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Martel Zone & Green Zone - Underground Drilling
The 2016/2017 underground drill program in the Martel and Green zones was completed in February 2017. The Martel and Green zones are located beneath the Wight pit, approximately 400 metres east of the fully developed and mined Boundary zone.
The underground exploration program consisted of 6,680 metres in 25 holes, and complements surface drilling completed prior to Wight pit development in early 2005. Wide spaced drilling from surface completed in 2004 defined a measured and indicated underground resource of approximately 6,269,000 tonnes grading about 1.17% copper, 0.40 g/t gold and 7.38 g/t silver. To ascertain greater certainty on the size and grade of the deep resource, in 2016 four drill stations were established at 25-metre intervals along an exploration drift about 400 metres east of the Boundary zone underground workings. Holes were drilled on azimuths ranging from 070° to 090° at shallow to moderate angles, crossing the Brown Wall fault and into the Martel breccia. Results from the first nine holes were released on February 28, 2017, followed by results from the remaining 16 holes on April 10, 2017.
Martel zone highlights include 124.32 metres grading 1.36% copper and 0.25 g/t gold in drill hole MU-17-24, which included 18.90 metres grading 2.52% copper and 0.66 g/t gold, and 110.0 metres grading 1.27% copper and 0.24 g/t gold in drill hole MU-17-7, which included 56.9 metres grading 1.90% copper and 0.37 g/t gold. The Green zone best intercept was hole MU-17-18, which intercepted 8.65 metres grading 4.41% copper and 1.95 g/t gold. MU-17-8 was extended in length to intersect the Green zone mineralization where it intercepted 17.8 metres grading 4.49% copper and 1.44 g/t gold.
All the drill holes, except MU-16-5, were designed to intersect the Martel zone, and five of the holes were extended to test the sparsely drilled Green zone located east of the Martel zone. Drill hole MU-16-5 was drilled to test the potential for deep extension of the Martel zone and intercepted two intervals of mineralization; 37 metres of 0.70% copper and 0.45 g/t gold, and 34.9 metres of 0.94 % copper and 0.27 g/t gold at a depth of approximately 230 metres beneath the Martel zone.
The mineralization is believed to have formed in a vertical hydrothermal breccia body within a complex of monzonitic intrusions. It now occurs in two segments which were formerly contiguous but are now separated by the steeply southwest-dipping Brown Wall fault. The upper hanging wall portion was mined in the Wight pit (2005-2009). The deeper portion was dropped down slightly and offset to the northwest, and is known as the Martel zone, the top of which was exposed in the bottom of the final Wight pit. Mineralization generally begins immediately after the fault, and consists of chalcopyrite and bornite disseminated in a polylithic breccia matrix, in fine to coarse infill between clasts or in veins. Late to post-mineral monzonitic dikes cut the breccia, the largest being 10-14 metres thick, obliquely bisecting the Martel zone, otherwise internal dilution by dikes is limited.
The Martel zone measures approximately 130 metres long, 170 metres high, and 140 metres wide, perpendicular to the Brown Wall fault plane. Along its northeastern fringe, the Martel zone gives way to monzonitic wall rock and dikes. The easternmost body of mineralization intersected in this drilling is the Green zone which is hosted in a distinct style of breccia and is intermittent but can be very high grade. The Martel zone is open in all directions except to the southwest where the Brown Wall fault cuts-off the zone.
Results will be loaded into the block model for this area and a revised resource estimate will be completed followed by mine planning. Based on the results to date, two options for mine development may be considered. The longer lower grades such as 147.5 metres of 1.03% copper and 0.20 g/t gold in drill hole MU-16-6 may be amenable to sub-level caving, while shorter higher grade sections may be amendable to conventional long hole mining.
Martel Zone & Green Zone - 2004 Surface DrillingAn underground drilling program of 6,680 metres began in December 2016. The drilling was designed to further define the size and grade of the Martel zone located beneath the Wight pit approximately 400 metres east of the fully developed and mined Boundary zone. Wide spaced drilling from surface completed in 2004 defined a measured and indicated underground resource of approximately 6,269,000 tonnes grading about 1.17% copper, 0.40 g/t gold and 7.38 g/t silver. The 2016/2017 underground drilling has helped to define a high-grade portion of this resource. A new resource estimate will be calculated in preparation for mine planning with the goal of exploiting the Martel zone by underground mining methods. The access ramp from the Boundary zone has been driven to within about 100 metres of the Martel zone to provide access for the underground drilling program which will aid in the economics of any proposed mining scenario.