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Martel Zone & Green Zone - Underground Drilling
The Martel and Green zones are located beneath the Wight pit, approximately 400 metres east of the fully developed and mined Boundary zone. The 2016/2017 underground drill program consisted of 25 holes (6,680 metres), and complemented surface drilling completed prior to the Wight pit development in early 2005. Wide spaced drilling from surface completed in 2004 defined a measured and indicated underground resource of approximately 6,269,000 tonnes grading about 1.17% copper, 0.40 g/t gold and 7.38 g/t silver. To ascertain greater certainty on the size and grade of the deep resource, in 2016 four drill stations were established at 25 metre intervals along an exploration drift about 400 metres east of the Boundary zone underground workings. Holes were drilled on azimuths ranging from 070° to 090° at shallow to moderate angles, crossing the Brown Wall fault and into the Martel breccia.
Martel zone highlights include 124.32 metres grading 1.36% copper and 0.25 g/t gold in drill hole MU-17-24 which included 18.90 metres grading 2.52% copper and 0.66 g/t gold, and 110.0 metres grading 1.27% copper and 0.24 g/t gold in drill hole MU-17-7 which included 56.9 metres grading 1.90% copper and 0.37 g/t gold. Green zone hole MU-17-18 best intercept was 8.65 metres grading 4.41% copper and 1.95 g/t gold. Drill hole MU-17-8 was extended in length to intersect the Green zone mineralization where it intercepted 17.8 metres grading 4.49% copper and 1.44 g/t gold.
All the drill holes, except MU-16-5, were designed to intersect the Martel zone, and five holes were extended to test the sparsely drilled Green zone located east of the Martel zone. Drill hole MU-16-5 was drilled to test the potential for deep extension of the Martel zone and intercepted two intervals of mineralization; 37 metres grading 0.70% copper and 0.45 g/t gold, and 34.9 metres grading 0.94 % copper and 0.27 g/t gold, at a depth of approximately 230 metres. The mineralization is believed to have formed in a vertical hydrothermal breccia body within a complex of monzonitic intrusions. It now occurs in two segments which were formerly contiguous but are now separated by the steeply southwest-dipping Brown Wall fault. The upper hanging wall portion was mined in the Wight pit (2005-2009). The deeper portion was dropped down slightly and offset to the northwest (Martel zone), the top of which was exposed in the bottom of the final Wight pit. Mineralization generally begins immediately after the fault, and consists of chalcopyrite and bornite disseminated in a polylithic breccia matrix, in fine to coarse infill between clasts or in veins. Late to post-mineral monzonitic dikes cut the breccia, the largest being 10-14 metres thick, obliquely bisecting the Martel zone, otherwise internal dilution by dikes is limited.
The Martel zone measures approximately 130 metres long, 170 metres high, and 140 metres wide, perpendicular to the Brown Wall fault plane. Along its northeastern fringe, the Martel zone gives way to monzonitic wall rock and dikes. The easternmost body of mineralization intersected in this drilling is the Green zone which is hosted in a distinct style of breccia and is intermittent but can be very high grade. The Martel zone is open in all directions except to the southwest where the Brown Wall fault cuts-off the zone.
The final results of this underground resource have been interpreted and incorporated into the block model and included into the overall mine plan and schedule. Based on the results to date, two options for mine development may be considered. The longer lower grades such as 147.5 metres of 1.03% copper and 0.20 g/t gold in drill hole MU-16-6 may be amenable to sub-level caving, while shorter higher grade sections may be amendable to conventional long hole mining.