An exploration program in BC’s southern Interior, conducted in the vicinity of a former silver mine, is starting to bear fruit.
This week Sentinel Resources (CSE:SNL, US OTC PINK:SNLRF) reported the first assay results from a 2020 confirmation sampling program done at its Waterloo property. The project sits on the northern flank of Lightning Peak approximately 60 km due east of Kelowna, British Columbia.
Out of 46 rock samples collected and sent for analysis, the four best results were 7,470 grams per tonne silver and 39.8 g/t gold; 4,840 g/t silver + 9.9 g/t gold; 237 g/t silver + 12.4 g/t gold; and 175 g/t silver + 18.6 g/t gold.
Sentinel’s Waterloo property hosts numerous high-grade silver and gold showings exposed over a 4 by 0.7-kilometer area.
Encompassing 3,130 hectares, the project has never been systematically drill-tested, although several high-grade drill targets have been identified by previous operators – defining a 4.5-kilometer east-west strike.
The land package is underlain by Mesozoic Quesnel Terrane rocks that also host nearby copper-gold porphyry deposits (New Afton, Ajax, Copper Mountain), copper-silver skarn (Phoenix), mesothermal gold (Greenwood camp), polymetallic lead-zinc-silver (Slocan camp) and epithermal gold (Knob Hill, Washington).
The historic Waterloo Mine has seen sporadic production of high-grade silver with gold since 1903, resulting in shipments of ore to the Trail, BC smelter in 1954, 1967 and 1983. The mine is centered on a structurally-controlled, easterly-striking zone (Waterloo structure) of high-grade silver, lead and zinc mineralization associated with quartz and carbonate vein material. This zone is apparently mineralized along its mined length (550 meters in the #4 adit) including numerous higher-grade sections.
Previous operators speculate that this structure extends below thick cover, with a total strike length of up to 2 km. Gold-dominant showings (for example the gold showing located 550m north of the mine) are hosted in north-trending sulfide and quartz veins, with associated iron carbonate wallrock alteration.
According to Sentinel, the Carbonate Replacement Deposit (CRD) model fits with known mineral occurrences (porphyry to skarn to base metal sulfide replacement to epithermal) and needs testing.
The road-accessible property has undergone small-scale production from high-grade gold and silver prospects since the early 1900’s. A shallow drill program was conducted by a previous operator, producing 12 short holes.
“The Waterloo project, which includes the historic Waterloo Mine, has clearly shown the potential to host high-grade silver and gold mineralization. Historic work on the project such as geological mapping and prospecting have produced compelling results of high-grade silver and gold – metals which have been mined in the region for over 100 years,” states CEO Robin Gamley.
Sentinel is the first company to investigate the true potential of Waterloo through a systematic exploration and diamond drill program. The plan is to conduct further geophysics and sampling, with the intent to drill deeper into the most prospective silver and gold-bearing structures.
Given the success rate of surrounding mines, the potential for high-grade, low-cost gold and silver resource development is intriguing.
Since 1859, the region has been the site of significant placer gold production, including some very large-scale mining operations.
For example, New Gold’s (TSX:NGD) New Afton gold-silver-copper mine is an underground block cave mine located within the footprint of the historic Afton mine, 10 km west of Kamloops. The original Afton project was an open-pit mine operated by Teck Corporation between 1977 and 1997. In targeting a specific mineral deposit, New Gold constructed underground tunnels, along with a new concentrator and tailings facility. They achieved commercial production in July 2012 at which time the mine had an expected 12-year life. Between 2013 and 2019 the mine produced between 69,000 and 105,000 oz of gold, annually.
Sentinel is directing its efforts to the well-mineralized, 4.5-kilometer trend centered across the Waterloo property.
This past summer, the company carried out prospecting, sampling and reconnaissance mapping at several locations on the project, including the Waterloo mine, the Au Zone, the Park Zone and the East Zone.
The table below shows the best 10 results of 46 rock samples collected and analyzed. As mentioned the top four were:
7,470 g/t Silver and 39.8 g/ Gold sample #B846266
4,840 g/t Silver and 9.9 g/t Gold sample #B846269
18.6 g/t Gold and 175 g/t Silver sample #B846252
12.4 g/t Gold and 237 g/t Silver sample #B846251
What are these high-grade sample results telling us, and how might they guide an investment decision? CEO Robin Gamley said earlier this year that “The data we collect from this program will give us a better understanding of the geological footprint and will allow us to design and plan the next phase of exploration with the aim of identifying multiple targets to be drill tested.”
We know that three samples taken from the Waterloo mine dump confirmed the presence of silver, with sample B846255 returning a silver value of 3,450 g/t (110.4 oz/), sample B846297 yielded 792 g/t silver (25.3 oz/t) and sample B846259 analyzed at 752 g/t (24.7 oz/t) silver. Only trace amounts of gold were reported from these samples.
Four samples taken from historical adits and workings located at the West Lightning Park Zone returned the highest silver values of the sampling program. Sample B846266, described as white quartz with common to abundant pyrite, chalcopyrite and minor galena, contained 7,470 g/t silver (239 oz/t) and 39.8 g/t gold (1.27 oz/t).
Sample B846269, collected from a waste dump pile located outside an historical adit, returned 4840 g/t silver (154.9 oz/t) and 9.9 g/t gold.
Sample B846264, taken from the wall rock beside the mined-out remnants of a quartz vein, had a silver value of 1,955 g/t (62.6 oz/t) and 9.1 g/t gold.
Sample B846268 was collected from a white quartz vein 20m inside a second adit approximately 100m north east of the first adit. This sample analyzed at 243 g/t silver (7.8 oz/t) with 4.4 g/t gold.
A new area dubbed the East Zone was first explored this past September, as newly created logging roads and clear cuts provided increased access into the area. Sample B846292, collected from a fresh road cut, reported 494 g/t silver (15.8 oz/t) and 9.7 g/t gold.
According to the Nov. 20 news release, Sentinel management is very encouraged with these initial results and is underway with planning a follow up work program at Waterloo.
At AOTH, we are impressed by Sentinel’s progress in 2020. The company has not only been actively exploring, at Waterloo, but has significantly expanded its portfolio with the purchase of seven silver-focused exploration concessions in New South Wales, Australia. Sentinel’s seasoned team went ahead quickly to complete a “first pass” review review of these highly prospective licenses, known as Wallah Wallah, Stony Creek, Carrington, Dartmoor, Glens Skarns, Broken Hill West and Goongong.
Now that it has set up shop in one of the world’s top gold-producing regions, Sentinel looks ready to make each and every one of its mining concessions count, especially as many parts of minerals-rich New South Wales state remain vastly underexplored.
A first look at its projects seems promising, as several have had a large number of historical work and showings to validate their quality and potential.
Bolstered by its recently closed $1 million private placement, the company is fully prepared to begin exploration soon.
Sentinel Resources Corp.
CSE:SNL, US OTC PINK:SNLRF
Shares Outstanding 29,295,264
Market cap Cdn$12.59m
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Metals, Precious Metals