Amarc Resources Ltd. [TSXV-AHR; OTCQB-AXREF] reported that it has mobilized to commence an extensive 2024 drill program at its 100%-owned DUKE Copper-Gold district in central British Columbia. The 722 km2 DUKE District is hosted in the Babine Porphyry Cu-Au Region, one of the most mineralized porphyry belts in BC. This year’s budgeted $10 million program will again be funded by Boliden, which is earning-in at DUKE. Amarc is the project operator.
“We are extremely pleased to be fully funded to commence drilling at the DUKE District early in the year,” said Dr. Diane Nicolson, Amarc President and CEO. “The winter drilling program is designed to build upon last year’s positive drilling at the DUKE Deposit and the surrounding DUKE Deposit Target. A second phase of 2024 drilling is planned for the summer to test a number of deposit targets across the District, including our recently announced, promising and drill-ready Svea copper-gold target.”
The 2022-2023 drilling (24 core holes, 11,086 m) successfully expanded the DUKE Deposit porphyry Cu-Mo-Ag-Au system laterally to a footprint of 650 metres north-south by 800 metres east-west and to a depth of at least 600 metres. In addition, results highlighted the potential for further expansion of the DUKE Deposit, and for the delineation of zones of higher grade within it. Further, encouraging intercepts from initial, widely spaced drilling in the robust 4.7 km2 Induced Polarization chargeability anomaly that surrounds the DUKE Deposit and forms the DUKE Target, suggests additional discovery potential.
Significant potential exists for discovery of new large porphyry Cu deposits. Infrastructure servicing the former mines and the very active forestry and exploration industries is nearby. There is an extensive network of forest roads and much of the Duke District is road accessible.
In November 2022, Amarc entered into a Mineral Property Earn-In Agreement with Boliden Mineral Canada Ltd., an entity within the Boliden Group of companies. Under the terms of the Agreement, Boliden has a two-staged option to earn up to a 70% interest in the DUKE District by funding $90 million exploration and development expenditures. A $10 million program was completed in 2022-2023.
Amarc is advancing its 100%-owned IKE, DUKE and JOY porphyry Cu±Au Districts located in different prolific porphyry regions of southern, central and northern BC, respectively. Each District represents significant potential for the development of multiple and important-scale, porphyry Cu±Au deposits. Importantly, each of the three districts is located in proximity to industrial infrastructure, including power, highways and rail.
Freeport-McMoRan Mineral Properties Canada Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Inc. [NYSE-FCX] at JOY and Boliden Mineral Canada Ltd., an entity within the Boliden Group of companies at DUKE, can earn up to a 70% interest in each District through staged investments of $110 million and $90 million, respectively. Together this provides Amarc with potentially up to $200 million in non-share dilutive staged funding for these Districts. In addition, Amarc intends to solo drill the higher grade Empress Deposit in the IKE District with funding from a successful 2023 financing. Amarc is the operator of all programs.
Amarc is associated with HDI, a diversified, global mining company with a 35-year history of porphyry Cu deposit discovery and development success. Previous and current HDI projects include some of BC’s and the world’s most important porphyry deposits such as Pebble, Mount Milligan, Southern Star, Kemess South, Kemess North, Gibraltar, Prosperity, Xietongmen, Newtongmen, Florence, Casino, Sisson, Maggie, IKE, PINE and DUKE.