Copper & Zinc Exploration in the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire
This profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
Thunderstruck Resources Ltd. (TSXV:AWE,OTC:THURF) is developing a diverse portfolio of zinc, copper, silver and gold properties on the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu. Thunderstruck’s Fijian property portfolio covers nearly four percent of the main island and includes four main assets; the Korokayiu and Nakoro high-grade zinc-copper volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) projects, the Liwa Creek gold project and the Rama Creek copper-gold porphyry project.
Thunderstruck has signed a joint venture agreement with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), who can earn a 70 percent interest in the Korokayiu VMS project by spending C$3.5 million in exploration. With Thunderstruck as operator, the joint venture partners intend to aggressively advance Korokayiu over the next three years. Drilling at Korokayiu has recently commenced and results are expected to be coming in the near term.
Both the Nakoro and Korokayiu zinc-copper VMS projects are the sites of successful historical drilling by Australian Anglo Pacific Ltd. (Anglo), with a historical resource of 11.6 percent zinc, 0.5 percent copper and eight percent zinc and two percent copper, respectively.
Since July 2017, Thunderstruck has been conducting a series of exploration programs on the Liwa Creek and Rama Creek properties. The results of this work showcased the discovery of widespread gold mineralization at Liwa Creek as well as a confirmed large porphyry system and gold mineralization at Rama Creek. Mapping, geochemical and IP geophysical programs were completed on its Liwa Creek and Rama Creek properties, successfully establishing future drill targets.
Thunderstruck is managed by an experienced team of geology, mining and financial professionals. Co-founding directors Brien Lundin and Bryce Bradley have a long history of raising capital and other strategic roles in the natural resource sector to support the advancement of discoveries like their current Fijian projects.
The Board and Advisory Board include Lawrence Roulston, Linnea von Hessert and Tookie Angus, all seasoned professionals with a wealth of technical and capital markets successes behind them. The company’s Country Manager, Moape Navia, has worked in several capacities in the Fijian mining industry, including 15 years at the Mineral Resource Department as Senior Technical Assistant and Mining Inspectorate Officer, and manages all facets of governmental and landowner relations.
Thunderstruck’s Company Highlights
- Joint venture signed with JOGMEC for Korokayiu for C$3.5 million.
- Thunderstruck owns a vast land package of zinc, copper, gold and silver assets covering nearly four percent of the main island of Fiji.
- Significant mineral deposits on the main island including Vatukoula gold mine, Tuvatu gold deposit, and Namosi copper-gold project, one of the largest undeveloped copper resources in the world.
- 26 holes drilled by Anglo on the VMS assets with grades up to 12.7 percent zinc and two percent copper.
- Confirmed high grade gold mineralization at Liwa Creek and large porphyry copper-gold system, and associated gold mineralization at Rama Creek.
- High-grade zinc, copper, silver and gold targets.
- Accomplished management and exploration team.
- Good infrastructure and close to Asian markets.
Mining in Fiji
When most people think of Fiji, mining usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, mining in the South Pacific nation has been ongoing since the opening of the Emperor (now Vatukoula) gold mine in 1934.
As one of the most developed economies in the Pacific, Fiji is served by a pro-mining government that has a reasonable royalty (five percent gross profits) and tax structure (20 percent corporate). There is also a large skilled workforce and low political, sovereign and social risks. Fiji is close to Asian markets and the main island of Viti Levu has excellent infrastructure including a deep-water port and hydroelectric dam. The island archipelago is located on the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire, a 40,000-kilometer arc of tectonic activity along which contains many of the world’s major gold and copper deposits. This includes Papua New Guinea’s Grasberg mine, the world’s largest gold mine and second-largest copper mine; and Lihir containing proven and probable reserves of 23 million ounces gold at a grade of 2.3 g/t gold.
The highly prospective “Ring of Fire”
The Vatukoula gold mine, which started operating 80 years ago, is still in operation 50 kilometers north of Thunderstruck’s assets, and has produced more than seven million ounces of gold with 2013 reported proven and probable reserves of 750,000 ounces gold at a grade of 7.77 g/t gold; and combined measured and indicated resources of 2.7 million ounces gold at 7.1 g/t gold.
