Montreal, February 17, 2016. Midland Exploration Inc. (“Midland”) (TSX-V: MD) is pleased to issue an update on its numerous exploration programs across Quebec. Over the course of 2015, Midland and its partners were very active conducting major exploration programs including several geophysical surveys and more than 18,000 metres of drilling in the Abitibi region, prospecting and trenching in the James Bay region, as well as prospecting and channel sampling in the Labrador Trough.
Highlights include the discovery of several high-grade gold showings, with grades up to 77.6 g/t Au and 25.2 g/t Au from grab samples collected on the Willbob project, the identification of several new platinum group element (“PGE”) bearing horizons on the Pallas project in partnership with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (“JOGMEC”), a significant hydrothermal alteration system intersected in drill holes on the Patris project in partnership with Teck Resources Limited (“Teck”), and the identification of a gold-bearing felsic porphyry (“QFP’) intrusion proximal to the Sunday Lake Fault on the Casault project in partnership with SOQUEM INC. (“SOQUEM”). In addition, Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (“Agnico Eagle”) recently completed a 3D model that will be used to generate the next drilling targets to be tested on the Maritime-Cadillac property along the Cadillac Fault.
Another major accomplishment: in 2015, Midland completed over $15M financing and presently has $16.2M in working capital and guaranteed investments certificates maturing over one year.
In 2016, Midland plans to complete at least 15,000 metres of drilling, several geophysical surveys as well as major field programs in the three main priority target areas in Quebec, namely in the Abitibi region along major fault zones, in the James Bay region in the vicinity of the Éléonore mine, and in the Labrador Trough on the Pallas and Willbob projects.
Gold projects in the Abitibi region
Casault Project – Midland/SOQUEM (Option)
The Casault gold property comprises 300 claims exclusively owned by Midland (SOQUEM being in the process of acquiring a 50% interest) and covering an area of approximately 165 square kilometres. The Casault property covers a portion of the Sunday Lake Fault over more than 20 kilometres strike length and is located about 40 kilometres east of the Detour Lake gold deposit, which currently hosts, near surface, 14.94 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves which consists in 94.2 million tonnes grading 1.25 g/t Au for 3.79 million ounces of gold (“Moz Au”) in proven reserves and in 364.6 million tonnes grading 0.95 g/t Au for 11.15 Moz Au in probable reserves.
Over the course of 2015, Midland completed forty (40) diamond drill holes totalling more than 11,500 metres of drilling (works financed by SOQUEM). A few of these recent drill holes intersected a QFP intrusion with pyrite mineralization and strong hematite and sericite alteration locally hosting quartz-tourmaline veinlets. Results from the last drilling campaign suggest the gold signature becomes stronger in this intrusion toward the east in drill hole CAS-15-71, which intersected an anomalous zone grading 0.31 g/t Au over 12.30 metres, including 1.2 g/t Au over 0.40 metre at about 50 metres vertical depth. This new zone remains completely open in all directions and will be the focus of a detailed ground geophysical survey that will be completed the next few weeks. This new exploration target is located about 5.5 kilometres west of the Bug Lake zone held by Balmoral Resources Ltd (“Balmoral”) which also includes felsic porphyry intrusions and where a drill intersection grading 19.55 g/t Au over 44.45 metres was recently reported (source: press release by Balmoral dated April 20, 2015).
Patris Project – Midland/Teck (Option)
The wholly owned Patris project currently under option to Teck (see press release dated September 17, 2013 for agreements terms) comprises 248 claims covering a surface area of about 100 square kilometres, located less than 10 kilometres northwest of the prolific Doyon/Westwood-Bousquet-La Ronde gold mining camp. The Patris property offers excellent gold potential as it covers the Manneville Fault over more than 8 kilometres and the La Pause Fault over more than 10 kilometres, both recognized as subsidiary faults to the well-known Destor-Porcupine Fault Zone.
During the 2015 drilling campaign, drill hole PAT-15-05 intersected a wide alteration zone with pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena and molybdenite in ultramafic rocks strongly altered to fuchsite and in silicified syenite dykes proximal to the Destor-Porcupine Fault. This alteration zone, which was intersected over a core length of about 100 metres, exhibits anomalous values, above background geochemical thresholds, for many elements associated with orogenic gold deposits, namely silver, bismuth, lead, molybdenum, tungsten, and arsenic. Similar alteration zones were also intersected in holes PAT-15-03 and 04, approximately 700 metres along strike to the east of PAT-15-05.
