Exploration Program Planned at Red Mountain Zinc Project in Alaska
PLANNED EXPLORATION PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- A targeted 3,000 metre diamond drilling program aimed at in-fill and expansion of the current globally significant maiden Resource,
- A comprehensive 1,800 line km airborne electromagnetic (EM) survey to look deeper below surface for VMS deposits (up to 500 metres) than has previously been done,
- On-ground orientation EM and possibly geochemistry exploration across the two already identified deposits,
- Regional application of the best geophysics and geochemistry exploration tools determined from the on-ground orientation work, and
- A 3,000 metre follow-up diamond drilling program on the best of the more than 30 already identified exploration targets.
MD & CEO Matt Gill said "Since acquiring the Red Mountain zinc - silver - lead - gold VMS project in early 2016, we have worked to assess the prospectivity of the area using the publicly available geophysics and geochemistry data. We subsequently expanded our strategic footprint 10-fold, and have also released a maiden Mineral Resource that immediately placed the Red Mountain Project in the top quartile of undeveloped high-grade VMS (zinc, silver, gold) deposits globally. Importantly, the two deposits identified within the Company's extensive land holding immediately placed the Red Mountain zinc project as one of the highest grade and more significant deposits of any zinc company listed on the ASX and an important VMS asset within a global context. Now it is time to get on the ground. As announced on 13th December, we have secured one potential funding solution to allow us to commence this work. This is an exciting time for White Rock".
Red Mountain is a globally significant VMS project with two already identified deposits (Dry Creek and West Tundra Flats) providing White Rock with a Resource base of 16.7Mt at 8.9% ZnEq (see Note below) including a high-grade component of 9.1Mt @ 12.9% ZnEq (see Note below) (refer ASX announcement 26 April 2017 regarding the maiden Mineral Resource).
A tenement package of over 143km2 has been assembled with 30 near surface conductivity anomalies associated with VMS alteration halos already identified (ASX announcement 13 September 2016). White Rock has planned an aggressive exploration program to test, expand and discover additional new mineralisation with the objective of building the Red Mountain project into a world class zinc - silver - lead - gold VMS camp.
The proposed 2018 program includes:
- 6,000m of diamond core drilling. A diamond core rig will drill throughout the 2018 summer season, from May through to October. Drill holes will test for thickened intervals within the two known deposits (5-10 holes), numerous extension targets defined by geochemical and geophysical vectors (5-10 holes), as well as a number of the new targets as ground surveys early in the field season firm-up target locations for drill testing (15-30 holes).
- 1,800 line km of high-powered airborne electromagnetic (EM) geophysics is planned to identify conductivity anomalies associated with massive sulphide mineralisation to depths of 500m. This data will augment the existing shallow EM that has identified 30 conductivity anomalies and importantly assist in prioritising those with depth extent and potential to be associated with a large VMS orebody (>10Mt).
- Orientation ground geophysics is planned to be completed early in the field season (May-June) at the existing Dry Creek and West Tundra Flats deposits. These orientation surveys will determine the best ground geophysics methods (EM, IP-resistivity, CSAMT, magnetics, gravity) that identify anomalies associated with mineralisation. A combination of the best ground geophysical techniques can then be applied at each of the newly identified prospect areas to precisely locate drill holes to test these targets.
- It is planned that a dedicated field reconnaissance crew will map and sample all 30 near surface conductivity anomalies. Surface sampling would include systematic rock chip traverse sampling to characterise the geochemical alteration halo for each prospect area, as well as a focus on detailed sampling of any massive sulphide horizons identified.
- Prospective areas prioritised from the airborne EM and surface geochemical halo mapping would then undergo more detailed mapping, ground geophysics and geochemical sampling (rock chip and soils) prior to drill testing of the top 5 to 10 targets.
- An important additional aspect of the 2018 exploration program is the plan to assess the potential for precious metal zones proximal to the massive sulphide mineralisation. Gold mineralisation is usually found at the top (hangingwall) of VMS base metal deposits or adjacent in the overlying sediments. Gold bearing host rocks are commonly not enriched in base metals and consequently often missed during early exploration sampling. This provides an exciting opportunity for potential further discoveries at Red Mountain.
