Nov 20 2010
Buchans Minerals Corporation (BMC-TSX-V) and Benton Resources Corp. (BTC-TSX-V) has provided an update on their 50/50 Long Range Nickel joint venture in central Newfoundland.
Of particular note is the significant expansion of anomalous nickel, copper and cobalt values in the soil geochemistry covering a wide area around the original Portage prospect discovery trench.
Warren MacLeod, President of Buchans Minerals states that "the Long Range joint venture continues to meet or exceed my expectations. This newly discovered mineralized environment similar in many ways to other magmatic nickel-copper sulphide camps in North America, including Voisey's Bay, continues to develop new prospects. Beginning with our initial airborne geophysical survey, the program has expanded to include ground prospecting, ground geophysics, trenching and shallow drilling that has already revealed the exciting Portage and Range discoveries and has the potential to identify other prospects such as the newly identified String anomaly."
Expansion of Portage Nickel Prospect:
Since completing initial trenching and shallow drilling at the Portage Nickel prospect in 2009 (see below), the Companies have expanded the original trench and completed soil geochemical and high-frequency HLEM surveys over the surrounding area of approximately one square kilometre. Results from these recent surveys reveal the original trench is located adjacent to several coincident, open-ended, nickel-copper-cobalt soil anomalies measuring up to 800 metres in length and as much as 250 metres in width. The soil anomalies remain open in both strike directions and locally coincide with a number of weak conductive anomalies identified by the HLEM geophysical surveys. Having examined the results of the sampling and shallow drilling from the expanded trench in tandem with the wider spread soil geochemistry and HLEM anomalies, the Companies now believe the mineralization may be hosted within an undulating, sub-horizontal mineralized layer within the gabbro. With these results in hand, the Companies have now initiated a further expansion of the soil geochemistry survey area and trenching program designed to test the anomalies in several locations exploring for sub-cropping disseminated nickel-copper-cobalt mineralization that may be amenable to bulk tonnage, open pit extraction.
The original discovery trench at the Portage prospect in 2009 returned bedrock grab samples assaying up to 2.70% nickel, 0.58% copper and 0.24% cobalt, as well as sawed channel samples averaging 0.99% nickel, 0.22% copper and 0.05% cobalt over 3.0 metres (including 2.18% nickel, 0.19% copper and 0.11% cobalt over 1.0 metre). Limited shallow drilling in 2009 also intersected several sections of mineralized gabbro, including a drilled intersection assaying 0.44% nickel, 0.22% copper and & 0.016% cobalt over 12.0 metres core length, including 1.36% nickel, 0.36% copper and 0.039% cobalt over a 1 metre core length.
Range Copper Prospect:
Since completing a four hole drill program to test the Range Copper prospect in April 2010, the Companies have undertaken additional work to determine the extents and orientation of the mineralized zone. Previous drilling at this prospect in the fall of 2009 returned a drilled intercept of banded, semi-massive and massive sulphides averaging 0.39% copper and 0.032% cobalt over a core length of 37.8 metres. Results of subsequent borehole TDEM surveys, as well as HLEM geophysical surveys and prospecting now confirm the zone strikes to the northwest with a southwesterly dip. As a result, three of the previous drill holes that failed to intersect the zone are now understood to have drilled above and parallel to the zone, while two holes drilled parallel to and beneath the conductor. This interpretation is supported by the discovery of the zone in outcrop, approximately 120 metres southeast of the original bedrock showing. As a result of this revised interpretation, the company now intends to conduct further drilling on the prospect in the first quarter of 2011, when ice conditions permit better access.
In addition to the soil geochemical and HLEM surveys completed around the Portage discovery trench, results from TDEM surveys completed in 2010 and covering a wider area have identified a potentially significant conductive target located within the gabbro, approximately 3.8 kilometres along strike to the southwest of the Portage prospect. This target, called the String Anomaly, has an apparent strike length of 600 to 800 metres as defined by 2008 VTEM airborne surveys, and is located beneath a pond. The Companies hope to drill test the conductor when winter conditions permit drilling on the ice during the first quarter of 2011.
Regional Airborne Geophysical Surveys:
The Companies have now completed an initial program of ground prospecting to assess conductive anomalies identified by the joint venture's frontier airborne geophysical surveys completed in 2010. Associated rock and soil samples have now been delivered to Eastern Analytical's assay lab in Springdale Newfoundland for analyses and assays are pending. The 1,400 line-kilometre Fugro HELITEM® airborne surveys cover unexplored gabbro bodies recently recognized to be prospective for magmatic nickel-copper sulphide deposits. Results from this work will assist with evaluation and prioritization of targets for further work, and if warranted, testing by diamond drilling.
Long Range Potential:
The Companies consider the discovery of nickel sulphide mineralization in gabbro by the Joint Venture late last year to be particularly encouraging, as it not only identifies potentially large accumulations of low-grade disseminated sulphide mineralization near surface, but also has potential for buried high-grade massive sulphide deposits that may have segregated within the gabbro grading in excess of 4% nickel and 3% copper. Results to date support the Companies' interpretation that the project covers a newly recognized mineralized environment broadly analogous to other magmatic nickel-copper sulphide camps in North America, including Vale's Voisey's Bay mine in Labrador and Kennecott's Eagle deposit in northern Michigan. The joint venture is located close to infrastructure, including power lines and roads that provide ready access to port facilities located 40 kilometres to the west. The area is considered receptive to mining, being located less than 65 kilometres southwest of Buchans, one of the province's longest established mining centers. Additional results will be released as they become available.
Paul Moore, M.Sc., P.Geo., (NL), Buchans Mineral's Vice President of Exploration, is acting as Qualified Person in compliance with National Instrument 43-101 with respect to this release and has reviewed the contents for accuracy. Quoted assays and QAQC procedures described in detail in previous Company press releases dated November 3 and November 18, 2009.
Source: Buchans Minerals Corporation