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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Larger Palmer resource, more growth soon

Maiden indicated, barite resource does not include AG Zone


Last updated 10/12/2018 at 4:38am

Palmer volcanogenic massive sulfide VMS zinc copper barite silver gold project

Constantine Metal Resources Ltd.

Geologist Brodie Sutherland at the Nunatak Showing at AG Zone, a 2017 VMS discovery on Constantine Metal's Palmer project. A maiden resource for AG is anticipated after the completion of the 2018 drill program.

Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. has substantially increased the resources at Palmer, including the first indicated resource and inaugural estimate of the barite that makes up a large percentage of this zinc- and copper-rich volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit in Southeast Alaska.

According to the new calculation released on Sept. 27, the South Wall-RW deposit at Palmer now hosts 4.68 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 5.23 percent (539 million pounds) zinc, 1.49 percent (154 million lb) copper, 30.8 grams per metric ton (4.2 million ounces) silver, 0.3 g/t (40,900 oz) gold and 23.9 percent (1.12 million metric tons) barite.

In addition, the deposit hosts 5.34 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 5.2 percent (612 million lb) zinc, 0.96 percent (113 million lb) copper, 29.2 g/t (4.5 million oz) silver, 0.28 g/t (436,000 oz) gold and 22 percent (1.17 million metric tons) barite.

This marks a roughly 36 percent increase in total resource compared to the 8.1 million metric tons of inferred resources averaging 5.25 percent (940.4 million pounds) zinc, 1.41 percent (252.6 million lb) copper, 0.32 g/t (83,600 ounces) gold and 31.7 g/t (8.3 million oz) silver, calculated in 2015.

"We are very pleased to report that this latest update significantly expands and enhances the resource base at the Palmer project," said Constantine Metals President and CEO Garfield MacVeigh.

Upgrading a portion of this deposit to the higher confidence indicated category will assist Constantine and joint venture partner Dowa Metals & Mining Co. Ltd. in studying the economics of developing a mine at Palmer, which will begin with a preliminary economic assessment currently underway.

"We are excited to incorporate these positive developments in the preliminary economic assessment, establishing the path forward for this important high-grade base metal asset," MacVeigh added.

AG resource coming

The new resource calculation does not include the high-grade mineralization that the company is drilling at AG Zone, a silver-, zinc- and barite-rich target about 3,000 meters southwest of the South Wall-RW zone.

The 2017 discovery hole at AG cut 9.2 meters of massive barite-sulfide averaging 312 g/t silver and 0.9 g/t gold.

This year's drilling continues to expand this exciting new zone of VMS mineralization at Palmer

Further drilling at AG identified stacked strata-bound zones, including a high-grade silver-gold upper zone and a zinc-rich lower zone.

Highlights from this year's drilling include 12.5 meters of 1.8 g/t gold, 217 g/t silver and 5.2 percent zinc in hole CMR18-109; 28.8 meters of 0.5 g/t gold, 141 g/t silver, 9 percent zinc and 3.5 percent lead in CMR18-110; and 21.3 meters grading 0.5 g/t gold, 92 g/t silver, 1 percent zinc, 0.4 percent lead and 55 percent barite (BaSO4) in CMR18-114, the most recent hole reported from AG.

So far, this year's drilling has outlined AG Zone for about 450 meters along strike. The deposit is open toward Jag, a high-grade zinc-lead-silver outcrop about 100 meters to the southeast, and toward Waterfall, a target being drilled this year about 1,000 meters to the northwest.

"There is excellent opportunity to continue to expand the current resource, to add to the resource base with the planned maiden resource estimate for the AG zone, and to make additional deposit discoveries," said MacVeigh.

2.29 million tonnes barite

What this resource does include is a maiden NI 43-101-compliant calculation of the amount of barite in the South Wall-RW deposit.

At 2.29 million metric tons – 1.12 million metric tons in indicated resource and 1.17 million metric tons in the inferred category – this industrial mineral has the potential to be a significant contributor to the overall economics of mining at Palmer.

Making up roughly 23 percent of the overall mass of the South Wall-RW deposit, most of this barite would need to be handled during mining, whether as waste rock or a saleable product.

Palmer volcanogenic massive sulfide VMS zinc copper barite silver gold project

Constantine Metal Resources Ltd.

Stairs cut into the side of the mountain make it easier to access this drill testing AG Zone, a VMS target rich in silver, zinc and barite.

Metallurgical work carried out this year demonstrates that simple additional steps to the mineral processing plant proposed for Palmer can recover 91.1 percent of the barite in a clean, high-grade concentrate that exceeds the standards for oil and gas drilling, the largest use for the mineral.

"This may have very positive implications with the potential to both enrich gross metal value per tonne (metric ton) and provide significant environmental and operational benefits by reducing waste," said MacVeigh.

Constantine has commissioned market experts to evaluate wholesale barite prices for different North American oil basin markets.

Preliminary estimates range from US$170 to US$225 per short ton, or US$187 to US$248 per metric ton.

The study will also include an analysis of transportation options and cost to access the most likely of these markets. Alaska, with its oil and gas fields on the North Slope and in Cook Inlet, would be a good market for Palmer barite.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Over his more than 11 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (907) 726-1095


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