In the fall of 2015, an induced polarization survey and a magnetic survey were conducted to cover the strike extensions of this alteration zone. Following the surveys, a drilling program consisting of at least four (4) drill holes totalling 1,000 metres was approved and is scheduled to begin shortly, as soon as all required authorizations have been received. This campaign is designed to test a series of geophysical anomalies located near the alteration zone intersected in drill hole PAT-15-05.
Maritime-Cadillac Project – Midland /Agnico Eagle (Joint Venture)
The Maritime-Cadillac property is located along the Cadillac-Larder Lake Break and is contiguous to Agnico Eagle’s Lapa gold mine property (832,000 tonnes at a grade of 5.87 g/t Au in proven reserves and 74,000 tonnes at a grade of 5.50 g/t Au in probable reserves, for a total of 170,000 ounces of gold, in commercial production since May 2009.
Over the past few months, a detailed compilation of historical data in the Lapa/Maritime-Cadillac area was integrated in a 3D model. A series of queries on the model are currently underway in order to define the next round of drilling targets to be tested in 2016 on Maritime-Cadillac.
Heva Project – 100% Midland
This project 100% owned by Midland is located close to the prolific Cadillac Break about 5 km northwest of the Malartic gold mine owned in joint venture by Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd and Yamana Gold Inc. which contains proven reserves of 49.94 million tonnes at a grade of 0.92 g/t Au (1.47 Moz Au) and probable reserves of 203.96 million tonnes at a grade of 1.10 g/t Au (7.18 Moz Au), for a total of 8.65 Moz Au. The Heva project, acquired by Midland in May 2013 from d’Arianne Resources Inc., consists of two blocks named Heva West and Heva East, and totals 32 claims covering an area of over 1,200 hectares.
During the fall of 2015, Midland’s exploration team completed a soil geochemical survey (B-horizon) in the western part of the Heva East block where several interesting gold results were obtained during the 2015 summer exploration program. Following these recent works, the best results returned values of 18.0 g / t Au and 5.1 g / t Au from sampling of an old blasted trench and dating back more than twenty years which was found during reconnaissance work and a value of 5.6 g / t Au obtained in sampling mineralized ore masses found near the old Dempsey-Cadillac showing from 1930 (see press release dated October 28, 2015).
On top of detecting the two main gold-bearing horizons already known in this area, the soil geochemical survey identified two (2) new axes that are anomalous in gold and in arsenic on hundreds meters of extension and parallel to the known gold-bearing horizons. Moreover, these two new axes coincide largely with still unexplained historic induced polarization anomalies. Midland is currently planning more prospecting and mechanical trenching work for next summer to explain these new promising targets in the extension of a subsidiary structure to the Cadillac Break oriented east-west and interpreted from geophysical and geological survey. This structure, which remains largely unexplored, covers a horizon of deformed conglomerate containing mineralized quartz veins with pyrite and arsenopyrite and is altered in silica and locally in sericite over 4 kilometers.
Jouvex Project – Midland/SOQUEM (Option)
The Jouvex property comprises 291 claims covering a surface area of approximately 162 square kilometres along the Casa Berardi-Douay-Cameron gold-bearing deformation zone. The Jouvex property is wholly owned by Midland (SOQUEM being in the process of acquiring a 50% interest) and is located about 50 kilometres west of Matagami in the Abitibi region of Quebec.
This property which has a gold potential covers more than 10 kilometres of a prominent regional flexure along the Casa Berardi-Douay-Cameron deformation zone. This major gold-bearing structure hosts the Casa Berardi mine, located about 65 kilometres further west, and the Douay and Douay West deposits about 7 kilometres to the southeast of the Jouvex property. The Douay gold deposits contain a resource of 114,652,000 tonnes at a grade of 0.75 g/t Au ( 2.8 Moz Au) in the inferred category and a resource of 2,689,000 tonnes at a grade of 2.76 g/t Au ( 238,400 ounces of gold) in the indicated category.
During 2015, eleven (11) drill holes totalling nearly 2,200 metres were completed (works financed by SOQUEM) to test induced polarization anomalies located along the north and south contacts of the sedimentary Taïbi Group. Although most of the targeted anomalies were explained by the presence of sulphides or graphite, no significant gold grades were obtained. However, the latest drilling campaign, completed in the fall, intersected sedimentary rocks with strongly sericitized and carbonatized porphyry intrusions locally hosting quartz-tourmaline veinlets. In preparation for the next exploration program, Midland is currently compiling all historical data in the north part of the Jouvex property, where several historical gold showings are located.
