Akie (100% owned)
The Akie claim block consists of 46 contiguous mineral claims that cover 116 square kilometres and hosts the National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) compliant Cardiac Creek deposit. The Akie zinc-lead-silver property is situated within the southernmost part (Kechika Trough) of the regionally extensive Paleozoic Selwyn Basin, one of the most prolific sedimentary basins in the world for the occurrence of SEDEX zinc-lead silver and stratiform barite deposits. The property is road accessible via a series of all-weather gravel logging roads. The Cirque deposit, owned under a 50-50 Joint Venture between Teck Resources and Korea Zinc, is located approximately 22 km to the northwest of the Akie property and is also road accessible. The Cirque and Cardiac Creek deposits share many similarities: size, age, SEDEX origin, mineralization within the same stratigraphic units, and considerable exploration potential.
Drilling on the Akie property by Inmet Mining Corporation from 1994 to 1996 and by Canada Zinc Metals from 2005 to the present has identified a significant body of barite enriched lead-zinc-silver SEDEX mineralization which has been named the Cardiac Creek deposit. The deposit is hosted by variably siliceous, fine grained clastic rocks of the Middle to Late Devonian Gunsteel Formation. Exploration completed to date suggests that the Cardiac Creek deposit is open for expansion, particularly the higher grade mineralization along strike to the northwest and southeast and down the dip of the plane of the deposit to the southwest.
In the spring of 2016, the Company completed an updated mineral resource estimate for the Cardiac Creek deposit, compliant with National Instrument 43-101 (NI-43-101) Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. The updated mineral resource estimate was prepared by Robert Sim, P.Geo with the assistance of Bruce Davis, FAusIMM. Mr. Sim is an independent Qualified Person within the meaning of NI 43-101 for the purposes of mineral resource estimates and was responsible for the 2008 maiden resource and the 2012 updated resource estimate.
The revised NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate consists of an indicated category of an indicated resource of 19.6 million tonnes grading 8.2% zinc, 1.6% lead and 13.6 g/t silver (at a 5% zinc cut-off grade) and an inferred resource of 8.1 million tonnes grading 6.8% zinc, 1.2% lead and 11.2 g/t silver (at a 5% zinc cut-off grade).
Using this estimate, the deposit contains 3.54 billion pounds of zinc, 685 million pounds of lead and 8.6 million ounces of silver in the indicated category, and 1.2 billion pounds of zinc, 207 million pounds of lead and 2.9 million ounces of silver in the inferred category (at 5% zinc cut-off). The deposit remains open along strike and at depth.
The calculated mineral resource estimate at 5% Zn cutoff can be seen in Table 1.0.
Table 1: Estimate of Mineral Resources (5% Zinc cut-off)
Note: Mineral resources are not mineral reserves because the economic viability has not been demonstrated
The sensitivity of the calculated mineral resource estimate at a series of industry-standard cut-off Zn grades, can be seen in Table 2.0
Table 2: Sensitivity of Mineral Resources to Cut-off Grade
(1) “Base case” cut-off grade of 5% Zn highlighted in table
(2) Mineral resources are not mineral reserves as the economic viability has not been demonstrated
The “base case” cut-off grade of 5% Zn is considered reasonable based on assumptions derived from operations with similar characteristics, scale and location. The distribution of Indicated and Inferred mineral resources, above a cut-off grade of 5% Zn, occurs as a continuous zone, which is favourable with respect to selectivity and other factors when considering possible mining options. The orientation, dimensions and location of the deposit indicates that it is potentially amenable to underground mining methods, and, as a result, the stated resource is considered to exhibit reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction. The potentially economic portion of the deposit occurs over a known strike length of 1,300 metres, extends to at least 800 metres below surface and averages about 20 metres in thickness. The deposit currently remains “open” along strike to the NW and to the SE and down-dip to the SW.
