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Antofagasta pulls out of Tanacross JV

North of 60 Mining News - April 5, 2024

Kenorland Minerals Ltd.

Tanacross covers 114,100 acres of prospective ground in the Yukon-Tanana Terrane, which hosts the Casino porphyry copper-gold in the Yukon and Fort Knox and Pogo gold mines in Alaska.

Kenorland to focus on Taurus South, an intriguing porphyry copper target that has yet to be drilled.

Kenorland Minerals Ltd. March 28 announced that Antofagasta PLC has terminated its option to earn up to a joint venture interest in Tanacross, a 114,100-acre porphyry copper-gold exploration project that lies along Alaska's eastern border with Yukon.

In 2022, Antofagasta entered into an agreement to earn up to a 70% JV interest in Tanacross by paying Kenorland an initial US$1 million and spending US$30 million on exploration over eight years.

During 2022 and 2023, the Chilean copper miner invested roughly US$5.8 million in extensive geophysical, geological, and geochemical surveys, as well as a preliminary drill program in 2023.

Last year's drilling included four holes to test the edges of Tanacross' West Taurus and East Taurus target areas.

The two large step-out holes at West Taurus encountered variably altered and mineralized intrusions but did not return any economically significant intervals.

The holes at East Taurus tested the east and west flanks of the mineralized body identified so far. The hole drilled on the east side, 23ETD062, cut 186.1 meters averaging 0.14% copper, 0.05 g/t gold, and 0.02% molybdenum. This included a 40.1-meter subsection averaging 0.19 copper, 0.09 g/t gold, and 0.04% molybdenum.

"We greatly appreciate the efforts made by Antofagasta to advance the Tanacross Project with us over the last two years. During that period, we have refined a number of new drill targets generated from additional geophysical and geochemical surveys, some of these targets remain completely untested," said Kenorland Minerals President and CEO Zach Flood. "The drill program last summer was focused on East Taurus and West Taurus, which are the known mineralized porphyry centers where the majority of historical drilling has occurred."

Including the four holes completed last year, 19,617 meters of drilling in 71 holes have been completed at Tanacross since the discovery of the East Taurus deposit in 1971.

Some of the highlights from historical drilling include:

175 meters averaging 0.31% copper, 0.1 grams per metric ton gold, and 0.032% molybdenum in hole 96DDH030.

208.5 meters averaging 0.23% copper, 0.14 g/t gold, and 0.32% molybdenum in hole 96DDH032.

232.6 meters averaging 0.31% copper, 0.25 g/t gold, and 0.036% molybdenum in hole 08DDH040.

285 meters averaging 0.23% copper, 0.16 g/t gold, and 0.036% molybdenum in hole 19ETD050.

Kenorland says geophysics, mapping, and sampling have identified porphyry copper-gold targets at Tanacross that have yet to be drilled.

"Kenorland's focus moving forward will be targets which remain completely untested, including South Taurus, which shows strong evidence for a concealed copper system," said Flood.

South Taurus was initially identified from a property-wide audio-frequency magnetic technique (AFMAG) Z-axis Tipper Electromagnetic (ZTEM) survey flown in 2018.

This geophysical survey outlined a large-scale magnetic and highly conductive anomaly about one mile (1.6 kilometers) south of the East and West Taurus targets.

Kenorland Minerals Ltd.

Magnetic anomalies over the Tanacross core area (left) and ZTEM anomalies with magnetic contours.

Kenorland also flew a TITAN induced polarization (IP) and magnetotelluric (MT) survey across the South Taurus anomaly.

This geophysical survey identified a large and discrete conductivity anomaly that extends from near surface to the depth extent of the survey, which is more than five kilometers (three miles) below the surface. The company believes this anomaly could represent a significant deep-rooted mineralizing-fluid pathway through the earth's crust.

A geochemical survey completed over South Taurus in 2020 highlighted widespread soil anomalism over the geophysical anomaly, including copper and a broad suite of elements indicative of a high-level or distal porphyry environment.

Kenorland Minerals Ltd.

Taurus and McCord geochemical anomalies (left) and magnetotelluric conductivity at South Taurus.

The South Taurus target is ready for drill-testing and Kenorland is actively exploring partnership opportunities for a future drill program there.

The company says McCord Creek, Big Creek, and East Denison are other high-priority targets at Tanacross that remain underexplored.

With Antofagasta terminating its option, Kenorland retains full ownership of Tanacross.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Author photo

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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