On July 14th, Rockridge Resources delivered results from a recently concluded diamond drilling program at its flagship Knife Lake Project located in Saskatchewan—a mining destination currently ranked #3 by the venerable Fraser Institute.
This Phase-1 campaign consisted of twelve drill holes for 2,043 meters. Assays, and the geological cues this drill core carries, have now been received for all holes covering Gilbert Lake North, Gilbert Lake South, and the Knife Lake Deposit areas (a June 17th press release highlighted a shallow (infill) 14.02 meter hit grading 2.34% CuEq).
Before we get into the details of this July 14th press release, a bit of background on this 55,471-hectare flagship asset…
First discovered in 1968 by Straus Exploration, Knife Lake is an advanced-stage project that has undergone multiple phases of exploration over the years.
Backstopped by a 43-101 compliant resource consisting of 3.8 MT @ 1.02% Cu Eq Indicated, and 7.9 MT @ 0.67% Cu Eq Inferred, Knife Lake is a Volcanic Massive Sulphide deposit (VMS for short). And if you’re a regular to these pages, you know how prolific these geological settings can be.
Triggered by volcanic hydrothermal events in submarine environments, VMS deposits rarely occur in isolation as one-offs. They almost always occur in clusters—where there’s one deposit (or lens), there are often others. And though they can vary widely in scale—from a few hundred tons to 100M-plus—they typically carry significant concentrations of metals due to their rich nature.
Knife Lake is located in a particularly fertile VMS setting—in the (regional) vicinity of the famous Flin Flon and Snow Lake Mining Camps.
To date, the Flin Flon camp has produced >170 million tons of sulphide ore from 31 VMS deposits worth more than $25 billion.
Aside from the wide-open regional potential of this vast, largely unexplored 55,471-hectare expanse of prospective terra firma, there’s an element of intrigue surrounding the Knife Lake deposit itself—the current resource may represent a remobilized portion of a larger (primary) VMS deposit. Translation: a much larger (and richer) deposit may lie close to the current resource. Or it could lie at depth.
The Knife Lake Project is interpreted to be a remobilized VMS deposit. The stratabound mineralized zone is approximately 15m thick and contains copper, silver, zinc, gold and cobalt mineralization which dips 30° to 50° eastward over a known strike-length within Rockridge’s claim area of 3,700 metres, and a known average down-dip extension of approximately 300 metres.
The image at the center in the slide below—the black hatched oval feature—may represent the real guts of the system (the primary portion of a much larger deposit). Historic drilling failed to test the depth potential in these subsurface layers.
The discovery potential for satellite deposits and what may ultimately lurk at depth has to be considered excellent. At last count, the Company had 11 high-priority targets in its crosshairs, the upshot of extensive groundwork and geophysics.
This Phase-1 campaign represented the very first program—the first application of modern age geological methodologies—on the Gilbert Lake North and South target areas.
The July 14th headline:
“The drill program at the Gilbert North and South target areas was designed to evaluate conductivity and magnetic anomalies identified during the winter 2021 airborne VTEM Plus survey and corresponding surficial geochemical anomalies. Following initial drilling at Gilbert North and South a Borehole Electromagnetic survey of all holes at the Gilbert North and South target areas was completed to refine targeting for the final holes of the program. Previous surficial work programs have indicated that the stratigraphic position of the targeted anomalies correlates with the Knife Lake Deposit to the east. Additional drilling at the Knife Lake Deposit was designed to infill resource drilling.”
- 2021 drill program expanded to 2,043.0 meters in twelve drill holes;
- Highlight drill intercepts at the Gilbert South target area include pyrrhotite-pyrite dominant VMS-style mineralization hosted at the same stratigraphic horizon as the Knife Lake Deposit;
- Drilling focused on discovering VMS style copper deposits along newly defined conductors as well as at the Knife Lake VMS deposit;
- Previously reported infill drilling at the Knife Lake deposit returned 1.95% Cu, 0.11 g/t Au, 7.41 g/t Ag, 0.53% Zn, and 0.02% Co (2.34% CuEq) over 14.02m beginning at 24.62m in hole KF21021;
- Drillhole KF21022 returned 0.73% Cu, 0.06 g/t Au, 2.98 g/t Ag, 0.15% Zn and 0.01% Co (0.88% CuEq) over 21.11m starting at 27.39m;
- Deposit is thought to be a remobilized portion of a “primary” VMS deposit; most of the historical work has consisted of shallow drilling at the deposit area with little regional work carried out and limited deeper drilling below the deposit;
- Over 300 holes provided data for the first NI 43-101 resource estimate of the shallow Knife Lake deposit;
- Knife Lake NI 43-101 resource estimate from 2019 provides an excellent anchor for Project and includes indicated resources of 3.8 MT at 1.02% CuEq. (3.8 MT at 0.83% Cu, 3.7 g/t Ag, 0.097 g/t Au, 82 ppm Co,1740.7 ppm Zn) as well as inferred resources of 7.9 MT at 0.67% Cu Eq (7.9 MT at 0.53% Cu, 2.4 g/t Ag, 0.084 g/t Au, 53.1 ppm Co, 1454.9 ppm Zn);
- There is strong discovery potential in and around the deposit as well as at regional targets on the Property; modern exploration techniques and methods are being utilized with a goal of making new discoveries
- A summer 2021 exploration program will follow up on the results of this drill program and details on this program are forthcoming
The drill hole results from both Gilbert’s—North and South—might best be characterized as a technical success, but this is all part of a disciplined approach—the application of good science to methodically zero in on new mineralized zones.
The surface has barely been scratched here—the Gilbert South target is over 2.5 km in length.
This is where it gets interesting…
“Planning is now underway for a fully funded and permitted summer 2021 exploration program to follow up on the encouraging results from this drill program. The program will include a VTEM Plus Geophysical program to expand on the winter 2021 geophysical program. VTEM Plus has proven to be a useful tool for target generation on the Knife Lake Property. Rockridge is also planning for a follow-up drill program later in the year as well.”
Jonathan Wiesblatt, Rockridge’s CEO:
“From start to finish, the entire winter and spring exploration program including an airborne VTEM Plus survey and a 2,043m diamond drilling program at the Knife Lake Project was a great success overall. There are a number of exciting regional targets in close proximity to the Knife Lake deposit including the Gilbert Lake target area which was explored using modern-day techniques for the very first time. The results thus far have further supported our working thesis that Knife Lake is not a one-off VMS deposit and that the prosects to add to the project’s global resource remain high. Our priority for the balance of 2021 is to return to Knife Lake and to continue to advance the project and the deposit in a rising copper price environment. Rockridge’s geological team is planning to return to Knife Lake later this summer to carry out an exploration program in preparation for another drill program later in the year. News flow will be forthcoming on these exploration programs.”
It’s interesting to note that the nearby McIlvenna Bay VMS project (Foran Mining) drew a $100M investment from Fairfax Financial Holdings to advance McIlvenna Bay as Canada’s first carbon-neutral copper mine. Fairfax doesn’t normally invest in mining—they obviously recognize the enormous upside in these VMS orebodies…
The crew behind Rockridge, aside from being capital market savvy, boasts all the necessary skillsets to guide the drill bit to discovery success. And this 55,471-hectare property is wide-open in that regard. The current near-surface resource at Knife Lake represents a solid base from which to grow additional tonnage.
Being predominately Copper (approx. 80%), this resource offers good leverage to buoyant metal prices.
Full disclosure: Rockridge is an Equity Guru marketing client.