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Corporate Spotlight

White Rock Minerals (ASX:WRM) is focused on its Red Mountain Project in Alaska - a globally significant undeveloped zinc VMS Project – 12.9% ZnEq grade. There has been no modern exploration on this Project for over 10 years and so offers significant resource and discovery upside with the use of mode
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A ‘great endorsement of the project’

VMS PROJECT

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White hot VMS project in Alaska

 A highly successful 2018 field exploration program has placed junior Australian explorer White Rock Minerals Limited in a commanding position for the new year at its high-grade zinc and precious metals volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) Red Mountain project in Alaska.

Best drill intersection for the Discovery lens at the Dry Creek deposit was 4.7m @ 19.5% zinc, 7.8% lead, 466g/t silver, 6.9g/t gold and 1.5% copper for 49.7% ZnEq; and 4.3m @ 4.8% zinc, 2.3% lead, 1,435g/t silver, 2.2 g/t gold and 0.5% copper for 43.2% ZnEq at the Fosters lens at Dry Creek.

White Rock also made a greenfield discovery, five kilometres to the west of Dry Creek, with the very first holes successfully drill testing this Hunter prospect and realising massive sulphide mineralisation including 1.4 metres @ 17.4% zinc, 3.9% lead, 90 grams to the tonne silver and 1.6% copper for a zinc equivalent (ZnEq) of 25.8%. This prospect remains open down dip, and the VMS horizon that hosts it has been traced for more than 500 metres on the surface.

White Rock also recorded a best drill intersection at the West Tundra deposit of 3.5m @ 15.1% zinc, 6.7% lead, 518g/t silver, 2.1g/t gold and 0.2% copper for 35.2% ZnEq.

Indeed, out of the 24 holes drilled during the company’s very first field season on the ground, for a total of 4,111 metres of diamond core drilling, nine of the holes drilled returned grades in excess of 10% ZnEq, and three of these greater than 40% ZnEq – a great return in only their first field season. The season also saw three reconnaissance crews out in the field mapping and sampling.

This drilling confirmed that the two known deposits remain open down dip and in places along strike, offering great potential to add to the already significant resource. This drilling has supported the view that the Red Mountain project is a globally significant zinc and precious metals VMS Project with a maiden high-grade Resource of 9.1Mt at 12.9% ZnEq delivered only last year, and which places it in the top quartile of undeveloped high-grade VMS (zinc, silver, gold) deposits globally.

 

Drilling at the Dry Creek deposit with Red Mountain above

White Rock Minerals chief executive officer Matthew Gill was understandably upbeat about the very promising results.


“I think our results have been as good as we could have hoped for – I don’t know many companies that have returned grades of more than 45% ZnEq – certainly not in their first season on the ground. We delivered some of the best drill hole results this VMS field has seen,” he told Hot Copper.

“Next year we plan to continue as we did in 2018 – run an all-encompassing exploration program, led by the on-ground mapping and geochemistry reconnaissance crews, supported by geophysics follow-up and ultimately the drill bit to test the best of the identified targets.”

The company has been so impressed with its initial results that it has more than tripled the area of its 100%-owned Red Mountain project with the addition of another 524 State of Alaska mining claims and mineral locations increasing the total area to 475 square kilometres.

The claims cover a number of additional VMS mineral occurrences and include Anderson Mountain, Virginia Creek, West Fork, Peaches, Keevy Peak, Kenny, Sheep Creek and Surprise Creek. Gill said the VMS characteristics at these prospects had been identified by past exploration through mapping, rock chip sampling and in some cases drilling.

The potential of the project has not gone unnoticed in the marketplace.

“Our successful first year of exploration on the ground at Red Mountain and the subsequent attraction of our strategic partner Sandfire Resources 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,” Gill pointed out. “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 horizons identified through field reconnaissance of targets developed from earlier desktop studies.

“We believe an aggressive systematic multi-pronged exploration program will rapidly yield the discoveries required to advance the district towards a new VMS development project.”

In July White Rock Minerals announced it had entered into a strategic relationship with Australian mid-tier copper miner Sandfire Resources NL, not only enabling the company to benefit from Sandfire’s significant technical expertise, but also as a cornerstone investor.

“We are very fortunate to have a $1 billion market capped ASX-listed company as a strategic partner. They have an option to enter into a joint venture on the Red Mountain project and if exercised, this would see a minimum of $6 million spent next year, and a minimum of $20 million over four years,” Gill said.

“White Rock raised $5.2 million earlier this year and set about executing its aggressive and ultimately very successful exploration program in its first year. Sandfire liked what we were doing, and the results we were getting, conducted their own detailed due diligence and as a result, contributed another $2.5 million by way of a placement at a premium to our then share price. We continued to enjoy success and they then contributed another $1 million.

“Sandfire has the right and exclusive option that can be exercised prior to December 31, 2018, to enter earn-in JV agreement in relation to the Red Mountain Project.

“The terms provide that Sandfire would sole fund the next four years if they elect to enter into a joint venture. We would manage the first year’s program. This is a great outcome for White Rock Minerals shareholders – having money put into the ground by a successful company like Sandfire, into White Rock’s 100%-owned strategic tenement package.”

Red Mountain has emerged as a significant and exciting project for White Rock Minerals and an interesting addition to the company’s Australian 100% owned Mt Carrington project in Northern NSW where shallow Indicated and Inferred mineral resources totalling 341,000 ounces of gold and 23.2 million ounces of silver have been defined.

