He said the company has already reached out to the Simpcw First Nation to make it aware of its plans and is working on setting up a meeting with the band’s chief and council.
“If it goes down that road, we have the attitude that we’re going to make sure we do things right every step along the way,” he said.