VANCOUVER — Tapping into the IntelligenceMine database of our sister company Infomine, The Northern Miner has compiled the five projects recording the top copper intersections (grade multiplied by width) globally in, or about, December 2016, as reported publicly.
1. Base metal producer Nevsun Resources (TSX: NSU; NYSE-MKT: NSU) acquired the high-grade Timok copper discovery in Serbia via a US$440 million deal for prospect generator Reservoir Minerals in late June. The company owns 100% of the Cukaru Peki Upper Zone, while the Lower Zone is a joint venture with Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX). The companies subsequently announced a drill program in excess of 110,000 metres, and early results reaffirm that the project is currently the most promising copper discovery in the world.
Nevsun announced drill results from the high-sulphidation epithermal Upper Zone on Dec. 7, which were highlighted by a 100-metre (from 500 metres) intercept grading 9.69% copper (or 972 metres × % copper per tonne), plus 8.76 grams gold per tonne, in diamond drill hole TC160117. The assay includes a higher-grade section of 33 metres averaging 20.04% copper and 14.34 grams gold.
Furthermore, Freeport and Nevsun announced results from the porphyry-type Lower Zone on Nov. 22, which cut 686 metres (from 1,104 metres) of 0.89% copper (or 611 metres x % copper per tonne), plus 0.16 gram gold, in drill hole TC150073 /TC160073B.
2. U.K.-based Savannah Resources (LON: SAV) took second place with a diamond drill intercept from its Mahab 4 prospect in the Block 5 project in Oman on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. On Nov. 16, the company reported results from a resource delineation program that include 67.4 metres (from 19 metres) grading 4.64% copper (or 313 metres x % copper per tonne), plus 1.13% zinc, 0.3 gram gold and 15 grams silver, in hole 16B5DD009.
Block 5 currently hosts indicated and inferred resources, under Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) standards, of 1.7 million tonnnes grading 2.2% copper, including a high-grade zone of 500,000 tonnes at 4.5% copper, which was defined at the Mahab 4 target.
3. AuRico Metals (TSX: AMI; US-OTC: ARCTF) is focused on revitalizing the past-producing Kemess South processing plant and infrastructure, 430 km northwest of Prince George, British Columbia. The company takes third place with results from its Kemess East underground target released on Nov. 8, which were highlighted by 628 metres (from 853 metres) grading 0.41% copper (or 257 metres x % copper per tonne), plus 0.53 gram gold, in hole KH-16-13.
Kemess East sits roughly 6.5 km due north of the historic Kemess South open-pit site. AuRico drilled around 18,500 metres at the target last year that were “focused exclusively on step out and in-fill drilling.”
4. Guernsey Islands-based Mariana Resources (TSXV: MRA; LON-AIM: MARL) comes in fourth with strong results at its Hot Maden gold-copper project in northeastern Turkey’s Artvin province. Mariana released the results from its advanced exploration program on Oct. 26, wherein diamond drill hole 71 cut 69.6 metres (from 210 metres) grading 2.68% copper (or 187 metres x % copper per tonne), plus 62.7 grams gold.
The company plans build its new results into a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) this year, and intends to drill another 20,000 metres in 2017.
WHITE CLIFF MINERALS
5. Australian-based White Cliff Minerals (ASX: WCN) rounds out the top five with reverse-circulation (RC) drill results from its Aucu gold-copper project in the Kyrgyz Republic, Central Asia. On Nov. 22 the company reported that hole ERC16-35 intersected “remarkable mineralisation” both within the quartz reef and in the surrounding alteration halo at the Quartz Zone, which were headlined by 34 metres (from 71 metres) grading 0.91% copper (or 170 metres x % copper per tonne), and included a higher-grade subsection of 18 metres averaging 1.85% copper.
Aucu is hosted in sandstones, conglomerates and minor granodiorites that flank a series of felsic-porphyry intrusions considered to be responsible for both epithermal gold mineralisation and copper-porphyry mineralisation.