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Bonterra Resources: a strategic role in one of the world's biggest gold exploration efforts

Bonterra and Osisko partner for major gold exploration in Quebec's Urban-Barry region

BonTerra Resources
Bonterra Resources: a strategic role in one of the world's biggest gold exploration efforts

A joint venture between Bonterra Resources (TSX-V: BTR, OTCQX: BONXF, FSE: 9BR2) and Osisko Mining (TSX: OSK) at the Urban-Barry land package in Quebec, Canada has triggered a massive exploration effort and created one of the world's most exciting gold camps.

In November 2023, Canadian gold exploration and development company Bonterra entered into an earn-in and joint venture agreement with another Canadian company Osisko Mining on its Urban-Barry properties — including the Gladiator and Barry deposits — located in Quebec's Eeyou Istchee James Bay region. The joint venture — called Phoenix — also includes the neighbouring Duke and Lac Barry properties.

Over the next three years, Osisko can earn a 70% interest by spending C$30 million on exploration. It has made an upfront payment of C$5 million. It will spend C$10 million each year but will have the right to carry over exploration spending from one year to the next or pay cash instead of the exploration expenditure.

Bonterra Resources, president, chief executive office and director, Marc-André Pelletier

Once a 70% interest in the properties is earned by Osisko, they will be operated as a joint venture between Osisko and Bonterra, with Osisko as the operator. Currently, the Duke property is 70% owned by Bonterra and 30% owned by Osisko, while the Lac Barry property is 85% owned by Bonterra and 15% owned by the Canadian company Gold Royalties (NYSE: GROY). The Gladiator, Barry, Duke and Lac Barry properties total 496 claims over 22,500 hectares.

Bonterra was incorporated in 2007 and is headquartered in Val-d'Or, Quebec. Its main shareholder with 19% of the equity is US investment firm Wexford Capital. Bonterra has an experienced team with supportive shareholders.

The agreement with Osisko enables Bonterra to focus on exploration at its 100%-owned Desmaraisville gold property near its Bachelor mill complex. Bachelor is the only permitted gold mill in the region, giving Bonterra a competitive advantage in bringing its deposits into production. The mill is fully functioning at 800 tonnes per day and includes a tailings storage facility. Desmaraisville also includes the historic Bachelor gold mine, the historic Coniagas zinc mine and the Moroy gold deposit, which Bonterra is actively exploring.

Bonterra sees the Phoenix joint venture as a strategic transaction that underscores its commitment to advancing its exploration assets, marking an important milestone towards their development.

Furthermore, in May 2023, the South African mining company Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI) entered in to a 50:50 joint venture with Osisko to develop and mine the high-grade Windfall gold deposit, located next to Urban-Barry. Gold Fields has committed to spending C$75 million on exploration over seven years.

"Gold Fields involvement in the Windfall deposit is recognition of the overall land package's potential," said Bonterra CEO and president Marc-André Pelletier. "Combining Gold Fields' C$75 million investment with Osisko's C$30 million investment amounts to more than C$100 million in exploration. It's probably one of the most active gold exploration land packages in the world."

Urban-Barry is located in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Archean Superior Province. The location is around 170 km northeast of the Cadillac Break properties, where the Val-d'Or gold mine is situated. It forms part of the Larder Lake-Cadillac Break, a gold metallotect, extending for more than 250 km from Matachewan in Ontario to Val-d'Or in Quebec.

The Urban-Barry properties cover 22,500 hectares in total. The Barry deposit has a shear-hosted gold deposit with several parallel, sub-vertical shear zones. The mineralisation includes disseminated sulphides within the shear zones and veins with local visible gold. The Gladiator deposit is hosted within veins of chalcopyrite, chlorite, galena, sericite, sphalerite, tourmaline with pyrite, and visible gold.

"The Urban-Barry property has a very strategic location in what we think will be an important new mining camp, similar to Val-d'Or some 80 years ago," added Pelletier. "Our two deposits are located only 15km from the Windfall deposits owned by Osisko and Gold Fields. When you combine our resources and the Windfall resources, we are talking about 10 million ounces of gold located in the new mining camp."

