VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Ring of Fire (RoF) development champion Noront Resources has intersected encouraging results at the McFaulds No 8 volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit, hosted on the property where the first discoveries in the RoF were made and which spurred the initial staking rush in 2002 to 2003.
The Toronto-headquartered company reported that follow-up drilling on the recently discovered McFaulds No 8 VMS occurrence was completed in October, comprising a single hole (MCF-17-89) totalling 566 m being drilled up-dip from a previous intersection in hold MCF-17-88.
The Main Zone at hole MCF-17-89 intersected 10.9 m of massive sulphide grading 1.1% copper, 1.7% zinc, 10.9 g/t silver and 0.4 g/t gold.
The MCF-17-89 intersection is located about 88 m up-dip from MCF-17-88, and is an early indication of excellent up-dip continuity of the sulphide lens at McFaulds No 8, the company advised in a press release on Monday.
Importantly, bore-hole electromagnetic (EM) surveying of this hole has indicated the strongest conductance is located off-hole and up-dip to the northeast from this intersection suggesting shallower drilling along this horizon has a good chance of intersecting continued mineralisation.
“The copper/zinc thickness and grade we found provides an early, positive indication of the mineralisation continuity at McFaulds No 8. We look forward to following up on these results early in the new year,” said Noront VP for exploration Ryan Weston.
According to Noront, the sulphide intersection is zoned, with a zinc-rich top, copper-rich core, and zinc-rich base, followed by a thinner satellite lens located 13 m below the main zone.
The zonation and stacked nature of the sulphide mineralisation in MCF-17-89 is very similar to that observed in MCF-17-88, the company noted.
The company also completed a bore-hole EM programme on the McFaulds property this fall, surveying 17 historic holes near known VMS occurrences. Results indicate potential down-plunge continuity of mineralisation in many of the known occurrences. Coupled with the recent drilling at McFaulds No 8, this will guide drill targeting for Noront’s winter 2018 drilling programme.
To date, more than six copper/zinc-rich VMS deposits have been identified on the property – two of which (MCF No 1 and No 3) have calculated resources.
In 2015, Noront acquired an 85% interest in the McFaulds property through the acquisition of Cliffs Natural Resources’ assets in the RoF. The McFaulds property is now held jointly between Noront (85%) and KWG Resources (15%).
Meanwhile, Noront is pressing ahead with planning and eventual construction of a ferrochrome processing plant. Earlier this month, the company sent request for proposal (RFP) packages to the cities of (Greater) Sudbury, Timmins, Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay (partnering with Fort William First Nation), which are the four northern Ontario communities that expressed an interest in hosting the processing plant.
Noront has previously worked with each community on site selection, and pre-qualified them for the formal process by looking for a high level of community support, access to a skilled workforce and usable, existing physical infrastructure at a brownfield site. The company advised that it will be looking for a compelling case in the formal submissions, which will be accepted until February 2, 2018.
Further, Noront, in collaboration with the Chiefs of Marten Falls and Webequie First Nation, has been hosting site visits during October for the provincial Ministers of Northern Development and Mines, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and Municipal Affairs and Housing. This provided an opportunity for the communities, government and industry to discuss development plans for the region and the ways industry and government would support local participation.
In August, the province announced its support for two First Nation-led road proposals that would provide access to communities and the RoF. Since then, Noront has provided technical, engineering and environmental support to the lead communities which should help streamline the overall design and permitting process. An approved scope, design and approach along with specific plans are expected in the first quarter of 2018.