North of 60 Mining News - The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Junior seeks JV partner for SW claims

Owner of Big Chunk property sees similarities in mineralization to porphyry copper-gold-moly mining regions in Arizona, Nevada


Last updated 4/27/2008 at Noon

Liberty Star Uranium and Metals Corp. April 10 said it has received interest from "more than one large global mining company" in becoming a joint venture partner to explore the 113,000-acre Big Chunk property that borders the northern and western edges of the Pebble Property in Southwest Alaska.

The Tucson, Arizona-based junior said expressions of interest came within two days of a March 26 announcement that Liberty Star is seeking a partner to explore the property.

"It is early in the process and the company has no way of judging whether such a joint venture partnership deal will come to fruition. However, we are optimistic that it will," Liberty Star President James A. Briscoe said in a statement April 10.

Liberty Star currently holds 707 State of Alaska mineral claims, spanning about 177 square miles and centered 25 miles northwest of the Village of Iliamna on the north shore of Lake Iliamna and 200 miles southwest of Anchorage. The Big Chunk claims adjoin the Pebble Project on the north and west borders, forming a large half-donut shape. Included is the Baltusrol block about 8 miles north, which covers a large area of porphyry copper mineralization.

Claims near Pebble

Three properties held by Liberty Star, Northern Dynasty and Full Metal Minerals cover the entirety of the Big Chunk caldera, the volcanic-intrusive feature thought to be the source of mineralization in the area.

Big Chunk is one of three claim blocks on the Big Chunk caldera, a volcanic-intrusive feature thought to be the source of mineralization in the area. The Pebble Partnership, a 50:50 venture between Anglo American plc and Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., owns the Pebble Project, and Full Metal Minerals Ltd., who recently signed a joint venture agreement with Freeport-McMoRan Exploration Corp., holds the third property on the caldera.

Briscoe said geologists have known for many decades that porphyry copper-gold-moly deposits occurred in clusters.

"It is now well recognized that this clustering is related to very large explosive volcanic features known as calderas," he said.

The circular moat structure in a caldera is frequently mineralized. Examples of mineralized caldera moat structures or caldera edges include Silver Bell, Ariz., Round Mountain, Nev., Tombstone, Ariz., and the Mission-Sierrita Mining District in Arizona, he said.

Geology similar to Lower 48 mines

The similarity of the Pebble mineral pattern published by Northern Dynasty Mining in 1973 led geologist Briscoe to recognize its pattern similar to the Silver Bell's porphyry copper-moly deposits on the moat structure of the Silver Bell caldera. This led to the acquisition by Liberty Star of 113,120 acres of state claims along the moat structure of the Big Chunk Caldera, which includes the Pebble deposit, the company said.

Liberty Star said it is establishing a virtual data room to allow interested parties to review all pertinent data. The junior has completed extensive airborne magnetic surveys over the entire area, along with IP surveys, collected about 11,000 geochemical samples and drilled 31 holes on the property.


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