The Dubenski claim ground has been actively explored for gold since the early 1930’s. Historical exploration work has included prospecting, surface trenching, sampling, geological mapping, ground geophysical and geochemical surveys and diamond drilling by numerous operators, including major companies such as Noranda Mines Limited and its successor companies and Sherritt Gordon.
The Property was initially discovered by Albert Gauthier prospecting for Joseph Errington. In 1936 some surface trenching was done, followed by the completion of four diamond drillholes; the holes drilled from the lake ice. Some claims were then dropped because of an ownership dispute. The ground was subsequently staked by Norman Caswell and Percy Williams who optioned the property to Noranda in 1943. In 1945, Noranda cut an exploration grid and drilled the Caswell-Williams option, completing 40 holes, which tested a length of 915 m of shearing along the south shore of Flint Lake. Although gold mineralization of significant grade was intersected, the option was dropped in 1946 as a deposit of adequate size could not be defined.
Wampum Gold Mines Ltd. sunk a shaft to a depth of 27m on the “Shaft Zone” in 1946. Dogpaw Gold Mines Limited (“Dogpaw”), formally Wampum Gold Mines Ltd., acquired the property. In the early 1950s Dogpaw sunk a shaft called the Falnora Shaft, on the Shaft Zone to a depth of 40m and an 18m crosscut was extended northward from the 38m level. Work then ceased and the patent claims were allowed to lapse.
Gunnex Limited completed a ground magnetic and electromagnetic survey covering the property along the south shore of Flint Lake in 1969. It is assumed that the work was carried out under a joint venture agreement with A.D. Zeemel (Norontex, 1982). The survey covered portions of claims K273823, K273822, K273821 and K314926. Two anomalies trending roughly parallel to the south shore of Flint Lake were outlined; one zone was located approximately 150m north of the shaft and extended for some 610m east-west. The second anomaly was 90-120m north of the shore, and similarly 610m in length. These anomalies were interpreted to represent either pyrite rich shears or fault zones, however, the property was again dropped in 1971.
In 1971, the property was staked by Paul Dubenski, Sr., a diamond driller from Kenora. Paul Dubenski optioned the property to Noranda in 1973. An exploration grid was cut that fairly successfully duplicated the original 1945 Noranda grid and the grid was mapped at a scale of 1” to 200ft. Noranda also carried out a two-phase 27 hole, 2,464m diamond drilling program focused on the Shaft Zone from 1973 to 1974.
Noranda completed ground VLF, EM and magnetometer geophysical surveys over the entire grid in 1974. The survey was completed on the exploration grid with lines spaced at 60 m (200 ft) and 120 m (400 ft) intervals covering 19 of the 22 property claims. A series of east-west striking EM conductors of interest (referred to as “Area A”) were identified which were recommended for drill testing. A VLF anomaly was also identified along the Shaft Zone, however, it was uncertain if this anomaly had a direct association with the gold-bearing zones. One suggestion was that the anomaly could be caused by water filled fractures in the vicinity of the shaft.
The property was optioned to Sherritt Gordon in 1980. Sherritt Gordon completed a 16 hole (1,217 m) diamond drilling program aimed primarily at further defining the resource potential of the Shaft Zone. The company also completed a geochemical and ground EM and magnetic survey, geological mapping and a trench / channel sampling program. According to Norontex (1983), drilling confirmed many of the Noranda assay results. Furthermore, 21 old trenches were channel sampled at the Shaft Zone and west of this zone. Trenches D-1-82 to D-5-82 returned values ranging from nil to 7.89 g Au/t (0.23 oz/tons Au). Geochemical sampling included the collection of 129 humus samples and a couple of dozen birch bark samples.
A review of the geological reports indicate on various drillhole location plan maps that at least 17 trenches have previously been excavated along the Dubenski Shear Zone, on or before 1982. Trenching has been concentrated at the Shaft Zone, between the Shaft Zone and East Zone, and above the East Zone. For example, there are nine trenches covering a 91.5 m strike length of the Peninsula East Zone, located between the 1945 Noranda holes DH-6 to DH-4. The assay results for the majority of these trenches are not known. The option agreement was terminated in 1983 and all interests were transferred back to 525400 Ontario Inc.
Anyox Metals Ltd. contracted Norontex to prepare a qualifying report to evaluate the Dubenski claim group in 1983. The report included an historical review of all exploration historical exploration work, compilation of all drill data and the calculation of a gold resource for the Shaft Zone. A two-phase exploration program including grid restoration, stripping, trenching, geological mapping, geochemical surveying and diamond drilling was recommended, however, no field exploration work was undertaken.
Dubenski Gold Mines actively explored the property from 1984 to 1988. The exploration programs consisted of line cutting, bulldozing, hydraulic washing, prospecting, shaft dewatering and rehabilitation, trench channel sampling and diamond drilling.
The exploration grids established by Noranda and Sherritt Gordon were re-cut at the same line orientation. Hydraulic washing using high pressure water pumps was undertaken to facilitate channel sampling and expose rock formations at surface at the Shaft Zone. Five trenches were channel sampled. Channel sampling results of the five trenches (T-15 to T-19) were disappointing, with the exception of Trench 17, which returned 10.97 g Au/t (0.32 oz/tons Au; sample 17-15) and 0.58 g Au/t (0.017 oz/tons Au; sample 17-14) over sample lengths of 1.52 m.
Two surface diamond drilling programs were undertaken from 1984 to 1987 with the completion of 47 holes totalling 6,911.7 m, and a 1988 underground drilling program where 12 holes were drilled off the Falnora Shaft (located in the Shaft Zone), from the 36.3 m station, for a total of 759.5 m. Drilling was focused at the Shaft Zone, new Central Zone and Peninsula East Zone, resulting in the “calculation of a probable reserve” for the Shaft Zone and a “drill indicated reserve” for the Central Zone in 1987.
Avalon Ventures Ltd. (“Avalon”) acquired the property in December 1996 and established a new grid, conducted an IP survey and completed additional diamond drilling.
Prior to the acquisition of the Property by HLM no further exploration work had been conducted on the Property since the completion of Avalon’s work in 1998.