The Company has implemented a systematic and rigorous quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program for all of its drill programs and surface channel and grab sampling to ensure best practices in handling and sampling of all drill core and bedrock surface samples. We insist that collection of all core and field samples be done with the utmost care.
Drill core is carefully measured and logged by qualified geologists. Core samples are typically 1 to 1.5 meters in length, but may vary depending on rock quality. The sample intervals are marked on the core, sample tags inserted into the boxes, and everything is photographed prior to cutting.
QA/QC samples are inserted into the drill core sample series by the geologist in order to test the reliability of the laboratory where the samples are processed. The QA/QC samples are referred to as “Standard” and “Blank” material, where the chemical composition of the sample is known. Between 2-4 different standard samples are used per project, with chemical compositions ranging from high to low gold, whereas 1-2 different blank samples may be used per project, with blank material being devoid of gold. Blanks can be run after visibly mineralized zones, or after standards, to check the cleanliness of the lab between each sample run: no gold in a blank = clean lab with reliable results, gold in blank sample = dirty lab, unreliable results. Standards are run to check whether the lab is getting accurate and precise assay values; since the chemical composition of the standard has been tested and certified to a known standard deviation (SD), if the assays for the standard samples fall within the known SD then there is great confidence in the lab and the assay results they return for all samples.
A certified standard is inserted into the sample stream every 20th sample, and a blank every 40th sample, though the geologist may insert more if need be.
The drill core samples are cut in half using a diamond saw, and half the core is returned to the core box for reference, while the other half is placed into plastic bags with the corresponding tag number written on the bag and one portion of the water proof triplicate tag placed in the bag; (a duplicate tag is stapled into the core box at the sample location and the third retained in the sample book).
The samples are cut, bagged and tagged, securely sealed, and submitted to a laboratory for assay. A rigorous chain of custody is established between the Company, commercial trucking company and the laboratory.
Surface grab samples consist of two samples collected from the same site, with one sample submitted for assay and the other retained for future reference. Channel samples are typically 1 meter in length and 5 cm2, with a representative sample retained for future reference. QA/QC samples are inserted into the surface sample stream by the geologist.
The Company has retained the services of several certified laboratories to carry out the assay work on the samples from the various projects: Acme Laboratories (Vancouver), Accurassay Laboratory (Thunder Bay), Actlabs (Timmins and Thunder Bay) and currently ALS Canada Ltd.(Timmins, Thunder Bay, Vancouver, Reno, Winnemucca, and Elko). Gold analyses are obtained using industry standard fire assay with atomic absorption finish using 30 g nominal weight. Samples with greater than 10 g/t gold undergo screened metallics assay. All laboratories insert their own certified standards along with carrying out duplicate assays as part of their QA/QC protocol. These results are part of the certificate of analysis returned to the Company.
On receipt of final certificates of analysis, the QA/QC sample results are reviewed to ensure the order of samples are reported correctly, that the blanks run clean, and that the results for each standard has minimal variance from its certified value. If a variance greater than two standard deviations does occur, then that specific batch of samples containing the erroneous standard are re-assayed to ensure accuracy of analysis. This QA/QC is done prior to releasing data to the public.
All reject and pulp materials from the samples are returned from the laboratory to the Company and stored securely onsite; this material is saved in the event that the sample needs to be re-assayed at a later date.