Casa Minerals (TSXV: CASA) has optioned its Keaper polymetallic project — 15 km northeast of Terrace, B.C., less than 5 km from the company’s flagship Pitman polymetallic project — to a private company that has the right to earn a 60% interest in the property over four years.
To earn its interest, the optionee would spend $4 million on exploration, pay Casa $550,000 and issue Casa 2.5 million shares in yearly stages. Casa would retain a 1.5% net smelter return royalty that the optionee could buy back for $500,000.
Casa president and CEO Farshad Shirvani says the deal allows Casa to drill Keaper without further diluting the company. Keaper has never been drilled before.
The B.C. government granted Casa a drill permit for Keaper in late 2018, and the company plans to drill the property soon, after flying a geophysical survey in the coming months. It looks to spend half a million dollars on exploration at Keaper this year, drilling 10 holes between 200 metres and 300 metres below surface. It says the property’s optionee will fund exploration.
“I’m talking to drillers right now so we could possibly drill it in April or May,” Shirvani says in an interview with The Northern Miner. “It’s contingent on the airborne survey, and then we can finalize the targets.”
Provincial survey geologists found the Keaper prospect in 2008. Casa picked up claims on part of the project that same year. It recently added two more claims, raising its Keaper land holding to 32 square kilometres.
“It started with one sample that graded 1,200 grams silver, plus copper and zinc,” Shirvani says. “We systematically followed that vein, but as we moved away from it, we saw we not only have a vein system, but a potential porphyry system. Right now we have an area that is very prospective for porphyry deposits.”
During its 2018 field program at Keaper, Casa extended the property’s Nelson prospect and discovered its Lucky Crew prospect with rock sampling.
Both areas sit in a 3.2 km northwest- to southeast-striking zone. Rock-chip samples from the program graded as high as: 1,152 grams silver per tonne, 13.9% zinc and 1.19% copper; and 2,232 grams silver, 10.94% zinc and 1.12% copper.
Logging on the property has opened it up to road access. Shirvani says the company can drive right up to all of its drill targets, and the area is less mountainous than other parts of Terrace.
Casa also took more rock samples on its Pitman property in 2018. Since 2008, the company has collected more than 1,000 geochemical samples and 269 rock samples at Pitman.
“We discovered two areas at Pitman in 2018,” Shirvani says. “One is a polymetallic Eskay Creek-type of geology called Dragon Tale. And then on Golden Dragon we’ve got high-grade gold veins parallel to each other.”
In August 2018, the company found the project’s Golden Dragon veining network while sampling near the historic Paddy Mac and Gold Dome gold prospects. A rock-chip sample from a two-foot-wide vein graded 574.42 grams gold, 109 grams silver, 0.1% copper, 1.56% lead and 0.23% zinc. Another sample from a three-foot-wide vein graded 286.6 grams gold, 127 grams silver, 0.2% copper and 2.95% lead.
Later work on the property identified a second zone at Pitman, 1 km south of Golden Dragon. Samples from the company’s new Dragon Tale zone graded as high as 231 grams silver and 6.15% zinc. The company sampled the mineralization in outcrops in a 1.4 km by 700-metre zone.
Casa is awaiting results from an airborne geophysical survey it flew over Pitman in 2018.
Once those are in hand, it intends to start drilling the property.
“The first plan of action is to put 10 holes into Dragon Tale and 10 holes into Golden Dragon,” Shirvani says. “At Dragon Tale we can drive right to the spot where we want to drill. For Golden Dragon, we have to use a helicopter.
“Once we get the results I’m hoping we can continue with it at the end of the year.”
Shares of Casa Minerals are trading at 16¢ with a 52-week range of 12¢ to 24¢. The company has a $4-million market capitalization. It has $750,000 in cash and a $100,000 drill credit.