La Peltrie Project – 100% Midland
This wholly-owned property with strong gold potential is located south of the regional Lower Detour fault at about 25 kilometres southeast of the Lower Detour high grade gold area held by Detour Gold Corp. (“Detour Gold”). Last year, Detour Gold announced a series of significant drilling results from the Lower Detour area, located about 6 kilometres south of the Detour Lake mine, currently in operation. Drill intersections reported from the Lower Detour area show significant gold grades reaching up to 11.82 g/t Au over 32.40 metres and 12.74 g/t Au over 28.0 metres (see press release by Detour Gold dated June 2, 2014). In last June, Detour Gold started a 30,000 metres drilling program and reported that the majority of the first 20 holes already completed contained some visible gold (see press release by Detour Gold dated July 29, 2015).
The La Peltrie property consists of 353 claims covering a surface area of about 195 square kilometres. It covers, over a strike length of more than 25 kilometres, a series of interpreted NW-SE-trending subsidiary faults to the south of the regional Lower Detour Fault.
In preparation for a first drilling campaign totalling about 2,000 metres, a major geophysical program including a magnetic survey and an Orevision-type induced polarization survey totalling more than 100 kilometres, is underway. This survey covers a complex network of structures over a distance of about 8 kilometres. Several conductors defined during an airborne MegaTEM-type survey in 2004 are located near these structures and have never been drill-tested.
Adam Project – 100% Midland
The Adam property is wholly owned by Midland and is located about 65 kilometres west of the town of Matagami and approximately 15 kilometres east of the B26 zone held and worked actively by SOQUEM and about 20 kilometres east of the former Selbaie mine, which historically produced 56.5 Mt grading 1.9% Zn, 0.9% Cu, 38.0 g/t Ag and 0.6 g/t Au. It consists of 182 cells covering a surface area of about 100 square kilometres in the Abitibi region of Quebec. .
This property with strong gold and copper potential covers, over more than 8 kilometres, the regional contact between tholeiitic volcanic rocks of the Enjalran Group and calc-alkaline volcanic rocks of the Brouillan Group as well as an assemblage of felsic volcaniclastic rocks.
Over the course of 2015, Midland identified several new VTEM conductors proximal to this contact, following the 2014 survey. Ground electromagnetic surveys are currently underway in order to define drilling targets to be tested in 2016.
Laflamme Project – Midland/Aurbec (Joint Venture)
The Laflamme project comprises 506 claims covering a surface area of about 280 square kilometres and is a joint venture between Midland and Aurbec Mines Inc. This project is located about 25 kilometres northwest of the town of Lebel-sur-Quévillon and about 30 kilometres east of the Sleeping Giant mine and mill in Quebec.
Midland is currently planning to complete a 600-metre drill hole to test a new off-hole BHEM anomaly detected below drill hole LA-11-08. The latter intersected a mineralized zone (reported in core length and the true width is unknown) grading 0.66% Ni, 0.35% Cu, 0.17 ppm Pt and 0.16 ppm Pd over 8.0 metres, including a high-grade zone at 1.55% Ni, 0.53% Cu, 0.26 ppm Pt and 0.28 ppm Pd over 1.60 metres. This new high-priority target is located along the contact between mafic volcanic rocks and an ultramafic intrusion, in a new and underexplored prospective area for Ni-Cu-PGE deposits.
Gold project in the James Bay region
Éléonore James Bay Project – 100% Midland
The Éléonore project, which encompasses the Éléonore Centre and West properties, is constituted of a total of 327 claims covering 172 square kilometres, and is located approximately 30 kilometres southwest from and in a geological environment similar to Goldcorp Inc.’s Éléonore deposit. This world-class gold deposit contains proven reserves of 2.99 million tonnes at a grade of 6.27 g/t Au (0.60 Moz Au) and probable reserves of 21.58 million tonnes at a grade of 6.30 g/t Au (4.37 Moz Au). The deposit also contains a measured resource of 0.86 million tonnes at a grade of 8.03 g/t Au (0.22 Moz Au), an indicated resource of 4.33 million tonnes at a grade of 6.00 g/t Au (0.83 Moz Au) and an inferred resource of 12.09 million tonnes at a grade of 7.19 g/t Au (2.80 Moz Au).
