SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
( ) REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
(X) ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006
( ) TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT
( ) SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE
ACT OF 1934
Date of event requiring this shell company report
For the transition period from ____________________ to ______________________
Commission file number 0-28528
ALMADEN MINERALS LTD.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
British Columbia, Canada
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
750 West Pender Street, #1103, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 2T8
(Address of principal executive offices)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.
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Common Stock without par value
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The Company has revised its mineral property disclosure for the Skoonka Creek prospect in its 20-F annual report for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2006. The revised discussion follows.
The Skoonka Creek Prospect Canada
MAP 3 SKOONKA CREEK
The Skoonka Creek (formerly Sam) Prospect is without known reserves and all current work by the Company on the prospect is exploratory in nature.
Option to Acquire Interest
The initial staking of 43 claim-units (1,075 hectares) was undertaken in late 2003. During 2004, further staking expanded the prospect to 140 claim-units (3,500 hectares). During 2005, a closely adjacent SAMS (Sam South) block comprising 300 BCGS grid cells (~6,190 hectares) were acquired via the new BC Minerals Titles Online system and all of the former legacy (SAM 1-16) claims were converted to new BCGS electronic grid cell tenures resulting in a total land area of 10,190 hectares. All of the claims are 100% owned by the Company.
In Fiscal 2005, the Company executed an option agreement with Strongbow Exploration Inc. (Strongbow), whereby Strongbow could earn an initial 51% interest in the prospect by issuing to the Company 600,000 shares and completing exploration expenditures of $2,000,000 prior to December 31, 2008. Strongbow could have increased its interest to 60% by spending an additional $2,000,000 and issuing a further 400,000 to the Company over the ensuing two years. During Fiscal 2006, Strongbow completed earn-in requirements. The Secondary Option to earn an additional 9% was terminated. A formal joint venture agreement will be negotiated.
Expenditures to Date
During Fiscal 2006, the Company incurred $226,793 in exploration costs, primarily on drilling ($201,367). The value of securities received pursuant to the option agreement with Strongbow was $237,000. As at December 31, 2006, the Company had deferred costs of $22,798 on this prospect.
Location and Access
The prospect is readily accessible by road, 25 kilometres northeast from Lytton, British Columbia, on the Trans-Canada Highway.
History and Recent Work
Pre-acquisition work during 2003 consisted of prospecting and recon geochemical sampling based on follow-up of a government (BC-RGS) regional gold stream sediment anomaly. This program generated 22 rock, 41 silt, and 14 soil samples. The 2004 assessment work program included minor access road improvements, further prospecting and recon sampling (25 rocks, 8 silts), approximately 21 line-km of roadcut soil sampling (417 soils), and limited hand trenching at three sites (16 rock chip samples). All of the samples collected to date have been tested for 36 elements, by Acme Analytical Laboratories in Vancouver, BC.
The rock sampling identified variable grade gold and lesser silver mineralization in a number of widely scattered quartz float occurrences, and in two major insitu vein showings named Discovery and JJ.
The soil and stream sediment sampling outlined two broad areas of gold-arsenic-antimony ± mercury enrichment which include and encompass the Discovery and JJ mineral zones.
During 2005 Strongbow expended $668,000 on exploration at Skoonka Creek which consisted of regional and detailed soil geochemical surveys, geological mapping, prospecting and recon rock/silt sampling, ground geophysical surveys, further hand trenching and initial core drilling on the JJ mineral structure and additional nearby geochemical/geophysical targets (Eleven NQ core holes totalling 1258.4 metres of drilling). The 2005 program generated 29 silt, 224 recon rock grab, 29 trench rock channel, 3588 grid soil, and 824 drill core samples. All of the samples were tested for 28 elements by geochemical (ICP or AA) analysis at Global Discovery Laboratories in Vancouver, B.C. Samples that returned gold analyses of greater than 0.2 g/t (and greater than or equal to 0.1 g/t later in the season) were subsequently fire assayed for gold, and those with moderate or high gold
grades were additionally subjected to metallic screen assays.
