Red Pine drilling makes high-grade gold headway at Wawa

Drilling on Red Pine’s Wawa gold project began in 2021. Credit: Red Pine Exploration

Following the early May assay tampering allegations at Red Pine Exploration (TSXV: RPX), the company says its latest drill results expand mineralization at the Wawa project near Lake Superior in Ontario.

Fourteen holes covering 4,105 metres of the 67,000-metre expansion drilling campaign that started in 2021 show gold extensions away from the higher-grade Jubilee Shear, the host of the underground resource, Red Pine said in a release on Wednesday.

The Jubilee Shear continues to confirm the continuity of the mineralization and remains open down dip and down plunge, interim CEO and chairman Paul Martin said in a statement.

“As part of this drilling, near-surface gold mineralization in the Hanging Wall of the Jubilee Shear has continued to be intersected and is expected to contribute to reducing the stripping ratio under any proposed open pit scenario,” Martin said.

A top drill hole was SD-24-515 in the Jubilee system, which cut 18.4 metres at 5.58 grams gold per tonne, including higher-grade sections of 1.1 metres at 6.18 grams gold and 0.88 metre at 72.2 grams gold.

In the Jubilee Shear system, Red Pine says its exploration program indicates a continuous increase in the size and confidence of gold mineralization above 2 grams per tonne in the main segment, with mineralization open at depth and extending north beyond the existing resource.

Red Pine’s shares gained 11% Wednesday to C$0.10 apiece. After achieving a 12-month high at C$0.25 per share in April, the stock plunged 61% to C$0.08 apiece on May 1 after it withdrew previous assay results amid a review of inconsistencies it found.

Assay allegations

The company alleged former CEO Quentin Yarie arranged to be the sole recipient of assays from the lab and changed 532 results out of 98,000 over nearly a decade.  Staff then unwittingly used the altered figures in project modelling its 2019 resource update, Red Pine said this month. As a result, the site may hold about 12% less than what the resource claims. The compay says it’s planning an updated resource this year.

Red Pine referred the tampering allegations to the Ontario Securities Commission for review. The commission has declined to comment on any investigation.

Quality assurance

Red Pine improved its quality assurance by sending assay certificates to at least two senior management members and accessing them directly from the lab via a web portal, it said in its release Wednesday. The drilling assay database was rebuilt and compared with an externally compiled database.

Drill core samples are now securely transported and labelled, with a revised control program that includes inserting external gold standards and blanks every 20 samples and quarter core duplicates to assess gold variability.

“With the detailed review, and correction, of our drill database completed and the addition of significant gold assays from our drill program, we look forward to reporting our updated NI 43-101 resource in Q3,” Martin said. The company expects a mid-June cut-off for the drilling assay database for the resource update.