The 2019 field exploration program has been developed in conjunction with Sandfire and aims to drill test the maximum number of new targets possible within the Company's strategic 475km2 belt-scale regional tenement package(see Note 3 below). The newly formed Joint Venture Management Committee, comprising two representatives from each company, has approved a 2019 exploration program and Budget of A$6,000,000 and for this to commence immediately. This funding is $1M above the minimum contribution required of Sandfire during 2019 given it loaned $1M in 2018 to the project to allow the continuation of that year's exploration program(see Note 4 below). Field exploration activities anticipated to be conducted during 2019 include:-
- A 3,000 line kilometre SkyTEM airborne electromagnetics (AEM) survey commencing mid-April (see Figure 1 in link below). The new SkyTEM survey will be the first modern high powered time domain EM survey at Red Mountain with the capability of identifying conductivity anomalies to depths of 400m that could fast-track a significant new discovery.
- Satellite spectral analysis including the assessment of hyperspectral data to identify and map alteration zonation ahead of field exploration.
- Regional whole rock lithogeochemical analysis of tenement-wide rock chip samples collected in 2018 and accessed from the Alaskan Geologic Survey to identify regional alteration zonation to assist in prioritising targets for detailed field exploration during 2019.
- Detailed on-ground geological reconnaissance and soil geochemical sampling across regional target areas using a portable XRF analyser to deliver rapid target definition.
- Detailed electrical ground geophysics (CSAMT and MT) across the regional targets replicating the most rapid field acquisition electrical technique that successfully mapped conductivity associated with mineralisation at both the two existing deposits: Dry Creek and West Tundra.
- A diamond drill program commencing late-May to follow-up the successful discovery of new massive sulphide mineralisation at the Hunter prospect in 2018(see Note 5 below).
- A diamond drill program to test the best of the regional targets defined by the multidisciplinary use of airborne EM, 2018 stream geochemical anomalies, new satellite defined alteration, whole rock lithogeochemical alteration, on ground soil & rock geochemistry and on ground electrical geophysics.
- Selective down hole electromagnetics surveys to identify off-hole conductivity anomalies for follow-up drill testing.
White Rock Mineral's MD & CEO Matt Gill said "Commencing the 2019 exploration program on our globally significant high-grade zinc and precious metals VMS project in central Alaska is an exciting time for the Company and all our shareholders.
"To be able to use a modern high-powered geophysics technique for the first time, not previously applied to this highly prospective field, is a great kick-off to this field season. Having the technical and financial support of Sandfire Resources - a very successful explorer and developer of VMS deposits - is a strong endorsement to the quality and potential of our Red Mountain Project. It is a great vote of confidence that Sandfire have elected to fund above the minimum contribution they could have chosen under the Joint Venture Agreement. We look forward to working with our strategic JV partner and progressing this highly prospective project with the commencement of this program and the subsequent news flow that should result," Mr Gill said.
About the Red Mountain Earn-In and Joint Venture Option Agreement
White Rock entered into an Earn-In and Joint Venture Option Agreement(see Note 6 below) (Agreement) with Sandfire on 23rd March 2019 for the exploration and development of the Red Mountain Project under the following terms:-.
- Sandfire's Joint Venture funding arrangements under the Agreement are structured across four stages as previously announced and include an option to spend a minimum of A$20M over four years to earn 51%, with a minimum contribution of A$6M in 2019.
- Sandfire can then elect to increase its interest in the Red Mountain Project to 70% by sole-funding a further A$10M and by delivering a pre-feasibility study within a further 2 years.
- White Rock can then elect to contribute its percentage share of expenditure to retain its 30% interest.
- The Red Mountain Project includes a 475km2 tenement package covering numerous historic VMS prospects with little modern exploration, providing Sandfire and White Rock with a large strategic footprint over a potential new VMS camp.
- White Rock is the JV Manager during 2019.
About Sandfire Resources NL:- Sandfire is a leading Australian copper producer which operates the high-grade DeGrussa Copper-Gold Mine, located 900km north of Perth in Western Australia. Sandfire has a growing portfolio of exploration interests and joint ventures in highly prospective mineral provinces around Australia and overseas. Further details can be found on Sandfire's website www.sandfire.com.au.
1 Refer ASX Announcement 26th April 2017 "Maiden JORC Mineral Resource, Red Mountain".
2 ZnEq = Zinc equivalent grades are estimated using long-term broker consensus estimates compiled by RFC Ambrian as at 20 March 2017 adjusted for recoveries from historical metallurgical test work and calculated with the formula: ZnEq =100 x [(Zn% x 2,206.7 x 0.9) + (Pb% x 1,922 x 0.75) + (Cu% x 6,274 x 0.70) + (Ag g/t x (19.68/31.1035) x 0.70) + (Au g/t x (1,227/31.1035) x 0.80)] / (2,206.7 x 0.9). White Rock is of the opinion that all elements included in the metal equivalent calculation have reasonable potential to be recovered and sold.
3 Refer ASX Announcement 21st November 2018 "Expanded Land Holding with Additional High-Grade VMS Prospects, Red Mountain".
4 Refer ASX Announcement 22nd August 2018 "White Rock Sandfire Convertible Loan Funds for Red Mountain".
5 Refer ASX Announcement 20th August 2018 "High Grade Zinc Discovery at the Hunter Prospect, Red Mountain".
6 Refer ASX Announcement 25th March 2019 "WRM - Joint Venture Agreement signed with Sandfire Resources".
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About White Rock Minerals Ltd
White Rock Minerals Ltd (ASX:WRM) is a diversified explorer and near-stage producer, headquartered in Ballarat, Victoria. The Company's flagship exploration project is Red Mountain in central Alaska, where it has an earn-in joint venture arrangement with Sandfire Resources NL. At Red Mountain, there are already two high grade deposits, with an Inferred Mineral Resource of 9.1 million tonnes @ 12.9% ZnEq for 1.1 million tonnes of contained zinc equivalent. The Mt Carrington project, located near Drake, in Northern NSW, is a near-production precious metals asset with a resource of 341,000 ounces of gold and 23.2 million ounces of silver. White Rock Minerals is listed on the ASX:WRM.
ContactMatthew Gill (Managing Director & CEO)
Shane Turner (Company Secretary)
White Rock Minerals Ltd (ASX:WRM) Red Mountain High-Grade Zinc and Precious Metals VMS Project - Exploration Update