Drills turn at three Abitibi base metal projects

Overshadowed by gold projects since the 1980s, base metal exploration in Eastern Canada’s Abitibi belt has gained a higher profile over the past two years as results have filtered out from new projects.

One project that has already attracted attention is Sheraton, where Cross Lake Minerals (CRN-V) is outlining mineralized zones in a felsic volcanic sequence east of Night Hawk Lake. Cross Lake is bringing a drill back to the Ontario property for a 2,000-metre program that will test down-plunge from three previous holes, all of which had intersected zinc-silver mineralization.

Cross Lake has been interpreting the 73 holes drilled so far on the project, in tandem with surface and down-hole geophysical surveys and bedrock geochemistry, and the company believes several results point to potential for more mineralization at depth. The volcanic sequence dips steeply to the south and appears to become thicker with increasing depth. As well, pulse-electromagnetic anomalies suggest that deeper conductors are larger, and geochemical alteration in cores from deeper holes appears to be more intense.

The company is also compiling exploration data from the adjacent Night Hawk Lake property, in which Golden Knight Resources (GKR-T) holds a 60% interest, with Cross Lake holding 16%, East West Resource (EWR-V), 16%, and Canadian Golden Dragon Resources (CGG-V), 8%. The partners have been drilling three targets on the Road zone, 3 km southwest of the Cross Lake zone, but have yet to release results.

Meanwhile, Opawica Exploration (opw-t) has taken on a series of exploration commitments to earn interests in properties held by Falconbridge (fl-t) in the Timmins area. Opawica can earn a 40% interest in Falconbridge’s Chance and Falco No. 1 properties, about 1 km west of the Kidd Creek copper-zinc mine, by paying Falco $900,000 in cash and advances on exploration work.

The two properties, along with Falco’s No. 2 property and two blocks already held by Opawica, make up a 3-sq.-km land package in Kidd Twp. Falco has budgeted $600,000 for drilling on the five properties.

As part of the agreement, Opawica has returned a 10% interest on the Chance property and dealt Falco an option to earn a 60% interest in its two properties: Whitestar No. 1 and No. 2. Opawica gets an option to spend $1 million on underground development and exploration on Falco No. 2, which will earn it a 40% interest in mineral rights on the property below a depth of 1,000 metres.

Nine other Opawica properties in Kidd and Carnegie twps. are covered by another part of the agreement, which gives Falco the right to earn a 70% interest in the properties by spending $200,000 on exploration and by picking up the tab for $100,000 in payments Opawica will owe property vendors over the next two years. There are three electromagnetic conductors on the properties, and Falco plans to test at least one of them.

Millstream Mines (mlsm-c) is bringing a bigger drill on to its Potter Mine property in Munro Twp., about 20 km northeast of Matheson, to drill four 1,300-metre holes downdip from earlier drill intersections that encountered copper-zinc mineralization. Three holes drilled in 1998 cut multiple zones of massive sulphides, grading 1.5-7.8% copper and 0.3-4.8% zinc, over core lengths of 3-27 metres.


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