New Gold Deal Sparks Rimfire Mining

By Gavin Wendt | More Articles by Gavin Wendt

Rimfire Mining (ASX: RIM, Share Price: $0.029, Market Cap: $27m) is a NSW gold exploration play that’s managed to fly under the radar of most investors, despite managing to sustain a measured exploration program on its flagship Fifield gold exploration project, with encouraging results. The negotiation of a major new farm-out JV deal with Canada’s New Gold underlines the project’s potential.

Rimfire has advised having held joint venture exploration planning meetings with partner New Gold during December and January, providing an agreed strategy and key objectives for the 2017 field season, focused on the discovery of an aggregate +4 million ounce gold resource at Fifield in the medium term.

Market Significance

Rimfire Pacific has risen from a 12-month low of $0.012 during March 2016 on the back of greater market appreciation of its growing Sorpresa gold-silver deposit – along with its potentially-transformational exploration joint venture deal with Canada’s New Gold. The arrangement will provide a major funding boost for Rimfire’s Fifield project, situated within the world-class copper-gold corridor known as the Lachlan Transverse Zone. The latest positive exploration results are a reflection of a growing step-out exploration program that will look to aggressively grow the regional resource base during 2017.

Announcement Detail – Sopresa Project Update

Rimfire Pacific has advised that it and New Gold Inc held Earn-in/JV planning meetings during December 2016 and January 2017, which have provided an agreed exploration strategy and key objectives for 2017.

Both parties have agreed a multi-million ounce discovery objective, with aspirations for an aggregate +4 million ounce gold-equivalent discovery outcome within the Fifield district over the medium term. This type of discovery would be targeted as capable of sustaining production over a +10 year mine life and ranking in the lower third of industry costs.

The New Gold discovery methodology will provide an increased geological understanding of the district as a base to identify the best prospects for drill-testing. This work will involve: historic data integration and gap analysis (underway), surface reconnaissance (including mapping, geophysics (underway) and geochemistry); reconnaissance RC and diamond drilling; and corporate expertise from Rimfire that will be funded by New Gold, with Rimfire continuing its district-wide prospecting, initially focused on 13 specific areas of interest.

Current Activity

Airborne magnetics and radiometric survey flight lines have now been completed, with the survey providing full coverage over the Fifield tenements, with data interpretation anticipated to be available during March. Geophysics is also expected to make an important contribution to geology framework and discovery targeting.

A round of drilling comprising 1,809 metres of RC has also been completed within the Sorpresa resource area at Roadside and Boundary Gate areas, with the objective is to advance the understanding of these areas, particularly the orientation of higher grades. Assay results are awaited.

Additional bedrock auger drilling has also been completed at Transit gold prospect, with results interpretation still underway and follow-up RC drill permitting granted.

Technical Significance

Discovery concepts have been developed by Rimfire that include the possible extension into its tenements of the major intrusive complex, the “Tout Complex 2”, which contains resources defined by other companies including platinum, nickel, cobalt and scandium. In all, more than 13 priority areas have been identified by Rimfire within the Fifield district for priority prospecting over the next 12 months.

Mapping, sampling and concept advancement is now underway, with the geophysical survey set to aid the review and targeting within these areas. The initial prospecting work will provide relatively quick coverage at low cost.

Summary

Rimfire Pacific Mining has maintained a measured and successful approach to exploration at Fifield over recent years, despite the vagaries of financial markets and limited availability to exploration funding. The company’s strategy was successful in attracting a ‘big brother’ in the form of a cashed-up larger industry player, which has the financial and technical resources to capitalize on all of the hard work that Rimfire has already undertaken.

With New Gold’s involvement, exploration funding is secure, overall exploration activity will increase and Rimfire shareholders (and management) won’t have to worry about further dilutionary capital raisings to fund exploration activity. It’s a win-win deal that could provide the turning point for Rimfire in terms of market appreciation.

Consistent with Rimfire’s exploration approach to date, a core principal of the strategy with New Gold will be the continuous sharing and integration of knowledge gained toward improving the geologic framework, as the project advances toward the next discovery. Accordingly, work conducted by New Gold Inc. in the first half of the year will principally be focused on developing this geological framework at district and local scales, providing more informed priority drill-targeting decisions.

Gavin Wendt

About Gavin Wendt

Gavin Wendt is the Founder and Senior Resource Analyst with MineLife. He has been involved in the Australian share market for more than 20 years as a resource analyst, employed primarily within the stockbroking and finance industries.

View more articles by Gavin Wendt →