Renforth Resources (CSE:RFR, OTCQB:RFHRF, FSE:9RR) has the right metals at the right time, embodied in its Surimeau polymetallic project in Quebec.
The 260 square-kilometer property hosts several target areas for industrial metals (nickel, copper, zinc, cobalt) located south of the Cadillac Break, a major regional gold structure.
Summer prospecting on the southwestern part of the Huston area returned 1.9% nickel, 1.3% copper and 1,170 parts per million (ppm) cobalt, from a grab sample taken from strongly foliated diorite, a coarse-grained intrusive igneous rock.
The little-explored Huston area is located about 18 km from Victoria West, where Renforth has been advancing the nickel, copper and zinc-mineralized target.
Victoria West is one of five polymetallic target areas on the Surimeau property historically documented as hosting mineralization (Huston is the fourth area to be prospected). It is located at the western end of a 20-km-long magnetic anomaly that hosts proven mineralization at either end, with the Colonie target at its eastern end.
The company interprets the 20-km anomaly to be a nickel-bearing ultramafic sequence unit, which occurs alongside, and is intermingled with, VMS-style copper-zinc mineralization.
Renforth management says the spectacular result from Huston (grades above 1% nickel and copper are today considered high grade) is the first documented nickel occurrence in the Huston target area, which is largely unexplored except for a limited gold-focused drill program by Hecla Mining in the 1980s.
The company in November published assay results from 21 holes drilled over the 2.2-km strike length at Victoria West, with each hole delivering mineralization and the four deeper holes demonstrating an increase in grade. The assays included the two drill programs in 2021 and the results from resampling the 2.5 holes drilled in 2020.
Recently concluded stripping at Victoria West encountered much more copper and zinc on surface than was seen in the drilling. According to Renforth, this is thought to be due to the variable presence of the ultramafic nickel/cobalt body and the magmatic copper/zinc body, consistent with our “Outokumpu style” model that suggests two different mineralized bodies juxtaposed in one location due to the circumstances of the mineralizing event.
Renforth wasted no time in moving from stripping Victoria West, and exposing nickel, copper, cobalt and zinc on surface, to a drill program it aims to complete before Christmas.
The company this week announced that drilling is underway beneath the surface mineralization, with two of three holes completed at the eastern end of the target. These holes were drilled at dips of -45 and -60 degrees, extending visual nickel, copper, cobalt and zinc to 100m below the stripped area, confirmed by X-ray fluorescence (XRF).
Three holes are planned for the western end of Victoria West,
along with one or two holes in the center under a large intrusive mound.
“We took the opportunity to immediately follow up on our successful stripping program at Victoria West with a targeted drill program ahead of the holidays in the eastern and the western ends of the stripped area at Victoria West,” said Nicole Brewster, Renforth’s President and CEO, in the Dec. 8 news release. “We are drilling two areas which gave the strongest visual mineralization and XRF field results in our previously announced, recently completed channeling program.”
According to Renforth,
Drilling is taking place in the eastern and the western ends of the ~275m stripped strike of the 2.2km mineralized strike which Renforth has drilled within the known 5km strike of the Victoria West target at Surimeau. At each set up three drill holes are being drilled to undercut the surface mineralization at -45, -60 and -80 degrees dip in order to test for continuity of mineralization down dip, which, if successful, may extend mineralization as deep as 120 vertical metres. Renforth also plans to test the centre of the stripped area, where a secondary intrusive separated the main shear zone, this will be done with one or two drill holes.
The best visual mineralization has so far been observed within strongly albitized calc-silicate altered zones within the ultramafics where frequent fine to coarse stringers, disseminations, and occasionally semi-massive sulfides, including pyrite, pyrrhotite, pentlandite, sphalerite, and chalcopyrite. Mineralization in the form of fine to coarse stringers and nodules of sulfide has also been observed in drill core in narrow graphitic bands at the ultramafic-sedimentary contacts.
Apart from drilling at Surimeau, Renforth:
Meanwhile at Renforth’s Parbec gold project, also in Quebec, the company’s deposit model is being updated using results from this year’s >15,000-meter drill program. Additional sampling needs to be carried out.
Renforth has also started discussions with a group of consultants about undertaking a structural study at Parbec to understand the controls on the project’s magnetic diorite mineralization and the diorite splays in the Pontiac sediments.
The open-pit constrained gold deposit sits on 1.8 km of the Cadillac Break and is adjacent to Canadian Malartic, Canada’s largest open-pit gold mine.
Parbec currently has an NI 43-101 resource estimate of 104,000 indicated ounces at a grade of 1.78 g/t Au and 177,000 inferred ounces at a grade of 1.78 g/t Au.
However, this estimate prepared in May 2020 is considered to be “out of date” by Renforth due to the results received so far from its recently completed 15,569m drill program.
Renforth’s latest assay results from Parbec highlighted 3.06 g/t gold over a thickness of 21.85 meters.
Renforth’s Surimeau project might have what it takes to put North America back on the right track of mining and processing nickel domestically so that it does not run into shortage problems later when the demand for nickel-rich cathodes for electrical-vehicle batteries outstrips available nickel supply.
This nickel sulfide deposit at surface, and potentially at depth, is just starting to reveal its secrets to the market. Just how large the system is remains to be seen. RFR is clearly hoping to find nickel sulfides that when refined would be appropriate for lithium-ion batteries.
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