Cardiac Creek NI 43-101 Resource Estimate at Various Zinc Cut-Off Grades
1)Estimate based on drilling results inclusive to 2015 data
2)Average width of deposit is estimated at 20 metres (true thickness)
Highlighted in the table is the “base case” cut-off grade of 5% zinc for the sulphide resource, which is based on assumptions derived from operations with similar characteristics, scale and location. The report further states that the resource occurs as a relatively continuous zone which is favourable with respect to selectivity and other factors when considering mining options. This, when combined with the results of previous geological, metal zoning and structural investigations and the results of drilling completed to date, suggest that the Cardiac Creek deposit has economic potential sufficient to warrant additional expenditures on exploration and development. The potentially economic portion of the deposit occurs over a known strike length of 1,300 metres, extends to at least 800 metres below surface and averages about 20 metres in thickness. The deposit currently remains “open” in all directions.
AKIE Drill Hole Assay Compilation 2005 to 2015
The North Lead Anomaly and the Northwest Extension
The northwest extension and the North Lead anomaly are two highly prospective zones on strike to the NW of the Cardiac Creek deposit that may in fact be extensions to the deposit. The zones are separated by about 800 meters and constitute approximately 2.5 kilometers of step-out from the current northern limit of the deposit. Mineralization in both zones occurs at the same stratigraphic position and is similar in character to that of the mineralization closely associated with the Cardiac Creek deposit.
About the North Lead Anomaly: This large lead-in soil anomaly was defined through close-spaced soil sampling by Inmet and later tested by limited drilling in 1996. It is located some 2.3 km northwest of the nearest drill hole to penetrate the Cardiac Creek deposit. In 1996 Inmet intersected high grade zinc and lead mineralization in hole A-96-24 (11.60% zinc and 9.05% lead over an interval of 0.80 metre) within pyritic sulphide mineralization, hosted by Gunsteel Formation shale. Close examination of drill core revealed mineralized debris flow fragments and matrix associated with quartz-carbonate alteration, and widespread high lead/zinc ratios in overlying soils samples, suggesting the presence of a hydrothermal feeder zone/vent complex with possible Cardiac Creek styles of high grade mineralization at the transition between the vent complex and the laterally extensive bedded ore facies.
Subsequent follow-up drilling by Canada Zinc in 208, 2010 and 2011 has attempted to expand the zone with initial success in 2008, with zinc and lead values, which increase up-dip, are locally as high as 9.82% and 0.17%, respectively). Drilling in 2010 tested the up and down-dip as well as the strike extent of the mineralization and alteration intersected in the previous drilling. While no additional alteration or vent-proximal features were intersected, thick, 125 metres intervals of laminar to bedded pyrite mineralization interbedded with Gunsteel Formation shale was encountered down-dip and along strike to the northwest in drill holes A-10-68 and A-10-76. This mineralization was highly anomalous with zinc values ranging from <1000 ppm to greater than 2%. A total of 7 holes have tested the zone.
The North Lead Anomaly remains a high priority target for future drilling programs. The Company has initiated a detailed review of all drill holes in the North Lead Anomaly and plans to target a new series of drill holes to follow-up on significant mineralized intervals intersected in the 2013 drill program.
The NW Extension target is situated between the Cardiac Creek deposit and the North Lead Anomaly. Nine drill holes were completed on this target in 2010 and 2011 totaling 3,255.72 metres. The 2010 program tested for Cardiac Creek style mineralization at the 1000 metre elevation where the bulk of the high grade mineralization occurs at the deposit. Proximal Facies mineralization was intersected in A-10-69 over 14.87 metres and returned highly anomalous zinc values, consistently in excess of 2,000 ppm and reaching 1.90%. In addition, a thin lens of massive sulphide mineralization was intersected in A-10-72 within the underlying Paul River Formation. This 1.17 metre interval returned 2.69% Zn, 0.60% Ni and 4.36 g/t Ag and contained highly anomalous values across a diverse suite of elements, including: molybdenum, copper, lead, cobalt, arsenic, uranium, cadmium, antimony, bismuth, vanadium, phosphorus, mercury, thallium, selenium, rhenium, gold and palladium. This mineralization is of similar character to the Nick Deposit in the Yukon.
