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Meet the Junior Miner Exploring Quebec’s Richest Gold Belts

Dave Jackson Dave Jackson, Stockhouse
1 Comment| May 16, 2022

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It’s a long and storied history, from the days of frontier Canada, when hardscrabble mining camps dotted the landscape in Quebec’s northern mining regions. Gold was first discovered in La Belle Province – Canada’s second-largest gold producing region in 1823 – on the shores of Rivière Chaudière. Today, mining-friendly Quebec produces about one-third of the country’s gold with much of it mined along the historic Abitibi Gold Belt – an enormous geological formation that stretches from east of the gold-rich town of Val d’Or, west across the Ontario border, to Timmins, Kirkland Lake, and beyond. Since 1901, this prolific gold-bearing regional structure has produced 170 million ounces of gold and is still one of the world's top destinations for mineral explorers and developers. The Abitibi Gold Belt hosts some of the largest deposits mined by some of the biggest players in the space such as Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX), Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (TSX:KL), and Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K).

Despite over 120 years of intensive mining in the Abitibi, large swaths of underexplored and undeveloped mining territory still exist. Savvy metals & mining investors with an aptitude for value and opportunity – particularly in the potentially high-yield exploration space – know there still remains some very intriguing plays left in the handbook.

Enter Vanstar Mining Resources Inc. (VSR) (TSX-V:VSR, OTCQX: VMNGF, Forum) – a junior gold exploration company with multiple properties located in Northern Quebec at different stages of development. The company’s two flagship properties are Nelligan and Bousquet-Odyno, both are strategic exploration and development joint ventures (JV) with gold mining giant IAMGOLD Corporation (TSX.IMG). Nelligan is a 75 / 25% ownership split, IAMGOLD can acquire an additional 5% (80% total) by completing a feasibility study at their expense. Vanstar retains 25% undivided non-contributory carried interest until commercial production. At Bousquet-Odyno, IAMGOLD has granted Vanstar an option to earn up to 75% interest in the property by spending $4 million in exploration over a four-year period.

At present, the Montreal-based company boasts a total of six projects at various stages of exploration and development. Vanstar’s other four 100% owned exploration assets include:

  • Amanda: 145 claims located 275 kilometres northwest of Chibougamau, Quebec
  • Frida and Eva: 88 claims in James Bay area, 130 kilometres from Radisson, Quebec
  • Felix: 69 claims in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt – commenced a 2,000-metre drilling program in September 2021.

About the Nelligan Project

Vanstar’s flagship Nelligan Gold Project is one of Quebec’s largest gold projects containing an inferred resource of approximately 3.2 million ounces of gold with IAMGOLD to update the resource by the end of 2022. Nelligan is located approximately 60 kilometres southwest of Chibougamau and is within 50 kilometres of significant infrastructure, including electricity, railroads, a workforce, an airport, and other services. The property consists of 158 mining map-designated cells and covers 8,216 hectares. The ore body presents itself in a vast auriferous hydrothermal system and is open along strike in both directions and at depth.

The project was advanced from a grassroots discovery to a sizeable resource in just three years, and contains four major gold zones – Renard, Liam, Dan and 36. Of note, Vanstar retains a 25% undivided non-contributory carried interest until production while retaining a 1% NSR on the eight originals claims. IAMGOLD will continue to fund the project through to production.

The Nelligan Project won the "Discovery of the Year" award at the 2019 Quebec Mineral Exploration Association Xplor Gala.

VIDEO: Interview with J.C. St-Armour, President and CEO of Vanstar Mining, at the Nelligan Core Shack – September 9, 2021

(Click image to play video)

About the Bousquet-Odyno Project

The Bousquet-Odyno property is located approximately 45 kilometres east of the city of Rouyn-Noranda and 85 kilometres northwest of the city of Val-d'Or. It covers an area of over 1492 hectares and is made up of 37 contiguous mining claims.

In March 2022, Vanstar signed a Definitive Option Agreement with IAMGOLD to acquire a 75% interest in their Bousquet-Odyno property, located within the Abitibi greenstone gold belt on the prolific Cadillac Break where drilling is currently underway (see ‘In the News’ below).

“The Bousquet-Odyno (Project) has been underexplored and offers great exploration potential.”

J.C. St-Armour, President and CEO of Vanstar Mining

INVESTOR ALERT: Vanstar has agreed to spend up to $4 million over four years to earn 75% of Bousquet-Odyno. IAMGOLD will have the right to back in to 50% of the project at that time by spending 4 time the amount spent by Vanstar.

