Abacus Mining & Exploration Corporation (TSX VENTURE:AME) reports on the status of its 18,000 metre, 65 hole diamond drill program currently underway at the Company's joint venture Afton-Ajax project located 10 kms southwest of Kamloops, B.C.
Since the program commenced during the summer, Abacus has completed 15 holes of exploration drilling, targeting the eastern contact of the host Sugarloaf Diorite beyond the Ajax East pit (the Ajax East Extension area). This is in follow-up to last winter's drill campaign which successfully outlined new zones of near-surface, higher grade copper-gold mineralization, while deeper drilling confirmed the existence of continuous, down-dip mineralization to depths of at least 500 metres below surface - similar to the main Ajax deposit which remains open at depth. Highlights of exploration drilling from the current program indicate that several holes intercepted significant mineralization.
In addition, seven infill drill holes were completed near the perimeter of the main Ajax deposit area where previous drilling has identified inferred resources. Drilling for the remainder of this program will concentrate on infill drilling in, around, and between the Ajax East and West pits where approximately 85% of the 502 million tonnes of current 43-101 compliant estimated pit inventory resource is classified as measured and indicated. The infill drilling program has as its objective to convert what is now classified as inferred resources to measured and indicated status. In total, five diamond drills will be utilized towards the program's completion prior to year end.
Previous drilling indicating the presence of extensions of the mineralized Sugarloaf Diorite within an offset block immediately north of the east-southeast trending East Pit Fault (EPF) demonstrated the Diorite to be at least 200-300 metres thick. About 200 metres along strike to the northeast, it is believed that a second parallel fault may be encountered and further offset the Diorite in a similar fashion to the EPF. More drilling is planned to continue to define and test the intrusive/volcanic contact area to the north.
Continued drilling in the Ajax East Extension could provide additional tonnage to the Ajax deposit which will have a positive impact on the project's economics. This data will be incorporated into the Company's Feasibility Study currently underway.
As per the existing NI-43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment, the Ajax deposit is currently estimated to contain an in-pit measured and indicated resource of 2.6 billion pounds copper and 2.4 million ounces gold; plus an inferred resource of 0.3 billion pounds of copper and 0.3 million ounces of gold, sufficient to support a 60,000 ton per day mining operation producing an average of 110 million pounds of copper and 100,000 ounces of gold in concentrate annually over a 23 year mine life. (See 43-101 compliant Ajax Copper/Gold Project, Kamloops, BC Preliminary Assessment Technical Report by Wardrop Engineering Inc., July 22, 2009).
The exploration program is being managed by Robert G. Friesen, P.Geo., the Company's Senior Exploration Manager, who is a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101.
Source: Abacus Mining & Exploration Corporation