Shortly after its discovery of copper occurrence at the Laverdiere project, Core Assets Corp. (CSE: CC) (FSE: 5RJ) (OTCQB: CCOOF) has now received results from a geophysical survey carried out last year on the property, which identified numerous large-scale anomalies that may well point the company towards a major discovery as soon as this year.
The Laverdiere project is part of Core Assets’ flagship Blue property located in the Atlin mining district of British Columbia, considered to be the most northerly, district-scale porphyry asset in the province.
The Blue property is characterized by a major structural feature known as the Llewellyn fault zone, which is approximately 140 km in length and runs from the Tally-Ho shear zone in the Yukon, south through the property to the Alaskan Panhandle Juneau Ice Sheet in the United States.
Core Assets believes that the south Atlin Lake area and the LFZ have been neglected since the last major exploration campaigns in the 1980s.
The newly detected anomalies are all located along the Llewellyn fault. These will be tested as part of the company’s aggressive drill campaign in summer 2022.
2021 VTEM Survey Results
The versatile time-domain electromagnetic (VTEM) survey was conducted in summer 2021 by Geotech Ltd. of Aurora, Ontario. Geotech uses a state-of-the-art system that has a proven record of locating conductive anomalies, as well as mapping lateral and vertical variations in resistivity.
The survey consisted of approximately 2,000-line km at 150m spacing across the entirety of the Blue property. This has led to the identification of several large-scale geophysical anomalies at Laverdiere, a Fe-Cu-Au skarn-porphyry target located at the eastern end of the property.
The geophysics survey detected an extensive (5 km x 4.2 km) magnetic and corresponding resistivity high, coinciding with a causative, potassically altered and Cu-Mo-bearing granodiorite located adjacent to the Fe-Cu-Au skarn target.
Below is a geological map and simple 3D model of the Fe-Cu-Au skarn mineralization and Cu grade at the Laverdiere project, highlighting the locations and orientations of historic drill holes and the current extent of the skarn body:
There was a large-scale and untested conductivity anomaly coincident with the Llewellyn fault zone (LFZ), traceable along the entire length of Hoboe Creek. The strongest conductivity highs residing along the LFZ persist to depths of up to 500m.
The map on the left shows the total magnetic intensity (TMI) and distribution of magnetic and overlapping resistivity anomalies at the Laverdiere project, while the map on the right shows the distribution of conductive (hot colors) and resistive (cold colors) geological features in the subsurface.
Copper and gold values in surficial rock samples collected from the Laverdiere project, as well as the copper content reported from historic drilling, showed increases in overall grade with increasing proximity toward the North LFZ conductivity anomaly and the Llewellyn fault (see below).
High-grade Fe-Cu-Au skarn mineralization delineated from prospecting and historic drilling between the South and North adits at Laverdiere is currently traceable for 800m along surface, to 300m at depth, and remains open in all directions.
The LFZ represents a regional, crustal-scale structure that remains untested by deep diamond drilling at Laverdiere, and is spatially and temporally related to porphyry, skarn and epithermal-type mineralization along its entire length in northwestern BC (>170 km).
“The Laverdiere project is what initially attracted us to the Llewellyn fault area. We can see a clear correlation between geophysical data, historic drilling and surficial geochemical data indicating the right geological ingredients are present for a major discovery at Laverdiere,” Core Assets’ president and CEO Nick Rodway commented in an April 22 news release. The next step, as Rodway confirms, is to test these anomalies in the upcoming drill campaign.
Meanwhile, the company is also awaiting interpretations of geophysical data from the Silver Lime skarn-CRD-porphyry project, details of which will be presented prior to drill mobilization to high-priority targets there.
Blue Property Background
Core Assets’ Blue property commands 1,083 km² of district-scale land position in British Columbia’s prolific Atlin mining district. It is located 48 km southwest of Atlin at the bottom of Atlin Lake and Tagish Lake, providing cost-effective exploration mobilization and potential low-cost ore transportation.
The project geologically is in the Stikine Terrane, host to some of the province’s most significant projects such as Teck Resources’ Schaft Creek and Galore Creek, and Newmont’s Tatogga (see map below).
A significant feature of this region is the abundance of carbonate replacement deposits (CRD). These deposits are polymetallic, which implies that they have various metals in them such as copper, gold, silver, lead, manganese and zinc. The mineralogy depends on the distance from the intrusive rock.
CRDs are epigenetic, meaning they are produced on or near the Earth’s surface, usually through a “replacement process”, hence the name. CRDs are remarkably similar in terms of their mineralogy and the formation of crystals, regardless of where they are in the world.
For instance, a CRD deposit found in China would have a very similar mixture of minerals as it would in Mexico.
The similarities in mineralization are so closely related that it helps create a geologic link between the deposits and highlights a clear proximity to large porphyry systems.
Many CRDs today are characterized by high grades (up to 1,500 g/t Ag, 25% Pb and Zn, and 5% Cu), bulk tonnage (up to 150Mt), low mining costs and minimal environmental footprint.
