Figure 1: Salal property location map
Figure 2: Salal stream sediment compilation map
Figure 3: Salal rock and chip sample compilation map
Figure 4: Salal composite map of 2011 and historic exploration results in Mud Lake area
Figure 5: Salal Mud Lake MSA-003 drill section with results
Figure 6: Salal Mud Lake molybdenum zone: composite map
Figure 7: Salal gossanous mineralized outcrop at Mud Lake
Figure 8: Salal high-grade, sheeted molybdenite vein with 3.24% Mo, 3.55 ppm Re, 30.0 ppm Ag
Figure 9: Salal Glacier Island quartz-sericite-pyrite molybdenite vein
Figure 10: Salal Plug Glacier quartz-sericite-pyrite-molybdenite stockwork
The Salal molybdenum-rhenium-silver (Mo-Re-Ag) property, located about 150 km due north of Vancouver, 65 km northwest of Pemberton and 100 km west of Lillooet in the Coast Mountains, encompasses 32 claims with a total area of 11,564.14 ha (Figure 1). Forest service roads cross the northern property boundary providing access from Lillooet (150 road km). To the south, a forest service road passes within several kilometres of the southern property boundary, which, if extended to the property, would make Pemberton reachable in less than 80 road kilometres. Both Pemberton and Lillooet are on the provincial power grid and the BC Rail line. There are three hydro-electric power dams within about 40 kilometres to the east near the village of Gold Bridge. The Salal property is 100% owned by Miocene Metals subject to two net smelter royalties on optioned portions of the property.
This appears to be the first time that a land package has been consolidated over the entire Salal intrusion in spite of a 50 year exploration history, which found molybdenum occurrences along a very well-defined 15 kilometre arcuate trend. In addition, the property boasts the strongest Mo-in-stream sediment anomaly in the province when Mo-in-silt results are compared to the British Columbia Geological Survey database (Figure 2). Surprisingly, no sustained effort has been made to drill the widespread occurrence of molybdenum on the property; this, in spite of chip samples, which returned potentially economic grades of molybdenum mineralization over potentially minable widths (e.g. 85 metres of 0.077% Mo, 55 meters of 0.191% Mo and 30 meters of 0.084% Mo), numerous high-grade grab and float samples, and molybdenum mineralization exposed in creek valleys over vertical distances of up to 150 metres (Figure 3).
The property is underlain by the 8 Ma Salal pluton, a multi-stage composite intrusive complex consisting of an inner, fine-grained core and an outer coarse-grained margin. There also is a sequence of cross-cutting felsic to intermediate dykes including (from oldest to youngest) aplite, light grey quartz-feldspar porphyry, dark grey quartz-feldspar-biotite porphyry, aplite, dark brown quartz feldspar biotite porphyry, grey aphanitic dykes, and basalt dykes.
Porphyry-style, low-fluorine molybdenum mineralization (± rhenium, tungsten, lead, zinc, and silver) occurs as fine-grained molybdenite in quartz-pyrite veins [dominant], in stockworks and on joints and shears and coarser-grained molybdenite disseminated in fine-grained granite and as coatings and rosettes on fractures. Some of the better known mineralization is in the Float Creek and Plug Creek areas in the south-central area of the property and in the relatively unexplored north-central area of the property in the vicinity of Mud Lake.
Miocene Metals has successfully completed two exploration programs on the property, one in 2010 and the second in 2011. These programs included extensive mapping and prospecting along the 15 kilometre trend of Mo occurrences, as well as surface rock and channel sampling and diamond drilling. Notable achievements of this work include both the confirmation and extension of high-grade Mo anomalies in all of the historical focus areas, and the identification of new areas of Mo mineralization.
Mud Lake Area
Fine-grained molybdenite occurs in east-striking, poly-phase quartz-pyrite veins, stockworks, and joints. The veins are commonly laminated, 30 cm to 60 cm thick, and bounded by intensely silicified granite (Figures 3-8). Highlights from sparse historical sampling included:
- 0.048% Mo chip sample over 30.0 metres (1965)
- including 0.126% Mo over 6.10m
- 0.078% Mo chip sample over 24.4 metres (1965)
- 0.858% Mo grab sample including 82.0 g/t Re (2008)
- 0.282% Mo grab sample including 7.0 g/t Re (2008)
A high-priority focus area for Miocene Metals due to its amenable topography, abundant Mo surface showings, and historically under-explored status, the Mud Lake area has yielded exciting Mo results in the company's programs, including the following highlights:
- 3.24% Mo grab sample including 3.55 g/t Re (2010)
- 2.62% Mo grab sample including 3.05 g/t Re (2010)
- 1.16% Mo grab sample including 0.73 g/t Re (2010)
These high-grade surface samples prompted initial drill testing of the Mud Lake showing in 2011, highlights included:
Glacier Island Area
- 0.019% Mo drill intersect over 145.5 m (2011; Figure 5)
- including 0.056% Mo over 20.6m
- including 0.206% Mo over 4.8m
Approximately 2 kilometres west along strike from the Mud Lake area (Figure 4), abundant fine-grained molybdenite occurs in quartz-sericite-pyrite veins (Figure 9) similar to those found at Mud Lake. Highlights from sparse historical chip and blast trench sampling included:
- 0.198% Mo chip sample over 6.10 metres (1965)
- 0.680% Mo 50 kilogram bulk sample from blast trenching (1965)
Miocene Metals conducted reconnaissance-level sampling and mapping of the Glacier Island area in 2011. The work confirmed the presence of anomalous Mo mineralization and found new mineralized outcrops that were under glacial ice cover during 1960s and 1970s era exploration (Figure 4). Sampling highlights included:
Plug Glacier Toe Area
- 1.155% Mo grab (2011)
- 1.115% Mo grab (2011)
- 0.290% Mo grab (2011)
This new showing discovered by Miocene Metals in 2011 (Figure 4) features fine-grained molybdenite bearing quartz-sericite-pyrite stockworks and veins that lie 1 kilometre east along strike from the Mud Lake area (Figure 10). Sampling highlights included:
- 0.28% Mo grab (2011)
- 0.21% Mo grab (2011)
- 0.10% Mo grab (2011)
Initial mapping and prospecting indicate this area may be an eastern extension of the Mud Lake Mo showing with mineralization possibly being strike persistent in between the two showings.
