FIREWEED ZINC LTD. (TSX-V: FWZ) is pleased to announce results from the first 2019 drill hole on the Boundary Zone at the Macmillan Pass Project in Yukon, Canada. Boundary Zone is located 15 road kilometres west of the Jason Deposit (see Figure 1).
Table 1: First 2019 drill results from the Boundary Zone
|*True widths for subintervals are undetermined pending geological interpretation. See Footnote 2 and Table 4 for details.|
Brandon Macdonald, CEO, stated, “These results confirm the large size and upside potential of Boundary Zone. Hole NB19-001 is the best ever hole drilled in this zone and clearly demonstrates that there may be potential beyond the past wide, but lower grade, intersections drilled historically, as impressive as they were. Boundary Zone results along with recent drilling success at Tom North and End Zone, have potential to expand on our current resources, which are already among the largest undeveloped zinc resources in the world, as well as improve project economics.”
Boundary Zone Potential
No mineral resource has been estimated for Boundary Zone yet and the zone is not included in the current mineral resource estimate for the property (described in Fireweed news release dated January 10, 2018). Boundary Zone has potential to be mined in an open pit with a low strip ratio and to be upgraded through low cost, pre‑concentration ore sorting processes (see below). Recent drill results at Boundary Zone along with Tom North Zone and End Zone (see Fireweed news releases dated September 10, 2019, and November 15 and 29, 2018) represent potential for expansion of the large current mineral resources and improvement of Macmillan Pass project economics described in the current Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) (see Fireweed news release dated May 23, 2018).
Boundary Zone Background
Historic drilling of 24 holes at Boundary Zone indicates the presence of a large bulk tonnage zone of zinc (-lead-silver) mineralization potentially suitable for open pit mining. Known mineralization is spread over an area almost two kilometres long and 200 to 800 metres wide. Mineralization drilled in a central area is 350 metres long and has a true thickness of up to 250 metres with historic drilling grades averaging 2.0 ‑ 2.5% zinc3 that include multiple higher grade intervals closer to surface similar to the hole reported in this news release (see Figures 2 & 3 and Table 1). Higher grades near surface are favourable for potential open pit mining economics. The zone has been drilled up to 285 metres down dip and remains open to depth and along trend for further exploration. Boundary Zone mineralization consists of sphalerite-siderite-pyrite and minor galena in veins, stockworks, disseminations, and as replacement of matrix and clasts within coarse clastic rocks.
The 2019 Boundary drill program was designed to infill a gap in historic drilling (see Figures 2 and 3) and obtain a bulk sample for larger commercial-scale ore sorting and metallurgical test work. Drill hole NB19‑001, reported in this release, was collared 45 metres from a historic hole to obtain adequate comparable material for the test work.
Boundary Zone Ore Sorting Tests
Initial ore sorting test results for Boundary Zone indicate mineralization is potentially amendable to low cost state-of-the-art X-Ray Fluorescence (“XRF”) ore sorting technology (see Fireweed news release dated July 31, 2019). These test results rejected 50-70% of the waste material (30-50% mass pull), while recovering 80-85% of the zinc. In practical terms, these results show potential to upgrade mill feed from the test feed grade of 2.5% zinc to approximately 5% zinc with recovery of 80-85% of the zinc at low cost. Core collected from the two 2019 holes will be used to carry out commercial-scale ore sorting tests and metallurgical tests. If the tests confirm the preliminary ore sorting results, the Boundary Zone has the potential to significantly improve the PEA economics of the Macmillan Pass Project.
Target G Drilling
Assays have also been received from the single hole drilled on Target G (see Figure 1) which returned a narrow intersection of low grade mineralization of 1.97% zinc, 0.55% lead and 42 g/t silver over 0.73 metres. Results from this hole and mapping in the general area will be reviewed and interpreted this winter.
