Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) October 16, 2013
High marks for high grades.
That’s how investors are ranking results at one of British Columbia’s most promising copper discoveries.
Shares in Gold Reach Resources Ltd. have climbed over recent months on the back of a focused drilling and exploration program aimed at defining and expanding higher grade zones at the company’s 100-per-cent owned Ootsa project, south of Smithers.
Some 105,000 metres have been drilled to date at two separate deposits — the Ox and Seel deposits — within four kms of each other on the sprawling 47,559-hectare property.
And the latest assay results, released Oct. 15, confirm the potential of the property as a source of unusually high-grade mineralization.
The results from one of three holes at East Seel, hole S13-148, included intersects of 44.3 metres of 1.76 percent copper equivalent within a larger interval of 146.3 metres of 0.94 percent copper equivalent.
“This is the best intersection we have ever had at the East Seel zone and it is an excellent way to start off our infill drilling program,” says Dr. Shane Ebert, President of Gold Reach.
Ebert says the “fantastic” results highlight the excellent potential for the East Seel zone to contain very high copper and gold grades, close to surface, in an area with favorable geometry for open pit mining. “This is not a one-hole wonder,” he says.
The next step is to do additional drilling in the area of hole 148 to see whether the zone can be extended and a trend identified.
The Ootsa property has attracted special attention because of its close proximity to the 17,000-ton per day Huckleberry Mine, which has been in production for 17 years.
But it is only in the past two years, since Ebert’s arrival, that the Ootsa project has begun to live up to its promise.
Under his geological guidance, the company has delivered large resource expansions, taking its resource estimate from an inferred 60 million tons to 530 million tons, both at 0.34 per cent copper equivalent.
Ebert’s initial strategy was to find near-surface, high-grade mineralization that that could be mined at minimal cost and quickly repay capital costs. This year was all about infill drilling, to bring approximately 100 million tons into the measured and indicated category, so that a major mining company could join forces with Gold Reach and recoup a $500,000,000 investment in just three years.
Work began with a 20-hole program at the Ox deposit, four kms northwest of the Seel deposit. It was so successful that eventually 90 holes were drilled.
A total of 17,000 metres has now been drilled at Ox, resulting in a new NR 43-101 resource, expected in November, that will have both increased tonnage and better grade.
Ebert describes the infill drilling program at Ox as being “very successful in adding higher grade material to the deposit” and says he is optimistic that similar results can be achieved at East Seel.
Results from the first three holes at East Seel more than justify his optimism. “These new assay results are very, very encouraging for us,” says Ebert. “We may be on to something even better than we expected.”
Past holes at Seel include hole 42, 138m of 1.01 per cent copper equivalent and hole 101, 194m of .71 per cent copper equivalent. For details, go to goldreachresources.com.
A Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Ootsa property is a probability for the second quarter of 2014, but could be delayed to include possible further discoveries of high-grade, near-surface mineralization.
In the face of ongoing difficulties hobbling the entire mineral exploration industry, Gold Reach has ridden out the storm better than most, even while continuing to provide exploration upside for shareholders.
Ebert cites as reasons a strong company treasury, a focused exploration strategy and a committed core group of shareholders.
In April 2013, Ebert told shareholders: “The company’s value is now backstopped by resources containing 2.1 billion pounds of copper, almost 1.9 million ounces of gold, 32 million ounces of silver, and 211 million pounds of molybdenum, all located close to infrastructure adjacent to (Huckleberry) Mine.” The resources figures have since grown considerably, with more than 100 additional holes drilled in 2013.
Chairman Conrad Swanson says: “Gold Reach has a shareholder base of people who believe that this project is going to become a mine.” There are only 34 million shares outstanding, and management holds 30 per cent.
When and how the Ootsa property could go into production is a decision for the future. The neighboring Huckleberry Mine has only seven years’ worth of ore left and, with its existing fully paid up infrastructure, would make a logical partner for Gold Reach.
The strategy at present, based on current limited knowledge, is to mine the Ox deposit first. It sits within a contained basin that would make a natural tailings pond for future operations.
And those future operations could extend into other, so far unexplored, targets on the property. Known deposits comprise only two per cent of the property, so there is room for many more discoveries.
One target area, one km east of Seel, was drilled between 1968 and 1984. Known as the Damascus Silver Vein, historic drill holes have intersected up to 36 ounces of silver per ton over 3.6 metres length, and there is a non-compliant resource of 196,000 tons. It will be re-explored once existing discoveries are drilled off.
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