Renforth Resources’ (CSE:RFR, OTCQ: RFHRF, FSE:9RR) ends the summer field program at its Surimeau battery metals play on a high note, having extended the strike at Lalonde to 9 kilometers, and discovered a second mineralized horizon at Victoria.
The company continues to define the surface and sub-surface polymetallic mineralization, evidenced by outcrops, drill results and geophysics. However, a significant amount of ground remains untested, leaving heaps of upside for Renforth shareholders.
“We are very happy with the visual results from our second prospecting program at Surimeau this year. This time it seems Lalonde yielded the best-looking samples and each trench intersected mineralization,” said Renforth’s President and CEO Nicole Brewster, in the July 26 news release. She added:
“The extension of Lalonde’s strike to 9 km adds to the overall battery metals picture at Surimeau. At the same time we have not yet fully prospected the entire Lalonde magnetic trend. Our Surimeau property just continues to get more and more interesting. While our work is at an early stage it is clear we are dealing with two mineralized systems offering significant strike length of mineralization on surface, justifying our continued efforts to determine how big Surimeau actually is.”
During the 2022 program, a total of eight trenches were dug from the Lalonde and Victoria polymetallic systems. In each trench, some amount of mineralization was exposed, with the best mineralization, confirmed visually and with XRF, coming from Lalonde. According to Renforth, each trench exposed different portions of each mineralized system, helping to define the orientation of the mineralization, and in some cases making clear that the trench should be extended to capture the entire cross-section of the mineralization.
Channels were cut in each trench and samples sent for assay. Due to the success of this program, Renforth is now planning additional stripping to cross-cut the strike at Victoria, as well as a series of larger cross-cutting stripped trenches along the strike at Lalonde, to further define the extent of the mineralization.
The Surimeau project hosts several areas prospective for gold/silver and battery/ industrial metals (nickel, copper, zinc, cobalt and lithium). It is located south of the Cadillac Break, a major regional gold structure.
The property occurs within a unique geological setting where two types of mineralization, formed from different geological processes, are “mashed together” in one distinct orebody. It is best described as a magmatic nickel sulfide deposit, juxtaposed with a copper-zinc volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposit.
The first type of deposit, which may contain nickel, cobalt and platinum group elements (PGEs), is associated with ultramafic rocks. The second type, VMS, was formed on or near the ocean floor during ancient underwater volcanic activity.
VMS deposits are sought after for mining because they usually contain a mix of base metals such as zinc, lead, copper, and sometimes precious metals including silver and gold. The minerals often form massive sulfide mounds or layers, making them relatively easy to extract.
2022 prospecting at Surimeau, located adjacent to the Canadian Malartic mine and the town of Malartic, extended the battery metals nickel, copper, cobalt and zinc to surface.
A field crew visited all the targets across the district-scale, 330-kilometer land package, took samples and submitted them to the assay lab. Results are pending.
After a brief hiatus, geological crews returned to the field in June for follow-up channel sampling, in areas of the best visual mineralization discovered during the May sampling program.
To date, the exploration focus at Surimeau has been the sulfide nickel-rich VMS targets, in particular the Victoria West prospect.
Information gleaned from drilling and trenching, along with surface sampling, creates an area of interest that includes over 5 kilometers of strike on the western end of a 20-kilometer magnetic anomaly.
The company interprets this anomaly to be a nickel-bearing ultramafic sequence unit, which occurs alongside, and is intermingled with, VMS-style copper-zinc mineralization.
So far, only 5,626 meters have been drilled over 2.2 km of the known strike length, yielding results that allude to the presence of a large polymetallic camp richly endowed with nickel, copper, cobalt and zinc, along with some PGEs (platinum group elements).
Assays came from seven holes (1,200m) drilled within the 275m strike length of the stripped area at Victoria West (see below), where channel sampling earlier revealed consistent nickel-cobalt mineralization.
One drill hole returned 3.46% Ni and 491 ppm Co over 1.5m between depths of 196.5m and 198m, demonstrating the high-grade nickel potential present at Victoria West.
The high-grade intercept was within a broader mineralized zone of 170.55m, which averaged 0.16% Ni and 100.2 ppm Co. A 12m-long zone, between 187.5m and 199.5m down hole, averaged 0.54% Ni and 138.7 ppm Co.
These results followed up on the promising assays reported last fall, where each of the 21 holes returned mineralization as expected, with the four deeper holes demonstrating an increase in grade.
The plan for Renforth now is to move as quickly and as efficiently as possible to deliver an inferred resource at Victoria West.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, Renforth discovered a second mineralized horizon at the Victoria target. This horizon sits to the north of the first horizon, uncovered during fall 2021 stripping at Victoria. A gap of about 40m separates the two horizons.
Trenches 6-8 were dug to expose the newly discovered northern band of mineralization. In the fall, 2021 Victoria stripping program, a strike length of 275m was stripped, exposing surface polymetallic mineralization between fences of holes drilled in spring 2021.
Subsequently, the exposed mineralization was undercut with drilling in December 2021. Prior to this program, the exploration at Victoria had been targeting the magnetic high. All the drilling and the stripped north cross-cuts missed intersecting the northern mineralized band, which was discovered during prospecting in spring 2022 by Renforth’s field crew. Additional stripping at Victoria will consist of a wide trench starting on the north and south sides of the stripped area. Little is known about what occurs between Victoria and Lalonde.
As further proof of Surimeau’s potential to host a large polymetallic system, Renforth on May 31 announced that fieldwork resulted in the discovery of surface battery metals sulfides at the Lalonde target.
Lalonde is located 3.7 km north of Victoria West, which as mentioned, was previously drilled by Renforth over 2.2 km of strike length.
Renforth took 34 grab samples during prospecting in 2020 and 2021, with each demonstrating the presence of elevated copper, nickel and zinc. The best grab sample results include the highest nickel result: 0.2% Ni, 578 ppm Cu and 785 ppm Zn.
Importantly, the prior sampling results from Lalonde were similar to those received from Victoria West. This gives credence to Renforth’s theory that mineralization at Victoria West and Lalonde, as well as the Colonie showing at the eastern end, all belong to the “Outokumpu” model of polymetallic system. The Outokumpu district of eastern Finland contains sulfide deposits with economic grades of copper, zinc, cobalt, nickel, silver and gold. Mining took place from 1913 to 1988, and involved the exploration of three deposits — Outokumpu, Vuonos and Luikonlahti. Approximately 50 million tonnes of ore, averaging 2.8% Cu, 1% Zn and 0.2% Co, along with traces of Ni and Au, were mined.
Trenches 1 through 5 were dug at Lalonde, about 3.7 km north of the Victoria West stripped area. Trench 5 represents a westerly extension of ~2km for the Lalonde mineralization.
Exploration results to date have reinforced the company’s view that Surimeau is richly endowed with battery metals like nickel that have been largely overlooked in the past.
The Victoria mineralized structure is now estimated at about 20 kilometers long, and the Lalonde mineralized structure now measures 9 km in length. A significant amount of ground remains untested, in part because Renforth has only used existing logging roads and trails for access. In my opinion there is still plenty of discovery potential left in this project, which is already showing district-size scale.
The assay results from 2022 sampling and trenching should provide plenty of news for Renforth shareholders for the remainder of the second half, and into next year.
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