White Rock stakes 524 new claims at Red Mountain
White Rock Minerals (ASX:WRM) has more than tripled the scope of its highly prospective Red Mountain high-grade zinc-silver-lead-gold-copper volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) project in Alaska, staking an additional 524 new mining claims and mineral locations.
The group’s landholding now stands at 475 square kilometres. As well as giving WRM a dominant landholding, this also offers first mover status in an underexplored area which has already delivered positive exploration results.
WRM's decision to significantly expand its tenement position has been prompted by outstanding exploration success at the Red Mountain Project, with the new claims being in relatively close proximity to proven high-grade mineralisation.
Importantly, WRM's strategic joint venture partner, $1.09 billion-capped copper-gold producer, Sandfire Resources NL (ASX:SFR), supports the company’s acquisitions.
Commenting on the importance of this development and the support offered by Sandfire CEO Matt Gill, said: “Our successful first year of exploration on the ground at Red Mountain and the subsequent attraction of our strategic partner Sandfire has allowed White Rock to enact a much broader exploration and discovery vision by securing what we believe to be a regionally extensive and highly prospective land package.”
Building on areas of proven mineralisation
The expansion of WRM's tenement package follows a successful first year of field activities at White Rock, where drilling intersected multiple high-grade intervals of zinc-silver-lead-gold-copper mineralisation at Dry Creek, West Tundra, and the newly discovered Hunter prospect.
On this note, Gill said: “Field work has confirmed the regional prospectivity through our discovery this year of outcropping massive sulphide mineralisation at the Hunter prospect.
Further validation of the region’s prospectivity is evidenced by the extensive alteration and multiple VMS time horizons identified through field reconnaissance of targets developed from earlier desktop studies.”
With some drill hole results returning in excess of 17% zinc, 6% lead, 1000 g/t silver, 6 g/t gold and 1.5% copper, the 2018 field season also saw three reconnaissance crews out in the field mapping and sampling.
The culmination of this work has encouraged WRN to expand its strategic tenement holding to take in more of what has been identified as a highly prospective geological setting.
White Rock moved to secure the additional prospective areas in consultation with Sandfire.
Earlier in the year, encouraged by what WRM was doing, Sandfire also signed an agreement providing equity funding to assist the company to explore at Red Mountain, with an option to enter into an earn-in JV by the end of the year.
A three-fold landholding increase
The majority of the expanded tenement area forms a contiguous block of mining claims that now extend the Red Mountain project over a larger area of the Bonnifield Mining district, to the west along strike and south into the prospective footwall stratigraphy identified as containing multiple VMS prospective time horizons.
As indicated below, the new claim areas will allow White Rock to systematically explore what is now held to be a highly prospective regional stratigraphic setting capable of hosting multiple high grade zinc-rich polymetallic VMS deposits.
WRM has also staked claims over a number of additional VMS mineral occurrences including those at Anderson Mountain, Virginia Creek, West Fork, Peaches, Keevy Peak, Kenny, Sheep Creek, and Surprise Creek.
These prospects have been the subject of past exploration with VMS characteristics identified from mapping, rock chip sampling and in some cases drilling.
The Red Mountain Project now comprises 754 Alaskan mining claims and mineral locations, with the total area now controlled totalling 475 square kilometres.
WRM used historical drilling to determine a Maiden JORC 2012 Mineral Resource estimate for the Dry Creek and West Tundra Flats deposits in April 2017.
The Inferred Mineral Resource contains an impressive base metal and precious metal content with 678,000 tonnes zinc, 286,000 tonnes lead, 53.5 million ounces silver and 352,000 ounces gold.
There are numerous opportunities to increase this resource — in discussing the upcoming exploration strategy, Gill said: “White Rock envisages that an aggressive systematic multi-pronged exploration program will rapidly yield the discoveries required to advance the Bonnifield district towards a new VMS development project.”
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