Nicola Mining Inc. [NIM-TSXV; HUSIF-OTC] said Monday May 27 that a 2019 exploration program has commenced at the 100%-owned New Craigmont Project, located in the Highland Valley porphyry district near Merritt, southern British Columbia.
The 10,000-hectare property contains the former Craigmont Mine, which produced 34 million tonnes, grading 1.3% copper between 1961 and 1982 from underground and open pit operations. It ranked as one of North America’s highest grading copper mines.
Having successfully consolidated ownership of the property in 2015, Nicola is now focused on establishing near-mine resources in the vicinity of those historic operations in a bid to establish a new resource estimate.
On Monday the company said its primary objective is to prove the historic un-exploited mineral inventory through target definition drilling on in-situ orebodies and underground surveying to delineate the volume of material remaining in sub-level caves in the Craigmont Central area. In tandem, a NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate is in the process of being defined on the historic mining terraces.
The first holes (one and two) aim to intersect the unexploited, and incompletely delineated No. 3 orebody The second proposed drill pad (hole three and four) aims to extend the orebody strike length westward, toward the approximately north-south-striking Embayment fault.
The company said it has already conducted and confirmed the high-grade mineralization west of the Embayment fault, indicating that the mineralizing event occurs farther west than the historic Craigmont open-pit and underground workings.
The third drill pad (holes five and six) will target the eastward extension of the orebody to test potential mineralization south of the 2400 level historic drilling. The fourth drill pad (hole seven) hopes to explore stratigraphy on north of the open pit and extend mineralization at the 3500-level westward.
“The diamond drilling program may be adjusted, as well as subsequent holes, depending on initial drilling results and data from other forms of exploration that will occur in the 2019 program,” the company said in a press release, Monday.
Historic mine terraces
In October, 2o018, the company launched a Phase two reverse circulation drilling program on the historic Craigmont copper mine waste piles and 3060 ore portal. In response to mineralization viewed in the 49 holes drilled between 2017 and early 2018, the company completed an additional 60 reverse circulation holes (RC). The 2017 and 2018 RC campaign predominantly tested the southern terraces and the 3060 portal for mineralization in the blasted material.
At the time of mining (1963 onward), this blasted material was considered sub-economic (less than 0.4% copper). However, the company is currently assessing the viability of processing this material through the utilization of ore separation technology.
The company also said it hopes to complete a resource estimate of the southern terraces by the third quarter of 2019.
Nicola Mining also has a gold mill and a zero-discharge tailings facility on their property and offers custom milling services.
Nicola shares were unchanged at $0.09 Monday and trade in a 52-week range of $0.075 and 17 cents.