Kenorland Minerals (TSXV: KLD) has unveiled its ambitious 2023 exploration program and budget for the Tanacross Project, which is situated in eastern Alaska and operates under an earn-in agreement with Antofagasta Minerals S.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Antofagasta PLC (LSE: ANTO).
This summer, Kenorland will be conducting an extensive drill program, which will involve up to 4,500 meters of diamond drilling. The primary target areas for this operation include East Taurus, West Taurus, and South Taurus. The budget for the drill program is set at around US$3.8 million, and the drilling activities will take place from June to August.
The upcoming drill program is preceded by surface work carried out last summer, which encompassed the collection of 800 infill soil samples, detailed IP and MT surveys along the West Taurus-McCord Creek-East Taurus trend, and ELF (EM) and ground gravity surveys focusing on the South Taurus anomaly.
As part of the agreement, Antofagasta has the opportunity to acquire a 70% interest in Tanacross by making cash payments totaling US$1,000,000 and a success payment of US$4,000,000 upon the exercise of the option. Additionally, they must commit to spending US$30,000,000 on exploration over an eight-year period, with a firm pledge of US$1,000,000 in the first year. A preliminary economic assessment supported by a technical report, as defined in NI 43-101, must also be delivered. Throughout the option period, Antofagasta will finance all exploration efforts, while Kenorland will act as the initial operator.
Once Antofagasta acquires its 70% interest, a 30:70 joint venture between Kenorland and Antofagasta will be formed. If either party’s interest drops below 10%, their share will be converted to a 2% NSR. The other party can then purchase one quarter of this interest for US$2,000,000.
Located 70 kilometers northeast of Tok, along the Alaska Highway, the Tanacross Project spans 45,000 hectares of state-owned land. Hosting a group of late Cretaceous (68-73Ma) porphyry copper (+/- gold, molybdenum) occurrences, the project features East Taurus, West Taurus, and Bluff. The age of mineralization in the project is akin to the massive Casino porphyry copper system (Western Copper and Gold Corp.), which is situated 140 kilometers southeast in Yukon Territory, Canada, and the Tetlin Au Skarn system (Contango Ore Inc.), 70 kilometers southwest of the Tanacross Project.
Since the discovery of East Taurus in 1971 by Duval Corporation, the Tanacross Project has experienced a total of 17,076 meters of drilling across over 67 drill holes. Nine different companies have conducted multiple drill campaigns, with the latest drill program in 2019 under option to Freeport-McMoRan. The project’s most impressive historical results occurred at East Taurus, where drill hole 08DDH040 intersected 232.56 meters at 0.31% Cu, 0.25 g/t Au, and 0.036% Mo.