At the JJ Showing area, the 2005 hand trenching has exposed the quartz vein system over a 60-metre strike length. Detailed soil sampling has identified a broad gold and arsenic anomaly, coincident with mineralization. Detailed ground geophysical surveys revealed a linear magnetic low, corresponding to the alteration system surrounding the quartz veins. The drill program completed in October 2005 successfully extended the vein system at depth and along strike.
In the Discovery Showing area, the 2005 detailed grid soil sampling results define a 450-metre long northeast-southwest trending gold anomaly with numerous coincident anomalous rock samples.
The 2005 regional soil grid encompassing 16 square kilometres outlined several additional gold anomalies underlain by prospective andesite host rock. The largest of these, called the Backburn Anomaly, is spatially related to the Discovery area and measures 1500 metres long by 800 metres wide.
During 2006, Strongbow conducted regional and detailed soil geochemical surveys, geological mapping, prospecting, ground geophysical surveys and diamond drilling on the prospect. The program generated 1,500 rock and 4,500 soil geochemical samples. Work was carried out on a number of showings discussed below.
The JJ prospect has a strike length of 700 metres and drill tested epithermal gold mineralization to a depth of at least 250 metres. A ground geophysical survey was carried out.
The Discovery-Backburn Trend is a 3,000 metre long corridor containing a number of mineral showings (Discovery, Backburn, Deadwood, Ember and Zebra). It is located 3,000 metres northeast of the JJ prospect and contains a gold in soil anomaly, characterized by clay and silica altered andesitic fragmental rocks.
The Backburn showing is an area 1,100 metres by 300 metres containing anomalous gold values in soil. A ground geophysical survey was carried out on the Backburn showing. Rock chip and soil samples were collected in this area.
The Ember showing is a 97 metre long quartz vein and breccia system, located at the southern end of the Discovery-Backburn trend. A ground geophysical survey was carried out on the Ember showing. Rock chip and soil samples were collected in this area.
The Deadwood showing is a 200 metre long zone in which closely spaced quartz veins are found within andesitic volcanic rocks. Strongbow collected 105 rock grab and chip samples from this zone. A detailed ground magnetic survey was also completed. The Deadwood showing is located at the western end of the Discovery-Backburn Trend.
The Zebra showing is an 1,100 metre by 700 metre area in which elevated gold values have been detected in soil and bedrock samples.
Geology and Mineralization
The prospect area is underlain by a northwest-southeast trending shallowly dipping sequence of intermediate and mafic volcanic rocks of the Cretaceous Spences Bridge Group. Sill-like bodies of feldspar porphyry are also present, and felsic dyke (?) rubble has been noted in a few localities. The ages and relationships of these rocks to the main volcanic assemblage are presently unknown.
Major structural features in the local area are north-south oriented high angle normal faults. Two, east to ENE-trending, vague lineaments in the central property area are discernible from aerial photographs, topographic maps and limited field observations. These easterly striking features are roughly parallel with the main soil geochemical anomaly trends and mineral showings identified to date.
Quartz hosted gold and lesser silver mineralization have been identified in widely scattered float occurrences, and in two major vein showings. All of these occurrences exhibit compositions and classic textures typical of low sulphidation epithermal veins and breccias. The styles of mineralization include massive multiphase vein, multistage
breccia, stockwork veinlet, and pyritic silica-carbonate replacement of hostrock. Disseminated pyrite and specular hematite also occur in both quartz matrix and hostrock clasts at the Discovery Showing. Fluid inclusion studies of two vein rubble samples from the discovery area have reported formation temperatures in the range of <200oC to 210oC, indicating minimal erosion of the epithermal system at this site.
The (2003) Discovery Showing represents a large but low grade vein breccia zone having an estimated 4.2m true width over which the 2004 channel sampling returned gold analyses ranging from 0.34 g/t to 0.48 g/t, with negligible silver. This zone trends ENE and is subvertical.