Follow-up drilling in 2011 returned intervals of proximal facies mineralization highly anomalous in zinc with values consistently in excess of 1,000 ppm. A thin 1.6 metre massive sulphide lens underlying the Proximal Facies mineralization was intersected in A-11-88, and returned 6.99% Zn, 0.25% Pb and 2.35 g/t Ag. The NW Extension mineralization remains open along strike and remains a high priority target for follow-up drilling. A total of 5 widely spaced holes have tested the zone.
FACIES TRANSITION ACROSS THE NW EXTENSION AND NORTH LEAD ANOMALY PROPERTY TARGETS.
NOTE THE THICKENING OF THE PAUL RIVER FORMATION (BLUE GREY) TOWARDS THE NORTHWEST AND AT DEPTH
Further delineation and exploration drilling at the Cardiac Creek deposit is being considered using underground drilling stations located in the footwall of the deposit on the 950m elevation. All permitting and engineering designs are complete and in hand in order to commence the underground drill program.
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AIRBORNE GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
In August 2012, Geotech Ltd. of Aurora Ontario completed a large-scale, 1,577 line kilometre airborne Vertical Time Domain EM (VTEM) geophysical survey over the Akie, Pie and Mt. Alcock properties. The survey had a nominal line spacing of 200 metres but was tightened to 100 metre spacing over key areas of interest such as the Cardiac Creek deposit. The primary goal of the survey was to obtain lithological and structural information both near surface and at depth across the three properties, as well as define a geophysical response directly from the Cardiac Creek deposit and other known occurrences of mineralisation.
In late 2012, the Company engaged Condor Consulting Inc. of Littleton, Colorado, recognized as experts in the field of airborne electromagnetics, to conduct a comprehensive processing, analysis and interpretation of the EM and magnetic data from the VTEM survey.
Condor completed a number of processing steps to evaluate the data, including layered-earth inversion, time constant and depth imaging. Interpretative results generated from the VTEM data indicate an excellent correlation between the known geological and structural data and the EM conductivity response generated from the survey. The Devonian Gunsteel Formation black shale, known host to the mineralized occurrences in the belt, is easily identified as a conductive trend and can be traced across the Akie and Pie properties. Additionally, the western thrust panel of rocks, which have been tentatively assigned to the Gunsteel Formation and which host the GPS barite showing, have a similar conductive trend and is traceable across the two properties. Other key lithological units such as the Kechika Group siltstone and limestone of the Kwadacha Reef are also discernible by variation in conductivity and resistivity.
The result of this detailed analysis has shown that areas of known mineralization such as Cardiac Creek and Mt. Alcock are located along conductive trends and exhibit elevated conductivity and depressed magnetic signatures. Three profiles across the Cardiac Creek deposit show a strong conductor ranging from the surface to about 300 m depth which is about the depth limit that the VTEM survey data can be resolved with confidence.
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Despite the strong conductor seen at Cardiac Creek, it is not unique and is only a small portion of a larger conductive lineation seen through the VTEM survey block. Plan view images indicate the conductivity along the Cardiac Creek deposit is slightly lower than along the same conductor just north and south of the deposit.
The decreased magnetic signature observed around the Cardiac Creek deposit is possibly due to magnetite destruction caused by hydrothermal fluids proximal to a source vent. Condor believes that the magnetic lows coincident with elevated conductivity are a significant geophysical signature that may accompany proximal mineralization and can be used as an exploration vector toward finding new zones.
The detailed analysis also generated a series of 25 Target Zones (TZ) on all three properties. The target zones are groupings of conductors (either discrete conductor picks or wide features from depth imaging) that are prioritized based on the degree of correlation of the observed response with the defined target model. The target zones have been referenced against the known geological, structural and drill data.
Several target zones are located along strike of known mineralization, including northwest and southeast of the Cardiac Creek deposit. The largest and strongest target zone identified in the survey is east of Cardiac Creek on an eastern panel of Gunsteel Formation that has seen only limited historical soil sampling with reconnaissance line spacing. TZ-17 is a long conductor, possibly positioned along a fold axis, which appears to be dipping east and is associated with an increased resistivity signature similar to that of Cardiac Creek.
