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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’

RED MOUNTAIN

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White Rock Minerals to build on its 2018 Red Mountain VMS Project gains 

ASX Announcement 16 January 2019 


White Rock Minerals Ltd (“White Rock” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update regarding White Rock's globally significant high-grade zinc and precious metals volcanogenic massive sulphide (“VMS”) Red Mountain Project in central Alaska (Red Mountain Project).


The successful progress of the 2018 exploration program resulted in the signing of a cornerstone investment and strategic relationship agreement with Sandfire Resources NL (ASX:SFR) (Sandfire). Sandfire contributed $2.5 million equity and a further $1 million convertible loan unsecured to White Rock during 2018.


Subsequently, at the end of 2018, Sandfire exercised its option to enter into a Joint Venture Agreement1 over the Red Mountain Project, which once signed, would see funds committed with Stage One of this JV being a minimum of A$20M spent on the project over the first four years. For Year One (the 2019 field season), the funding requirement would be a minimum of A$6M. This is a great endorsement of White Rock’s view of the project’s quality and potential.


The results achieved from the successful 2018 exploration program also resulted in the expansion of the tenement package2 with an area of 475km² now secured over the Bonnifield Mining District and additional prospective footwall stratigraphy, plus a number of additional historic VMS mineral occurrences not yet explored with modern techniques.


MD & CEO Matt Gill said “White Rock has successfully completed a number of exploration activities during 2018 as we push towards proving up that the Bonnifield Mining District can indeed be an emerging new VMS camp of significance, containing zinc, silver, lead and gold. Our success in making a new discovery at the Hunter prospect, high grade drilling intercepts at Dry Creek and West Tundra, confirming that these two deposits remain open down dip and in places along strike, and demonstrating the successful application of geophysics and geochem approaches, are significant developments. This work continues to unlock a much larger picture in terms of resource and district potential.”


“During 2019, White Rock plans to follow up on the successful 2018 exploration program. We are in the process of designing and budgeting a program of field mapping, rock and soil sampling, geophysics and diamond drilling at Red Mountain. This work is designed to advance and delineate exploration targets towards the discovery of new mineralization that has the potential to favourably impact project economics and add to our already globally significant high-grade JORC Resource.”


Summary 

Exploration program highlights since White Rock acquired the Red Mountain Project include: 

  • Maiden JORC 2012 Mineral Resource estimate3 for the Dry Creek and West Tundra Flats deposits calculated from historic drilling with: 
    • High grade Inferred Mineral Resource of 9.1 million tonnes @ 12.9% ZnEq4 for 1.2Mt of contained zinc equivalent at a 3% Zn cut-off. 
    • Total Inferred Mineral Resource of 16.7 million tonnes @ 8.9% ZnEq4 for 1.5Mt of contained zinc equivalent at a 1% Zn cut-off for Dry Creek, 3% Zn cut-off for West Tundra Flats & 0.5% Cu cut-off for Dry Creek Cu Zone. 
    • Impressive base metal and precious metal content with 678,000t zinc, 286,000t lead, 53.5 million ounces silver and 352,000 ounces gold.


Further Highlights for 2018 

  • A total of 24 drill holes for 4,111 metres of diamond core drilling was completed during 2018. 
  • Best drill intersection in the history of this project into the Discovery Lens at the Dry Creek deposit with 4.7m @ 19.5% Zn, 7.8% Pb, 466g/t Ag, 6.9g/t Au and 1.5% Cu for 49.7% ZnEq4 (DC18-79)5 . 
  • Down dip extension of the Fosters Lens at the Dry Creek deposit with 4.3m @ 4.8% Zn, 2.3% Pb, 1,435g/t Ag, 2.2g/t Au and 0.5% Cu for 43.2% ZnEq4 (DC18-77)5 and remaining open down dip. 
  • Best drill intersection in the history of this project at the West Tundra deposit with 3.5m @ 15.1% Zn, 6.7% Pb, 518g/t Ag, 2.1g/t Au and 0.2% Cu for 35.2% ZnEq4 (WT18-28)6 . 
  • Discovery and successful drill testing of the new Hunter prospect massive sulphide mineralisation with 1.4m @ 17.4% Zn, 3.9% Pb, 90g/t Ag & 1.6% Cu for 25.8% ZnEq4 from 48.2m (HR18-01)7 . This discovery remains open east and west and down dip with massive sulphide mapped for over 500 metres along strike on the surface. 
  • Identification of 9 high priority geochemical anomalies8 from a detailed regional stream sediment program across the core area of regional prospectivity centred on the Bonnifield East syncline with particular emphasis on two distinct anomaly clusters; 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. Strong base metal anomalism up to 1.1% zinc in streams indicates high prospectivity for outcropping massive sulphides. 
  • Successful orientation ground geophysics across known mineralisation with CSAMT accurately identifying massive sulphide mineralisation at Dry Creek and West Tundra enabling the technique to be a rapid reconnaissance tool for identifying drill targets within zones of anomalous geochemistry and favourable stratigraphy9 . The CSAMT crew acquired 40 line km of new data along strike of Dry Creek and West Tundra. 
  • Successful application of portable XRF analysis of soil samples to deliver rapid target generation.