The 2005 detailed soil sample grid in the Discovery Showing area defined a 450-metre long NE-SW trending gold anomaly with numerous coincident anomalous rock samples. This anomaly is spatially associated with a silicified and chloritized alteration zone within andesite flows, as well as a feldspar and hornblende-phyric porphyry dyke. The 2005 regional soil grid identified additional gold anomalies underlain by prospective andesite flows, substantially farther out from but also spatially related to the Discovery area. The largest of these gold-in-soil anomalies, named the Backburn Anomaly, covers an area of 1500m by 800m and is coincident with abundant float and subcrop occurrences of brecciated volcanic rocks that are variably oxidized with a quartz-carbonate-chlorite matrix.
The high grade JJ Showing discovered in 2004 is situated about three kilometers to the southwest of the Discovery Vein, on a subparallel ENE structural trend. It consists of a moderately to steeply dipping zone containing two closely spaced veins (Jan & Jodi Veins) and intensely clay altered andesite wallrock having an estimated combined 2m true width. The quartz veins are massive to colloform banded. Nine large-sized channel samples were collected on a staggered pattern across the zone. Weighted average gold assays across the veins and vein zones are as follows:
1. Three samples (R9-R11) across the Jan Vein:
19.28 g/t Au over 1.0m length (0.67m true width)
2. Three samples (R12-R14) across the Jodi Vein:
42.64 g/t Au over 0.93m length (0.62m true width)
3. Sample string R9H-R9-R9F and 0.5m-offset string R14, R14F:
22.77 g/t Au over 3.0m length (2.0m true width)
4. Sample string R9H-R9-R9F and 0.5m-offset sample R13:
28.33 g/t Au over 2.5m length (1.67m true width)
These channel samples were taken by or under the close supervision of a registered professional geologist and maintained under his control until delivered to an ISO9001:2000 certified assay analytical laboratory for sample preparation and analysis. Sample locations were marked in the field with flagging and weatherproof tags. A UTM grid location for every site was recorded by GPS unit using NAD 27 datum. Rock sample individual weights ranged from 2.5 to 10 kilograms. The laboratory runs standards and provides resamples at varying intervals for each shipment received. A resample consists of analyzing a second cut (subsample) from the sample pulp(or occasionally the reject portion), and is reported as a rerun (RE) or reject rerun (RRE) on the analysis certificate. At the high grade JJ showing initial gold and silver analyses were by Inductively coupled Plasma- Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and were later checked by metallics fire assays, with good duplication of results in eight of nine samples, which is very good considering the nugget nature of high grade gold mineralization. These results were also checked by resampling by Strongbow Resources Ltd. Prior to their optioning the property from us. The level of quality control increases with the significance of the program, with drill core having more duplicates, blanks, standards and reruns than initial prospecting work.
Further hand trenching and channel sampling (by Strongbow) during 2005 intermittently exposed the JJ vein system over a 60-metre strike length and returned gold grades as follows: of 29 channel samples collected, 28 reported greater than 0.1 g/t including 20 samples greater than 1.0 g/t and 10 samples in excess of 12.0 g/t. The 2005 drill program successfully traced the JJ mineralization over a strike length of 350 metres, to vertical depths of 17.5 to 62 metres below surface, and indicated highly variable gold grades as listed in the Table under Drilling Results. In general, the JJ gold mineralization occurs as two types: (1) high-grade associated with dark grey to black
(sulphide/sulphosalt?) layers in banded quartz veins, and (2) low-grade disseminated in argillic-chloritic-pyritic altered volcanic wall rocks.
There is no infrastructure in place on the prospect.
During October 2005, Strongbow completed an 11-hole diamond drill program generating 1258.4 meters of NQ2 core (core size 50.5mm diameter) from the JJ Showing area. The main target for drilling was the coincident geochemical-geophysical anomaly that is interpreted to represent the host structure for high grade gold-quartz veins exposed intermittently by hand trenching along a 60-meter strike length. Seven holes (841m) tested this interpreted target over a strike length of approximately 350 meters. Each of these seven holes intersected alteration and quartz veining typical of low sulphidation epithermal systems. Anomalous assay results from the seven holes which targeted the JJ Showing are summarized in the Table below:
1Current geological interpretations of the mineralized system are preliminary and therefore true widths of mineralization are uncertain. However the true widths of the reported intervals are estimated to be 90-100% and 50-70% of the reported intervals for holes drilled at -45 degrees and -80 degrees, respectively.
