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The Ruddock Creek high grade zinc-lead project is a joint venture with Imperial (45.29%), Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. (28.05%), Itochu Corporation (18.70%), and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) (7.96%). Imperial operates the project through its wholly owned subsidiary Ruddock Creek Mining Corporation. The property is located 155 km NE of Kamloops, British Columbia, encompassing 22,195 hectares and consisting of 43 mineral claims.
JOGMEC funded the 2019 diamond drill program. The program consisted of 17 drill holes totaling 8,802.1 metres targeting the V Zone (11 drill holes; 6,955.5 metres) and the Q Zone (6 drill holes; 1,846.6 metres). Highlights included drill hole RD-19-V54, which intersected 40.9 metres (true thickness 36.8 metres) grading 16.83% zinc, 3.46% lead and 4.74 g/t silver, including 20.1 metres grading 18.93% zinc, 4.15% lead and 6.11 g/t silver. Drill hole RD-19-V54 targeted the deep V Zone, where RD-18-V41 (located 52.0 metres below hole RD-19-54) had intersected 21.7 metres (true thickness 21.5 metres) grading 16.99% zinc, 3.44% lead and 2.41 g/t silver, including 10.4 metres grading 25.70% zinc, 5.41% lead and 3.44 g/t silver.
The V Zone drilling was designed to expand and increase the confidence in the resource in the deep portions of the zone. The V Zone has a steeper dip than all the other known zones at Ruddock Creek. The steeper dip should facilitate lower mining costs than the shallower dipping zones, and thus a larger resource of steeply dipping mineralization in the V Zone would improve the economics of the project. The wide high-grade intercept in RD-V19-54 will add to the resource, along with the other V Zone mineralized intercepts obtained this year.
A comprehensive review will be completed in 2020 utilizing geophysical and geological data from the past two years of field work to recommend future exploration at Ruddock Creek. Plans for further exploration, in the vicinity of the excellent results obtained in a portion of the V zone, are being developed and will be discussed with our joint venture partners.
Jim Miller-Tait, P.Geo., VP Exploration, is the designated Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 for the exploration program. Ruddock Creek samples for the 2019 drilling reported were analyzed at Bureau Veritas Mineral Laboratories in Vancouver. A full QA/QC program using blanks, standards and duplicates was completed for all diamond drilling samples submitted to the labs.