An old discovery is showing new promise on the Baie Verte Peninsula.
The Deer Cove gold deposit, north of the town of Baie Verte, was discovered in 1986. While there has been interest in the developing the area, nothing ever materialized.
Allan Cramm, vice-president of Innovation and Development for Anaconda Mining, says he was always intrigued by the discovery of gold in the topsoil – within a metre in depth – at Deer Cove.
The format for mining this form of gold is called placer mining, which discards soil after extraction takes place.
According to Cramm, the approach can be environmentally destructive, and it’s something he say’s Anaconda Mining is conscious of.
“We’re trying to develop a method that can actually allow us to excavate, recover the gold and simultaneously place soil back where it came from,” Cramm said. “It would a very minimal impact on the environment.”
The mine is partnering with College of North Atlantic and Mitac — a non-profit national organization that helps develop research-based innovation in Canada — to explore resource measurement and extraction methods that are sustainable.
Work will focus on technology to measure resource volume, analyze gold content, and how to excavate, process and rehabilitate simultaneously.
Later this year, there are hopes to get small scale field sampling underway.
Cramm says the same potential could lie within Deer Cove, and if successful, will extend the life of the mine, which employees 75 people.
“The old archive data suggests thousands of ounces, but that needs to be verified,” he said.
Which is why Cramm wants to get the research underway.
While Deer Cove isn’t within the municipal boundary, Baie Verte Mayor Brandon Philpott sees the exploratory work as a positive sign. Adding, the continued development of the mining industry on the Baie Verte Peninsula ensures economic sustainability.
“Any exploration that can be done in this area is certainly welcomed,” Philpott said.