PolarX to drill high-grade Zackly East
Aussie explorer to trace gold-copper skarn tapped in 2018 North of 60 Mining News – May 22, 2020
Last updated 9/26/2020 at 2:31pm
PolarX Ltd. May 19 announced plans to carry out a roughly 3,000-meter drill program to test the high-grade copper and gold previously encountered in the Zackly East skarn deposit on its Alaska Range property
Extending for roughly 22 miles (35 kilometers), Alaska Range consists of two adjacent copper and precious metal projects – Stellar and Caribou Dome – the Australia-based explorer merged in 2017.
Zackly skarn is found in the middle of a 7.5-mile- (12 kilometers) long mineralized corridor that runs across Stellar. This corridor is bookended by two porphyry targets, Mars to the west and Saturn to the east, that may have the source of fluids that transformed limestone at Zackly into a metal-rich skarn deposit.
The main Zackly skarn hosts 3.4 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 1.2% (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.
While drilling has indicated this resource continues to depth, the most exciting resource expansion was encountered near the surface at Zackly East.
ZX‐18020, a 2018 hole drilled about 850 meters east of the Zackly main resource boundary, cut 54.6 meters averaging 2.8 g/t gold, 9.4 g/t silver, and 0.6% copper, including a 0.3-meter (one foot) section averaging 27.3% copper, 2.5 g/t gold, and 82.5 g/t silver.
ZX‐18024, drilled about 40 meters north of hole 20, cut 46.7 meters of 3.1 g/t gold, 0.6% copper, and 3.3 g/t silver. This thick intercept included a 21.7-meter higher grade zone that averaged 5.2 g/t gold, 0.8% copper, and 4.1 g/t silver.
Mapping and trenching indicate the near-surface mineralization at Zackly East could extend for 600 meters.
"Zackly Main already hosts a significant shallow, high‐grade Resource and the initial results from Zackly East highlight the strong potential to grow this inventory," said PolarX Managing Director Frazer Tabeart.
To further test this intriguing expansion area, PolarX is planning to drill 15 to 20 holes to an average depth of 150 meters at Zackly East. This drilling will begin near the 2018 holes and systematically step out at 50- to 100-meter intervals as the company traces the high-grade skarn mineralization.
"We aim to grow Zackly to a size where it could underpin a stand‐alone project or tie into any exploration success at the nearby Mars and Saturn porphyry targets," said Tabeart. "This strategy gives us options which we can pursue in our own right or with a joint venture at Mars and Saturn."
PolarX' strategy has previously involved bringing on a larger partner to fund exploration of the larger porphyry targets at Mars and Saturn.
Last year, Canada-based Lundin Mining Corp. funded drilling primarily targeting Saturn but did not hit the porphyry body it was looking for. A gravity survey completed late in the season last year identified a significant gravity low immediately south of the drilling that coincides with a prominent magnetic high within the broader Saturn target. This, along with the geology observed in the drill core, suggests that the porphyry system at Saturn lies south of the 2019 drilling.
The one hole drilled at Mars before winter weather ended the 2019 drill season, however, did tap porphyry mineralization.
This hole, 19MAR001, cut 102.1 meters averaging 0.22% copper, 0.07 g/t gold and 200 parts per million molybdenum.
PolarX believes this hole was not drilled into the best part of the porphyry system at Mars, where the highest grades are often found, due to the lack of pervasive potassic alteration in the mineralized intersections encountered.
"The alteration minerals indicate that this hole is not the best part of the system but may be close," Tabeart said last November, when the results were published. "When coupled with the size and nature of the surface geochemical and geophysical anomalies, the assays confirm our view that a very large mineralized system may be present."
PolarX aims to secure a major joint venture partner for the Mars and Saturn porphyry targets. The Perth-based junior said it has several companies considering such a partnership but are waiting for COVID‐19 restrictions to be eased in order to access and view the drill core stored near Anchorage.
The company believes a partnership could be finalized in time to follow-up on the Mars discovery during the 2020 exploration season in Alaska.
It is expected that any such JV will not include Zackly, leaving this high-grade target for PolarX to continue to explore independently.
PolarX said its management team has been closely monitoring the COVID‐19 situation in Alaska and is confident that the planned 2020 drill program at Alaska Range can be carried out in a safe and efficient manner.