In addition to gold, Fiji also hosts several undeveloped major porphyry copper-gold deposits. Australian miner Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM), along with joint venture partners that include Mitsubishi Materials Corp. (TSE:5711), is developing its copper-gold project immediately adjacent to Thunderstruck’s properties. The Namosi project, one of the largest undeveloped copper resources in the world, contains a 1.3 billion tonne proven and probable reserve of 5.2 million ounces gold and 4.9 million tonnes copper at a grade of 0.12 g/t gold and 0.37 percent copper; in addition to a 1.8 billion tonne indicated resource containing 6.2 million ounces gold and 6.2 million tonnes copper at 0.11 g/t gold and 0.35 percent copper3.
Korokayiu Zinc-Copper Project
Thunderstruck’s flagship project is the Korokayiu zinc-copper VMS project. The property is approximately 10 kilometers from the south coast of the main island and 50 kilometers by modern highway from the deep-water port at the Fijian capital of Suva. The property has a 15-kilometer strike length that includes eight underexplored targets. It remains open along strike and depth.
In February 2019, Thunderstruck signed a joint venture agreement with JOGMEC who can earn a 70 percent interest in the property by spending C$3.5 million on exploration by March 31, 2022. Thunderstruck has also changed the name of the property from Wainaleka to Korokayiu to reflect JOGMEC’s interest in the property.
“We welcome a partnership with JOGMEC to develop our Korokayiu (formerly Wainaleka) high-grade VMS discovery. We’re especially pleased that JOGMEC is proposing an aggressive initial exploration program culminating in diamond drilling during this year’s field season. JOGMEC is a well-established C$11 billion Japanese governmental entity mandated to ensure steady, cost-effective supplies of metals for their country’s industries. Korokayiu is one of Thunderstruck’s four Fijian projects, and we continue to advance these highly prospective assets with the aim of securing joint venture partners for our Rama copper-gold porphyry and Nakoro VMS, while advancing our Liwa gold project into a drill program,” said Thunderstruck President and CEO Bryce Bradley.
Historical drilling on the property by Anglo totalled 1,763 meters. Results showed that the main mineralized zone is open at both ends and at depth. Drilling intersected high-grade values including 6.2 meters grading 12.0 percent zinc, 1.8 percent copper, and 25 g/t silver, 10 meters grading 5.5 percent zinc, 2.3 percent copper, and 47 g/t silver and 15.5 meters grading 1.3 percent zinc, 1.5 percent copper, and 8.0 g/t silver.
Results from exploration work by the previous owner included:
- 2007 surface sampling with two samples returning 19.9 percent zinc, 2.7 percent copper and 14.4 percent zinc and 7.1 percent copper.
- 2002 trenching returned an intersection of 5.5 meters at 6.8 percent zinc, 2.6 percent copper, and 212 g/t silver; and
- near surface diamond drill intersection of 2.2 meters averaging 11.8 percent zinc, 1.9 percent copper and 8.9 g/t silver.
Two stacked mineralized zones are apparent at Korokayiu including a high-grade central zinc zone, and an underlying copper zone. The property also hosts a historic resource that outlines 250,000 tonnes grading eight percent zinc and two percent copper.
Recent QEMSCAN mineralogical analysis conducted by Thunderstruck on 10 samples returned an average of 26.3 percent modal sphalerite and an average of 4.2 percent chalcopyrite. Grain size observed was similar to typical VMS deposit indicating a primary grind size of 75 to 100 micron should be targeted. Sequential floatation of copper, then sphalerite into separate concentrates is the recommended processing path; with potential for dense media or gravity pre-concentration of ultra-high zinc (greater than 65 percent sphalerite) mineralization. Several reagent schemes and processing conditions can be evaluated to limit recovery of arsenic bearing minerals, and pyrite is present in a minority of samples.
The 2019 exploration season included a 10-hole drill program, funded by its joint venture partner, and a geophysical survey at Korokayiu. The drill program is designed to follow up on drilling completed by a previous operator in 1977. The geophysical survey is expected to help provide guidance as drilling continues.
Nakoro Zinc-Copper Project
Nakoro is a zinc-copper VMS project and one of Thunderstruck’s two flagship assets on the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu. Forestry roads extend across the property and the hydroelectric power station at the Monasavu Dam is only 20 kilometers northeast of Nakoro. After acquiring 100 percent ownership, Thunderstruck built a road from Nakoro village to the property to facilitate future exploration.
Previous drilling by Anglo on this massive sulfide body returned select composite mineralized intersects ranging from five to 12 percent zinc, with zones of high-grade copper at surface. Further surface exploration work is expected to focus on expanding known zones of zinc and copper mineralization. The gold potential of the property is also expected to be assessed, following the 2015 discovery of a siliceous rock grab sample discovered north of the main deposit that returned 3.37 g/t gold.
