Bayfield Ventures (CVE:BYV, FRA:B4N) is a junior gold explorer that is exploring three properties that are strategically entwined within and around the Rainy River Gold Project, which is wholly owned by Rainy River Resources (CVE:RR). Rainy River is defining a world-class multi-million ounce gold deposit within its share of an emerging Canadian Gold District, and has a market capitalization of over $900 million.
Bayfield has a market capitalization of about $33 million and has launched a major drilling campaign at its 100% owned Burns Block Property, which sits on the eastern perimeter of the conceptual open pit proposed by Rainy River Resources.
The Burns Block hosts high grade gold and silver mineralization that is a direct extension of the ore-body that potentially will be open pit mined by Rainy River Resources. Additional exploration potential for gold resources also exists at Bayfield’s “B” and “C” Blocks, which lie to the east and west, respectively, of the main gold trend within the district.
The Rainy River area has excellent infrastructure and is located in the Richardson Township, in Northwestern Ontario. Fort Frances is approximately 50 kilometres southeast of the project area and has a population of 10,000 people, which could provide a labour pool and negate the cost of establishing a mining camp. Rainy River has year round road access and is in close proximity to electric power and a rail line.
The Rainy River open conceptual pit design covers an area of approximately 1,500 metres by 1,400 metres and reports an NI 43-101 Compliant Measured and Indicated Resource of 4.41 million gold ounces at 1.17 g/t Au, and an Inferred Resource of 2.33 million gold ounces at 0.94 g/t Au, with a cut off grade of 0.35 g/t to a final depth of 450 metres. The deposit also hosts significant silver credits.
The conceptual pit design abuts the western boundary of Bayfield Ventures’ Burns Block, which covers an area measured over a width of 400 metres and length of 800 metres. The proposed open pit contains a very large gold and silver system that runs through the centre of the pit area, where the main resource is known as the ODM 17 Zone, along with a number of ancillary resources that cling to the irregular sides of the “spine” of the ODM 17 Zone.
This mineralized “spine” flows directly onto the Burns Block and provided the impetus for Bayfield to mount a very aggressive 100,000 metre diamond drilling program, which was initially directed along the western margin of the Burns Block and has been very successful in delineating the eastern extension of Rainy River’s ODM 17 Zone.
Bayfield’s highlights include drill-hole RR11-71 which intersected 11.2 metres at a spectacular grade of 60.05 g/t Au and 362.96 g/t Ag, within a broader intersection of 25.5 metres of 26.70 g/t Au and 170.69 g/t Ag.
Other high grade hits were recorded in drill-hole RR10-18 which intersected 10.0 metres of 35.93 g/t Au and 359.65 g/t Au; drill-hole RR10-15 which intersected 3.0 metres of 31.71 g/t Au within 9.0 metres of 12.88 g/t Au; drill-hole RR11-1 which intersected 2.2 metres of 33.13 g/t Au within 9.15 metres of 8.37 g/t Au; and drill-hole RR10-52 which intersected 1.1 metres of 89.96 g/t Au.
Approximately 60,000 metres of drilling has been completed by Bayfield confirming that the ODM 17 Zone extends onto the Burns Block. Early in the drill program, Bayfield discovered a high grade gold zone abutting the Western property border which the Company continues to define. Most of the gold and silver intercepts appear to be open-pittable, with some mineralization extending below open pit depths.
Bayfield is now drilling an additional 40,000 metres that includes the eastern side of the Burns Block (which hasn’t been drilled yet), along four parallel drill fence lines.
Recent drilling on the Far North Fence has intersected wide zones of near surface gold and silver mineralization within the central part of the Burns Block, approximately 500 metres from the western boundary. Drill-hole RR11-131 recorded multiple intercepts from a depth of 12.50 to 142.70 metres over a total width of 10.40 metres grading 0.50 to 6.20 g/t Au and 0.38 g/t to 2.12 g/t Ag. Drill-hole RR-11-76 intercepted 34.50 metres of 0.56 g/t Au and 30.47 g/t Ag at a depth of 36.50 metres including 1 metre of 5.81 g/t Au and 773.00 g/t Ag. This demonstrates the continuity of mineralization moving across the Burns Block to the east with much more blue sky exploration potential even further east.
The mineralization in drill-hole RR11-131 looks very similar to the typical main zone of mineralization that hosts Rainy River’s multi-million ounce gold deposit and that crosses onto the Burns Block. It contains dark brown sphalerite, locally abundant galena as well as local smears of electrum. This area is now being surface and channel sampled and will be subjected to additional shallow drilling.
Drilling on the South Fence at drill-hole RR11-61 intersected multiple intersections including 33.50 metres of 1.10 g/t Au and 11.49 g/t Ag at a depth of 540 metres. Drilling on the Central Fence at drill-hole RR11-94 intersected 1.0 metre of 7.90 g/t Au and 14.30 g/t Ag at a depth of 292.30 metres as well as 1.0 metre of 5.56 g/t Au and 10.30 g/t Ag at a depth of 321.0 metres.
Continued drilling will focus on the northwest corner and the east-central section of the Burns Block, as well as any new targets that are identified from assay results received from recently completed drilling.
An additional diamond drilling program is planned at Bayfield’s 100% owned, 800 hectare “C” Block which lies to the west of the Burns Block and covers similar lithologies and structures to those found on Rainy River’s property. There is clear evidence of the presence of mafic volcanic rocks in the northern part of the property as well as the likely presence of a fault which presents a high priority drill target with the potential to host significant gold and silver mineralization.
This target will be drilled when the ground freezes up and is solid enough to support the movement and placement of drilling equipment.
Bayfield Ventures has $7 million in its treasury and experienced management with over 70 years of combined experience in discovery and development of mineral resources in North America. The Company has been recognized by the Toronto Venture Exchange as one of the “top ten companies” within its peer group and carries the logo of a “2011 TSX Venture 50 Company”.
The obvious market appeal will hinge around the ultimate size of the resource on the Burns Block and whether it will become a part of the massive open pit operation that is being planned by Rainy River Resources. Additional upside potential in the shorter term could come from more positive drill results at the Burns Block and any new gold discoveries at the “C” Block.