Cartier Iron Corporation’s Gagnon Holdings consist of 5 iron-rich mineral concessions, totalling approximately 344 square kilometres in the Gagnon Terrane of northeastern Québec, located in the southern part of the Labrador Trough. The properties are centred 240 kilometres north of the Port of Sept-Îles and 110 km southwest of the town of Fermont.
The properties host magnetite/hematite-rich members of the Sokoman (iron) Formation, which is the source of all the iron deposits in the Labrador Trough. The Gagnon Holdings include Round Lake (amalgamated Penguin Lake, Black Dan and Aubrey-Ernie properties), Silicate-Brutus, Aubertin-Tougard, Three Big Lakes and Jeannine Lake. The Gagnon Holdings are in close proximity to hydroelectric-, road-, and rail-networks that connect to port facilities at Sept-Îles and Port-Cartier, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Cartier Iron’s first phase of exploration began with a ten-hole, 3,315 metre, diamond-drilling campaign that was completed in early 2013 on the Penguin Lake Project. This drilling intersected a total of 1600 m of iron formation having an average grade of 29.5% Total Iron (FeT), that included a 300 m intersection grading 33% FeT, in hole PL13-10. A Table of composite assay results from the drill programme can be found at the link below.
Based on historical drilling and recent geophysical-survey data, a 2012 in-house calculation to 250 m depth yielded a volumetric potential of 1.0 Billion tonnes for the Penguin Lake Project. With the latest exploration results in-hand, a 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate has been commissioned for the Penguin Lake Project and is expected in early Q3, 2013.
Cartier Iron intends to continue increasing shareholder value by aggressively drilling priority targets on the Gagnon Holdings in order to further identify and delineate potential iron resources.
Cartier Iron signed an option and joint venture agreement with Champion Iron Mines Limited on December 10, 2012, whereby Cartier Iron has been granted an option to earn a 65% interest in the Gagnon Holdings.
Cartier Iron can earn a 65% interest in the properties at its option by expending $6 million in staged exploration and development work expenditures on the properties, making cash payments to Champion totaling $1 million and issuing 2.5 million shares to Champion – all over a four year period. On December 10th, 2013, the first anniversary of the option agreement, Cartier Iron will have paid 750,000$ and issued 1.5 million shares to Champion. Once Cartier Iron completes its earn-in, Champion and Cartier Iron will form a joint venture (reflective of their proportionate ownership interests in the properties) to explore and develop the retained mineral concessions. Cartier Iron will retain a right-of-first-refusal on any part or all of Champion’s proportionate interest in each of the mineral concessions comprising the properties.
Geology of the Gagnon Holdings
The Gagnon Holdings are within the Gagnon Terrane, which encompasses the southern domain of the Labrador Trough, host to extensive iron-formations. The area is underlain chiefly by rocks that form the western, miogeosynclinal part of the Paleoproterozoic fold and thrust belt which marks the collision between the Archean Superior Province and the Rae Province (i.e., the Hudsonian Orogeny: 1.82 to 1.79 Ga).
The Gagnon Terrane encompasses Labrador Trough rocks that were subjected to high grade metamorphism during the Grenville Orogeny (1.3 to 1.0 Ga). The metamorphism was responsible for the recrystallization of the primary iron formation, producing coarse quartz, magnetite, and specular hematite schists (meta-taconites). The coarse-grained nature of the meta-taconites is advantageous when producing iron concentrate as it facilitates the separation of the iron from the gangue minerals. These coarsened iron formation units are the primary exploration targets that underline all of Cartier Iron’s properties.
Precambrian (Superior Province) gneisses and migmatites form the basement to most of the Gagnon Terrane. The basement rocks comprise white to grey, coarse-grained hornblende-epidote-biotite granitic and tonalitic gneisses. Garnetiferous amphibolites are inter-layered with the gneisses in the basement sequence.
Unconformably overlying the basement gneisses are the metamorphosed equivalents of the Knob Lake Group, including crystalline limestone (siliceous dolomite), glassy quartzite, silicate-carbonate quartzite, magnetite-quartz iron formation, specularite-quartz iron formation, silicate-magnetite iron formation, garnet-biotite gneiss and garnet-mica schist. Quartzo-feldspathic and graphite-biotite gneisses overlie the iron formation sequence.
Regionally distributed intrusive rocks include pegmatite and aplite dykes, granodiorite plutons, amphibolites, gabbros and peridotite.
The Gagnon Holdings have received limited historical exploration work. The iron mineralization is effectively defined using airborne and ground magnetic and gravity geophysical surveys. Magnetic highs outline magnetite-rich iron formations, whereas magnetic lows may reflect hematite-rich iron formations. Due to the effects of deformation, the iron formations vary in width from tens to hundreds of metres, with the proportions of magnetite, specular hematite and quartz varying along and across strike. End members of the quartz/specular hematite/magnetite iron formation spectrum display granular and friable layers that readily disaggregate to millimetric particles, to a massive, highly silicified end member.