Skip to content

Second Northern Ontario gold company retracts drill assay results

'Unfortunate situation' as MacDonald Mines reviews exploration results of Sudbury project
MacDonald Mines video still of its SPJ Project, near Sudbury

It’s stunning news when a mining exploration company must retract its drill assay results. 

Now two gold companies operating in Northern Ontario have been forced to do so within a month.

Following on the heels of Red Pine Exploration’s Wawa assay fiasco, MacDonald Mines Exploration, a junior mining outfit operating in the Sudbury area, reportedly has found “inconsistencies in certain assay results” at its Scadding gold prospect.

MacDonald is withdrawing all of the announced results for Scadding as the results are deemed not reliable.

The company said in a May 24 news release that an internal review has started to compare the actual assay results with what has been publicly disclosed — in documents like news releases and technical reports — in order to “ identify and quantify the extent of any incongruities.” 

Scadding lies within a 197-square-kilometre land package on the eastern outer edge of the Sudbury basin, not far from Glencore’s Falconbridge smelter. Exploration there has revealed showings of nickel, copper, platinum group metals and gold. The area has been mined in the past and includes the former Scadding Mine. 

Scadding does not have a mineral resource estimate attached to it.

In an emailed response to Northern Ontario Business, Mike England, MacDonald’s interim CEO and a company director, did not elaborate on what prompted this review. 

He added an independent consultant will not be hired to verify all the drill assay data on Scadding. 

“All I can say for now is it is not widespread and confined to a part of the portfolio that has not been a flagship of the company. We anticipate having the comparisons all wrapped up early next week and will announce our findings and the timelines these happened in. In our case we do not feel an independent review is necessary as it has been easy to spot the differences and we do not have a resource calculation for Scadding,” said England.

“Unfortunate situation for sure.”

Earlier this month,  Red Pine Exploration, operating south of Wawa, accused former CEO Quentin Yarie of tampering with drill results that were filed in the company’s drill database.

Not mentioned in MacDonald’s news release late last week was that Yarie had worked for MacDonald not long ago. 

In a 2021 corporate video posted on the MacDonald Mines Exploration website and on YouTube, Yarie appeared as the president-CEO. His LinkedIn account lists him as the company’s chair from October 2020 to August 2022. But he was serving as president of the company in 2019.

Between 2010 and 2013, Yarie served as MacDonald’s vice-president of exploration, according to his LinkedIn account, before moving into technical and senior management roles with Honey Badger Exploration from 2013 to 2020.

Whether the emerging scandal at Red Pine prompted MacDonald’s interview review remains unclear.

England did not immediately respond to a follow-up question if Yarie’s previous association with the company prompted this review.