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 December 2016, as reported publicly.
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 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 have announced a drill program in excess of 110,000 metres, and early results reaffirm that the project is among the most promising copper-gold discoveries in the world.
Nevsun announced drill results from the high-sulphidation epithermal Upper Zone on Dec. 7, which were highlighted by a 100-metre intercept (from 500 metres) grading 9.7% copper (or 972 metres × % copper per tonne), plus 8.76 grams gold per tonne, in diamond drill hole 160117. The assay included a higher-grade section of 33 metres averaging 20% copper and 14.34 grams gold.
Freeport and Nevsun announced results from the porphyry-type Lower Zone on Nov. 22, with an intersection of 686 metres (from 1,104 metres) of 0.9% copper (or 611 metres × % copper per tonne), plus 0.16 gram gold, in hole 150073/160073B.
2. U.K.-based Savannah Resources (LON: SAV) takes 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. 11 the company reported results from a resource delineation program that included 67.4 metres (from 19 metres) grading 4.6% copper (or 313 metres × % copper per tonne) — plus 1.1% zinc, 0.3 gram gold and 15 grams silver — in hole 16B5DD009.
Block 5 hosts indicated and inferred resources, under the Joint Ore Reserves Committee 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 revitalizing the past-producing Kemess South process 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 0.4% copper (or 257 metres × % copper per tonne), plus 0.53 gram gold, in hole 16-13.
Kemess East sits 6.5 km north of the historic Kemess South open-pit site. AuRico drilled 18,500 metres at the target last year that “focused exclusively on step-out and infill drilling.”
4. Guernsey Islands-based Mariana Resources (TSX: MRY; LON: MARL) comes in fourth after 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 2.7% copper (or 187 metres × % copper per tonne), plus 62.7 grams gold.
The company will incorporate the results into a preliminary economic assessment and drill another 20,000 metres in 2017.
WHITE CLIFF MINERALS
5. Australia’s White Cliff Minerals rounds out the top five with reverse-circulation 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 mineralization,” both within the quartz reef and in the surrounding alteration halo at Aucu’s Quartz zone, which were headlined by 66 metres (from 33 metres) grading 0.9% copper (or 170 metres × % copper per tonne), and included a higher-grade subsection of 18 metres averaging 1.9% copper.
Aucu is hosted in sandstones, conglomerates and minor granodiorites that flank a series of felsic-porphyry intrusions, considered responsible for both epithermal gold mineralization and copper-porphyry mineralization.