Thunderstruck progressing well on two high priority gold targets
Early stage exploration is progressing well on two high priority gold targets 100% owned by Thunderstruck Resources Ltd. (TSXV: AWE) (“Thunderstruck”). Located in the pacific ring of fire, the company’s four exploration licenses include the Rama and Liwa creek sites, each with strong historical data supporting the existence of an extensive copper-gold porphyry system. A drill program will be undertaken this year that should properly delineate the Fiji sites, but preliminary results from this year’s work have so far been very encouraging.
In 2017, stream sampling at Rama Creek within the area of historic drilling returned seven samples ranging from 11 to 16 ppb (parts per billion) Au and four samples ranging from 19 to 28 ppm (parts per million) Cu, defining a 400 x 500 metre anomaly (Rama Creek Cu-Au target), confirming work by previous explorers and generating a little more confidence in the historical data. Stream and soil sampling is an important step in early exploration to confirm the location and extent of mineralized zones (small quantities of metals are deposited at surface by hydrothermal activity).
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Interestingly, just 300 meters west of Rama Creek, a new geochemical target not associated with historically identified Cu-Au anomalies was discovered, and a stream sample 1 km northeast of the the original target returned 168 ppb Ag; the highest silver-in-stream value returned from phase 1 sampling. Also, at the headwaters of nearby Senikura Creek, within the centre of a magnetic low anomaly, a single stream sample returned 16 ppb Au and 84 ppb Ag, the highest gold value yet returned from stream sampling at the site.
Thunderstruck is currently waiting on receipt of the 270 Rama Creek stream, rock and soil geochemical samples (phase 2), but the recent results are highly significant as they provide support for the premise that they are part of large and well-mineralized geological systems which have the scope to host substantial deposits. Current work is focused on compiling the recent results into the geological database leading to the design of the 2018 drill schedule.
Potassic alteration, with bornite and magnetite, suggest a high temperature hydrothermal system. This alteration and mineralization is typical of Cu-Au porphyries such as Grasberg, Indonesia (the largest gold mine in the world); Bingham Canyon, USA (the largest excavation site in the world); Bougainville, Papua New Guinea; and Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia. A 244m thick intersection @ 0.22% Cu and 72m @ 0.23 g/t Au discovered on site by previous operators hints at the presence of an extensive copper-porphyry system within the company’s claim.
Additionally, the Liwa Creek target has provided strong trenching results in the past, including 15m @ 1.9 g/t Au and 5.5m @ 2.0 g/t Au. Furthermore, a chip sample from vuggy quartz and breccia (suggestive of an epithermal target) assayed 7m @ 5.7 g/t Au. This is the first concerted program on these highly-prospective targets since Thunderstruck acquired them. The goal is to establish well-founded drill targets on both projects for further exploration in 2018, hopefully providing the cash flow to fund the development of the company’s remaining deposits.
Fiji has a long history of mining and already hosts a range of explorers in various stages of development: The Vatukoula Gold Mine has been operating for over 80 years and has produced in excess of 7 million ounces of gold, with a further 4.2 million ounces remaining in ground. Newcrest/Mitsubishi’s Namosi is a pre-feasibility copper-gold project containing an impressive 2.2bn tonnes @ 0.34% Cu and 0.11 g/t Au, and is fairly similar to Thunderstruck’s Rama Creek porphyry deposit only 20 km to the west.
While still in the early stages of exploration, these volcanic islands are almost certainly strewn with epithermal systems that have been mineralized over thousands of millennia, and might prove valuable as part of an overall portfolio.