Canada

The Alotta Project (Nickel-Copper-PGE) was the main drawcard for the Company when it acquired the Canadian private company Zeus Olympus Sub Corp and its Quebec portfolio of Nickel-Copper-PGE and Gold (Lorraine) assets in late 2018 (ASX announcement 3 October 2018). The Zeus vendors had already arranged for diamond drilling to occur at Alotta, which meant that it was possible for the Company to immediately commence a drilling programme on the 4 October 2018.

Figure 1: Project Locality Map

Records from the historic Lorraine Mine Project (Copper-Nickel-Gold and Silver) reported high-grade gold veins from the 6th level footwall sampled during the final drift development in the 1960’s (ASX Announcement 1July 2020). The area surrounding mine also contains recorded gold values from surface sampling and drilling. The historic Belleterre mining camp which is also hosted in the Belleterre-Angliers Greenstone Belt (BAGB) about 20km to the ESE produced almost 1 million ounces of gold.

Since acquiring the two blocks of 100%-owned claims within the BAGB hosted nickel-copper-PGE and gold projects in Southwestern Quebec, the Company has been pursuing a multi-commodity exploration programme focused on advancing their prospectivity.

Nickel-Copper-PGE: 

The Company’s first drill programme in Canada (ASX 8 October 2018) at the Alotta Project successfully intersected significant widths of 2 to 3% Ni, + ~2% Cu, 0.1% Co and 2-3g/t PGE (ASX Announcements 9 October 2018, 16 October 2018, 13 November 2018, 8 January 2019). Further drill programmes in 2019 continued to highlight the potential of the Alotta prospect including a 0.5m ‘bonanza grade’ massive sulphide intercept assaying 22% Cu + 34g/t Pd + 3.5g/t Pt and 0.78% Ni, 1.4% Zn, 65g/t Ag was returned from Hole ZA-19-05 from 55.3m. This forms part of a wider 4.1m zone of mineralisation assaying 5.3% Cu, 4.9g/t Pd, 0.9g/t Pt, 0.26% Ni and 12g/t Ag (ASX Announcement 16 December 2019).

Alotta ZA-19-05: 22% Cu, 34g/t Pd, 3.5g/t Pt and 0.78% Ni, 1.4% Zn, 65g/t Ag

In June 2020, the Company drilled five additional core holes and the standout result was a 27.5m downhole mineralised zone from 48.5 to 76.0m, assaying 1.19% Ni, 1.6% Cu and 1.6g/t PGE in hole CM-20-04 (ASX Announcement 4 August 2020).

Other known base metal prospects within the greater Alotta claims area include Delphi, Patry and Zullo. 

Gold-Silver-Copper: 

Evaluation of historic data from the Lorraine Project area outlined the gold potential of the district centred on the Lorraine Cu-Ni Mine where high-grade gold veins were sampled during the final drift development in the footwall to the Cu-Ni mine in the 1960’s (ASX Announcement 1July 2020) as detailed below.

  • 28m at 45.24g/t Au, 41g/t Ag and 3.19% Cu channel sample on the 601 W; and,

  • 9.4m @ 14.12g/t Au, 22g/t Ag and 3.16%Cu channel sample on the 601 W drift.

In addition, the collar location of underground hole U-6-76 was confirmed on the 601 S crosscut. The hole returned an intersection of:

  • 1m @ 53.47g/t Au and 12g/t Ag, located ~12m below the 28m channel sample.

To test this reported zone of high-grade gold (plus copper and silver) mineralisation associated with the Footwall Contact Target Zone (FCTZ), the Company completed a 6-hole deep diamond drilling programme for 2,928m targeting this high-grade gold in the second half of 2020 (ASX Announcement 2 September 2020). All the holes not only intersected the original FCTZ but also intersected additional deeper veining and brecciation and importantly intense silica-carbonate (±sulphides) alteration zones below the FCTZ. Minor amounts of fine-grained visible gold were also reported (ASX Announcements of 14 July and 10 August 2020 including photos). However, all assays failed to validate the historically reported high-grade gold mineralisation (ASX Announcement 2 October 2020).

Most recent work and future plans:

As announced in ASX releases during early 2021 (21 January, 25 January and 19 February), the Company planned a comprehensive desktop review and assessment of all historical drilling, geological mapping, geophysical and geochemical surveying and any other exploration data associated with the Alotta Project and within the greater Alotta, Delphi and Zullo (ADZ) claims area. Given the scope and scale of work, this would involve the Company’s Canadian consultants. The conclusion of this work (ASX Announcement 27 April 2021) was that the current geometry of the Alotta deposit appeared closed off along strike and at depth and no further drilling was recommended without additional geophysical target generation. At present based on the large number of holes completed the deposit is too small to be a standalone project. The value of any other ADZ area drilling on historical small narrow anomalies with no obvious size potential was to add potential resource tonnes if an enlarged Alotta mineralised area had eventuated.  The resultant downgrading of Alotta and the ADZ Claims area together with the extreme difficulties in the Company’s management and consultants travelling to Canada, a decision was made that no immediate additional drilling be undertaken. The Claims remain in good standing with excess reported expenditure for the foreseeable future. The Directors will now undertake a further review to see best how to extract value for the Company from the Alotta Project and the market will be kept informed of the Company’s future plans.

Similarly, the Company completed a thorough review of all the Lorraine Project data it has generated plus the historic drilling and other exploration data within the greater Lorraine claim area (ASX Announcement 28 April 2021). The conclusion was that although there remain reported anomalous gold assays from historical trenching and shallow drilling to the west of the Lorraine mine to be followed up, that the Company has fully drill tested its previous targets. The review found that it will require an additional extended and expensive programme of exploration, geophysics and drilling to unravel the gold potential of the area. 

The Claims remain in good standing for the foreseeable future with excess reported expenditure.

The Directors will now undertake a further review to see best how to extract value for the Company from the Lorraine Project and the market will be kept informed of the Company’s future plans.