Gold, as well as the SPDR Gold Trust ETF, the iShares Gold Trust ETF, and the Sprott Physical Gold Trust, have seen a very good start into the new year. Thanks to an extremely tense geopolitical situation as well as a weaker US dollar and the threat of U.S. insolvency, the price of gold has increased by around $210, or 12.7%, to $1,866 over the past year. Gold and other precious metals have long been considered a smart way to fight inflation since the precious metal generally holds its value and preserves your purchasing power over the long haul, despite fluctuations in the dollar.
It is therefore not surprising that the recent Gold Demand Trends report from the World Gold Council reveals a potentially strong year ahead for gold thanks to central banks adding 228 metric tons of bullion to their reserves, a record amount for the first quarter. At the moment, gold prices have more room to run as global banks struggle to increase their reserves and the U.S. Federal Reserve weighs increasing rates again.
In a recent report, Fitch Solutions predicted that gold would notch a high of $2,075 “in the coming weeks.” The firm bases that outlook on “global financial instability,” adding that it expects gold to “remain elevated in the coming years compared to pre-Covid levels.”
For gold exploration companies like iMetal Resources Inc. this prediction couldn’t have come at a better time.
iMetal Resources Inc. (TSXV:IMR) (OTCQB:IMRFF) is a Canadian-based junior exploration company focused on the exploration and development of its portfolio of resource properties in Ontario and Quebec. The company is led by CEO ‘Saf’ Dhillon, who has a solid track record in creating accretive shareholder value wherever he goes. For instance, he was a key member of Idaho-based U.S. Geothermal Inc.’s management team, which grew the company from a roughly $2 million startup to a successful Independent Renewable Energy Power Producer worth over $300 million.
The company’s flagship property is Gowganda West, located within the Shining Tree Camp area in the southern part of the prolific Abitibi Greenstone Gold Belt. This particular property is an exploration-stage gold project with a recent discovery hole of 48.5m at 0.85 g/t gold.
There’s a good reason why iMetal Resources Inc. (TSXV:IMR) (OTCQB:IMRFF) chose this region as the location for its flagship project. Ontario and Quebec were ranked as the 2nd and 3rd most attractive Canadian provinces for mining in a recent Fraser Institute report. Apart from having excellent infrastructure, all the world’s largest gold producers, like Newmont (Gold Corp.), Osisko, IAMGOLD, and Agnico Eagle Kirkland Lake Gold, are all active in the area.
Historically, the Greenstone Belts have produced over 200 million ounces of gold and another 400 million ounces of silver, illustrating just how resource-rich this area is. There’s currently at least 21 distinct gold deposits of over 3 million ounces and over 100 producing mines, which further reaffirms the potential of IMRFF claims. The Gowganda West project is about 147 sq km in size and is right adjacent to Aris Gold Corp.’s ARIS Juby deposit, which has an indicated 770,000 ounces (21 million tonnes) at 1.1 g/t and an inferred 1.5 million ounces (47 million tonnes) at 0.98 g/t.
The structures hosting the Juby deposits trend onto iMetal Resources Inc. ground and are also about 100 km south-southeast of the Timmins Gold Camp. They are also contiguous to the Knight project, that is part of the Strategic Partnership between Orefinders Resources Inc. and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.
The company recently announced results from phase 1 of its 2023 drilling at the project, which included seven holes totaling 2,490m. All seven holes intersected gold mineralization, featuring 48.5m of 0.85 g/t Au starting at 316.5m and 20 m of 1.56 g/t Au, including 8.0m of 2.97 g/t Au, which illustrates the potential of the Gowganda West property.
But that isn’t the only project that iMetal Resources Inc. is pursuing. The company’s Kerrs Gold Project is a 665-hectare property that has a rich history of gold production and still has the potential for further expansion. The property neighbors Newmont Mining, and according to a 2011 technical report, the project had an inferred resource potential of 386 kg of gold, or 7 MT, at 1.7 g/t. However, iMetal is not treating this as the current resource potential since post-resource drilling showed the deposit extended along its strike, implying the deposit could have more potential.
The company also owns 100% of the 131.6ha Ghost Mountain Property, east of Kirkland Lake, Ontario, right in the historic Porcupine Destor Fault, which hosts about 70 million ounces of gold. This project appears even more promising considering that it lies just 5km west of the Agnico Eagle Mining Holt Mine Complex, a $75 million joint venture with Newmont Mining.
iMetal Resources Inc. also fully owns the Carheil property, also located in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, though this is a flake graphite project. It encompasses approximately 5,400 acres of contiguous land and is located approximately 20km west of BHP Billiton Ltd’s past-producing Selbai Zinc mine and to the north of Hecla Mining Limited’s Casa Berardi Mine. This year, the company completed a 1053m drilling program, which returned impressive results, including 2.89% Cg over 10.55m at 2.89 percent Cg and 4.25% Cg over 5.3m, including 7.90% Cg over 1.2m.
The Abitibi Greenstone Gold Belts of Ontario and Quebec contain one of the largest endowments of gold in the world. IMR has three projects at different levels of development in this prolific greenstone gold belt, all of which are already producing assets, which bodes well for the company. If analysts’ predictions do indeed come true and gold returns to over $2000 per ounce last witnessed in March, iMetal Resources Inc. IMR IMRFF will just need to keep hitting its drill targets for H2 in order to unlock more shareholder value.