Prospecting conducted by Midland from 2009 to 2014 on the Éléonore Centre property identified the presence of several gold showings associated with quartz-tourmaline pyrite bearing veinlets occurring in sheared metasediments, as well as mafic and felsic metavolcanics which returned up to 18.8 g/t Au. In addition, the 2013 ground induced polarisation (“IP”) survey identified many north-south trending IP anomalies and several remain unexplained. The 2011 soil geochemistry survey allowed the delineation of a series of As-Cu-Sb anomalies clustered along a north-south-trending axis. The 2014 airborne high definition magnetic survey also identified the presence of an important north-south oriented structure associated with several gold showings and soil anomalies.
Over the course of 2015, Midland completed a 30-kilometre induced polarization survey along the contact between volcanic and sedimentary rocks. A series of trenches were subsequently excavated to explain detected anomalies. This trenching campaign resulted in the discovery of a thick sequence of altered and mineralized conglomerates in sheared contact with mafic volcanic rocks. In 2016, Midland is planning to extend its prospecting campaign along the favourable contact as well as in the south part of the property.
Platinum group element (“PGE”) project in the Labrador Trough (Quebec)
Pallas Project – Midland/JOGMEC (Joint Venture)
Joint venture partners JOGMEC and Midland control a total of 494 claims covering a surface area of 225 square kilometres in the Labrador Trough. This acquisition covers an extensive, multi-kilometre folded mafic-ultramafic complex known for its strong potential for platinum group elements and gold (“PGE + Au”). Since its acquisition, Midland and JOGMEC have consistently demonstrated the exceptional potential for PGE in the Labrador Trough. In 2015 alone, over a short period of only 3 weeks, 42 new showings grading more than 1 g/t PGE + Au, including 18 showings grading more than 2 g/t PGE + Au, were discovered as a result of a sampling program during which a total of 426 samples were collected on the Ceres, Itokawa, and Gaspar claim blocks. These selected grab samples results (note that the grades may be not representative of the mineralized zones) include the new Ida showing with grades of 31.0 (= 29.0 g/t Pd, 1.6 g/t Pt and 0.4 g/t Au) and 7.5 g/t PGE + Au (= 5.7 g/t Pd, 1.6 g/t Pt and 0.2 g/t Au), the Ceres South showing with 5.2 g/t PGE + Au (= 3.6 g/t Pd, 1.4 g/t Pt and 0.2 g/t Au), and the Cynthia showing grading 4.9 g/t PGE + Au (= 2.8 g/t Pd, 1.9 g/t Pt and 0.25 g/t Au) on the Ceres claim block; the Doris showing with a grade of 6.2 g/t PGE + Au (= 2.9 g/t Pd, 3.1 g/t Pt and 0.2 g/t Au) on the Itokawa claim block; and the Eugenia showing grading 3.2 g/t PGE + Au (= 2.6 g/t Pd, 0.6 g/t Pt and 0.1 g/t Au) on the Gaspar claim block. During the program, several new PGE-enriched trends were also identified and the extensions of known trends were followed along strike.
In the fall of 2015, channel sampling carried out on the best occurrences discovered in 2015 resulted in a repeat performance of 2014 results, with channel samples grading 2.0 g/t PGE + Au (= 1.1 g/t Pd, 0.8 g/t Pt and 0.1 g/t Au) over 0.5 m on the Cynthia showing; 2.4 g/t PGE + Au (= 1.1 g/t Pd, 1.1 g/t Pt and 0.2 g/t Au) over 1.0 m including 3.4 g/t PGE + Au (= 1.6 g/t Pd, 1.5 g/t Pt and 0.3 g/t Au) over 0.5 m on the Hektor showing; 2.7 g/t PGE + Au (= 1.7 g/t Pd, 0.8 g/t Pt and 0.2 g/t Au) over 1.0 m including 3.9 g/t PGE + Au (= 2.7 g/t Pd, 1.0 g/t Pt et 0.2 g/t Au) over 0.5 m on the Ceres South showing; and 2.0 g/t PGE + Au (= 1.4 g/t Pd, 0.5 g/t Pt and 0.1 g/t Au) over 0.46 m on the Ida showing. All of these new PGE + Au occurrences (true widths cannot be determined from the information available) remain open in all directions and share many similarities, in terms of geological settings and characteristics, with known “reef”-type deposits in the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe and the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. Midland and JOGMEC are thrilled with these results and intend to continue exploration in 2016. A summer exploration program is in preparation and will include channel sampling in the early summer as well as a drilling campaign in the fall.
