This is the first phase of programs to be funded under the mineral property earn-in agreement with Boliden Mineral Canada Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Boliden Group. Under the terms of that agreement, Boliden may earn up to a 70% ownership interest, by investing in stages up to $90 million in the exploration and development of Amarc’s DUKE District. Amarc is project operator during the earn-in phase.
Core drilling focused at the DUKE Deposit was initiated in late 2022, with two holes completed prior to the holiday break. One core rig is now drilling and will be joined by a second rig later this week. One rig will focus on further delineating the DUKE Deposit, while the other will drill test the largely overburden covered, 3 km2 induced polarization (IP) chargeability anomaly that surrounds the DUKE Deposit. IP chargeability surveys measure the relative quantity of sulphide mineralization and are particularly effective in detecting potential porphyry copper deposits covered by overburden.
The fully-funded 2023 program is planned to continue until spring break-up, then recommence again in the summer with drilling and additional surface programs testing some 12 prioritized deposit targets across the DUKE District.
Boliden has committed to invest $5 million, with an expected further investment of $5 million (total $10 million) during 2023.
Amarc’s DUKE District is located 80 km northeast of Smithers within the Babine Region, one of BC’s most prolific porphyry Cu-Au belts. It hosts the former Bell and Granisle Cu-Au mines that were operated by Noranda Mines, and the advanced stage Morrison Cu-Au deposit. Significant infrastructure exists in the region servicing the former mines and the very active forestry and exploration industries.
Central to Amarc’s extensive mineral tenure is the DUKE Deposit discovery, located 30 km north of the former Bell Mine. Although explored historically, the extensive porphyry Cu system at the DUKE discovery has not been delineated or drilled off.
Many of the 21 historical shallow and closely-spaced core holes intersected and ended in significant Cu-Mo-Ag-Au mineralization. These holes were restricted to a small portion of a robust, 3 km north-south by 1 km east-west IP chargeability anomaly indicating a large sulphide mineralized system. Amarc completed initial drilling at the DUKE Deposit in 2017 and 2018. Seven of the eight core holes drilled over an area measuring approximately 400 m north-south by 600 metres east-west successfully intersected porphyry copper-style mineralization to a vertical depth of 360 metres. This mineralization remains wide open to expansion. The eighth hole was drilled off a road 1 km to the north and within the 3 km2 sulphide mineral system; it intersected similar copper-molybdenum-silver-gold porphyry mineralization.
Amarc has also completed a comprehensive compilation of government and historical data over the entire DUKE District. This detailed scientific work provided a new interpretation of the geological, geochemical and geophysical characteristics of the Babine belt, and identified 12 previously unrecognized porphyry Cu deposit targets with exciting potential.
Amarc is advancing its 100%-owned IKE, DUKE and JOY porphyry Cuplus or minusAu 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 Cuplus or minusAu deposits. Importantly each of the three districts is located in proximity to industrial infrastructure – including power, highways and rail.
Amarc is associated with HDI, a diversified, global mining company with a 35-year history of porphyry Cu deposit discovery and development success.