Evidently, the CRD geological model has been responsible for many of the world’s major discoveries, such as Newmont’s Peñasquito mine in Mexico and the Resolution Copper joint venture in Arizona held by Rio Tinto and BHP.
Bingham Canyon Comparison
Preliminary results from the Blue property indicated that it follows the “hub & spoke” model similar to one of the largest CRD-porphyry deposits in the world: Bingham Canyon.
Bingham Canyon, also known as the Kennecott copper mine, is one of the world’s biggest open-pit copper operations. Opened in 1906, it has produced more copper than any other in history (17Mt). The mine is located near Salt Lake City, Utah, and is 100% owned by Rio Tinto.
Bingham Canyon represents a classic copper porphyry orebody that is not only huge but also enjoys a fairly uniform distribution of sulfide mineralization, mainly chalcopyrite.
As of December 31, 2020, the mine had proven and probable reserves of 552Mt, @ 0.44% Cu, 0.16 g/t Au, 0.031% Mo and 2.11 g/t Ag.
Bingham Canyon vs. Blue property
As shown in the schematic above, Bingham’s “hub” is the porphyry copper zone in red, with the “spokes” extending out 1.5 km, to a series of Pb-Zn-Ag mantos, and a copper skarn zone.
Similarly, residual magnetics at Blue show the potential porphyry “hub” in dark purple, with the “spokes,” consisting of the Silver Lime manto. Channel sampling in this area has returned “off the charts” grades including 4,870 g/t silver, >25% lead and >25% zinc.
2021 Discovery Zone
Exploration in 2021 at the Silver Lime discovery area defined one manto, Grizzly, which has two sub-parallel Zn-Pb-Ag-Cu rich carbonate replacement manto zones sampled over a strike length of >500m with widths >5m.
Assay values from 44 samples from Grizzly returned averages of 8.2% Zn, 1.8% Pb, 0.40% Cu and 110 g/t Ag. The mineralization remains open in both directions along strike and at depth.
What’s intriguing about the Grizzly manto is its striking resemblance to South32’s Taylor deposit in Arizona. They both exhibit the same age limestone base, silica cap and altered volcanics, over a similar strike length (~400m).
The 2021 discovery zone (Grizzly, Sulphide City and Amp targets) combined with the Silver Lime prospect (Jackie target) currently defines an area of tight, high-grade carbonate replacement (CRM) and skarn mineralization within a broad mineralized corridor that remains open.
This area extends out 6.6 km from the potential porphyry hub (the newly defined “spokes” are seen below as dotted black lines), stretching over a 1.8 km-wide distance.
Unlike vein-hosted deposits, carbonate replacement deposits typically manifest as continuous sulfide bodies over multi-kilometer scales that broaden with depth and demonstrate continuity back to the source. Hence, all dots should be connected in the subsurface, and that’s what Core Assets aims to test this year.
Exploration to date has indicated the presence of a large and well-endowed carbonate replacement system on the Blue property. Samples taken last year from these “spokes” within the Silver Lime discovery area returned values up to 9.92% Cu, 2,020 g/t Ag, >30% Zn, >20% Pb and 6.75 g/t Au.
Rock sampling results (February 2022) from several carbonate replacement and skarn, massive to semi-massive sulfide occurrences at the Sulphide City and Grizzly targets contained values up to 406 g/t Ag, 11.8% Cu, >20% Pb and 15.45% Zn.
Results from the 2021 backpack drilling further strengthened the company’s belief that these occurrences exhibit grade consistency and continuity over shallow depths as well as along surface.
More good news came in earlier this month, when Core Assets confirmed the existence of outcropping copper-iron mineralization between historical adits (entrances to old mines) during a recent visit to the Laverdiere prospect, which is located just 10 km west of Silver Lime and contains three areas of skarn exposure with massive and disseminated sulfide.
Multiple unsampled exposures of magnetic, copper-stained lithologies were identified by the Core Assets exploration team along a 3.9-km mineralized corridor coinciding with the Llewellyn fault.
Rock units identified during the property visit consisted of medium-grained granodiorite and fine-grained Cu-Fe skarn mineralization hosted in marble. The rock units were reportedly intersected during historical drilling in 1971, with the most significant result being 46m of 1.76% Cu from surface.
According to the Core Assets chief executive Nick Rodway, the property visit in March was considered a “game changer” for the company, seeing as they gained a better understanding of how easily accessible the Blue property is during winter months.
“The Laverdiere project was reached effortlessly via a 45-minute snowmobile trip from Atlin, demonstrating how cost-effective mobilizing materials to the Blue property will be during consecutive exploration programs,” Rodway stated.
And with the latest VTEM survey results, his company now has more than one reason to ramp up exploration efforts at the Laverdiere prospect during this summer’s drill campaign, which will also include drilling at the Silver Lime project (including the Jackie target and the 2021 discovery zone).
This upcoming drill program at the Blue property is certainly something mining investors need to monitor over the next few months, as its results could prove monumental in leading to what potentially could be a world-class discovery comparable to the famous Bingham Canyon.
Core Assets Corp.
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