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Mars discovery hole gets better with depth

 

Last updated 11/1/2019 at 3:50am

Peter Taylor, Millrock Exploration Corp.

One hole drilled this year at Stellar indicates that a porphyry system lies below the copper mineralization evident at the surface of the Mars target on PolarX' Alaska Range property.

PolarX Ltd. Oct. 21 reported that the encouraging porphyry copper mineralization encountered in the first hole at the Mars target on its Alaska Range property increased in intensity to the bottom of the hole.

On Oct. 1, the Australia-based company announced that its Mars discovery hole, 19MAR001, cut roughly 300 meters of porphyry-style mineralization starting at a depth of about 5.3 meters. Today, the company said this visible copper and molybdenum mineralization increased notably at 321 meters and continued to the bottom of the hole.

"Visual confirmation of even more intense porphyry‐style veining containing chalcopyrite and molybdenite from 321 meters to the end of the first hole at 417 meters depth at Mars is extremely promising," said PolarX Managing Director Frazer Tabeart.

Mars is a porphyry target at the western end of a 7.5-mile- (12 kilometers) long mineralized corridor that runs across the project.

From Mars, this corridor runs east through the high-grade Zackly copper-gold skarn deposit and on to Saturn at the eastern end.

Earlier this year, Lundin Mining Corp. entered into an option to earn a 51 percent interest in Stellar, a porphyry copper-gold portion of the larger Alaska Range property, by investing US$24 million in exploration and making US$20 million in payments to PolarX over a three-year span.

To accommodate this arrangement, PolarX subdivided Alaska Range into three projects – Stellar, Zackly and Caribou Dome.

Stellar encompasses Mars, Saturn and other copper and gold targets on the large Stellar property that PolarX acquired from Millrock Resources Inc.

The deal with Lundin, however, excluded a block of claims in the middle of Stellar that covers Zackly, which allows PolarX to explore expansions of the skarn deposit independently of the Lundin investment.

Zackly hosts 3.4 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 1.2 percent (90.4 million pounds) copper, 2 grams per metric ton (213,000 oz) gold and 14 g/t (1.5 million oz) silver, according to an Australian Joint Ore Reserves Committee- (JORC) resource calculated in 2017.

PolarX also retains ownership of Caribou Dome, a roughly 14-mile-long property immediately southwest of Stellar that hosts 1.6 million metric tons of near-surface JORC-compliant resource (measured, indicated and inferred) averaging 3 percent (107.8 million lb) copper; and 1.2 million metric tons of underground mineable resource averaging 3.2 percent (82.3 million lb) copper.

Lundin agreed to invest A$4.3 million to explore Stellar porphyry targets this year. This began with five holes testing Saturn, a large porphyry target roughly 3,000 meters east of the high‐grade copper-gold mineralization encountered at the Zackly skarn.

The sixth and final hole of this program tested Mars.

Infill soil and rock chip sampling carried out by PolarX during 2018 confirmed a 2,000- by 1,500-meter area of anomalous copper, gold, molybdenum and arsenic mineralization previously identified with broadly spaced sampling at Mars.

Within this larger soil anomaly, the sampling outlined a 1,500- by 800-meter higher grade core. The best 2018 samples from this area returned 1,775 parts per million copper and 24.2 ppm molybdenum.

These geochemical anomalies are co‐incident with a chargeability anomaly defined by an induced polarization (IP) geophysical survey carried out last year.

Earlier this month, PolarX announced that the discovery hole drilled into the heart of these geophysical and geochemical anomalies at Mars cut porphyry‐style veins containing visible iron, copper and molybdenum sulfides in altered volcanic rocks from near surface to a depth of around 300 meters.

PolarX Ltd.

The intensity of this mineralization increased with depth and continued to 417 meters where drilling was terminated due to poor ground conditions and the onset of winter weather at Alaska Range.

The 400-meter-plus down‐hole thickness of mineralization, the large size of the copper‐gold‐molybdenum surface geochemical and geophysical anomalies at Mars support our view that a very large mineralized system may be present," said Tabeart.

Though assays are still pending for this hole, PolarX said visual estimates indicated that between 0.5 to 2 percent chalcopyrite (copper mineralization) was encountered over the bottom 96 meters of hole 19MAR001. The most intense chalcopyrite was observed in the bottom 51 meters.

Assays for this hole are expected in November.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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