Macdonald Mines VMS Discovery Leads Exploration Program to Larger Target and Provides Exploration Summary
(Toronto, Ontario) MacDonald Mines Exploration Inc. (TSX VENTURE: BMK) ("BMK") is pleased to provide an exploration summary on its Butler property located just 36 kilometres west of the Big Daddy Chromite deposit (Click here for map). BMK is currently planning a drill program in late September 2012 to advance its’ VMS discovery at Butler 3. BMK believes it has identified zinc-copper mineralization on the Butler property that is economically viable with road access.
- Our understanding of the mineralization at Butler 3 leads us to conclude that we have yet to intersect the core of the VMS system, which BMK’s technical staff interprets to lie immediately to the east of the identified VMS mineralization.
- Drilling will continue east of BMK’s historic work at Butler 3 following the geochemical and geophysical vectors determined from the last drill program.
- The planned toll road following the north-south all-season road corridor to the Black Thor chromite deposit by the Province of Ontario and Cliffs Natural Resources will open up the Ring of Fire for mine development and mineral exploration.
- BMK believes it has identified vanadium and zinc-copper mineralization on the Butler Property that are economically viable with road access.
- Through analysis of exploration datasets by industry experts, BMK believes the Butler property has the potential to host both a world-class VMS deposit, and an economically exploitable nickel deposit.
Strong Indications of Core VMS Mineralization
Review and interpretation of BMK’s last drill program have led to the interpretation of a much larger geophysical target east of the current drilling work. The anomaly exhibits both electomagnetics (EM) and anomalous gravity values. The target also is consistent with our geochemical and structural analysis in the vicinity. This area is the current prime target for a much larger VMS deposit than currently discovered for the following reasons:
- The geophysical signatures are consistent with the mineralization discovered on Butler 3 - with the exception that the footprint is much larger.
- A large density anomaly exists in this area - of greater size and density than drilled historically.
- The magnetic signature is consistent with that observed over the known mineralization at Butler 3.
- EM signature is coincident with the gravity anomaly.
- The geochemical analysis of all the drill core by Dr. James Franklin Ph.D., FRSC, P.Geo., has generated vectors pointing in this direction.
- The nearest drill hole (BL12-Cu11) intersected mineralization and has the geochemical signatures indicative of being close to the core of a VMS body.
About the Butler Property
BMK’s Butler property is potentially a new VMS district, with at least four zinc-copper volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) ‘centres’ of mineralization (Butler 1 through 4). These centres are spaced about 2-4 km apart, a typical distribution for deposits in most productive camps such as Matagami Lake, Sturgeon Lake and Noranda.
Dr. Franklin summarizes the VMS discoveries made to date on the Butler property as follows:
- there is good potential for a world-class VMS deposit here, possibly on the extension of the core of the Zn-Cu rich zone as mapped thus far.
- initial discoveries were of stringer zones formed in the footwall to a much larger system with good potential for additional Cu, Zn and Ag resources.
- recognition that the alteration system continued to the east, gave an impetus for the company to pursue this area more vigorously.
- alteration and down-hole geophysical results pointed to targets that proved to be significant banded, Zn-rich VMS mineralization.
- alteration still continues further to the east, and localized increased copper contents, as well as the presence of other key alteration indicators, along with significant geophysical targets, indicate the potential for discovery a few tens to hundreds of meters to the east.
Infrastructure Planned for Developing Ring of Fire
The Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines states on their website that, “the Ring of Fire is one of the most promising mineral development opportunities in Ontario in almost a century.” This bullish outlook is based upon three significant mineral discoveries:
- 2003 - Spider Resources and KWG Resources discover volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) at McFaulds Lake; characterized by very high-grade intersections of VMS mineralization (McF-04-57 intersected 18.8 meters of 8.02% Copper (Cu), Mc-03-18 averaged 4.83% Zinc (Zn) over 25.75 metres) and at depths over 250 metres.
