VVC Exploration (VVC-V) has intersected significant antimony mineralization while firming up the resource at its Beaverbrook antimony project, 60 km southwest of Gander, Nfld.
Assay results for 35 holes have been released; others are still pending from the 13,000-metre program. Highlighting drilling in the upper main zone is an intersection grading 9.12% antimony over a true width of 10.5 metres at a depth of about 60 metres. The lower main zone drilling was highlighted by an intersection grading 7.3% antimony over a true width of 5.5 metres near the western edge of the zone at a depth of about 210 metres.
Drill holes were spaced to fill in areas that required better definition, some of which were previously defined at spacings of about 50 metres.Twenty-one of the holes intersected antimony grades above 4.45%. This was the average grade used as the basis to define the deposit in a scoping study prepared late last year.
Drilling was focused on the lower main zone, the main zone, the hangingwall zone, and the footwall zones. The lower main zone may be the down-faulted extension of the main zone. Several veins, oblique to the main zone, in the hangingwall and footwall areas were found to contain significant mineralization.
Antimony mineralization (stibnite) is related to an east-northeast-trending fault that dips 80 to the south.
The measured resource of the Beaverbrook deposit is about 1.5 million tonnes grading 4.58% antimony. There is also an indicated resource of 487,600 tonnes grading 3.45% antimony. To date, 23,000 tonnes at 5% antimony have been mined from this resource.
A revised resource estimate incorporating the new data will be calculated by Watts Griffis & McOuat.
The Beaver Brook mine produced antimony in 1998 and 1999, then closed when prices hit 20-year lows. Today, however, antimony prices are more than double what they were at the time of the closure.
A 25-year mining lease was issued in 1996. The mine has a 515-metre-long production ramp, more than 300 metres of drifts, and a 450-ton-per-day mill. The mill produced an antimony concentrate with a grade of 65%.
In September 2003, VVC entered into an agreement to buy the Beaver Brook mine from Beaverbrook Resources.