2All reported assays are uncut.
Hole SC-003 was set up as a 50m step-out to test the western extent of the JJ showing. The hole was oriented at an azimuth of 340° with a -45°dip.
Hole SC-004 was drilled from the same site, and at the same azimuth as SC-003, but at a -80° dip.
Hole SC-005 was drilled at az.326°/dip -45°, as a 50m step-out to the east from the JJ Showing.
Hole SC-006 was drilled under SC-005, at az. 326/dip -80°.
Hole SC-007 was set up 32.5m south of the JJ veins main surface exposure, and drilled at az.335°/dip -45°.
Hole SC-008 was drilled behind SC-007, at az. 340°/dip -80°.
Hole SC-009 is a 300m step-out to the west from the JJ Showing, and was drilled at az. 340°/dip -45°.
The remaining four holes of the program tested additional targets in the vicinity of the JJ Showing:
Hole SC-001 tested the Red Earth Zone, a geochemical target comprising a four-sample soil anomaly located north of the JJ Showing. It was oriented at az. 340°/dip -45°, and encountered fault gouge and breccia with minor gold mineralization from 12.62 to 14.00 m (0.22 to 0.56 g/t Au) and from 15.70 to 18.80 m (0.14 to 0.90 g/t Au).
Hole SC-002 was collared at the same site as SC-001, and was drilled at az. 340°/dip -80°. A zone of minor gold mineralization was intersected between 20.30 and 34.40 m, ranging from 0.40 to 1.12 g/t Au with thin unmineralized bands returning <0.10 g/t Au.
Hole SC-010 was drilled north of SC-005 and -006, to test two gold-in-soil anomalies and a weak to moderate VLF geophysical anomaly. This hole was oriented at az. 340°/dip -45°. Weak gold mineralization was encountered from 88.70 to 90.30 m.
Hole SC-011 tested two other gold-in-soil anomalies and the same VLF geophysical anomaly plus a linear magnetic low feature. The hole was drilled at az. 340°/dip -46°. Weak gold mineralization (0.32 g/t Au) was encountered from 77.20 to 78.20 m.
During 2006, Strongbow completed a 4,546 metre diamond drill program, targeting the JJ prospect and the Discovery showing. 4,056 metres in 18 holes were completed on the JJ prospect, testing its depth to 250 metres and strike length to 700 metres. 490 metres in three holes were drilled on the Discovery showing, located 3,500 metres north of the JJ prospect. Each hole intersected alteration and quartz breccia zones displaying epithermal vein textures typical of low sulphidation epithermal systems.
Recent Drilling Results
Strongbow reported the results from the autumn drill program in a news release dated January 15, 2007. The six-hole, 2,000-metre program tested the JJ vein system to depth. A 20-centimetre-to-25-centimetre well-developed quartz vein was encountered in the final two drill holes of this program. Drill holes SC-031 and SC-032, collared at the same setup and azimuth, returned assays of 16.3 g/t gold (Au) over 0.23 m and 17.0 g/t Au over 0.5 m, respectively at depths of 120 m and 130 m downdip from surface. The vein was encountered 175 m along strike to the west of highlight drill hole SC-008 that had previously returned 20.2 g/t Au over 12.8 m. This drilling program confirmed that the vein remains open downdip and along strike and indicates that well-developed epithermal veins are located at depth within the JJ area.
Planned Work Program Fiscal 2007, Ending December 31, 2007
The Company has no planned 2007 exploration program with all work being conducted by Strongbow which is the operator of the project. Strongbow has advised that it plans to carry out further ground geophysics and drilling at the JJ prospect and Zebra showing in 2007 and a work plan and budget is currently being developed.
Index to Exhibits
The Registrant hereby certifies that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form 20-F and that it has duly caused and authorized the undersigned to sign this Annual Report on its behalf.
Almaden Minerals Ltd.
Dated: December 21, 2007
By /s/Duane Poliquin
Duane Poliquin, Chairman & CEO