“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” the old adage goes. It’s not one that frequently applies to the mining industry, though. The time, effort, and resources necessary to pull ore and/or minerals out of the ground usually implies that “treasure” of some sort must be involved to make it worth anyone’s while.
However, precisely where a mining company can find real value depends on multiple factors. Frequently, what one company may see as a fully exploited resource can, in the hands of another company, be a valuable property where the surface has just been scratched on the potential value.
Case in point, the Sagar Property in northern Quebec and its current owner, Honey Badger Exploration ($TUF:CA).
Sixty Years of Development and Still Going Strong
The Sagar Property has been developed for mining for over 60 years, with nearly a half-dozen different companies owning the property in that time including Inmet and Rio Tinto. There’s been 29,000 meters of diamond drilling in some 256 diamond drill holes. In the 1960s, it was a hot copper property. In the early 2000s, it was the site of gold exploration efforts. On the whole, anyone familiar with mining in Quebec has likely heard this name before.
That might make one think of Sagar as picked over. If there was really anything left to squeeze out of it, why didn’t any of the major mining names that used to own it find it over the course of the last six decades? What could be there that hasn’t already been discovered?
Well, the reality is that value is in the eye of the beholder. And, in this case, value is in the ability of the company holding the property. The specific capabilities of any given company could mean that the potential outcomes of the mining process can vary widely. The right company, bringing to bear the right technology and expertise, can derive an entirely different value profile for the very same piece of land.
In the case of Sagar, Honey Badger Exploration is developing the property with an eye towards an iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) system.
Discovery of IOCG System Yields New Potential Value
A combination of the discovery of signs of an IOCG presence and Honey Badger’s expertise has breathed new life into the Sagar property. IOCG plays are large polymetallic deposits in excess of 100 million tons of ore that typically feature a wide variety of satellite claims. The discovery of geological hallmarks indicating the presence of an IOCG system meant a wide range of potential metallic resources could still be present at Sagar.
Quentin Yarie, Honey Badger’s President and COO, states“Our Sagar Property shows all the characteristics of an IOCG deposit - the presence of a favourable structural setting, the abundance of polymetallic showings and the confirmed presence of diagnostic IOCG hydrothermal alteration.”
The presence of an IOCG resource means that a diversity of potential metallic resources are present, with the potential for silver, gold, cobalt, molybdenum, nickel, lead, uranium and more. Among the most exciting results of tests conducted by Honey Badger last year comes from the Aureus site. There, high grade gold showings related to some promising quartz veins featured grab samples with 1915 g/t.
Honey Badger’s Expertise
Honey Badger Exploration’s greatest asset may be its technical team. With decades of experience and expertise at their disposal, the company presents a unique opportunity. Led by President and COO Quentin Yarie, the team includes geologists, physicists, geophysicists, and geochemists, all leaders in their field. Yarie himself is a geophysicist, combining technical expertise with his management skill.
“The Sagar Porperty is getting a lot of attention - The Canadian Government through NRCan, the Quebec Government, and the University of Manitoba are all working with the Honey Badger team to help classify the IOCG structure at Sagar. Everyone recognizes that there is potential here, and we’re intent on advancing this project forward”, says Yarie.
The ability to bring elite personnel to the site is a big part of how Honey Badger is attacking this property with the new focus on the IOCG play. Honey Badger’s people are a big part of why they’re capable of finding new value at a property that has already seen so much exploration over time.
Ultimately, the Sagar property doesn’t seem to be finished returning value. Even 60 years in, Honey Badger’s new IOCG program appears poised to return a new range of metals and ore previously left unexploited. The potential for high-grade gold resources combined with a variety of other metallic resources could make Honey Badger an especially intriguing play among resource companies.
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