Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals has announced the discovery of 35.6 m of high-grade mineralisation including both zinc-rich massive sulphides and gold.
The deposit is located between the old Chisel North mine and the producing Lalor mine, in Manitoba, Canada, at a down hole depth between 540.7 m and 576.3 m. The property is wholly owned by Hudbay and is free of any hindrances.
“These zinc and gold-rich intersections highlight the ever-prospective nature of the Flin Flon greenstone belt and demonstrate the value of our Manitoba assets,” says Hudbay Minerals president and CEO Alan Hair.
“The discovery of these new zones within close proximity to our existing infrastructure and at shallow depth aligns very well with our Manitoba strategy and is another example of leveraging our exploration expertise to realise additional value.
“We look forward to continuing to drill this new discovery, while advancing exploration activities in the gold and copper/gold zones at Lalor and in the broader Snow Lake camp, also in Manitoba, as we pursue our strategy over the next several years to maximise the value of our Manitoba assets and extend both base metal and gold production at Lalor beyond its current mine life,” says Hair.
The drill hole intersections occurred less than 1 000 m from the existing active ramp between Chisel North and Lalor, within trucking distance to surface and the crushing station at Chisel North, and within 15 km of the Stall Concentrator, in Snow Lake.
The mineralisation was discovered by following a favourable up-dip plane with discrete copper/gold-rich feeder intersections from drilling completed in 2011 and 2012 by Hudbay in holes CH1101, CH1201 and CH1203. The plane of the mineralisation is expected to dip at around 20º to the north-east.
Drill hole CH1901, completed in February this year, intersected a series of mineralised lenses including a new zone of high-grade zinc mineralisation, a rich footwall gold zone and a third thick zone of stringers and dispersed sulphides with zinc mineralisation. The mineralised zones occur along the hanging wall contact of the stratigraphic horizon hosting the Chisel North deposit.
The Chisel North deposit was mined from 2000 to 2012 and produced a total of 3.3-million tonnes at 9.0% zinc.
Drill hole CH1901 assayed 0.76% zinc, 0.20% copper, 0.56 g/t gold and 24.2 g/t silver over 4.6 m, from 540.7 m to 545.3 m. Located around 10 m below the high-grade zinc lens, a high-grade gold zone was also intersected from 554.4 m to 560.6 m assaying 6.34 g/t gold, 0.70% copper, 1.21% zinc, and 38.9 g/t silver.
Immediately below the gold zone, another thick lens of zinc mineralisation was also intersected from 561.6 m to 576.3 m assaying 4.38% zinc, 0.37% copper, 0.26 g/t gold and 8.2 g/t silver.
Drill hole CH1902, also completed in February, intersected 6.1 m of massive sulphide with visual estimates of around 50% sphalerite from 601.7 m to 607.8 m. This second drill hole intersection is located about 100 m from the CH1901 intersection in the general interpreted up-dip plane of the mineralisation but in a lower position. This lower relative position in CH1902 may be related to folding, faulting or a change in orientation of the sulphide lens.
Alternatively, the intersection in CH1902 could represent a different lens, according to the company. Confirmation of the presence of any gold mineralisation requires completion of analysis, which is pending.
Two drills will continue to operate in the immediate vicinity of the initial discovery to further confirm the continuity of the mineralisation and its lateral extent while testing a reinterpreted electromagnetic conductive plate west of the two intersections.
Depending on the success of future drilling, Hudbay expects to develop an exploration drift off the ramp from Chisel North to the Lalor mine to drill the new discovery from an underground platform.
In February, Hudbay announced an update of its mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates and a revised mine plan for its Lalor mine and the satellite deposits in the Snow Lake camp.
The company announced on March 28 its plans for an early works programme at its Rosemont copper mining project and provided its yearly mineral reserve and resource update.