Windy Ridge area
Quartz-sericite-pyrite stockworks and veins similar to those discovered at Plug Glacier characterise this area 1 kilometre south-southeast of Mud Lake (Figure 4). Interesting historical drill results from two holes drilled on the ridge led Miocene Metals to carry out reconnaissance-level prospecting there in 2011. While only qualitative descriptions of the historical drill core survive, Miocene Metals confirmed mineralization on the ridge in surface samples. Highlights included:
Cornice/Big Creek Areas
- 0.240% Mo grab (2011)
- 0.170% Mo grab (2011)
Located on the southeast side of the property (Figure 3), these areas lie along the 15 kilometre mineralized Mo trend and include fine- to medium-grained molybdenite mineralization in quartz-sericite-pyrite veins and shear zones. Highlights from limited historical sampling included:
- 0.834% Mo grab (1965)
- 0.090% Mo chip over 9.14 metres (1965)
Miocene Metals visited these areas and confirmed the existence of high-grade Mo mineralization. Sampling highlights included:
Numbered Creeks area
- 0.838% Mo grab (2010)
- 0.432% Mo grab (2010)
Fine-grained molybdenite in southeast striking quartz-sericite-pyrite veins characterise this little explored area on the southwest side of the property (Figure 3). Historical sampling is very limited and includes one notable assay:
- 0.072% Mo chip over 18.29 metres (1965)
Sampling down Number-Two Creek by Miocene Metals confirmed the existence of high-grade Mo mineralization in the area. Highlights included:
Float/Plug Creek area
- 0.299% Mo grab (2010)
- 0.242% Mo grab (2010)
Historical work discovered molybdenum mineralization over a vertical distance of 150 metres in creek chutes on the southern side of the property (Figure 3). Highlight chip samples from this work include:
- 0.288% Mo chip sample over 9.14 metres (1965)
- 0.078% Mo chip sample over 85.0 metres (1996)
- 0.191% Mo chip sample over 55.0 metres (1996)
- 0.081% Mo chip sample over 30.0 metres (1996)
Sampling by Miocene Metals in 2010 confirmed the existence of Mo mineralization in the Float/Plug Creek area. Highlights included:
- 0.318% Mo grab (2010)
- 0.310% Mo grab (2010)
- 0.119% Mo grab (2010)
Salal Mo mineralization belongs to the low-fluorine class of molybdenite deposits in contrast to Climax-type, which are of the high-fluorine class. The principal differences are slightly lower-grades in the low-fluorine type (typically less than 0.2% Mo) but substantially higher potential tonnages with several hundred million tonnes being common (e.g. Thompson Creek Mine 164.6 Mt @ 0.084% Mo; Endako Mine 172.1 Mt @ 0.050). According to the USGS (USGS Open File Report 2009-1211), the low-fluorine class produces acid-neutral or slightly acid-consuming tailings and tailings typically are low in deleterious elements due to fairly simple ore and waste mineralogy.
Enrichment in rhenium is a significant feature of the low-fluorine deposit class and Salal may be one of the better examples as suggested by several very high-grade results returned from Miocene Metals samples in the Mud Lake area. Although these most likely are not representative of Re concentrations across the Salal Creek pluton, they point to a potentially significant by-product credit, as is silver.
It is very significant that new occurrences of molybdenum mineralization are being discovered in areas (e.g. Plug Glacier Toe and Glacier Island Areas) where glaciers have receded from 1960's and 1970's levels when the majority of work took place on the property.
The 2012 exploration program on the property will encompass targeted prospecting, mapping, surface sampling and diamond drilling with the objective of advancing one or more areas to resource drilling in 2013. The majority of the program will focus on the Glacier Island - Mud Lake -- Plug Glacier areas where Mo mineralization is most promising and coupled with good ground conditions for exploration, including relatively gentle terrain, accessible outcrops, and high-quality water sources for drilling. Details of the plan include:
- 5 drill holes totalling up to 1000 metres of NQ coring including:
- 2 holes at Mud Lake to further test the Mud Lake Mo zone, currently 500x150m in size.
- 1 hole at Glacier Island to test ground underneath new surface Mo showings discovered in 2011, including areas historically covered with snow and ice.
- 1 hole at Plug Glacier Toe to test this newly discovered Mo-bearing quartz stockwork showing.
- 1 hole at Windy Ridge to follow up on historically interesting drill results.
- Further detailed prospecting, sampling, and mapping in the target drilling areas to better understand surface geology and mineralization in areas historically covered with snow and ice.
- Target generation including reconnaissance-level prospecting of under-explored areas along the 15 kilometre Mo trend.