VANCOUVER — Vancouver-based explorer Brixton Metals (BBB-V) cannot help but be excited by the silver-equivalent grades it has been cutting at its Thorn pollymetallic project 130km southwest of Atlin in northwestern British Columbia. The company followed up the discovery of the Oban breccia zone in late 2011 with a 26-hole drill program in 2012 that focused 3,000 metres on defining high-grade silver equivalent mineralization at Oban.
Brixton is in the process of fulfilling an earn-in requirement with Kiska Metals (KSK-V) that could see the company acquire a 65% interest in the Thorn land package. Under terms of the agreement, Brixton must spend $5 million in exploration expenditures to earn its 51%. At that point, Kiska retains the option to joint-venture the project; otherwise, Brixton can bump its stake to 65% by spending an additional $10 million in exploration. According to Chairman and CEO Gary Thompson, Brixton is roughly $900,000 away from earning 51% in Thorn.
“When we first went in there last year we had a whole list of targets, I mean it is a really big package. We started whittling those down and we were quite excited by the Talisker zone because of some broad intervals at fairly high grades in the central part of what we think is a sub-porphyry alteration zone,” Thompson outlines during an interview. “Basically as it goes into the mountain, it goes underneath this unconformity, so we wanted to test that in a few spots. On top of that, we used that first drill campaign to confirm a lot of the historic drilling done on the site and work at extending that strike length.”
Brixton's inaugural drill campaign culminated with hole 11-60, which hit the Oban zone from surface and cut 95 metres grading 1.7 grams gold per tonne, 628 grams silver per tonne, 2.4% zinc, and 3.31% lead. Thompson explains that Oban’s high grades led to a 13-hole program at the target at depths ranging from 50 metres to 100 metres in early 2012.
Brixton finished up its first phase of drilling in mid-July, which ended up totalling 1,151 metres. The company reported that all 13 core holes encountered semi-massive sulphides and sulphosalts as breccia-matrix infill mixed between fragments of disseminated and veinlet to crackle-breccias style mineralization.
Brixton encountered strong grades from near surface, with highlights from its first phase including: 13 metres grading 1.72 grams gold, 513 grams silver, 1.54% zinc, and 4.24% lead in hole 12-65; and 53 metres averaging 1.57 grams gold, 127 grams silver, and 1.09% lead in hole 12-72.
In early October, Brixton started up a second, 1,700-metre program at Oban. The company aimed at upgrading its geological model and testing the mineralization to depths of up to 300 metres.
Oban continued to yield promising intercepts during Brixton's second drill phase, including two of the company's widest sections to date. Assays from the program were released in November and highlights include: 123 metres grading 1.19 grams gold, 191 grams silver, 3.25% zinc, and 1.74% lead from 44 metres depth in hole 12-84; and 150 metres averaging 1.37 grams gold, 165 grams silver, 1.25% zinc, and 0.92% lead from 24 metres depth in hole 12-83.
“The bulk of the exploration dollars next year will likely continue to focus on expanding Oban. Our goal is to get a maiden resource there, and we're targeting around one-hundred million ounces of silver equivalent,” explains Thompson, pointing out that the 2012 intercepts have led Brixton to estimate that the Oban zone has a thickness of up to 140 metres and runs to depths in excess of 325 metres.
“We've had a fairly successfully return on our exploration dollars there, so we think we can get to that initial resource quite quickly and at relatively low costs. Our plan is to complete some additional geophysics work first to help vector our deeper drilling. We’ll also continue to march down the structure,” he adds.
Brixton is continuing scout work on the remainder of the Thorn land package. Thompson mentions the Amarillo Creek area, which has returned the highest-grade surface material on the property, but has yet to see any systematic exploration. During the later portion of the field season, the company focused on soil sampling in the upper Amarillo Creek drainage area.
The company has 63 million shares outstanding and was trading at 17¢ at time of writing, with an $10.7 million market capitalization. According to Thompson, Brixton had roughly $1 million in cash to start December and is aiming to get back into the field at Thorn by early April.
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