Another target zone, east of Cardiac Creek, is coincident with a very large and strong historical zinc-in-soil anomaly (South Zinc Anomaly) that remains largely untested by systematic exploration. Additional targets are present on the eastern side of Silver Creek, located opposite to the Cardiac Creek deposit, and within the prospective Gunsteel Formation. The eastern side of Silver Creek has seen only limited exploration including soil sampling that defined the South Zinc anomaly in 1996. This region was also highlighted in the 2012 hydrogeochemistry sampling program and will continue to be assessed for the upcoming 2013 exploration program.
Several target zones are located in the vicinity of the GPS Showing where a single drill hole was attempted in 2011 to test surface mineralization at depth, but failed to reach the target depth due to poor near-surface ground conditions. This location remains a high priority drill target and will be retested from a new location. Several targets were also identified on the Pie property, most notably on the West Pie target area within the interpreted Gunsteel Formation shale. These targets will be assessed in the upcoming field season.
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The results also defined the western panel of Gunsteel Formation shale and associated rocks on the Mt. Alcock property and suggest an increased level of structural complexity compared to the existing mapping. A prominent EM lineation is present along strike to the southeast of the Main Barite showing. Historical drilling on the Main Barite showing intersected 8.8 metres grading 9.3 % combined Zn+Pb and 1.2 opt Ag in drill hole 89-3 and 10.5 metres grading 6.8 % combined Zn+Pb and 0.7 opt Ag in drill hole 89-9(4). This EM lineation is situated outside of any historical surface work and remains untested and is a high priority target for follow-up work.
Targets were identified on the Mt. Alcock property located northwest of the Main Zone in rocks interpreted to be Road River Group. This interpretation will be reassessed due to the similar EM conductivity pattern known from the Gunsteel Formation. These targets will be followed up in the field to determine the host lithologies and the possibility of a potential thrust repeat of the Gunsteel Formation shale.
Based on these results the Company has plans to expand the 2012 VTEM coverage to include both the Yuen and Cirque East properties, and the northern half of its claim holdings located northwest of Mt. Alcock. A VTEM survey utilized in conjunction with the ongoing digital compilation of exploration data on the northern properties is expected to yield numerous, and possibly drill ready, high priority targets.
(4) “Murrell, M., and Roberts, W. 1990 Summary Report 1989 Exploration Program on the Mt. Alcock Property in the Kwadacha Recreational Area, Northern British Columbia for Triumph Resources Ltd., British Columbia Geological Branch Assessment Report 19829.
Following up on the results of the 2011 baseline hydrogeochemistry, a total of 121 water samples were collected from primary and secondary drainages on the Akie, Pie, Yuen, and Mt. Alcock properties. Based on the initial field observations of turbidity, several areas returned highly anomalous levels of sulphate. These include the northern area of Central Pie, West Pie and Mt. Alcock. An additional sample was taken downstream of the GPS showing confirming its anomalous nature. Interestingly, certain drainages underlain by rocks of the Road River Group, generally thought to be non-prospective, returned anomalous values on the Pie, Mt. Alcock and Yuen properties. These areas will need to be investigated further in order to determine a possible source. The field observations are at this point preliminary results and will be confirmed by the analytical results at a future date, upon which final interpretations will be made. Based on the final interpretation, future sampling will focus on tertiary drainages in order to pinpoint the source of the sulphate anomalies and the presence of possible SEDEX style mineralization.
Ken MacDonald P.Geo., Vice President of Exploration, is the designated Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and is responsible for the technical information contained herein.
Robert Sim, P.Geo., is an independent consultant and served as the Qualified Person responsible for the preparation of the 2012 NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Akie Project and is responsible for the 2008 and 2012 mineral resource estimates for the Cardiac Creek deposit, situated on the company’s 100% owned Akie property.