Sandfire Resources America Inc. (TSX-V:SFR) is pleased to report diamond drill results of the successful 2021-2022 Lowry Resource Definition core drilling program on its Black Butte Copper Project. Between September 2021 and March 2022, the company completed sixteen new core holes for 8,936 meters of core.
Highlights of the Lowry Zone Resource Definition program include the following drill intersections:
Assay results are reported by mineralized zone in Table 1.
Drilling in the Lowry Middle Copper Zone largely confirmed grades and thicknesses of previous drilling, defined resource edges more clearly, and infilled gaps within the previous drill pattern. Drilling in the Lowry Lower Copper Zone delineated an area with somewhat higher copper grades which remains open for further expansion (see results for SC22-274B and SC22-277 below). Several holes intercepted copper mineralization above the LMCZ in the Lowry Upper Copper Zone (see results for SC21-264, SC21-266 and SC21-268).
The results of this drilling will support a Lowry Pre-Feasibility Study planned for completion in 2023. Additional work for the prefeasibility study will include hydrologic, metallurgical, mining, and geotechnical studies.
Sandfire Resources America Inc. Senior VP Jerry Zieg commented: “The success of this drill program increases the scale and quality of the Lowry copper deposit and adds significant value to the Black Butte Copper Project. It represents a future opportunity for additional copper production with minimal impact to our disturbance footprint. Protecting the environment while providing benefits to all our stake holders remains central to our strategy.”
Figure 1: Black Butte Project site showing proximity of the Lowry Deposit to the Johnny Lee Deposit and proposed mine surface facilities.
Lowry Copper Deposit
The Lowry copper deposit is located approximately 2,500 meters east of the Johnny Lee deposit and has an Inferred Resource of 8.3 million tonnes of 2.4% copper (“Feasibility Study (Johnny Lee Deposit) and Mineral Resource Estimate Update (Lowry Deposit) – Technical Report NI 43-101” dated October 19, 2020, and the news release “Sandfire Resources America Achieves Major Milestones with Completion of Black Butte Copper Project Feasibility Study and Updated Mineral Resource for Lowry Deposit” October 27, 2020). Mine development of the Lowry copper deposit would require a thorough environmental review through the Montana Department of Environmental Quality permitting process, and completion of appropriate engineering and economic studies.
Johnny Lee Copper Deposit
The Johnny Lee deposit has a Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource of 10.9 million tonnes (Mt) at an average copper grade of 2.9% for 311 thousand tonnes (kt) of contained copper (Cu) at a 1.0% Cu cut-off grade, and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 2.7 Mt at an average copper grade of 3.0% for 80 kt of contained Cu at a 1.0% Cu cut-off grade (“Feasibility Study (Johnny Lee Deposit) and Mineral Resource Estimate Update (Lowry Deposit) – Technical Report NI 43-101” dated October 19, 2020, and the news release “Sandfire Resources America Achieves Major Milestones with Completion of Black Butte Copper Project Feasibility Study and Updated Mineral Resource for Lowry Deposit” October 27, 2020). The Company has received a Mine Operating Permit from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for mine development of this deposit and has completed a majority of Phase I construction on associated surface facilities.
Table 1: Significant drill intercepts from the Lowry Resource definition core drill program, September 2021 – February 2022.
Figure 2: Pierce point map of Lowry Middle Copper Zone showing location of current and historic intercepts.
Figure 3: Pierce point map of Lowry Lower Copper Zone showing location of current and historic intercepts.
Jerry Zieg, Vice President of Exploration for the Company, who is an AIPG Certified Professional Geologist, is the Qualified Person for the purposes of NI 43-101 and has also reviewed and approved the information of a scientific or technical nature contained in this news release.
Quality Assurance and Control
Drilling was conducted by American Drilling Inc. of Spokane WA, and Ruen Drilling Inc. of Clark Fork, Idaho. HQ3-sized core was collected. Drill holes were oriented with dips varying between -80 to -70 degrees in relatively variably dipping mineral zones. Intercepts will generally be slightly longer than true thickness. After being logged and photographed in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, all mineralized zones were sampled by cutting half-core splits which were delivered to ALS Global labs in Reno, Nevada for processing. ALS Global crushed the entire sample to 85% passing 2mm then split off 1kg, which was ground to 85% passing seventy-five micron and wet-sieved the split to ensure grinding passed specifications and then assayed for gold by fire assay with AA finish. Base metals were analyzed using a 4-acid digestion and ICP-MS analysis. Various other trace and major elements were also analyzed utilizing ICP and XRF procedures. Sandfire America utilized a QA/QC protocol which included inserting Certified Reference Materials (CRM) on a minimum of 1 CRM in twenty samples insertion rate. assays of duplicates, and blanks were also included as part of the QA/QC program. Intercept calculations included a minimum of two samples and 1.5 meters above a 1% copper cutoff grade.
Sandfire Resources America Inc.
Sandfire Resources America Inc. is a Canadian-listed junior exploration company which is majority-owned by Sandfire Resources, an international and diversified sustainable mining company which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. The Black Butte Project is a sediment-hosted high-grade copper project in Meagher County in West-Central Montana. The company is permitting a state-of-the-art underground mine on the Johnny Lee Deposit.
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