(Click image to enlarge)

In the News

On April 26, 2022, Vanstar Mining announced commencement of a 4,000-meter drill program at Bousquet-Odyno, designed to test additional areas near surface as well as areas down plunge from known high-grade zones.

Historical drilling on the property prior to IAMGOLD’s involvement has identified a number of gold zones, including the Calder-Bousquet Zones No. 2, No. 4, and No. 5. Historical drilling has been relatively shallow, down to approximately 250 m).

Highlight results from IAMGOLD's 2010 to 2016 drilling programs include:

  • 27.9 g/t Au over 6.5 m (from 140.0 to 146.5 metres depth in hole BO-16-56)
  • 29.3 g/t Au over 3.3 m (from 389.0 to 392.3 metres depth in hole BO-12-32) 9.6 g/t Au over 16.5 m (from 164.0 to 180.5 metres depth in hole BO-11-06)
  • 5.8 g/t Au over 4.4 m (from 135.3 to 139.7 metres depth in hole BO-13-40)

J.C. St-Amour commented:

“The location of this project along the Cadillac-Break, in the shadow of some prolific producers, is exceptional from an infrastructure, accessibility and prospectivity perspective. Previous drilling on the project has intercepted high grades near surface and we believe the Bousquet-Odyno has been underexplored and offers great exploration potential. We have based this drill program on our interpretation of previous work and are targeting areas which we believe will deliver results and increase our understanding of the mineralized body."

In late March, the company reported remaining assay results on the Nelligan Project from the 2021 diamond drill program consisting of 9,492 m in 27 holes.

Highlight Drill Holes:

  • Hole NE-21-184 - 20.0 m of 2.02 g/t Au and 10.5 m of 1.11 g/t Au
  • Hole NE-21-182 - 30.6 m of 1.15 g/t Au
  • Hole NE-21-176 - 11.8 m of 4.44 g/t Au and 7 m of 2.21 g/t Au and 19.5 m of 1.44 g/t Au

The drilling program confirmed that the mineralization at Nelligan extended to the west beyond the existing resources by at least 1,500 m. Hole NE-21-190, for example, located 1,100 m to the west of the current resource intercepted 9 m grading 3 g/t Au and the most western hole (NE-21-188) intercepted 6 m grading 2.63 g/t Au, 1.5 km from the 2019 pit shell.

These results followed up earlier “encouraging” assays from December 2021, including 15.0 metres at 7.81 g/t Au in drill hole NE-21-180 from 36.0 metres and 1.3 metres (shallow depth) 70.1 g/t Au from 45.0 metres.

The 2022 drill program is well underway and upcoming results from this program, along with the 2020 and 2021 results, will be incorporated into the drill hole database once they are validated and compiled. IAMGOLD announced on December 16, 2021 that it intends to provide an updated resource for the Nelligan project towards the end of 2022.

From the CEO

J.C. St-Amour, M.Sc., CFA, President and CEO of Vanstar Mining Resources has over 20 years of mining industry experience in executive leadership roles, corporate finance, and mergers & acquisitions. He has a master’s degree in geology and is a Chartered Financial Analyst with strengths and expertise in capital markets, financial and investment analysis, asset valuation, and managing financing and M&A transactions in the natural resource sector. During his career, Mr. St-Amour has held various executive leadership roles at the management and Board of Directors level in junior mining as well as investment banking firms.

In this recent video Q&A (see below), Mr. St-Amour discusses the latest drill results on the Nelligan Project JV with IAMGOLD and the potential upgrade to the resource later in 2022, along with the newly-optioned Bousquet-Odyno property and its proximity to the Westwood Mine.

(Click image to play video)

In Closing

An updated resource estimate later this year at the Nelligan project is expected to provide both an upgrade and a significant expansion in the resources at no cost to Vanstar but will add significant value to the company. Vanstar’s current valuation not only heavily discounts its flagship project but also does not take into account the company’s other projects. Based on the current resource, the value assigned to Vanstar’s ownership is less than $15 per ounce of gold in the ground, this is considerably below many comparable exploration companies. The Nelligan project defines and supports the value in Vanstar and the other projects, such as the advanced exploration at Bousquet-Odyno, provides considerable blue-sky potential.

For investors in the gold exploration space, Vanstar Mining Resources Inc., and its intriguing six-pack of early-stage properties, is a precious metals play that looks to be worthy of strong attention moving forward into 2022…and beyond.

(Click image to enlarge)

For regular updates and more information, visit

FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.

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