Monarch holds a 100% interest in the Beaufor Mine, which consists of three mining leases, one mining concession and 23 mining claims covering an area of 5.9 km2. The mine is located approximately 20 kilometres northeast of the town of Val-d'Or, in Abitibi-East Township, in the province of Quebec. The Beaufor Mine is an underground mine.
On June 27, 2019, production activities at the Beaufor Mine were suspended and the mine was placed under care and maintenance.
On June 3, 2021, Monarch announced that it planned to reopen the Beaufor Mine and Beacon Mill by June 2022.
Monarch’s decision to resume production was primarily based on positive drill results, the prevailing gold market, the proposed production strategy and access to financing. The new production strategy is to operate the Beaufor Mine via two accesses, the production ramp and the shaft, whereas historically production had taken place via the shaft only.
In preparation for recommissioning, some 24,000 tonnes of ore have been mined and set aside for the Beacon mill. Waste material will be processed first to ensure that the mill is running properly, after which the mill will begin processing the ore ahead of the first gold pour, scheduled for June 2022.
In June 2020, the Company initiated a 42,500-metre diamond drilling program to test two types of targets: areas around historical high-grade intersections near existing underground infrastructure, and isolated resource blocks, which are generally defined by a single drill intersection. Such near-mine exploration targets can be tested from the existing underground workings, typically with holes less than 200 metres long.
In 2022, Monarch drove an exploration drift with drill bays at the lowest level of the mine (~900 m) so that it could test the continuity of the mineralized zones at depth.
As at May 11, 2022, 283 holes totalling 47,038 metres had been drilled during the exploration and definition program. Given the positive results, additional drilling is currently underway to allow resources to be converted to reserves and included in a future mine plan.
The exploration and definition drilling program is ongoing, with five drill rigs currently working underground. Monarch is planning to drill a total of 25,000 metres in 2022.
The Beaufor deposit is included in the Bourlamaque granodiorite. Gold mineralization occurs in veins associated with shear zones that moderately dip south. The mineralization is associated with quartz-tourmaline veins resulting from the filling of shear and extension fractures. The gold-bearing veins show a close association with mafic dykes intruding on and undercutting the granodiorite. The dykes seem to have influenced the structural control of the gold-bearing veins.
Gold-bearing veins at the Beaufor Mine consist of quartz-tourmaline-pyrite veins, typical of Archean epigenetic lode gold deposits, that cross-cut the Bourlamaque Batholith. Mafic dykes that predate the mineralization are associated with shear- hosted gold-bearing veins. Shallowly dipping extensional gold-bearing veins are commonly observed at the Beaufor Mine. Shear zones striking N70o and dipping steeply to the southwest control the opening and gold enrichment of veins.
All the gold-bearing veins are contained in a strongly-altered granodiorite in the form of chlorite-silica forming anastomosing corridors of 5 m to 30 m in thickness. The veins at the Beaufor Mine form sometimes panels of more than 300 m in length by 350 m in height. The thickness of the veins varies from 5 cm to 5 m, but generally, the thickness of the quartz veining system 30 cm to 120 cm. The zones are limited by the Beaufor fault (N115o/65o-75o) and by a parallel system of shears (N70o/sub vertical).
Monarch Gold acquired a 100% interest in the McKenzie Break property from Agnico Eagle in 2018. That interest was transferred to Monarch Mining following the completion of the transaction between Yamana Gold and Monarch Gold in 2021
The property hosts a high-grade gold deposit that lies just 20 kilometres north of the Beacon mill and 35 kilometres northeast of Val-d'Or, Quebec. It consists of 183 mineral claims covering a total area of 78.5 km² and has surface and underground infrastructure, including a ramp down to a depth of 80 metres below the surface. The property is also located about nine kilometres south of the rail link between Barraute and Senneterre, and is accessible year-round via Route 397 and a gravel road.
The Company will start a fully funded 15,000 to 20,000-metre drilling program in the second half of 2022.
The resource estimate is based on a database of 332 drill holes, 57,789 metres of drilling and 34,026 assays. A total of 30 mineralized envelopes were modelled and validated. Capping was applied to raw assays before compositing, with grades capped at 60 g/t Au for the mineralized zones. The independent and qualified persons for the mineral resource estimate, as defined by NI 43101, are Alain-Jean Beauregard, P.Geo., Daniel Gaudreault, P.Eng., Geologica Groupe-Conseil Inc., and Merouane Rachidi, P.Geo., Claude Duplessi, P.Eng., GoldMinds GeoServices Inc.
