Engineering & Mining Journal

JUL 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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REGIONAL NEWS - EXPLORATION ROUNDUP 16 E&MJ • JULY 2019 Lucapa Exploring for Source of Lulo Alluvial Diamonds Lucapa Diamond Co. and its partners Endiama and Rosas & Petalas have launched the next phase of exploration to locate the kimberlite source of the high-value alluvial diamonds that they mine at their Lulo project in Angola. The 12-month program is based on an exten- sive technical review of Lulo kimberlite exploration results to date, including those of a 2018 drilling program that in- creased the total known kimberlites with- in the concession to more than 100. The current program includes stream bulk sampling focusing on six major tribu- taries feeding from high-interest areas into the Cacuilo river upstream of current min- ing blocks where some of the largest and most valuable Lulo alluvial diamonds have been recovered. Planning calls for taking of a 5,000-m 3 bulk sample of alluvial gravels from each of the six tributaries. Also, followup delineation drilling totaling approximately 8,800 meters (m) will be undertaken on the 16 Lulo kimberlite pipes rated most prospective to host diamonds. The drilling will help define the structure, internal lithologies, and surface area of each pipe, including surface volcaniclastic kimberlite material for later bulk sampling. Finally, eight additional kimberlite targets will be drilled, including anom- alies highlighted in the technical review demonstrating reversely polarized mag- netic signatures. The new exploration program is bud- geted at $3.3 million. As in the past, Lucapa will fund the exploration costs from a portion of its returns from the Lulo alluvial mining company, Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo. Lucapa Managing Director Stephen Wetherall said, "The next phase of the kim- berlite program builds on the great body of exploration work completed over many years at Lulo to pinpoint the source pipes hosting the world's best alluvial diamonds. "Like the diamond experts involved in our recent technical review, we remain convinced that the kimberlite source of these diamonds awaits discovery beneath our prolific alluvial diamond field." Exploration Briefs Pretium Resources reported in early June its 2019 deep underground explo- ration drilling program has confirmed expectations for Brucejack-style min- eralization and proximity to porphyry- style mineralization at depth and to the east of its Brucejack mine in northwest British Columbia. Of particular note, hole VU-1787 in- tersected a zone of mineralized stockwork grading 5.56 grams (g)/metric ton (mt) gold and including visible gold between 198 meters (m) and 305 downhole ap- proximately 240 m east of and below the eastern limit of the existing Valley of the Kings mineral resource. A surface IP geophysical survey is being conducted to augment results achieved so far and generate targets for followup drilling. Crews also have been mobilized for a 2019 grassroots exploration program on Pretium's Bowser claims to follow up on comprehensive regional exploration that has previously been completed on the 1,250-km 2 property that surrounds the Brucejack mine. This grassroots program includes 5,000 m of regional exploration drilling that began in early July. In addition to drilling high-priority tar- gets, this program will include sampling, regional mapping, prospecting, airborne and ground geophysics, and hyperspectral mapping. To date, exploration has identi- fied several distinct areas that have the potential to host VMS deposits and high- grade, epithermal-related gold systems. Forum Energy Metals has entered into an option-to-joint-venture agreement with Rio Tinto Exploration Canada (RTEC) on Forum's Janice Lake sedimentary cop- per project in north-central Saskatche- wan. RTEC is planning a high-resolution airborne magnetometer survey over the entire extent of the property and approx- imately 7,000 meters of drilling in 25 to 30 holes in 2019 to meet its first-year exploration commitment. Under the terms of the agreement, RTEC has committed to $3 million in exploration spending over the next 18 months and has been granted a four-year option to acquire a 51% interest in the Janice Lake project by spending $10 mil- lion on exploration, making $490,000 in cash payments, and servicing the re- maining $200,000 in underlying cash payments to Transition Metals as per the terms of the forum-transition option agreement dated February 5, 2018. RTEC has a second option to earn a further 29% interest by spending a fur- ther $20 million on exploration over a three-year period (total $30 million) and making further cash payments of $150,000 (total $640,000). In September 2018, Forum complet- ed a first-pass drill program on the Jan- ice Lake property, with all four drill holes intersecting shallow chalcocite, bornite and native copper mineralization above 80 m in depth. Nordgold has entered into an option agreement with Alicanto Minerals for the exclusive right to acquire a 100% inter- est in the Arakaka gold project in Guy- ana's northwest mining district. Under the terms of the agreement, Nordgold has an option to acquire a 100% interest in the project by sole funding $3 million in exploration within a one-year option peri- od and paying an additional $5 million to Alicanto to exercise the option. Alicanto will remain operator of the project for the first 12 months, with a drilling campaign to commence as soon as practicable. Current exploration activ- ity at the Arakaka project is focused on four well-defined target areas that have near- to medium-term resource potential. Nordgold CEO Nikolai Zelenski com- mented, "We are excited to further strengthen our international explora- tion portfolio with this highly prospec- tive gold project in Guyana. The option agreement is in line with our strategy of further growing our portfolio of attractive prospects, and it follows other similar agreements we have successfully made in the past."

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