In all the fuss and headlines about gold, rare earth elements and uranium exploration, we find it easy to forget about Canada's vibrant base metals sector. As much as 25% of all exploration expenditures go toward base metals each year. (Okay, first place is still held by gold with 38% of the spending in 2008.)
To bring base metals once more to the forefront of our collective mind, here is some recent good news from that sector of our industry.
Capstone Mining of Vancouver continues to cut high grades as it evaluates the underground potential at its Minto open pit copper-gold mine in the Yukon. The best hole reported earlier this month intercepted 2.3% Cu and 4.1 g/t Au over 10.2 metres, including 2.6% Cu and 6.1 g/t Au over 6.7 metres. (www.CapstoneMining.com)
Toronto-based Crowflight Minerals, drilling at its M11A North project area in Manitoba, reported a 5.20-metre section grading 1.82% Ni and a 4.33-metre section grading 2.72% Ni. The company says the N11A North project may be a potential source of ore for its Bucko Lake mill 4 km to the south. (www.Crowflight.com)
Joint venture partners Frontline Gold and Merrex Gold, both of Halifax, are getting into the zinc and lead business. Core from their Jubilee project in Nova Scotia has returned combined assays of 4.8% Zn+Pb over 10.6 metres, 2.4% over 16.0 metres and 2.2% over 22.2 metres. Frontline is the project operator. (www.FrontlineGold.com or www.MerrexGold.com)
Kria Resources of Toronto has submitted the environmental impact assessment registration document for its Halfmile Lake zinc and lead project near Bathurst, NB. Kria hopes to treat ore from the Halfmile Lake project at Xstrata Zinc's nearby Brunswick mill early next year. Kria is planning a 2,000-t/d underground mining operation. The Halfmile Lake deposit has an indicated resource of 6.26 million tonnes grading 9.13% ZnEq and an inferred resource of 6.08 million tonnes grading 7.27% ZnEq. (www.KriaResources.com)
The latest drill results from the Big Daddy chromite deposit in Ontario's Ring of Fire include a mineralized envelope of 126.3 metres of which 63.3 metres averaged 41.93% Cr2O3 with a Cr:Fe ratio of 1.96. Seven of the final eight holes encountered grades over 35% Cr2O3. The next step is to complete a 43-101 resource report for one of the world's highest grade chromite deposits. The Big Daddy project is a joint venture of KWG Resources (www.KWGResources.com), Freewest Resources (www.Freewest.com) and Spider Resources (www.SpiderResources.com).
Noront Resources of Toronto continues to drill the AT12 deposit at its McFauld's Lake property (also in the Ring of Fire) to test a magnetic anomaly. It reports that all holes intersected sulphide mineralization within an ultramafic unit, similar to the style of mineralization at its Eagle's Nest deposit (see CMJ Net News, March 10, 2010) 10 km to the southwest. Three separate holes intersected 0.74% Ni, 0.25% Cu, 0.30 g/t Pt and 1.19 g/t Pd over 38.4 metres; 0.81% Ni, 0.19% Cu, 0.39 g/t Pt and 0.92 g/t Pd over 42.8 metres; and 4.71% Ni, 3.08% Cu, 0.77 g/t Pt and 4.29 g/t Pd over 3.0 metres. (www.NorontResources.com)
NQ Exploration of Laval, QC, drilled six holes totalling 3,160.5 metres this winter at its Carheil project in Quebec. All holes intersected copper-zinc mineralization and some included gold and silver mineralization. The best intersections were 1.0 metre grading 6.06% Zn and 0.80% Cu and 0.55 metres at 3.82% Zn and 0.10% Cu. (www.ExplorationNQ.com)
The South Tally Pond VMS project in Newfoundland continues to interest Paragon Minerals of Vancouver. One infill drill hole cut 30.10 metres of 9.30% Zn, 2.28% Pb, 0.91% Cu, 60.37 g/t Ag and 1.41 g/t Au, including 17.05 metres of 14.80% Zn, 3.56% Pb, 1.40% Cu, 80.90 g/t Ag, 1.35 g/t Au. The Tally Pond project is adjacent to Teck's Duck Pond mine. (www.ParagonMinerals.com)
So there we have a quick look at some of the base metal exploration projects across Canada. We look forward to hearing of more in the future.