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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Spirit of optimism

Millrock looks to build on foundation as bulls return to mining markets

 

January 22, 2017

The Zackly deposit at Millrock Resources' Stellar project in Alaska hosts a historical resource of 218,944 ounces of gold and 66.9 million pounds of copper.

With C$2.5 million in the bank and roughly two dozen mineral exploration projects it has generated in Alaska, British Columbia, New Mexico and Mexico, Millrock Resources Inc. is prepared for a stellar 2017 as metals prices rise and a bullish sentiment returns to mining markets.

"While we will not under-estimate the work ahead, we continue to carry forward into 2017 with a spirit of optimism," Millrock President and CEO Greg Beischer said. "The cycle seems to have changed, and we have positioned Millrock as best we possibly can to capitalize on a bull market in precious, base and energy metals."

As a project generator, Millrock aims to leverage its team's geological acumen by identifying and acquiring promising mineral prospects, completing preliminary exploration aimed at bolstering the project's potential and then vending them to a partner to fund the more advanced stages of exploration.

This business strategy allows the project generator to leverage the notoriously cyclical mining markets to its advantage by acquiring promising mineral properties at rock bottom prices when the bears reign and ready them for robust exploration when the bulls run.

Exploring The Last Frontier

While Millrock is not as Alaska-centric as it was prior to recent acquisitions of large swaths of mineral rich lands in British Columbia and Mexico, The Last Frontier continues to be an important part of the now more jurisdictionally diverse exploration company.

Going into 2017, Millrock's Alaska portfolio includes at least five properties prospective for gold and copper; and if the past is any indicator, this portfolio will grow before the calendars turn to 2018.

"Millrock plans to acquire and generate quality exploration projects and prudently advance them to the stage that will attract funding partners," the company said in a Jan. 16 update on the company's activities.

Late in 2015, Australia-based Vista Minerals Pty Ltd. entered into a joint venture agreement on Millrock's Stellar gold-copper property.

Located in Southcentral Alaska, the Stellar claims covers the Zackly copper-gold skarn deposit, which hosts a historical resource of 218,944 ounces of gold and 66.9 million pounds of copper contained in a deposit of 1.13 million metric tons grading 6.03 grams per metric ton gold and 2.69 percent copper.

In September, Vista flew induced polarization geophysical surveys over the west flank of Zackly and Jupiter, a separate copper prospect to the northeast.

The Jupiter occurrence is a 1,700- by 2,300-meter geochemical anomaly underlain by a corresponding magnetic high. One rock sample collected by Millrock in an area northwest of the main Jupiter prospect in 2013 returned 23 percent copper, an area Vista is interested in taking a closer look at.

Among the newest additions to Millrock's Alaska portfolio are gold exploration properties near Sumitomo Metal Mining's Pogo Mine in the Goodpaster Mining District.

"So far, only one hard rock lode mine has been discovered in the Goodpaster Mining District, and it is a very good one," Beischer said. "We believe that one day there will be multiple lode gold producers in the area."

In a quest to discover one of these future mines, Millrock accumulated six claim blocks blanketing 15,278 acres of this Interior Alaska district through a series of purchase and option agreements, as well as claim staking.

Collectively known as West Pogo, these properties are subject to a collaboration agreement signed with Australia-based Newcrest Mining Ltd., which signed a collaboration agreement with Millrock in 2015.

Millrock said its 2016 program at West Pogo, which consisted of core re-logging and surface sampling, has defined a corridor worthy of drilling.

Millrock generated a new Alaska copper-gold exploration project in 2016 through a deal it cut with Corvus Gold Inc. for Chisna. In addition to a prospective land package located near a higway 64 miles south of Tok, the Chisna project included a database of roughly US$11 million worth of exploration work previously carried out on the property.

Millrock's Alaska portfolio also includes: Apex El Nido, a high-grade gold project in Southeast Alaska; and Liberty Bell, a road-accessible project prospective for copper-gold porphyry and associated gold deposits about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of Fairbanks.

The company dropped Alaska Peninsula, AUDN and Humble copper projects in Alaska.

Into Gold Triangle

Before markets began to recover in earnest last year, Millrock was able to leverage the bottom of the cycle to acquire three properties – Todd Creek, Poly and Oweegee Dome – that blanket roughly 217 square miles (562 square kilometers) of the Golden Triangle in northern British Columbia.

Todd Creek, which lies immediately south of Pretium Resources Inc.'s Brucejack project, shows the potential for precious metals-rich volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits similar to the historic Eskay Creek Mine located 37 miles (60 kilometers) to the northwest.

Poly, located about six miles (10 kilometers) southeast of Todd Creek, is prospective for both volcanogenic massive sulfide and epithermal gold deposits.

Oweegee Dome, which lies immediately northeast of the Brucejack property, is prospective for the gold-vein, porphyry copper-gold and polymetallic VMS deposits for which the Golden Triangle is renowned.

To ready Oweegee Dome for drilling, Millrock had a ZTEM airborne geophysical survey flown over the project late in 2016. Short for Z-Axis Tipper Electromagnetic, ZTEM is an innovative airborne electromagnetic system capable of deep penetration and identification of conductive zones at depth.

"This survey will complement the existing geophysical information that we acquired along with the property when we purchased it. We now have all project information in a database and will use all data at hand to develop drill targets for testing in 2017," explained Millrock Chief Exploration Officer Phil St. George.

In June, Millrock added to its Golden Triangle land position with the acquisition of Willoughby, a high-grade gold-silver property located five miles (eight) kilometers south of Poly.

To round off its move into northwestern B.C., Millrock acquired an exploration operations facility complete with an office, storage area, a core cutting facility in Stewart, a mining town within the southern corner of the Golden Triangle.

"This facility will make an excellent base of operations for continued exploration of Millrock's existing projects in the Golden Triangle, and for those we generate in the future," explained Beischer.

Speaking of Millrock's B.C. portfolio, Beischer said the company is "optimistic about the likelihood of finding partners to fund exploration on these projects."

Golden Mexico portfolio

While continuing its work in the north, Millrock has built a large portfolio of 15 gold properties in Sonora, northwestern Mexico.

In 2016, the project generator cut a deal with Centerra Gold Inc. on two of these projects, Los Chinos and Los Cuarentas. Under the option agreement, the Canada-based gold producer can earn a 70 percent interest by completing US$5 million in exploration expenditures over a five-year period at Los Chinos, and US$2 million at Los Cuarentas.

After entering an option on the property, Centerra invested C$1.2 million on surface exploration and drilling at Los Chinos.

Following its initial exploration, Centerra agreed to spend US$250,000 on exploration alliance with Millrock entered aimed at developing new exploration targets Sonora.

"Centerra has already taken on two of our Sonora gold projects. We are pleased that Centerra has now shown confidence in our Mexico exploration team by entering this strategic alliance," said Beischer.

Red Basin, Millrock's single project in New Mexico, is primarily a uranium exploration project that also has the potential for base and precious metals deposits.

Coming out of the mining sector's five-year bear market with a large and diversified portfolio of exploration projects, Millrock feels it is stepping into the bull market on good footing.

"We now have an extensive exploration property portfolio diversified across four excellent mining jurisdictions, and the company is being actively funded by partners," explained Beischer. "With continued excellent scientific work, supportive funding partners and shareholders, we have the potential to make a transformative discovery in the coming year."

 

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