Monarch Gold acquired a 100% interest in the Swanson property from Agnico Eagle in 2018. That interest was transferred to Monarch Mining following the completion of the transaction between Yamana Gold and Monarch Gold in 2021.
The Swanson property hosts a gold deposit located 65 kilometres from the Beacon mill and 12 kilometres northeast of Barraute, Quebec. It consists of one mineral lease and 127 claims covering a total area of 51.26 km², as well as a 500-metre ramp down to a depth of 80 metres. The property is accessible year-round via Route 367 and a gravel road. A railway track also crosses the property, as does a transmission line.
In the last year, Monarch completed a 3D compilation and identified priority drill targets. In 2022, the Company initiated a 5,000-metre drilling program, and recently increased the program size to 10,000 metres in the light of strong initial results.
The resource area within the deposit measures 500 m along strike, 400 m wide and 500 m deep. The estimate is based on a database of 209 drill holes (146 surface holes and 63 underground holes) and 10,000 assays. Grades were capped at 15 g/t Au for the mineralized zones and 4 g/t Au for the dilution envelope. Capping was applied to raw assays before compositing. The mineral resource was estimated using a minimum cut-off grade for two combined potential extraction scenarios: constrained pit and underground. Cut-off grades of 0.75 g/t Au for constrained pit and 2.40 g/t Au for underground were defined based on a gold price of CA$2,160 and an exchange rate of 1.34 USD/CAD. The independent and qualified persons for the mineral resource estimate, as defined by NI 43101, are Christine Beausoleil, P.Geo., and Alain Carrier, P.Geo., of InnovExplo.
Monarch holds a 100% interest in the Croinor Gold property, which consists of one mining lease for a total of 337 claims over a 151.88 km² area. The property is located approximately 55 km east of Val-d'Or (75 km by road) and 27 km east of Louvicourt, the nearest town.
The Croinor Gold property is located in the eastern part of the Archean Abitibi Greenstone Belt in the southern Superior Province of the Canadian Shield.The Abitibi Greenstone Belt is one of the most extensive continuous expanses of low metamorphic grade Archean volcanic and sedimentary rocks in the world.
The Croinor Gold property is underlain by two major lithological packages—the dominantly volcanic Assup Domain in the north and the dominantly sedimentary Garden Island Domain in the south. The Assup Domain is further divided into the mafic volcanic Aurora Group in the south and the mafic to intermediate volcanic Assup Group in the north (dominantly mafic). The Pershing Batholith overlaps the southwest end of the property. The Croinor Gold property is transected by the Garden Island Deformation Corridor in a northwest-southeast direction, which overprints and partially follows the contact between the Assup and Garden Island domains.
The Croinor Gold deposit is hosted by the synvolcanic Croinor Sill. This dioritic sill is from 60 to 120 m thick and hosted within volcanic rocks of the Assup Domain. The deposit is characterized by gold-rich lenses consisting of quartz-carbonate-tourmaline-pyrite veins, altered pyritic host rock material, and/or tectonic breccia (pyritic host fragments within a quartz-carbonate-tourmaline-pyrite vein).
The mineralized lenses range from 60 to 120 m long. The lenses can generally be followed from one section to another (10 m sections) over lateral distances varying from several tens of m up to 600 m. To date, about 40 gold-rich lenses have been identified.
Many other showings have been explored to a degree ranging from trenching to drilling. In most cases, gold mineralization is found in vein systems within or associated with dyke, sill or pluton intrusives within the volcanics.
The known showings are Gold Bug, Croinor-Trench 2, Bug Lake, Pershon, Rocheleau-3, Rocheleau-5, T13, Kenda Pershing, Ansley, Onyx-Tavernier, Jolin and Brett-Tretheway.
The Beacon Mill is located on a 1.8 km2 property consisting of a mining lease, a mining concession and 11 mining claims. The property also has tailings management ponds, underground installations, a 500-metre shaft and a mechanical shop. The mill is located in Val-d’Or on Route 117, less than 10 km from the Beaufor Mine and near the railway system.
The Beacon Mill has a certificate of authorization from the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques for the processing of 1.8 million tonnes of tailings, equivalent to approximately nine years of mineral processing at full capacity.
The mill is currently being refurbished on a $10 million budget and is expected to be fully operational by June 2022, in line with the recommissioning of the Beaufor Mine.