Probe Mines (PRB-V) has received the first resource estimate for its 100%-owned Black Creek chromite deposit, which lies between the Black Thor deposit of Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF-N) and the Big Daddy deposit, owned by a joint venture involving Cliffs, Spider Resources (SPQ-V) and KWG Resources (KWG-V).
The resource estimate for Black Creek outlines a “massive chromite zone” with measured and indicated resources of 5.71 million tonnes averaging 40% chromium oxide and an additional inferred resource of 2.73 million tonnes averaging 40.99% chromium oxide.
A cut-off grade of 30% chromium oxide was used and was based on an analysis of chromite operations in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Finland. The absence of infrastructure in the McFauld’s Lake area requires an above-average grade deposit for economic extraction, the company explains.
The estimate was based on 15 diamond drill holes testing the chromite horizon along a strike length of about 200 metres and to a depth of about 175 metres. Spacing was roughly 50 metres by 50 metres.
The cumulative thickness of the mineralized zone averages about 65 metres, the company reports. The mineralization is characterized by three massive chromite layers with subordinate amounts of banded, semi-massive and disseminated chromite found between and below the layers.
Micon International is recommending more drilling to define the full lateral limits of the deposit and the continuity of chromite horizons down dip.
Probe Mines has organized crews to begin drilling six holes to test the lateral continuity of the deposit along an additional 100 metres to 150 metres of strike length and the down-dip continuity to about 400 metres depth, more than twice the depth of the current resource.
David Palmer, Probe’s president, noted that Black Creek “is not only strategically located between the Black Thor and Big Daddy deposits, but is a quality, high-grade deposit with strong economic potential.”
In a prepared statement he continued: “We have only tested the zone down to a 175-metre vertical depth and this next program, if successful, will more than double this to 400 metres as well as extending the chromite along strike.”
On its website, Probe Mines’ management point out that the Black Creek deposit is believed to represent the southwest extension of the Black Thor horizon. “Its strategic importance lies not only in the thick, high-grade mineralization, but also in its location and morphology.”
The deposit is also close to bedrock, the company says, which is important because “it provides low stripping ratios for mining and, perhaps more importantly, a stable base for infrastructure and operations.”
“The McFauld’s area is characterized by muskeg and it is rare to find stable footings,” it explains. “The morphology of the deposit is also important as it appears, from drilling, to represent a consistent lens of mineralization uninterrupted by faulting or deformation.”
Probe Mines owns 875 claims in the McFaulds Lake area covering about 14,000 hectares, including Black Creek.
In Toronto Probe Mines is trading at about 66¢ per share and has traded between 26¢ and 76¢ per share over the last 52 weeks.