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By Shane Lasley
Data Mine North 

Trilogy has begun to explore beyond UKMP

Mining Explorers 2021 - January 27, 2022


Last updated 1/26/2022 at 4:09pm

Trilogy Metals Ambler Mining District Alaska UKMP Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects

Ambler Metals LLC

Drillers during the 2021 program at Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects in Northwest Alaska

With the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects being advanced under a joint venture with South32 Ltd., Trilogy Metals Inc. has begun exploring for Arctic-type volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits on three properties it staked across the southern slopes of the Brooks Range in northern Alaska during 2021.

"While Trilogy is focused on the oversight of our primary asset, the UKMP which is being managed by Ambler Metals LLC, the joint venture company equally owned by Trilogy Metals and South32, the company has used its exploration expertise to add some early-stage, high-quality projects to its portfolio," said Trilogy Metals President and CEO Tony Giardini.

Leveraging its experience from a decade of exploring high-grade VMS deposits and occurrences along a 75-mile-long stretch of the prolific Ambler schist belt that hosts the Arctic Mine project at UKMP, Trilogy identified three peripheral projects with a systematic target generation study of publicly available geoscientific data from the state of Alaska, as well as privately obtained historical exploration reports.

These projects are West Kobuk, a 23,680-acre package of state mining claims bordering the west side of UKMP; Helpmejack, a 19,520-acre package of claims that covers a portion of the Ambler schist belt between UKMP and South32's Roosevelt; and Malamute, a 12,480-acre property about 20 miles northeast of Helpmejack.

"Given our relationships and significant technical experience within the Ambler Mining District, we decided to stake some prospective ground in our backyard," said Giardini.

The West Kobuk claims were previously explored by Kennecott after that company's discovery of the Arctic deposit in 1965. An airborne electromagnetic survey flown by Kennecott over the Ambler lowlands in 1966 identified numerous conductors within the West Kobuk claim block, but there was little follow-up done. Trilogy says its geologists have confirmed the continuation of the Ambler schist belt onto West Kobuk.

Helpmejack covers a 7.5-mile stretch of Ambler schist belt east of UKMP. The US Geological Survey mapped Ambler belt metavolcanics and metasediments in the Helpmejack area, but this area has received little follow-up exploration despite anomalous levels of copper and zinc turned up in the stream sediment samples collected during the 1970s. Trilogy geologists have identified gossanous metavolcanics exposed along a stream for over 25 meters.

The Malamute claims cover the south side of a five-mile-long east-west valley where stream sediment sampling by the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys between 1977 and 1982 returned high cobalt and elevated copper values. Trilogy geologists have resampled the anomalous streams.

Results of the reconnaissance program carried out on the three claim blocks are being compiled and will be used to prepare a plan and budget for the 2022 field season.

"We believe that these projects, which have low holding costs, have potential to add value to our shareholders," Giardini said.

At UKMP, unusually wet weather and worker shortages hampered the planned 2021 exploration program. This, however, did not slow the permitting and development timeline for Arctic, expected to be the first mine developed in Northwest Alaska's Ambler Mining District.

The open pit mine being permitted for Arctic is anticipated to produce 1.9 billion pounds of copper, 2.3 billion lb of zinc, 388 million lb of lead, 386,000 ounces of gold, and 40.6 million oz of silver over the first 12 years of mining.

Prioritizing the mission-critical objectives at Arctic as soon the 2021 program got underway, the 18 holes completed included infill holes to upgrade resources; provide sufficient mineralized material for metallurgical testing; and deliver requisite geotechnical and condemnation information at and around the Arctic deposit.

In November, Trilogy announced the third-best intercept ever encountered at Arctic.

One of these holes, AR21-0175, cut three mineralized intervals, including 24.94 meters averaging 1.85% copper, 2.96% zinc, 0.57% lead, 0.28 g/t gold, and 27.09 g/t silver.

In November, Trilogy announced the third-best intercept ever encountered at Arctic.

This hole, AR21-0176, cut three mineralized intervals, including 19.91 meters averaging 6.75% copper, 7.59% zinc, 1.68% lead, 1.26 g/t gold, and 97.13 g/t silver.

In addition to drilling, regional geological mapping and sampling across the wider Ambler VMS and adjacent Cosmos Hills were carried out last year.

Cosmos Hills is associated with Bornite, a carbonate-hosted copper-cobalt deposit about 16 miles (26 kilometers) southwest of Arctic that hosts 6.4 billion lb of copper and 77 million lb of cobalt in near-surface and underground deposits.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

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Over his more than 16 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.


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