North ROK Rocks the Market: Colorado Resources' copper-gold discovery heats up B.C.'s Golden Triangle
Geology has a way of stimulating even the most discouraged investors, as shown by the way North ROK excited an otherwise dismal market. The very first hole from the Colorado Resources [V.CXO] project sent company stock soaring from an April 24 close of 16 cents to a May 6 high of $1.25. Along with the excitement comes revived interest in the northern part of British Columbia’s Golden Triangle, in the region around the discovery hole and Imperial Metals’ [T.III] development-stage Red Chris project, 15 kilometres east.
For anyone coming out of cryogenic slumber, here’s the first North ROK hole announced April 25:
- 0.51% copper and 0.67 grams per tonne gold over 333 metres, starting at 2 metres in downhole depth
- (including 0.63% copper and 0.85 g/t gold over 242 metres, starting at 2 metres)
- (which includes 0.76% copper and 1 g/t gold over 180.47 metres, starting at 63.53 metres)
- (and including 0.2% copper and 0.19 g/t gold over 91 metres, starting at 244 metres).
True widths haven’t been determined.
Still to come are assays for a second hole 350 metres west. Geophysical data, however, suggests drilling “may have been stopped short of adequately testing the IP chargeability anomaly.” Colorado now plans to deepen the second hole and sink a series of 100-metre-spaced step-outs from the 333-metre intercept.
Could North ROK be a one-hole wonder? Maybe, but other companies aren’t wasting time getting in on the action. The region “may become the next significant mining district in British Columbia,” according to TAD Mineral Exploration [V.TJ]. On May 6 the company reported staking a 876-hectare copper-gold prospect near the village of Iskut, north of North ROK. TAD could be a tad opportunistic, having announced on April 11 it staked 4,000 hectares in the region of Patterson Lake South, the Fission Uranium [V.FCU]/Alpha Minerals [V.AMW] uranium discovery that sparked the southwestern Athabasca Basin acquisition rush.
Also on May 6, Teuton Resources [V.TUO] reported it optioned its Yellow Chris South claims to Redhill Resources [V.RHR]. Located “a few kilometres northeast” of Colorado’s discovery hole, Yellow Chris South shares a similar geophysical setting, Teuton stated. The company added that its optionee “plans an aggressive program of property-wide soil sampling, geological mapping and IP surveying” beginning immediately. Subject to regulatory approval, the option allows Redhill to earn an initial 50% by paying Teuton $300,000 and 1.4 million shares, as well as spending $4.5 million over four years.
Teuton still has several blocks in the Red Chris and Yellow Chris area totalling 10,256 hectares. “We’re currently negotiating with a number of other companies,” IR officer Gary Assaly tells ResourceClips. “We have several properties that are optioned in the Stewart region [roughly 190 kilometres south] and there will be a lot of work done by other companies on our properties,” he says. But there’s been sudden interest in the North ROK area. “The phone started ringing a week ago, on the weekend.”
Teuton president Dino Cremonese adds, “We feel that our claims have a lot of potential, especially those which have discrete mag highs, some associated with flanking mag lows, the latter suggesting an area where alteration has been so intense that the magnetite has been replaced. So far, because our attention has been on our many claims further south, we have done only very minor soil geochem. This, however, has also been positive, with a few areas reporting values to 271 parts per million copper.”
A company that diversifies its opportunism, Pistol Bay Mining [V.PST] was advancing an Ontario graphite property while a big-name joint venture partner drilled one of its Athabasca Basin uranium projects. Then the Colorado Resources discovery drew Pistol Bay back to its Summit Lake B property contiguous to North ROK.
“When this hit we went back and looked at the results from our 2010 program,” Pistol Bay president/director Charles Desjardins tells ResourceClips. “When you look at the showing in North ROK and compare it to our Kitty showing, we have some good numbers.”
The 1,394-hectare property saw “a lot of soil sampling and grab samples in 2010 and what we did was quite interesting. There were good numbers like 17.9 grams per tonne gold with 18.5 grams per tonne silver, a 10.9-gram-per-tonne gold sample with 15.9 grams per tonne silver, and a pretty good-sized trend there. We’ve identified three zones but the most southerly zone is probably three by 700 metres or so. So it’s looking pretty interesting.”
Pistol Bay also holds the Summit A and D blocks, over 7,000 hectares adjacent to Imperial Metals’ Red Chris copper-gold project, a potential open pit which could spend 28 years mining reserves of 301 million tonnes averaging 0.359% copper and 0.274 g/t gold.
Summit A and D have also been revitalized, Desjardins points out. “We’re looking at everything right now. We got all the historic government mag data that was done probably in the 1990s. Usually government mag spacing is three, four hundred metres but this stuff was quite tight and quite valuable. So we’re looking at all that right now.” Work will follow in spring or early summer, he adds.
On Pistol Bay’s C5 uranium project in Saskatchewan, meanwhile, assays are pending from six holes totalling 2,760 metres sunk by the JV partner, a Rio Tinto subsidiary. South of C5, Pistol Bay has optioned its C3 property to Actus Minerals [V.AAC]. Desjardins says Pistol Bay management and geos like C3 even better than C5. “I wouldn’t mind getting it back, but it’s nice to use other people’s money too,” he says.
As for Summit B, Desjardins isn’t yet sure whether his company will finance the project itself or JV it. “But it’s definitely a project that needs to be worked right now, with the signatures that the Colorado guys have shown us.” Like Teuton’s Assaly, Desjardins says his phone’s been flooded with calls.
The North ROK news diverted Serengeti Resources [V.SIR] from its flagship Kwanika copper-gold deposit in central B.C. long enough to stake Red Chris North. Announced May 1, the 5,675-hectare property sits eight to 10 kilometres north of Colorado’s discovery. It features a “strong gold-copper in-stream sediment geochemical anomaly from Geoscience B.C.’s northern B.C. dataset, as well as coincident magnetic anomalies from the Geoscience B.C. Quest NW airborne geophysical survey with geological settings favourable for porphyry-style copper-gold mineralization,” according to Serengeti.
That same day the company also reported staking the 2,469-hectare Smoke property contiguous with its Kwanika East property and the 2,078-hectare Rottacker property, contiguous with the southeastern part of Kwanika itself.
Bordering Imperial Metals’ Red Chris project to the northwest, the 6,891-hectare ROK Coyote property bounced back to Firesteel Resources [V.FTR] last January after an option with Lions Gate Metals [V.LGM] fell through. Historic work at the copper-gold project includes 18 trenches totalling 1,184 metres and 19 shallow holes for 1,792 metres. Lions Gate, however, has since turned to another hot area with a March option on the Whitford Lake uranium project in the Athabasca Basin.
Nevertheless, the Red Chris area competes even with North ROK for Colorado Resources’ attention. The company’s determined to drill out the rest of a 1,500-metre program at its Eldorado project, which features copper-gold showings about seven kilometres along strike with the Imperial Metals deposit. Colorado picked up a 75% option on the property last October from Sunrise Resources [V.SHI].
Back in November, Colorado president/CEO Adam Travis stated, “I have been working in the Red Chris area now for over 25 years and am confident that this untested geophysical anomaly is one of the better alkalic copper-gold porphyry drill targets I have seen, given its location and geological setting next door to Red Chris.”
But now the market’s mostly focused about 15 kilometres west, the site of North ROK.