2019 Drill Program
The 2019 drill program is complete. A total of 16 diamond drill holes were drilled for a total of 2,357 metres. Targets tested were Tom North, Tom East, Tom West, Jason North, Target A, Target G, Target R, and Boundary Zone (Figure 1 and Tables 2 & 3). Assays are pending for one additional hole at Boundary Zone. Summary descriptions of field results and observations are provided in Table 3.
Access Road Update
Access to the project site is via Yukon Highway 6 (aka the North Canol Road) and an airstrip on the property. As described in the PEA study (see Fireweed news release May 23, 2018 and PEA report filed on www.sedar.com), any future mining operation will require upgrading of the road to accommodate more traffic. Fireweed is pleased to report that during the past summer the Yukon Department of Highways and Public Works carried out additional work on the road which included replacement of three more bridges and various road repairs. Three additional new prefabricated bridges have also been delivered to the start of the road and are available for installation next year. The continuing active support of the Yukon government on the Macmillan Pass Project is but one indication of why Yukon is a top 10 mining investment jurisdiction in the world as designated by the Fraser Institute.
Notes on sampling and assaying:
The drill core logging and sampling program is carried out under a rigorous quality assurance / quality control program using industry best practices. Drill intersections in this release are all HQ3 (split tube) size core (61.1mm / 2.4-inch diameter) with recoveries typically above 85%. After drilling, core is logged for geology, structure and geotechnical characteristics, marked for sampling, and photographed on site. The cores for analyses are marked for sampling based on geological intervals with individual samples 1.5 metres or less in length. Drill core from the Boundary Zone was cut lengthwise into quarters with a core saw; a quarter-core was sent for assays reported in this news release, two quarter core samples were collected for ore sorting and metallurgical test work, and the fourth quarter is stored on site for reference. A total of 5% assay standards or blanks and 5% core duplicates are included in the sample stream as a quality control measure and reviewed, after analyses are received. Standards and blanks in 2019 drill results to date have been approved as acceptable. Duplicate data add to the long-term estimates of precision for assay data on the project and precision is deemed to be within acceptable levels. Samples are sent to the Bureau Veritas preparation laboratory in Whitehorse, Yukon, where the samples are crushed and a 500 g split is pulverized to 85% passing 200 mesh size pulps. Clean crush material is passed through the crusher and clean silica is pulverized between each sample. The pulps are then sent to the Bureau Veritas laboratory in Vancouver, B.C. and analyzed by 1:1:1 Aqua Regia digestion followed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-ES/ICP-MS) multi-element analyses (BV Code AQ270). All samples are also analyzed for multiple elements by lithium borate fusion and X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) finish (BV Code LF725). Over-limit Pb (>25.0%) and Zn (>20.0%) were analyzed by lithium borate fusion with XRF finish (BV Code LF726). Silver is reported in this news release by method AQ270, and zinc and lead are reported by LF725 or LF726. Bureau Veritas (Vancouver) is an independent, international ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited laboratory.
Qualified Person Statement
Technical information in this news release has been approved by Gilles Dessureau, P.Geo, Vice President Exploration and a ‘Qualified Person’ as defined under Canadian National Instrument 43‑101.
About Fireweed Zinc Ltd.
Fireweed Zinc is a public mineral exploration company focused on zinc and managed by a veteran team of mining industry professionals. The Company is advancing its district-scale 544 km2 Macmillan Pass Project in Yukon, Canada, which is host to the 100% owned Tom and Jason zinc-lead-silver deposits with current Mineral Resources and a PEA economic study (see Fireweed news releases dated January 10, 2018, and May 23, 2018, respectively, and reports filed on www.sedar.com for details) as well as the Boundary Zone, Tom North Zone and End Zone which have significant zinc-lead-silver mineralization drilled but not yet classified as mineral resources. The project also includes option agreements on large blocks of adjacent claims (MAC, MC, MP, Jerry, BR and NS) which cover exploration targets in the district where previous and recent work identified zinc, lead and silver prospects, and geophysical and geochemical anomalies in prospective host geology.
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