The Urban-Barry camp — with its two deposits Barry and Gladiator — and the Desmaraisville property combined have more than 3 million ounces (oz) of total gold resources across all categories, including 1.24 million oz in measured and indicated categories and 1.78 million oz in the inferred category. Barry and Gladiator each have around 1.4 million oz across all categories, while at the Desmaraisville property, the Bachelor-Moroy deposit has around 260,000 oz across all categories, including 160,000 oz in measured and indicated categories and 104,000 oz in the inferred category.

Infrastructures at the Bachelor Mill Complex (Desmaraisville property)

By the end of June 2024, Osisko had drilled over 35,000 metres at the Urban-Barry property. Currently, there are seven drill rigs: two focused on more regional targets and five targeted on Moss. The first drill results at the Moss target — located 5 km southwest of the Windfall gold deposit — have confirmed geological similarities with the high-grade Lynx Zone along the Mazères Fault, which extends towards the Moss target.

After the Osisko tie-up, Bonterra is using part of the upfront payment for general corporate purposes and general and administration fees. It will also have sufficient funds to explore its Desmaraisville property properly.

"We are now focusing our exploration work at our other property, Desmaraisville," said Pelletier. "During the fourth quarter last year, we carried out a 15,000-metre drill programme. We also completed two geophysics surveys. This year, we completed all the compilation work related to these surveys and the assay results from the drill programme. The team is now undertaking field work and will visit some of the historic outcrops. The purpose of the fieldwork and compilation work is to establish new drill targets for a drill campaign planned for the fall this year."

The company is seeking high-grade intercepts that were previously drilled but that lacked follow-up. Several prospective geological, geophysical and drill targets have been identified and will be the subject of fieldwork during the summer. A 9,000-metre diamond drill programme is scheduled for the fall.

At Windfall, Osisko and Gold Fields are installing new infrastructure close to the Bonterra deposits at Urban-Barry. New hydroelectric power lines have already been constructed, providing hydropower to Windfall. Currently, Barry and Gladiator have no hydropower, so the new hydroelectric source could eventually benefit Bonterra's projects, as well. A mill is planned at Windfall that will be only 15 km away from Urban-Barry while Bonterra's Bachelor mill is located 110 km away.

"We will also benefit from that infrastructure once the Windfall mine is completed," added Pelletier. "There is a possibility that hydropower will eventually be extended to our Barry and Gladiator deposits and any other deposits discovered in the Phoenix joint venture. Our joint venture with Osisko allows us to have access to that infrastructure."

In May 2024, Bonterra concluded a private placement, which raised over US$8.54 million and included the full exercise of the over-allotment option amounting to US$767,500. It involved the sale of 5,250,000 flow-through units at US$0.445 each, generating US$2.33 million, as well as 24,820,000 units at US$0.25 each, realising more than US$6.2 million.

The last time it raised money was in March 2022. It plans to allocate the net proceeds towards exploration, working capital and general corporate purposes.

Bonterra is a significant player in Canadian gold exploration, underpinned by its strategic partnerships and robust portfolio. Following its joint venture with Osisko and with a renewed effort on expanding its drilling programme at Desmaraisville, the company is well-positioned for continued growth and value creation in the mining sector.

ABOUT THIS COMPANY
BonTerra Resources

HEAD OFFICE:

  • 2872 Sullivan Road, Suite No. 2, Val-d’Or, Quebec, Canada
  • Telephone: + 1 819 825-8678
  • Fax: + 1 819 825-1222
  • Email: info@btrgold.com
  • Web: www.btrgold.com

DIRECTORS:

  • Cesar Gonzalez
  • Normand Champigny
  • Paul Jacobi
  • Matthew Happyjack
  • Peter O’Malley
  • Matt Houk

QUOTED SHARES ON ISSUE:

 163 million

MARKET CAP (at June 25, 2024):

C$35 million

MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS:

Wexford Capital 19%

Agnico-Eagle 6%

Fidelity 4.5%

 

 

 

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