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JOINT VENTURE

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Sandfire Exercises Option to Enter Joint Venture on Red Mountain 

ASX Announcement 27 December 2018 


White Rock Minerals Limited (ASX:WRM) (White Rock) is pleased to announce that Sandfire Resources NL (ASX:SFR) (Sandfire) has exercised its option under the subscription agreement announced to ASX on 10 July 2018 (Subscription Agreement) to enter into a Joint Venture Agreement with White Rock (Joint Venture) regarding White Rock's globally significant high-grade zinc and precious metals VMS Red Mountain Project in central Alaska (Red Mountain Project).


White Rock commenced a strategic relationship with Sandfire in July 2018 in relation to White Rock's Red Mountain Project. In addition to the $2.5 million equity contribution under the Subscription Agreement, Sandfire has also previously provided an unsecured $1 million convertible loan to White Rock (refer to White Rock's ASX announcement dated 22 August 2018). 


The Joint Venture will enable White Rock to benefit from Sandfire’s significant technical expertise to develop the Red Mountain Project as well as further strategic support as the Company moves to unlock the potential from its large strategic land holding.


MD & CEO Matt Gill said “White Rock welcomes Sandfire as a Joint Venture partner that shares White Rock's vision for the exploration and development of the Red Mountain Project. Securing a high-quality partner with world leading expertise in the exploration and development of base metals projects is a strong endorsement to the quality and potential of White Rock’s globally significant highgrade zinc VMS Red Mountain Project. White Rock looks forward to collaborating with Sandfire Resources as part of our strategic relationship and this JV agreement.”


Under the terms of the Subscription Agreement, the parties must use their best endeavours to negotiate the terms of the Joint Venture within 3 months using an AMPLA (Australian Mining and Petroleum Law Association) model document and the following as the guiding principles for the content of the Joint Venture:


  • Stage 1: Sandfire to fund a total of A$20 million over four years to earn 51%, with a minimum expenditure by Sandfire of A$6 million in Year One. 
  • Stage 2: Sandfire to fund a further A$10 million and deliver a pre-feasibility study (PFS) over an additional two years to earn 70%, which may be extended by Sandfire for a further year in certain circumstances.
  • Stage 3: White Rock may elect to contribute to the Joint Venture. If White Rock elects not to contribute, Sandfire can sole fund Stage 3 to earn 80% by completion of a definitive feasibility study. 
  • Stage 4: White Rock may elect to contribute to the Joint Venture. If White Rock elects not to contribute, Sandfire will earn 90% and White Rock's 10% interest will be earned from project cash flow. 
  • Project Management: White Rock is entitled to continue managing the project for at least the first year of the earn-in and to be paid a management fee equal to 10% above all project expenses, with 50% of the fee to be paid on signing of the Joint Venture and the balance to be paid in 3 equal instalments (each instalment representing 16.67% of the management fee) on a quarterly basis thereafter. Ongoing management responsibility of the project will be subject to annual review and after the first year will be at Sandfire's election.


The parties have commenced negotiation of the Joint Venture Agreement. 


White Rock has also received confirmation from ASX that the entry into the Joint Venture does not require shareholder approval for the purposes of Listing Rule 10.1


About Sandfire Resources NL:- Sandfire is a leading mid-tier Australian mining company focused on discovering, developing and operating high quality resource assets capable of delivering substantial returns for its shareholders. Sandfire is a leading Australian copper producer which operates the high-grade DeGrussa Copper-Gold Mine, 900 km north of Perth in Western Australia. Sandfire has a growing portfolio of exploration interests and joint ventures in highly prospective mineral provinces around Australia and overseas.


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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.” 


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