Canadian gold producer Aurizon Mines has discovered three new lenses at its Casa Berardi mine in northwestern Quebec.
Vancouver-based Aurizon (TSX:ARZ) revealed yesterday the results of a 77-hole drill program located about a kilometre east of the West Mine shaft:
"Some of the holes that we are releasing today were utilized in the December 31, 2011 resource update which included an 81% expansion of all measured and indicated resources at Casa Berardi," said President and CEO George Paspalas.
Aurizon says the drill results indicate the potential for extending the mineralization; three new stacked lenses were also found outside the structure:
"We are encouraged both by the holes encountered in the lower portion of the known Zone 123 resource block, indicating the potential to extend this zone, as well as the holes that have identified new additional stacked lenses to the main Zone 123. We are investing in infrastructure this year to extend the Mine out to allow for the future mining of Zone 123, and these results highlight the potential for new zones in this area, and also provide confirmation of the strategic intent to develop the lower levels of the mine."
Aurizon said in March it is projecting 155-160,000 ounces of gold in 2012, at cash costs of $600/oz. That compares to 163,845 ounces produced in 2011, a record year for Aurizon, up 16% from 2010.
“Mine sequencing in 2012 will result in ore grades that are expected to be approximately six per cent lower than those achieved in 2011,” Aurizon said in a statement.
At the same time, the company tripled its fourth-quarter profit on higher gold prices and sales, to $21.8 million from $7 million in the same period last year. Revenues were up 77% to $85 million.
Aurizon has 11 properties in Quebec including Casa Berardi and Joanna, which is in the feasiblity stage. The company plans to spend $9.7 million this year on exploration.
Aurizon can also earn a 65% interest in NioGold’s Marban Block property: an initial 50% by spending $20M over three years, completing an updated NI 43-101-compliant mineral resource estimate, which will be done this month, and then making a resource payment for 50% of the total gold ounces defined by that resource estimate.