White Rock reaps rewards at Red Mountain
Last updated 9/28/2018 at 3:38am
White Rock Minerals Ltd. Sept. 20 announced the conclusion of its exciting inaugural exploration program at the zinc-rich Red Mountain volcanogenic massive sulfide project about 60 miles south of Fairbanks, Alaska.
The 4,111 meters of drilling and regional exploration carried out this year expanded the two historical and high-grade VMS deposits already identified on the property and made similar new discoveries that demonstrate the district-scale potential of Red Mountain.
"We are very pleased with the success of our first field season in Alaska at the Red Mountain project," said White Rock Minerals CEO Matt Gill.
When White Rock acquired Red Mountain in 2016, the property hosted two VMS deposits with historical resources – West Tundra Flats and Dry Creek.
Using the historical data that came with the property, White Rock had the resources updated to Australian Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) standards, which are similar to the NI 43-101 reporting standards in Canada.
The 2017 JORC resource found that Dry Creek and West Tundra Flats host 16.7 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 4.1 percent (1.49 billion pounds) zinc; 1.7 percent (630 million lb) lead; 0.2 percent (57.3 million lb) copper; 99 grams per metric ton (53.5 million ounces) silver; and 0.7 g/t (352,000 oz) gold.
White Rock began its 2018 drilling with holes aimed at upgrading and expanding Dry Creek and West Tundra Flats, also referred to as WTF.
The best hole drilled at Dry Creek, cut 4.72 meters averaging 19.5 percent zinc, 7.8 percent lead, 466 g/t silver, 6.9 g/t gold and 1.5 percent copper, or 49.7 percent zinc-equivalent. This was part of a 16-meter intercept that averaged 6.4 percent zinc, 2.6 percent lead, 152 g/t silver, 2.2 g/t gold and 0.5 percent copper, or 16.1 percent zinc-equivalent.
Being outside of the current resource area at Dry Creek makes these high-grades even more exceptional and highlights the potential of enlarging both the grade and size of the deposit.
WT18-28, the first 2018 hole reported from WTF, cut 3.45 meters averaging 15.1 percent zinc, 6.7 percent lead, 518 g/t silver, 2.1 g/t gold and 0.2 percent copper, or 35.2 percent zinc-equivalent.
Aggressive drilling pays off
As drills expanded Dry Creek and WTF, crews carried out geophysical surveys, mapping and sampling across the VMS deposits to determine the best exploration tools to use to prioritize the 30 earlier staged prospects across the roughly 35,340-acre (143 square kilometers) property.
This orientation work found that highly conductive anomalies that were easily and economically identifiable with controlled-source audio-frequency magnetotellurics, or CSAMT, geophysics.
Using the tools identified during the orientation program, crews carried out reconnaissance exploration to identify other VMS deposits across the district-scale property.
While mapping and sampling an area about 5,200 meters southeast of Dry Creek, crews identified a two-foot massive sulfide outcrop rich in sphalerite (zinc mineralization) and galena (lead mineralization) at a prospect known as Hunter.
Further prospecting at Hunter mapped massive sulfide mineralization for about 500 meters along strike that is associated with carbonaceous phyllite that can be traced more than 1,000 meters.
The first two holes drilled at Hunter encountered the massive sulfide mineralization up to 80 meters down-dip from the outcrop.
Hole HR18-01 cut 1.4 meters of massive sulfide averaging 17.4 percent zinc, 3.9 percent lead, 90 g/t silver and 1.6 percent copper. This equates to 25.8 percent zinc-equivalent when you consider the value of all the metals encountered.
Hole HR18-02, which was drilled from the same pad at a shallower angle, cut 1.8 meters averaging 13.8 percent zinc, 3.1 percent lead, 56 g/t silver and 0.9 percent copper, or 19.5 percent zinc-equivalent.
"Through an aggressive approach deploying a drill rig early on the tail of geological prospecting, surface sampling and ground geophysics, we have been rewarded with the discovery of massive sulfide mineralization in outcrop within three months of starting our very first program," said Gill.
In total, this year's exploration identified nine new targets along a roughly 5.6-mile- (nine kilometers) trend. White Rock tested these targets with 13 holes, assays are pending from much of this exploration drilling.
Gill said the work carried out this year will allow the company to focus on the most prospective targets when exploration at Red Mountain resumes in 2019.
"We have collected an enormous amount of geological data from our intense on-ground field work, and much of this information is now working its way through the assay laboratories. We will be compiling this information, together with the current and outstanding drill hole results, to assess, report and plan for next year's value-adding program," said the White Rock Minerals CEO.
The company said this compilation of data could result in an updated resource for the zinc-rich VMS deposits at Red Mountain.