The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Mining Explorers 2016: Aston Bay Holdings Ltd.

Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. is focused on unlocking the copper and zinc potential of its Aston Bay property on northwest Somerset Island, Nunavut.

Late in 2015, Aston Bay cut a deal with Commander Resources Ltd. that consolidated this 395,000-hectare (976,066 acres) land package that covers the Storm Copper and Seal zinc projects. In return, Commander now owns about 20 percent of Aston Bay shares.

After gaining full ownership of the property, Aston Bay Holdings cut a C$40 million deal with BHP Billiton Ltd. to explore Storm Copper, which blankets mineralized showings along a more than 100-kilometer- (60 miles) stretch of Somerset Island. Under terms of an option agreement signed by the companies in May, this investment will earn BHP Billiton a 75 percent interest in Storm, a stratabound deposit with copper mineralization that comes to the surface.

The property - along with the Seal zinc deposit that lies about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) to the west - has been explored off and on, mostly by Teck Resources Ltd., since the 1960s.

A total of 97 holes were drilled at the Storm and Seal deposits between 1995 and 2001. Highlights of the historical Storm drilling include 110 meters of 2.45 percent copper from surface; and 56 meters of 3.07 percent copper from a depth of 12.2 meters.

In July, Aston Bay launched a C$4 million exploration program funded by BHP Billiton. This work, aimed at testing high-priority drill targets and advancing other targets for future drilling, included roughly 2,000 meters of drilling; re-logging of existing core; mapping; soil sampling; and prospecting.

"As the operator of the project, Aston Bay is excited to test high-priority targets, while advancing additional targets for future drill programs," said Aston Bay COO Thomas Ullrich.

Highlights from historical drilling at Seal include 18.8 meters of 10.58 percent zinc and 28.7 grams-per-metric-ton silver from 51 meters; and 30.8 meters of 5.11 percent zinc and 23 g/t silver from 101 meters.



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