About Red Mountain (as more fully set out in the ASX Announcement dated 15 February 2016)
- The Red Mountain Project is located in central Alaska, 100km south of Fairbanks, in the Bonnifield Mining District. The tenement package comprises 224 mining claims over a total area of 143km2.
- The Red Mountain Project contains polymetallic VMS mineralisation rich in zinc, silver and lead, with potential for significant gold and copper.
- Mineralisation occurs from surface, and is open along strike and down-dip.
- White Rock used historical drilling to determine a maiden JORC 2012 Mineral Resource estimate for the Dry Creek and West Tundra Flats deposit (ASX Announcement 26th April 2017). The Inferred Mineral Resource contains an impressive base metal and precious metal content with 678,000t zinc, 286,000t lead, 53.5 million ounces silver and 352,000 ounces gold.
- Good preliminary metallurgical recoveries of >90% zinc, >75% lead, >80% gold, >70% silver and >70% copper.
- Previous drilling highlights (ASX Announcement 15th February 2016) include:
o 4.6m @ 23.5% Zn, 531g/t Ag, 8.5% Pb, 1.5g/t Au & 1.0% Cu from 6.1m
o 5.5m @ 25.9% Zn, 346g/t Ag, 11.7% Pb, 2.5g/t Au & 0.9% Cu from 69.5m
o 7.1m @ 15.1% Zn, 334g/t Ag, 6.8% Pb, 0.9g/t Au & 0.3% Cu from39.1m
West Tundra Flats
o 1.3m @ 21.0% Zn, 796g/t Ag,9.2% Pb, 10.2g/t Au & 0.6% Cu from 58.6m
o 3.0m @ 7.3% Zn, 796g/t Ag, 4.3% Pb, 1.1g/t Au & 0.2% Cu from160.9m
o 1.7m @ 11.4% Zn, 372g/t Ag, 6.0% Pb, 1.7g/t Au & 0.2% Cu from 104.3m
- VMS deposits typically occur in clusters ("VMS camps"). Deposit sizes within camps typically follow a log normal distribution, and deposits within camps typically occur at regular spacing. The known deposits at Dry Creek and West Tundra Flats provide valuable information with which to vector and target additional new deposits within the Red Mountain camp.
- Interpretation of the geologic setting indicates conditions that enhance the prospectivity for gold-rich mineralisation within the VMS system at Red Mountain. Gold mineralisation is usually found at the top of VMS base metal deposits or adjacent in the overlying sediments. Gold bearing host rocks are commonly not enriched in base metals and consequently often missed during early exploration sampling. This provides an exciting opportunity for potential further discoveries at Red Mountain.
- White Rock sees significant discovery potential, given the lack of modern day exploration at Red Mountain. This is further enhanced by the very nature of VMS clustering in camps, and the potentially large areas over which these can occur.
ZnEq = Zinc equivalent grades are estimated using long-term broker consensus estimates compiled by RFC Ambrian as at 20 March 2017 adjusted for recoveries from historical metallurgical test work and calculated with the formula: ZnEq =100 x [(Zn% x 2,206.7 x 0.9) + (Pb% x 1,922 x 0.75) + (Cu% x 6,274 x 0.70) + (Ag g/t x (19.68/31.1035) x 0.70) + (Au g/t x (1,227/31.1035) x 0.80)] / (2,206.7 x 0.9). White Rock is of the opinion that all elements included in the metal equivalent calculation have reasonable potential to be recovered and sold.
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About White Rock Minerals Ltd
White Rock Minerals Ltd (ASX:WRM) is an Australian listed minerals exploration and development company with projects located in northern NSW (gold and silver) and central Alaska (zinc, silver, lead and gold). The White Rock vision is to explore and develop both precious and base metal projects.
White Rock's cornerstone asset is the Mt Carrington epithermal gold-silver project in northern NSW. The Mt Carrington project has great leverage to the Australian gold and silver prices with a positive scoping study providing a path towards feasibility studies and development in the near term.
White Rock is also exploring the Red Mountain project in Alaska. Red Mountain is a globally significant advanced VMS project with high grade zinc and silver in two deposits. White Rock is exploring for additional high grade deposits that will enhance the projects leverage to an upturn in the fortunes of zinc and silver.
White Rock Minerals Ltd