EXCLUSIVE: Veteran Gold Hunter Keeps The Discoveries Coming After 50 Years

Stuart Averill, chairman of Overburden Drilling Management (ODM), was celebrating 50 years in the mining exploration business at this year’s Prospectors And Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto.

Averill, also a board member of Canada’s Tower Resources Ltd (TSXV:TWR) told Benzinga’s Melanie Schaffer that he started at the age of 28 in 1974 with an idea for a new exploration technique.

When geologists at the Kidd Creek mine at Timmins, Ontario, Canada, saw boulders of ore in glacial deposits, they deduced that there must be further ground deposits.

“We’re looking for mineral signatures of ore bodies dispersed during glaciation. We know which way the ice flows, so we’re able to look for low concentrations of minerals that are very specific to ore bodies,” he said.

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Casa Berardi And Rainy River

Looking over his 50-year career, Averill said he was most proud of the two gold discoveries his team at ODM made that are still operational today.

“The first one was 10 years after I started, the Casa Berardi deposit in Quebec. And then in 1994 we found the first evidence of the Rainy River deposit in north-western Ontario.”

Rainy River Resources took over production at the copper and gold mine 10 years later and Averill became a director of the company.

When Averill became a director at Tower Resources, several of the Rainy River team moved with him.

Rabbit North Project

At Tower, his team have made two important discoveries at Rabbit North, a 63 square miles project in British Columbia

“Rabbit North is very amenable and very broad for the type of discoveries that we have been making for 50 years. It’s very fertile terrain.”

Averill explained that there’s a ridge on the property of the right kind of rocks to host a porphyry copper/gold deposit.

“We called it the ‘Lightning’ zone because we discovered it so fast — seven months from the first till sample to drilling.

“It’s among the higher grades for what you would expect from an open pit deposit,” he said.

Following the “Lightning” discovery in 2022-23 Averill’s team found, 400 meters to the west, a second pair of gold deposits which they called “Thunder.”

“So we have these well-defined targets and it’s really all about drilling from here on — we know where to drill and we’re ready to go.”

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