GEOCHEMICAL ANOMALIES

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White Rock identifies new geochemical anomalies associated with VMS alteration at its Red Mountain Project in Alaska

ASX Announcement 5 December 2018


  • A detailed regional stream sediment survey identifies 8 high priority geochemical targets for follow-up. 
  • Strong base metal anomalism up to 1.1% zinc in streams indicates high prospectivity for outcropping massive sulphides. 
  • Strong precious metal and other pathfinder elements detected. 
  • Target areas cluster in two distinct areas; west of the known mineralisation at Dry Creek (the southern limb of the Bonnifield syncline) and in the Glacier Creek area with strong sulphide footwall alteration on the northern limb of the Bonnifield syncline.


White Rock Minerals (“White Rock”) is pleased to announce that it has identified a number of high priority geochemical anomalies within its recently expanded 100% owned Red Mountain high-grade zinc – silver – lead – gold - copper volcanogenic massive sulphide (“VMS”) Project in Alaska. 


During the 2018 field season White Rock completed a detailed regional stream sediment program over prospective stratigraphy within the Red Mountain project area. This part of the comprehensive 2018 exploration program was optimised based on the geochem orientation survey completed across known mineralisation at Dry Creek. This “calibration” provided a geochemical signature of base metal and precious metal elements together with other pathfinders to use for future exploration of the VMS prospective stratigraphy on both the northern and southern limbs of the regional Bonnifield syncline.


This 2018 reconnaissance program identified a number of extensive alteration features for future exploration. Some of these extend on surface for several kilometres of strike. The results from the regional stream sampling program have successfully highlighted 8 priority anomalies within the area of alteration (Figure 1), providing areas for immediate focus through follow-up ground reconnaissance, surface sampling and the application of electrical geophysics prior to drill targeting.


The significance of some of the geochemical anomalies is illustrated by the tenor of anomalism with one stream sample returning 1.1% Zn in an area towards the top of the VMS prospective stratigraphy to the west of the Dry Creek deposit. No previous exploration has prospected the immediate catchment area indicating how prospective the immediate surrounds remain. 


In addition, the area of the northern limb known as Glacier Creek displays footwall sulphide alteration that extends for over 10km of strike. The stream sediment survey has identified 4 discrete high priority targets within the area of alteration. Followup work will now be able to focus on these discrete areas of anomalism to enable rapid advancement to drill testing in 2019. 


CEO Matt Gill said “We recently expanded our tenement footprint three-fold, to now hold a strategic land package of some 475km2 . This expansion follows a successful first year of field activities for White Rock where drilling intersected multiple high-grade intervals of zinc-silver-lead-gold-copper mineralisation at Dry Creek and West Tundra (ASX Announcements dated 18 June 2018, 4 July 2018 and 20 August 2018). With some drill hole results returning in excess of 17% zinc, 6% lead, 1,000 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 encouraged White Rock to expand its strategic tenement holding to take in more of what has been identified as a highly prospective geological setting.


In addition to this successful drilling campaign, including a new discovery of high-grade zinc-rich VMS mineralisation at the Hunter prospect, we now have the results from our regional stream sediment sampling campaign. These results reinforce our belief that the Red Mountain project could yield a camp of VMS deposits in the year ahead. 


Together with the expansion of the tenement package to 475km² and coverage of multiple new VMS occurrences throughout the Bonnifield district (Figure 2), White Rock is now poised to advance the project rapidly in 2019 through a second year of aggressive prospecting and drilling.” 


Click here to view the full announcement

LAND HOLDING

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White Rock increases its strategic land holding and stakes additional high-grade zinc-silver-lead-gold-copper VMS prospects 

ASX Announcement 21 November 2018 


White Rock Minerals (“White Rock”) is pleased to announce that it has more than tripled the area of its highly prospective 100% owned Red Mountain high-grade zinc – silver – lead – gold - copper volcanogenic massive sulphide (“VMS”) Project in Alaska through the staking of an additional 524 new State of Alaska Mining Claims and Mineral Locations.


The expansion of its tenement package follows a successful first year of field activities for 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 (ASX Announcements dated 18 June 2018, 4 July 2018 and 20 August 2018). With some drill hole results returning in excess of 17% zinc, 6% lead, 1,000 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 White Rock 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 its strategic partner, Sandfire Resources NL (“Sandfire”). Earlier in the year, and encouraged by what White Rock was doing, Sandfire signed an agreement providing equity funding to assist White Rock to continue to explore the Red Mountain project during 2018, with an option to enter into an earn-in JV by the end of this year (ASX Announcement dated 11 July 2018).


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. 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. 


White Rock has also staked claims over a number of additional VMS mineral occurrences including 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. Results by previous explorers are summarised below.


The Red Mountain project now comprises 754 State of Alaska Mining Claims and Mineral Locations, with the total area now controlled totalling 475km².


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. 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 regions prospectivity is evidenced by the extensive alteration and multiple VMS time horizons identified through field reconnaissance of targets developed from earlier desktop studies. 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.”


1 ZnEq = Zinc equivalent grades are estimated using long-term broker consensus estimates compiled by RFC Ambrian as at 20 March 2017 adjusted for recoveries from historical metallurgical test work and calculated with the formula: ZnEq =100 x [(Zn% x 2,206.7 x 0.9) + (Pb% x 1,922 x 0.75) + (Cu% x 6,274 x 0.70) + (Ag g/t x (19.68/31.1035) x 0.70) + (Au g/t x (1,227/31.1035) x 0.80)] / (2,206.7 x 0.9). White Rock is of the opinion that all elements included in the metal equivalent calculation have reasonable potential to be recovered and sold. 

2 Refer ASX Announcement 26 April 2017 “Maiden JORC Mineral Resource at White Rock’s Red Mountain zincsilver Project, Alaska.” 


Click here to view the full announcement

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