Mineweb

Canarc aims to be another Nevsun or Novagold

 

 

By: Tim Wood

 

 

 

Posted: 2003/01/22 Tue 16:30  | © Mineweb 1997-2003

 

 

 

NEW YORK -- Toronto listed venture-miner, Canarc Resource Corporation [CCM], is billing itself as another potential Nevsun [NSU] or Novagold [NRI]; the two Canadian juniors that led global gold equity performances in 2002 and 2001 respectively.

Given that Canarc was the 20th best performer on our 2002 worldwide watchlist, that may take some doing, but it is not improbable as the company dusts off several projects that have an in-the-money sheen at present gold prices.

Canarcís primary asset is the New Polaris mine in British Columbia which has a resource base of 1.5 million ounces. The previously worked mine has been the subject of a scoping study intended to render it economic enough to restart, primarily through improving metallurgical recoveries.

The company today reported that testing commissioned by it had improved recoveries, but further optimisation work is required to successfully bio-leach New Polarisís refractory gold ores at scale. The bio leach option offers the best return on investment; however, an autoclave option comes into play if Redcorp Ventures [RDV] proceeds with plans to reactivate the nearby Tulsequah Chief zinc-copper project.

The Tulsequah project has been tied up in legal wrangling for some time, but was finally granted a Project Approval Certificate in December that would allow it to proceed to production. Redcorp has indicated that it is doing further drilling while it looks at financing and joint venture options. That suggests a start-up decision is still some way off, so Canarcís best hope to realize a return on New Polaris is a rapid and successful result on its continuing bio-leaching tests. Meanwhile, Canarc benefits from the permitting trail hacked out by Redcorp.

A good deal of interest also surrounds Canarcís Benzdorp property in Suriname. The company already operates the small Sara Kreek gold project in Suriname, but Benzdorp is vastly different Ė a potentially multi-million ounce gold porphyry system in a prolific zone. Although grades are low, the company has reported finding high grade shear zones within a large footprint, while processing costs should be low thanks to easy ground conditions and mineralization at surface.

Canarc recently recommenced work on Benzdorp after suspending work for some time after the state mining company failed to give it secure title to the project after it was optioned to Placer Dome [PDG]. A trenching and drilling programme recently got underway with the intention of confirming a resource base. Early results are expected before month-end.

Optimists believe the eventual project could be equivalent to, or better than, Cambiorís [CBJ] soon-to-be commissioned Gross Rosebel project.