Amarc Resources (TSXV:AHR) has reported all assay findings from its groundbreaking Phase 1 core drilling program. The program took place at the DUKE porphyry Cu-Au district, located in central British Columbia, and is fully owned by the company.
Between the early days of December 2022 and mid-March 2023, Amarc successfully executed 24 core drill holes, summing up to an impressive 11,086 metres, within a meticulously planned 80-drill-day schedule. This extensive operation was carried out using two high-precision drill rigs dedicated to clarifying the geological nuances of the DUKE Cu-Mo-Ag-Au Deposit. Simultaneously, a third rig was put into action to investigate the overburden-rich, and strong 4.7 km2 Induced Polarization anomaly wrapping the DUKE Deposit. The anomaly suggests the presence of a comprehensive mineralized system.
An early snow melt in mid-May made way for teams to return on-site. Amarc has kept the momentum going with a recently concluded District-wide airborne magnetics survey. Concurrently, a multitude of ground geological, geophysics, and geochemical surveys are in progress with an expert team of over 35 technical and logistics crew members active on-site. These surveys will scrutinize 16 prioritized porphyry Cu-Au targets scattered across the DUKE District in preparation for the planned winter 2023-2024 drill testing.
As part of the 2023 agenda, Amarc has dedicated $10 million in exploration expenditures at the DUKE District. This exploration cost is covered in full under the Mineral Property Earn-in Agreement with Boliden Mineral Canada Ltd., also referred to as Boliden, as per the details released in the Amarc news release dated November 22, 2022. Amarc is maintaining full control over the project’s operation.
The Impact of DUKE Deposit Drilling Program
In the recently concluded Phase 1 drilling program, of the 24 holes drilled, 16 were widely-dispersed drill holes amassing 7,552 metres. These were completed to contribute to the understanding and delimitation of the DUKE Deposit. The explorative endeavours have not only amplified the extent of the DUKE Deposit porphyry Cu-Mo-Ag-Au system but have also bolstered Amarc’s grasp on the factors influencing mineralization within the DUKE District. The company has successfully crafted an exploration template to effectively sift and promote the additional 16 priority exploration targets within the expansive 678 km2 DUKE District tenure. This swift headway in understanding the mineralization control at the DUKE Deposit allows for an increased likelihood of success in the upcoming regional target areas.
In the DUKE Deposit, drill holes were placed on an approximate 200-metre grid, a strategic step-out from Amarc’s prior drilling. This effort validated that the DUKE Deposit extends to a depth of a minimum 600 metres and widened the deposit footprint laterally to over 650 metres north-south and 800 metres east-west. Additionally, detailed geological interpretation and modelling suggest a solid potential for further lateral expansion of the deposit, specifically to the east. One key characteristic of the porphyry Cu-Mo-Ag-Au mineralization in these extensive holes is the existence of zones of higher-grade mineralization enclosed within broader envelopes of comparatively average grade. Notably, with further drilling, significant potential arises for defining internal higher-grade zones.
The DUKE Deposit comprises a sequence of Babine porphyry intrusions positioned within volcanic and sedimentary rocks. These junction zones are marked by heightened Cu-Mo grades, often spanning tens of metres in width, within both the intrusions and the neighbouring volcanic and sedimentary rocks. This significant Cu-Mo mineralization extension from the intrusions into the surrounding volcanic and sedimentary rocks extensively augments the DUKE Deposit volume potential.
Testing of the Broad Mineralized System Encasing the DUKE Deposit
Aside from the work at the DUKE Deposit, Amarc also successfully completed eight Phase 1 core holes, aggregating 3,534 metres, within the robust mineralized system demarcated by a 4.7 km2 IP chargeability anomaly. These distributed drill holes (300 to 500 metres apart) scrutinized a range of geophysical and geological targets. Notably, drill hole DK23012, situated 500 metres northwest of the DUKE Deposit, returned an important 30-metre intercept of 0.47% CuEQ, providing an essential target for subsequent drilling. Amarc’s ongoing data interpretation and modelling efforts are oriented towards vectoring outward from the DUKE Deposit to this target, and other zones of mineralization nestled within the broader mineralized system.
Exploration Program in the DUKE District
Amarc has just wrapped up an expansive 5,759 line-kilometre, helicopter-assisted high-resolution aeromagnetic survey, covering an area surpassing 500 km2 over the DUKE District. The results from this survey, which expand on previous Amarc and historical aeromagnetic coverage, are being integrated into the comprehensive District-wide exploration program. The mission of this program is to clearly define multiple porphyry Cu-Au deposit drill targets.
A broad surface exploration program has also been initiated, complete with a logistics team, and a trio each of geological mapping, geophysical and geochemical sampling crews, already working on-site. The aim of these surveys is to establish well-defined drill targets for the winter 2023-2024 drilling. Initially, 16 prospective deposit target areas have been chosen based on a comprehensive compilation of government and historical data encompassing the entire District. The compilation underscores the surprisingly low exploration maturity of the productive Babine porphyry Cu-Au region and offers a new interpretation of its geological, geochemical and geophysical characteristics. Furthermore, Amarc’s 2022-2023 drilling at the DUKE Deposit has yielded valuable insights about porphyry deposit exploration footprints in the region.
Highlights from the results are as follows:
- 183 m of 0.43% CuEQ* (0.31% Cu, 0.019% Mo, 0.07 g/t Au,1.5 g/t Ag) in hole DK22009**
- 217 m of 0.45% CuEQ (0.33% Cu, 0.018% Mo, 0.08 g/t Au, 1.5 g/t Ag) in hole DK22010**
- 30 m of 0.47% CuEQ (0.36 % Cu, 0.015% Mo, 0.06 g/t Au, 3.2 g/t Ag) in hole DK23012
- 30 m of 0.43% CuEQ (0.31% Cu, 0.014% Mo, 0.09 g/t Au, 1.6 g/t Ag), and
33 m of 0.44% CuEQ (0.20% Cu, 0.053% Mo, 0.06 g/t Au, 1.3 g/t Ag) in hole DK23015
- 82 m of 0.41% CuEQ (0.30% Cu, 0.017% Mo, 0.06 g/t Au, 1.1 g/t Ag) in hole DK23022
- 36 m of 0.47% CuEQ (0.34% Cu, 0.024% Mo, 0.06 g/t Au, 1.5 g/t Ag) in hole DK23024
- 33 m of 0.40% CuEQ (0.30% Cu, 0.017% Mo, 0.05 g/t Au, 1.5 g/t Ag) in hole DK23026
* Copper equivalent (CuEQ) calculations use metal prices of: Cu US$4.00/lb, Mo US$15.00/lb, Au US$1,800.00/oz and Ag US$24.00/oz and conceptual recoveries of: Cu 85%, Mo 82%, Au 72% and 67% Ag.
** Holes DK22009 and DK22010 were previously reported in Amarc releases dated January 26, 2023 and February 15, 2023, respectively