Canada is placed on the map as one of the vital countries for the production of metals and minerals. For the past few centuries, this rich and varied landscape has been meeting the demands of gold-rushes to the industrial demands of metallurgic coal to heeding to the increased need for commodities used in clean energy technologies. The geologists have been mining the rich land for the vast resources lying beneath it.
Comparing this rich history, it is quizzical to see some areas being completely overlooked by the experts. There are a lot of long-life producing mines in those areas—including the 100 years Red Lake Mines—but there wasn’t the exploration activity that one could see in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt which includes the Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Malartic, Rouyn-Noranda, and Val d’Or areas. Judy Baker noticed how the area was being overlooked from an exploration perspective, an area with a lot of high-grade gold mineralization. In 2016, she founded Argo Gold to acquire high-grade gold projects in North-western Ontario that have indications of economic viability.
Judy Baker is the Founder and CEO of Agro Gold and currently serves as the board of directors of Argo Gold and Blue Star Gold Corp. she has a rich experience of over two decades in the mining and exploration sector. Over the past 15 years, Ms. Baker has been founding multiple mineral exploration companies and raised over $25 million for exploration and development. Alongside her, Pedro Villagran- Garcia, the Vice President of Agro Gold, is an expert in strategic planning and helping Agro Gold reach new heights. He has a proven track record in international business development and operations.
Though the start was a roller coaster for Agro Gold, the subsequent Great Bear discovery south of Red Lake in August 2018 justified Ms. Baker’s hypothesis.
Agro Gold has a team of exploration geologist experts. These experts have over 200 years of combined experience and together are embarking on a journey to fulfill the mission to identify more and more high-grade gold mineralization. Agro Gold has a portfolio of five properties located in the northern and north-western regions of Ontario, Canada. This superlative portfolio, which is also 100% owned by Agro Gold, represents the potential for enormous gold, silver-zinc, and cobalt resources with economic viability.
Presently, the portfolio consists of three properties focused on Gold, one property concentrated on Cobalt, and one property exploring for Silver and Zinc.
Hurdman Silver-Zinc Project: Argo Gold is the 100% owner of the Hurdman Silver-Zinc Project. The Hurdman Silver-Zinc Project is a metamorphosed sedimentary exhalative VMS deposit that is very similar to that of Australia’s Broken Hill deposit. The Main Zone at the surface has a resource estimate of 3.4 M tonnes @ 1.2% Zn, 18.1 g/t Ag and 0.34 g/t Au approx. 2 million in-situ silver ounces. The nature of the known mineralization indicates exploration potential for additional mineralization and higher-grade mineralization as a result of metamorphism. Located 120 kilometers north of Timmins, there are 70 square kilometers of mineral claims surrounding the Main Zone that cover all of the area’s geophysical targets that have not been drill tested.
Talbot Lake Gold Project: Argo Gold acquired the Talbot Lake Gold Project located 70 kilometers east of Pickle Lake in the prolific Uchi Geologic Subprovince in June 2020. There are approximately 50,000 ounces at 14 g/t Au in a quartz vein system starting right at the surface and there are known gold mineralization in the associated banded iron formation. At the Talbot Lake Gold Project, Argo has over 23-line kilometers of banded iron formations that are targets for a Musselwhite Mine type mineralization (over 20 years of 200,000 ounces annually). Gold mineralization in banded iron formations can be quite pervasive and the Argo Gold team believes the current historical resource can be expanded.
Uchi Gold Project: Argo Gold has had ongoing exploration at the Uchi Gold Project— Argo’s flagship project, where the company continues to confirm multiple mineralized trends and high-grade gold mineralization at the Woco, Northgate, and Raingold Zones. Initially discovered in 1933, but due to Canada having a black cloud over it concerning the investment, the project was dropped. There was a 25-year hiatus in exploration before Argo Gold initiated activity in 2017. Ms. Baker further confirmed that their high-grade Uchi Gold Project (which includes the Woco Gold Prospect) is located west of Uchi Lake at the south end of a series of historical gold mines. The Uchi project is considered very prospective, the winter drill program confirmed 132 grams per ton gold over 1.8 meters at the Woco vein and 34.4 grams per ton gold over 0.5 meters at Northgate. Near-term plans include stripping the overburden from all the high-priority targets, complete structural mapping, and get ready for a larger follow-up drill program in the summer of 2020.
When Argo Gold initially started the journey, it was difficult to get investors interested in high-grade gold exploration in North-western Ontario. However, the Great Bear’s Dixie discovery changed the wind. Mr. Villagran-Garcia was a veteran in the mining sector and he used his expertise to visit the Wawa sites and personally validate some of the data that had been provided to him. His experience has been instrumental in several rodeos and he had no problems assisting the CEO in turning Argo Gold around.
Alongside, Mr. Villagran-Garcia also set up the social media platforms and websites, granting the strong media presence of Argo Gold. This social presence has also been useful during the crisis. Argo used the platforms to not only inform its existing investors better and more transparently, but to invite, engage, and inform new investors to share in the growing costs of moving toward a gold production business model.
While the exploration was running at a great pace, an unprecedented crisis temporarily halted the operations. In 2020, a global health emergency was declared creating a challenging work environment across the business sectors. People were introduced to the new normal of working. Argo Gold also had to deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The team, however, did manage to stay put and kept the line of communication open. They regularly conducted exploration team meetings on WebEx; as well as communicating over emails and phone calls. The team intends to continue remote working until convinced that vaccination has successfully ended the spread of COVID-19. Argo Gold is also promoting vaccination and is urging all the team members to vaccinate at the earliest possible.
On the exploration forefront, the company had to halt the 2020 field exploration program from May 2020 to the start of July. The project was delayed by more than two months to ensure that COVID cases mitigated or were very low in the region before exploration activity was started again. Now, the exploration projects have been more focused on the areas with the strongest success, and thus the team has streamlined the number of properties to keep the remaining projects in closer proximity.
The year 2021 looks promising for Agro Gold as it is looking forward to initiating exploration activities at the Hurdman Silver-Zinc Project as an abundance of targets has been identified. Ms. Baker concludes, “People want to have a reliable alternative to invest during this COVID-19 Pandemic. People are looking for a Safe Haven! We believe that Argo is a great alternative.”