In the field of gold prospecting, Shawn Ryan is a legend. As renowned for his instincts as he is for his unique soil sampling technique, Ryan is credited with almost singlehandedly bringing about the 2009 Yukon gold rush. The prolific prospector is about to do that again, this time in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Together with its larger, landbound cousin, the island province is well known for its world-class geology. The region is home to some of the oldest rocks and fossils in the world, and hosts a wide range of unique and distinctive geological formations. This geologic diversity suggests the presence of extensive mineral resources — both on land and offshore.
The province’s history supports this assertion. Mining is one of the oldest and largest industries in Newfoundland, representing roughly 5.5 percent of its gross domestic product in 2019. Second in iron production to Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador currently operates 11 mines, which between them produce 14 metal and non-metal commodities.
A confluence of factors make Newfoundland and Labrador ideal for discovery, exploration, production and investment alike. Consequently, the Fraser Institute has ranked it as the eighth most attractive mining jurisdiction in the world, with the only real concern being infrastructural. Investors surveyed by the Fraser Institute also cited uncertainty around land claims and protected areas, but this is hardly unique to Newfoundland.
Why Newfoundland is a picture-perfect mining jurisdiction
As established, the main thing holding Newfoundland back is that it is still vastly underexplored. It lacks infrastructure in many of its most promising geologic regions. Any company seeking to engage in exploration and discovery may therefore have to expend considerable upfront capital to initialize any projects.
On the other hand, owing to the province’s long history of mining, skilled labor is readily accessible. And in regions where mining development has taken place, infrastructure is arguably more robust than in other provinces. Ready access to ports and the Trans Canada Highway, which spans the entire province, makes the exporting of minerals to global markets almost vanishingly simple.
Newfoundland’s government is extremely mining friendly. The geologic data that exists for explored regions of the province is both detailed and comprehensive, stored in a readily accessible database. The process for acquiring an exploration permit is incredibly streamlined, requiring only two to three months, while the region is also known for being welcoming to businesses.
Factor in favorable weather and low commercial rates for power, and Newfoundland would be promising even without accounting for its discovery potential.
Newfoundland’s world-class geology
Newfoundland and Labrador have long fascinated geologists. The region has more than once been described as remarkable, and nowhere else in the world is quite so geochemically unique. Explaining what led to the formation of such a unique landscape, requires looking back — far back, well before the advent of human civilization.
The simplest way to explain it is that through a combination of volcanic activity and continental drift, the isle of Newfoundland has been at the center of multiple major geologic upheavals. This has created three distinct geologic zones in the province, each with its own distinct minerals and rock formations.
The first of these was the splintering of the Pannotia supercontinent roughly 600 million years ago. This resulted, among other things, in the creation of a new continent known as Laurentia. Ancient Newfoundland’s western zone was found at the eastern edge of this continent.
Over the next several hundred million years, Newfoundland’s central zone slowly formed from the remains of numerous volcanic island arcs. This was further spurred on by the collision of Laurentia with another continent, Gondwana. This collision pushed large segments of the ocean floor upwards, resulting in formations such as Table Mountain in Gros Morne National Park.
Eventually, approximately 200 million years ago, the continents fractured again, with fragments of Gondwana remaining fused to Newfoundland, forming its eastern zone.
Shawn Ryan and the gold rush in Newfoundland
One region of particular interest, as noted in a 2021 keynote hosted by Ryan, is Baie Verte, where data shows high host rock reactivity alongside the presence of extensive gold anomalies. Several exploration companies have already followed Ryan’s lead, staking their claims in the area.
Leocor Gold (CSE:LECT,OTCQB:LECRF,FWB:LGO) is a major stakeholder in the area, and holds a district-scale portfolio covering 152,822 hectares of potential gold claims in three notable mining districts: the Western Exploit District, Baie Verte District and the Gander District. Historic exploration data has already confirmed multiple high-grade gold mineralizations, and recent exploration data suggest new discoveries in entirely unexplored territory. Ryan sits on the Leocor Gold board of directors as technical advisor.
Exploits Discovery (CNSX:NFLD,OTCQX:NFLDF) holds 100 percent ownership of the 210,550 hectare Exploits Subzone, which currently contains seven gold projects. The Subzone extends from the Baie Verte region in the north to Newfoundland’s southern coast.
Finally, Anaconda Mining (TSX:ANX,OTCQX:ANXGF) owns the Tilt Cove project, which is comprised of 5,700 hectares, 228 claims, 20 licenses and one mining lease. The company announced in 2019 that it was evaluating new technology to extract soil-based gold in partnership with College of the North Atlantic and Mitac.
Other operators, explorers and developers in the region include Rambler Metals & Mining (LSE:RMM), Maritime Resources (TSXV:MAE), Tenacity Gold Mining, Fairhaven Resources, Unity Mining and Shoreline Aggregates.
There can be little doubt that Newfoundland is about to be the site of a major gold rush — if one isn’t already underway. Shawn Ryan himself has said that he never thought he’d find a region with as much potential as the province. The one thing that’s clear above all else is that the current flurry of activity is only the beginning.
This INNSpired article is sponsored by Leocor Gold (CSE:LECR,OTCQB:LECRF,FWB:LGO). This INNSpired article provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Leocor Gold in order to help investors learn more about the company. Leocor Gold is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this INNSpired article.
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