Ecstall Mining (EAM-V) has resolved its differences with partner Inmet Mining (IMN-T) concerning the Gataga joint venture in north-central British Columbia by negotiating an option to increase its interest.
In return for spending just under $1.2 million on exploration by Dec. 31, 1997, Ecstall will boost its stake in the project to 50.1% from the current 40%. It will also assume operatorship.
The property hosts a sedimentary-exhalative massive sulphide deposit, defined by 12 holes over a strike length of 1,400 metres and a dip length of 600 metres, with a true thickness averaging 20 metres.
The deposit contains a geologically inferred resource of 78 million tonnes grading 5% combined lead and zinc. Four drillholes indicate a deeper, higher-grade resource of 12 million tonnes grading 8.5% zinc, 1.5% lead and 17.1 grams silver per tonne.
Hole 95-19, begun last year, was completed to 1,192 metres, but results suggest the zone faults out.
Meanwhile, hole 96-21 was collared on the footwall side of the massive sulphide horizon and designed to intersect the zone some 400 metres downdip of hole 95-18, which intersected 18.6 metres grading 5.1% zinc and 0.9% lead (including 6.3 metres grading 9.2% zinc and 1.4% lead).
The hole was suspended at a depth of 601 metres after it deviated away from the target area back toward hole 19.
The deep drilling rig moved farther south and began drilling hole 96-28, which was designed to test a 400-metre downdip extension of the deposit between holes 95-16 and 95-18. The hole was subsequently abandoned at a depth of 200 metres as a result of excessive flattening.
Hole 96-29 was collared from the same site as hole 28 but at a steeper angle.
It was completed to a depth of 1,262 metres, entering into the targeted Gunsteel shale formation through a faulted contact. However, no significant mineralization was encountered, though 25 metres of 10-12% laminar bedded pyrite was intersected near the bottom of the hole.
Inmet terminated the 1996 program after completing hole 29.