- 2007 - Noront Resources discovers Eagle 1 massive magmatic nickel (Ni) sulphide and platinum group element (PGE) deposit; National Instrument (NI) 43-101 indicated resource of 6.9 million tonnes (Mt) averaging 2.04% Ni, 0.95% Cu, 1.30 g/t platinum (Pt) and 3.40 g/t palladium (Pd) and an inferred resource of 4.3 Mt averaging 1.42% Ni, 0.87% Cu, 0.80 g/t Pt and 3.40 g/t Pd.
- 2009 - Freewest Resources discovers Black Thor chromite deposit; NI 43-101 inferred resource of 69.6 Mt @ 31.9% Cr2O3.
These discoveries confirmed that the Ring of Fire region of the James Bay Lowlands is mineral-rich in copper, zinc, nickel, PGEs, vanadium, gold and chrome, and that the region has a high probability of hosting other significant discoveries as typically seen in other mining camps.
The first signs of development in the Ring of Fire were evidenced in 2010, when Cliffs Natural Resources purchased Freewest’s and Spider’s interest in the Black Thor chrome deposit for $248 million, and signaled a billion dollar plus investment in James Bay. This was validated by the Ontario Provincial Government, which publically identified the mining potential of James Bay as “World Class” and highlighted the mining opportunities as key for Ontario.
Since their purchase of the Black Thor chrome deposit, Cliffs has announced its capital expenditure projection for the chrome deposit to be $2.25 billion. As part of this expenditure, and supported by the Province of Ontario, Cliffs would construct an all-season road corridor from its mine site to a rail transload facility near the community of Nakina. This road would not only service Cliffs’ chromite operation, it would facilitate the development of Noront’s Eagle 1 deposit, and rapidly promote the acceleration of mineral exploration projects in the Ring of Fire to mine development projects.
Impact of Infrastructure on the Development of Butler Property Vanadium
Significant vanadiferous titano-magnetite units discovered by BMK in 2011 are found within the Butler property. All drill holes targeted for vanadium in exploration programs were found to be mineralized, with assay values to 1.65% V2O5, and composited intervals ranging from 0.57% to 1.17% V2O5. Widths of the composited down-hole data ranged from 1.5 to 36 meters.
The grades of vanadium mineralization intersected at the Butler property are highly significant, as they are directly comparable to the current producing South African vanadium mines. The widths of vanadium mineralization found at the Butler property however, are much wider than those currently being mined in South Africa. Also of note, is that the magnetic concentrate obtained from metallurgical analysis of the Butler property vanadium mineralization is of superior tenor than that obtained in South Africa.
The Butler property concentrate having V2O5 values of 2.08%, Fe2O3 values of 93.70% and TiO2 values of 3.16%. Based on these values, as well as geological and geophysical analyses conducted on the property, the Company is confident that an exploration target of over 50 MT grading in excess of 0.6% V2O5 is obtainable on the property, and that the development of a road to the Ring of Fire would be the impetus to further develop this vanadium mineralization.
Impact of Infrastructure on the Development of Butler Property VMS
To date, BMK has discovered 4 separate VMS mineralized zones on the Butler property. The widths and tenors of copper and zinc mineralization are comparable to those of VMS mines operating in close proximity to road infrastructure. With the development of a road to the Ring of Fire, the Company believes currently identified Butler property VMS mineralization could be economically viable.
