Newcastle Minerals (CVE:NCM) (USOTC: NCMBF) has hired MPH Consulting to complete an NI 43-101 compliant technical report on its Swayze Belt properties, which adjoin IAMGOLD's (TSE:IMG) (NYSE:IAG) multi-million ounce Cote gold project halfway between Timmins and Sudbury in Ontario.
The news comes just days after Newcastle announced a planned restructuring that will include a share consolidation, name change, trading symbol change and financing, to better position the company for long-term growth.
In its statement Monday, the company cited conclusions from MPH on the Swayze properties, based on historical and recent exploration data: "Newcastle's Swayze Properties represent very good exploration prospects in an established, formerly producing, gold district and adjacent to IAMGOLD Corp's Cote Gold advanced gold exploration project.
"Although the Swayze Belt has seen exploration activities throughout much of the 20th century and in more recent years, the overall level and sophistication of work is significantly less here than along the more famous and productive paleotectonic settings along the Porcupine-Destor and Larder Lake-Cadillac Breaks."
The consulting company further noted that it is rare to find a section along the Larder Lake-Cadillac Break without extensive "multidisciplinary" exploration and drilling campaigns.
"Geological studies have now clearly established that both major Breaks extend into the Swayze Belt and that the Ridout Deformation Zone is the extension of the Larder Lake-Cadillac Break.
"Newcastle's Neville-Potier Property covers an approximately fifteen kilometre swath along the Ridout Break and that section has a grand total of four drill holes."
The company noted that there has been significant advances in geophysical surveying since the 1980s, when the bulk of the historical exploration work was done on the properties. This is particularly relevant with respect to the interpretation of magnetic surveys, and the outlining of deeper targets.
"Given the findings of MPH Consulting, it only makes sense to focus our initial 2013 exploration activities on our Swayze Properties that adjoin IAMGOLD's multi-million ounce Cote Gold Project," said Newcastle president, Michael Romanik, "particularly as IAMGOLDis Newcastle's largest shareholder."
Last week, Newcastle said its proposed share consolidation would exchange one new common share for every five old shares, with its issued and outstanding shares to be reduced to 20.7 million from 103.6 million.
At the same time, the company is planning to change its name to GoldON Resources, and alter its trading symbol to "GLD".
The aim of the restructuring is to position the company for long term growth, and ensure it has enough funding to pursue its goals this year. The name change and consolidation are subject to shareholder approval, for which a special general meeting will be held on February 18.
"Our focus will remain on gold exploration and, with all our projects strategically located in key mining jurisdictions in Ontario, we feel our new name and trading symbol will better reflect our core business," Romanik said last week.
Newcastle is also planning to undertake a non-brokered private placement financing of flow-through and non-flow-through shares, from which proceeds will be used to start an exploration program on the Swayze properties based on MPH's recommendations.
The NI 43-101 technical report will be completed in the coming weeks, the company said Monday.
Shares in Newcastle were lately trading at 2 cents on the TSX Venture Exchange.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.