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Mining 2021: Top 10 drill holes of the year

Perth-based Opaxe compiles the best drill intersections reported around the world and then ranks them based on gold equivalent grams per tonne using ruling metal and mineral prices.

For 2021, Osisko Mining’s Windfall gold project in Quebec’s Abitibi belt is the clear winner. It is the second year in a row that Windfall is the top performer, after a hole drilled in October returned the equivalent of 9,152 grams of gold per tonne.

Osisko Mining (TSX: OSK) recently signed an agreement with Australia’s Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST) to raise C$154 million ($120m) for continued resource development at the project 200 km north of Val d’Or. The Windfall grades are spectacular, but this intersection was over just 2.3 metres which helps explain the tepid response on the TSX following the announcement (many factors play a role in a stock’s one-day movements of course). 

Number two on this year’s list according to the Opaxe bulletin – also a frequent chart topper Pretium’s (TSX,NYSE: PVG) Brucejack mine – is only over one meter but who wouldn’t brag about 8,400g/t at a producing mine.

That hole was drilled in June, but Pretium’s success continued at the Golden Marmot zone located roughly 3.5km north of its Valley of the Kings deposit which came just a month before Newcrest Mining’s $2.8 billion takeover bid, which looks likely to be approved by the January 18 deadline.

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Number three best hole of 2021 belongs to HighGold Mining Inc (TSX-V:HIGH) at its Johnson Tract gold, copper, zinc, silver, lead project in Alaska which returned the equivalent of 3,871g/t of gold . The 6.4m wide intersection returning 577.9g/t gold 2,023g/t silver, 2.15% zinc and 0.3% copper.

In polymetallic deposits not all the elements would necessarily be recovered and sold, but HighGold’s “game-changing” bonanza grade gold from the Difficult Creek prospect impressed investors enough to send its shares 77% higher on the news.

Johnson Tract is described as district-scale project located near tidewater in the southcentral region of the state. The property covers at least 10 regional prospects over a 12 km strike including the high-grade JT deposit, with 750,000 oz of gold equivalent indicated resources at 10.9 g/t AuEq says HighGold.

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