Core Assets’ (CSE:CC, OTC.QB: CCOOF, Frankfurt: 5RJ) Blue property commands 1,116 km² of district-scale land position in British Columbia’s prolific Atlin mining district. It is located 48 km southwest of Atlin, on the eastern shore of Atlin 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).
Carbonate replacement deposits (CRD) feature prominently in this region, including Core Assets’ Blue property. In fact the only two CRD deposits in BC more established than Blue, are Coeur Mining’s Silvertip, one of the highest-grade silver-lead-zinc operations in the world; and NorthWest Copper’s Stardust project, which has a National Instrument 43-101 mineral resource.
These deposits are polymetallic, meaning 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 also epigenetic, meaning they are produced on or near surface, usually through a “replacement process”, hence the name.
CRDs are characterized by high grades (up to 1,500 g/t Ag, 25% Pb and Zn, and 5% Cu), bulk tonnage (up to 150 million tonnes), 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.
The Blue project is considered to be the most northerly, district-scale CRD-porphyry asset in the province.
It is characterized by a major structural feature known as the Llewellyn Fault Zone (LFZ), which is approximately 140 km long 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.
Exploration to date
Exploration to date has indicated the presence of a large and well-endowed carbonate replacement system on the Blue property.
Preliminary results indicated that it follows the “hub & spoke” model, similar to one of the largest CRD-porphyry deposits in the world: Bingham Canyon.
Residual magnetics at Blue (above, right) show the potential porphyry “hub” in dark purple, with the “spokes” returning “off the charts” channel sample grades of 4,870 grams per tonne silver, plus multiple grab samples returning up to 913 g/t silver, >25% lead and >25% zinc.
The company notes that, unlike vein-hosted deposits, CRDs typically manifest as continuous deposits of interconnected bedding parallel sulfide replacement deposits called mantos, and crosscutting structurally controlled sulfide pipes called chimneys. The scale of CRD systems can potentially extend for a number of kilometers around their source, typically a mineralized porphyry system. The Silver Lime prospect demonstrates such scale.
The Laverdiere copper skarn on the other side of the possible buried porphyry returned 8.32% copper, 1 g/t gold and 42 g/t silver. Historical drilling at Laverdiere highlighted 46.0m of 1.76% Cu and 175.4m of 0.27% Cu, both from surface. Fifteen of 18 grab samples returned copper values of 1.25% to 8.36%.
Using Kitco’s “Rocks in the Box” tool, the in situ value of the Silver Lime (Mantos) works out to $4,007 per tonne. Granted, these are only channel and grab samples, but they are outstanding surface grades, the highest I have ever heard of, for a carbonate replacement deposit (CRD).
Often with CRDs, the surface expressions are few and far between, and maybe a cm or two thick. This one appears to be different. Blue has one manto, the Grizzly, that is 500 meters of massive sulfide outcropping in an area extending 6.6 km from the potential porphyry hub (the spokes are seen below as dotted black lines to the red dots). This area is almost two kilometers (1.8 km) wide. Extraordinary.
The main point of this whole project and the reason for the dotted lines and the massive sulfide occurrences is the following:
Unlike vein-hosted deposits, CRDs typically manifest as continuous sulfide bodies over multi-kilometer-scales that broaden with depth and demonstrate continuity back to the source. All dots should be connected in the sub-surface and that is what Core Assets aims to test this summer.
According to the company, the newly defined, high-grade district-scale (6.6 km x 1.8 km) CRD Ag-Pb-Zn-Au alternation assemblages, indicate the potential for a nearby Cu-Mo porphyry discovery using a proven exploration deposit model.
Within this area, the first surface channel assays from a maiden sampling campaign at Silver Lime, have confirmed high-grade carbonate replacement mineralization (CRM).
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 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 April, when CC discovered a new copper occurrence exposed at surface, observed during a property accessibility assessment carried out in late March at the Laverdiere Project. Located on the eastern end of the Blue property, the historical copper-iron skarn-porphyry target is about a 45-minute snowmobile ride from Atlin.
Core Assets confirmed the existence of outcropping copper-iron mineralization between historical adits (entrances to old mines) during a visit to the Laverdiere Project in late March.
Multiple unsampled exposures of magnetic, copper-stained lithologies were identified along a 3.9-kilometer mineralized corridor coinciding with the Llewellyn Fault.
Most recently, Core Assets 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 newly detected anomalies are all located along the Llewellyn Fault. They will be tested as part of the company’s imminent drill campaign.
Crews have been mobilized for Core’s inaugural 5,000-meter drill program, targeting high-grade mineralization at the Laverdiere Skarn-Porphyry Project (Laverdiere) and the Silver Lime Carbonate Replacement-Porphyry Project (Silver Lime), both located within the Blue property.
The priority is Laverdiere, where 1,500 meters are planned at three separate drill locations; diamond drill set up is expected to be completed by the end of the first week of June.
According to the company, High-grade Fe-Cu-Au skarn mineralization delineated from prospecting and historic drilling between the South and North Adits at Laverdiere is traceable for 800m along surface, to 300m at depth, and remains open in all directions.
Next, the drill crew will move onto the Silver Lime Carbonate Replacement Project, to complete the remaining 3,500 meters. Core says the project boasts an average surface grade of 4.9% Zn, 2% Pb, 0.33% Cu, and 92 g/t Ag, within the extensive 6.6 x 1.8-km mineralized corridor, making it the largest known, untested exposure of carbonate replacement mineralization globally.
“We are beyond excited to start our first exploratory diamond drilling campaign at the Blue Property,” Core Assets’ President and CEO Nick Rodway said in the May 31 news release. He added: “Following the conclusion of drilling at Laverdiere, we will then mobilize to the Silver Lime Project – home to the 2021 Discovery Zone (Grizzly Manto, Jackie, and Sulphide City Targets). This will mark the first ever diamond drilling program in this area.”
With nearly $4 million in the treasury, Core Assets is fully cashed up for at least the 2022 exploration season. It doesn’t have to go to the market to raise funds, and it will be one of the few companies in a beaten-down resource sector putting money into the ground. Not only that, Core has rewarded patient shareholders; over the past year, CC’s stock price has more than quadrupled from $0.14/sh to the current 67 cents. Stay tuned for more catalysts as the drill results start rolling in.
Core Assets Corp.
CSE:CC, OTC.QB: CCOOF, Frankfurt: 5RJ
Shares Outstanding 73.86m
Market cap Cdn$39.0m
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