VMS mineralization intersections are highlighted below:
- Hole BP12-Cu14 intersected 41.5 m of 0.4 Cu, 3.26% Zn and 6 g/t Ag
- Hole BP12-Cu16 intersected 14.0 m of 0.56% Cu, 1.83% Zn and 11.31 g/t Ag
- Hole BP11-Cu06 intersected 167 m of 0.39% Cu and 1.13% Zn
- Hole MN10-102 intersected 17 m of 1.0% Cu and 0.12 g/T Au
- Hole MN10-126 intersected 26.7 m of 0.6% Cu and 0.35% Zn
- Hole MN10-131 intersected 8 m of 4.68% Zn, 0.46% Cu and 7.7 g/t Ag
The discovery of magmatic nickel sulphide (24 m of 0.27% Ni, and 7.5 m of 0.153 ppm Pd and 0.044 ppm Pt) in hole MN07-39 led the Company to drill test the surrounding area during the 2007 and 2008 exploration programs. This exploration led to limited success, and nickel exploration was put aside in favour of targeting the VMS mineralization. With the appointment of Dr. Larry Hulbert, Ph.D., P.Geo. to BMK’s Technical Advisory Committee in February 2011 however, the magmatic nickel sulphide mineralization potential of the Butler property was again revisited.
Through his examination of drill core, Dr. Hulbert identified unequivocal komatiites on the Butler property. Komatiites are extremely high temperature extrusive rocks that can host significant magmatic Ni deposits (eg. Thompson Ni Belt, Manitoba; Raglan, Quebec; Kambalda, Australia). According to Dr. Hulbert:
‘One of the most striking observations was the abundance and widespread nature of gabbroic rocks and their extreme degree of differentiation. Of equal if not more importance was the recognition for the first time of komatiites. The presence of true komatiites raises the Ni-Cu-PGE prospectivity of the property to a new level not previously appreciated.’
Dr. Hulbert has since conducted a geological, geochemical, and geophysical review of data collected over the Butler property, and has made the following observations:
- wide range of differentiated mafic-ultramafic rocks ranging from komattitic dunite-peridotite sills/flows to gabbro and ferro-gabbro differentiates on the property.
- magmatic Ni-Cu sulphides have recently (2012) been found in the marginal zone rocks at the extremity of a large dunite-peridotite complex on Butler 5.
- the country rock to the intrusions has an abundance of external sulphur in the form of VMS mineralization to contaminate the magmas and cause sulphide immiscibility of Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization identical to the komatiitic ores at Noront's Eagles Nest deposits.
- geochemical analyses indicate that this same body as well as some of the gabbroic intrusions have zinc contents hundreds to thousands of times normal background for such rocks, and is clear evidence of sulphur country rock contamination.
- an IP survey over the central portion of this body demonstrates a “rooted” resistivity and “chargeability” feature underlying the intrusion in an area flanked by a string of VTEM anomalies along the base.
- encouraging Ni-Cu sulphides have also been found in mid-range differentiated gabbroic rocks on Butler 5 (MN07-039) that has an unusually high magnetic signature for magnetite-poor gabbros - the source of this anomalous magnetism could be due to untested sources of Pyrhotite-Pentlandite.
- the world-class discovery of Ni-Cu-PGE sulphides at McFaulds Lake 30 km to the northeast in the same geological environment as present on the Butler property, along with the favorable metallogenic factors mentioned above all emphasize the significant potential of the area.
Quentin Yarie, P.Geo., is the qualified person in regard to the technical data contained within this news release and will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Company’s exploration programs.
About MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.
MacDonald Mines is a mineral exploration company with an established exploration history in the Canadian Northlands. MacDonald Mines has set upon a strategic direction of exploration with particular focus on nickel, chrome, copper, zinc, vanadium and titanium in the “Ring of Fire” area of the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario.
More detailed information about the Company is available on the website: www.macdonaldmines.com
Brent Nykoliation, Vice President of Business Development
Phone: (416) 364-4986, (416) 364-2753 (FAX)
Kirk McKinnon, President & CEO
Phone: (416) 364-4986, (416) 364-2753 (FAX)
Cautionary Statement: Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein. The foregoing information may contain forward-looking statements relating to the future performance of MacDonald Mines Exploration Inc. Forward-looking statements, specifically those concerning future performance, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from MacDonald Mines plans and expectations. These plans, expectations, risks and uncertainties are detailed herein and from time to time in the filings made by MacDonald Mines with the TSX Venture Exchange and securities regulators. MacDonald Mines does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. We seek safe harbour.