By Rick Romell of the Journal Sentinel
July 10, 2012
A Canadian company exploring for gold near Wausau said its test drilling has continued to confirm the presence of extensive deposits at the site.
Any actual gold mining in Marathon County, however, is years away, if it occurs at all.
Aquila Resources Inc., Toronto, has been assessing the potential of the Reef deposit since acquiring the mineral rights to hundreds of acres in the Town of Easton in Marathon County.
Gold was discovered there in the 1970s, but the deposits have gone untapped for more than three decades. With the price of the precious metal soaring over the last several years, however, Aquila is evaluating the possibilities of open-pit mining at the site, 12 miles east of Wausau.
"The results today were fairly strong," Aquila CEO Thomas Quigley said in an interview Monday. " . . . Definitely we're seeing some nice thicknesses and fairly decent grades, especially near the surface, which is important."
The latest results include estimates from holes drilled within the area assessed in the '70s by Noranda Exploration. Noranda estimated that the site held gold that, at today's prices, would be worth more than $200 million.
Previous drilling by Aquila has turned up gold deposits beyond the bounds originally explored by Noranda.
The company is preparing to do further exploration drilling next winter.
Aquila also is exploring other sites in Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. At the Reef site in Marathon County, the firm has locked up mining leases and exploration agreements on 729 acres, with options to buy.
Publicly traded on the Toronto exchange, Aquila has no revenue and has relied on stock sales to finance its exploration. The company reported a $2.5 million loss for 2011.