Financial Press: WestKam Begins ‘Connecting the Dots’ at Bonaparte Gold and Copper Project

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The gold, they’ve long known about. The copper, they’ve always suspected.

The gold, they’ve long known about.

The copper, they’ve always suspected.

What’s new is the launch of an aggressive program to figure out just how much gold and copper there really may be at the Bonaparte Gold Project, 35 km. north of Kamloops, B.C.

The multi-faceted initiative comes after two years of dramatic corporate change, beginning with the naming of a new leader to reorganize and revitalize the Vancouver-based junior exploration company that controls 75 per cent of the Bonaparte property.

Six months after Matt Wayrynen was appointed President and CEO in October 2011, the company — formerly Encore Renaissance Resources — changed its name to WestKam Gold Corp. and set out to secure funds for a top-down overhaul.

Some $2 million was raised, strategic new claims were added to the 2,300-hectare property, and Mountainside Exploration Management was hired to conduct a comprehensive work program beginning this fall.

Wayrynen says a key goal of the program is to establish data that “connects the dots” and paints as complete a picture as possible leading to the property’s first NI 43-101 resource calculation.

“The program has been designed to utilize exploration methods that will test and target both the high-grade gold vein networks as well as the porphyry potential, thereby more efficiently deploying the available exploration resources,” says Wayrynen.

In pursuit of potential gold and porphyry deposits, geological and geophysical programs will be carried out, followed as appropriate by diamond drilling.

The 32-month program will cost new money yet to be raised.

“Drilling costs money,” says Wayrynen, with typical candour. “How much and how deep we drill depends on how much money we have.”

The CEO cites two key reasons why he believes WestKam has an advantage over the hundreds of juniors seeking development money.

The geological structure of the Bonaparte property bears compelling comparisons to other major copper deposits in the immediate area, such as the now-closed Brenda Mine.

But a recent study by the B.C. Geological Survey added considerable weight to theories of a potentially massive copper deposit at Bonaparte.

In the independent study, released in January 2013 by the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, authors Jim Logan and Mitch Mihalynuk concluded: “The geologic setting, alteration assemblages and styles of mineralization suggest that the Bonaparte deposit may represent the upper level of a buried porphyry system.”

The study was music to Wayrynen’s ears. He said he was “extremely encouraged” by such positive data from “an arm’s length investigation. This report . . . reinforces our confidence in WestKam’s current exploration plans.”

He added: “We have long believed that the Bonaparte property holds significant potential for discovery of a large-scale porphyry copper-gold system.”

A second big factor for investors is the already proven potential for future gold production.
Gold was the primary target at Bonaparte since mineralized float was first discovered in 1985.
The existence of high-grade gold on the property has been well documented by bulk sampling, and in previously reported geochemical results.

In 1994, a 3,700 metric ton bulk sample was removed from the Grey Jay and Crow veins in the ‘Discovery Zone’ at Bonaparte and shipped to the Cominco smelter at Trail, B.C. It yielded 3,160 ounces of gold, equivalent to a grade of 26.5 g/t.

In 2009, Encore Renaissance Resources Corp. extracted 364.61 tons of material, mostly from the Raven Vein. It was shipped to Kinross Gold’s mill in Washington State, producing161.95 ounces of gold, equivalent to 16.28 g/t.

A further target for gold lies east of the Discovery Zone along Cooler Creek where historical sampling identified a two-kilometre long anomalous gold geochemical trend. Quartz vein float material found in the area graded up to 74 g/t, but until now no further exploration has been done.
Says Wayrynen: “Is there a lot of work still to be done? Yes. How much ore do we have? No one knows. How much will it cost to extract? We have a basic idea. But we are not yet in production. Bulk sample testing is not production.”

Nevertheless, he adds: “We have demonstrated that the shear hosted gold bearing quartz vein system tested to date is amenable to underground mining methods, and based on the results from the two bulk sample shipments, we have determined the metallurgical properties and optimum extractive milling methods returning a 93.51 per cent mill recovery rate.”


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