Gold project in the Labrador Trough (Quebec)
Willbob Project – 100% Midland
Wholly owned by Midland, the Willbob property has been expanded fivefold since its acquisition and now consists of 318 mining claims covering a surface area of about 140 square kilometres. The property is located approximately 70 kilometres west of Kuujjuaq, Quebec. Historical prospecting work led to the discovery of several gold occurrences that graded 21.9, 19.8, 15.4, 6.4, and 3.8 g/t Au from the best grab samples collected on the Lafrance, Kuni, Dessureault, Polar Bear, and Dupuis showings respectively. Channel sampling carried out in 2006 on the Lafrance showing namely yielded grades of 3.0 g/t Au over 2.90 metres in one location and another grade of 2.6 g/t Au over 3.90 metres about 40 metres further along the same mineralized trend. Similarly, channel samples collected on the Dessureault showing in 1988 yielded gold grades of 12.1 g/t Au over 3.2 metres; 11.9 g/t Au over 0.98 metre; 9.9 g/t Au over 1.1 metres, and 8.4 g/t Au over 0.72 metre (true widths cannot be determined from the information available).
Prospecting work carried out by Midland in the summer of 2015 led to the discovery of numerous high-grade occurrences (press release dated August 26, 2015). The best selected grab sample from a new showing returned a grade of 77.6 g/t Au. More recently, assay results reveal the discovery of new occurrences in the vicinity of the Golden Tooth and East Dupuis showings (press release dated October 6, 2015) with a selected grab sample that returned a grade of 25.2 g/t Au (note that the grades may be not representative of the mineralized zones); in the first instance along a mineralized trend of at least 200 metres. Prospecting work carried out in the fall of 2015 also led to the discovery of new mineralized zones with strong alteration in the south part of the property, in an area located 10 kilometres south of the Kuni showing (19.8 g/t Au). The first showing, consisting of sub-metre-scale smoky quartz and albite veins with traces of arsenopyrite rimmed with calcite and ankerite in a quartz diorite unit, graded 4.6 g/t Au. The second showing, grading 1.0 g/t Au, is located 500 metres further south and corresponds to a shear zone in a rusty quartz diorite with 1% disseminated arsenopyrite. Seven additional grab samples taken along the same trend yielded anomalous gold values ranging from 0.11 to 0.25 g/t Au. These occurrences are characterized by strong iron carbonate, fuchsite and quartz alteration with disseminated arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite and pyrite observed over thicknesses reaching 100 metres and followed over more than 8 kilometres along strike. Midland is currently planning an exploration program for 2016, which will include prospecting and channel sampling on the most promising occurrences.
About Midland Exploration
Midland targets the excellent mineral potential of Quebec to make the discovery of new world-class deposits of gold, platinum group elements, base metals and rare earth elements. Midland is proud to count on reputable partners such as Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, Teck Resources Limited, SOQUEM INC., Maudore Minerals Ltd and Japan Oil and Gas and Metals National Corporation. Midland prefers to work in partnership and intends to quickly conclude additional agreements in regard to newly acquired properties. Management is currently reviewing opportunities and projects to build up the Company portfolio and generate shareholder value.
About SOQUEM and Investissement Québec
SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ressources Québec, which is a subsidiary of Investissement Québec. Investissement Québec’s mission is to promote growth and investment in Quebec, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation in all regions of the province. It offers businesses a full range of financial solutions, including loans, loan guarantees and equity investments to provide support at every stage of their development. It also administers tax measures and oversees prospecting for foreign investment.
The 2015 drilling programs on the Casault and Jouvex projects were completed and supervised by Midland. Assay samples were collected from NQ size drill core sawn in half; one half was sent to a commercial laboratory and the other half was kept for future reference. Quality control samples (standards) and barren samples (blanks) were inserted on a regular basis in the sample stream. Analyses were conducted by ALS Minerals in Val d’Or and Vancouver. Drill intersections are reported as core lengths and their true thickness remains to be determined. Data from these exploration programs were reviewed by Mario Masson, VP for Midland and Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
This press release was prepared by Mario Masson, Midland’s VP Exploration, certified geologist and Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. For further information, please consult Midland’s website or contact:
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to vary materially from targeted results. Such risks and uncertainties include those described in Midland’s periodic reports including the annual report or in the filings made by Midland from time to time with securities regulatory authorities.