Between 1975 and 1977, Anglo completed two diamond drill programs at Nakoro totaling 2,614 meters in 20 holes over a strike length of approximately 600 meters. Historical drill results include 12 meters grading 12.7 percent zinc, 0.3 percent copper and 56 g/t silver; 23.2 meters grading 5.1 percent zinc, 0.5 percent copper and 22 g/t silver; and 7.4 meters grading 7.2 percent zinc, 0.3 percent copper and 54 g/t silver.
Anglo’s work culminated in the release of an uncategorized historic resource prepared by Golder Associates for the Nakoro deposit of 450,000 tonnes averaging 11.6 percent zinc and 0.64 percent copper.
Small diameter “backpack” diamond drilling by the subsequent owner located zinc-copper rich zone close to the surface 120 meters north of Anglo drill hole NKD-2. Anomalous intersections included 1.3 meters grading 1.5 percent zinc, 3.3 percent copper, and 37.6 g/t silver and 1.6 meters grading 10.9 percent zinc, 3.0 percent copper, and 40.5 g/t silver.
In addition, float samples collected at that time 60 meters north of Anglo drill hole NKD-12 returned 21.1 percent copper, suggesting the property has the potential to host zones of high-copper values.
Thunderstruck conducted its initial surface exploration program at Nakoro in 2014. Fieldwork confirmed the potential for high-grade copper mineralization as well as high-grade zinc and silver. Results from the initial samples include values of 19.3 percent and 11.3 percent copper, 26 percent and 14 percent zinc and 1,026 g/t and 498 g/t silver.
Exploration at Nakoro has shown a copper zone located at surface with only a few meters of surface oxidation. The historically drilled massive zinc zone remains open along strike and at depth. Thunderstruck has recently completed a preliminary 3D geological model based on historic Anglo diamond drilling and a surface geochemical results compilation. Future plans at Nakoro are expected to include twinning of select diamond drill holes as a confirmation of historic results, and to provide fresh material for metallurgical test-work program as a precursor towards completion of a maiden mineral resource estimate.
Rama Creek Copper-Gold Project
The Rama Creek copper-gold porphyry prospect, similar geologically to the adjacent giant Namosi porphyry copper-gold deposit, is located about five kilometers northwest of the Liwa Creek project. Thunderstruck Resources’ exploration program is focusing on the surrounding area of 14 square kilometers of anomalous gold values derived from stream sediment sampling in the 1990s. The area is highly prospective for gold and silver as such copper-gold porphyries typically have gold vein systems around them.
The stream sediment samples collected in 2017 confirmed the historic copper-gold geochemical anomaly and outlined new gold-silver anomalies in the northern segment of the property.
Anglo previously drilled only four wide-spaced holes with the central hole DDH 1 intersecting stockwork porphyry mineralization over 244 meters grading 0.22 percent copper and 0.16 g/t gold, including 72 meters at 0.38 percent copper and 0.29 g/t gold. High-grade silver assays were reported in samples from the periphery.
The fieldwork completed in 2018 confirmed a large copper-gold porphyry system and helped to identify a broad gold mineralized zone on the property. The gold target, named Senikura West, saw trench sampling which returned values of 0.96 g/t gold over 11.1 meters. This was within a broader anomalous gold zone with an average 0.55 g/t gold over 38 meters. Further exploration work significantly increased the size of the Senikura gold zone.
“The footprint of our porphyry target has effectively doubled to approximately 1.5 kilometers in diameter,” said Bradley. “The results of the current program strongly suggest that the Senikura gold zone, which was previously interpreted as a separate and distinct gold target south of the porphyry system, is actually part of one large and well-mineralized hydrothermal system. This is a game-changer as it demonstrates that Rama has potential to be a major copper-gold system.”
Thunderstruck has completed an IP geophysical survey on the property. The IP survey defined a bowl-shaped chargeability high and resistivity low anomaly with an 800-meter diameter at surface. The anomaly extends to a depth of approximately 500 meters below surface and is associated with a semi-circular ridge-and-spur soil geochemical anomaly that grades greater than 800 ppm copper and 200 ppb gold. The company also flew a one-kilometer-line that transected the Senikura gold zone and defined a 60-meter-wide resistivity low anomaly.
“These results show that our Rama copper-gold porphyry target geophysical anomaly extends to a depth of at least 500 meters, far deeper than Anglo’s discovery hole in 1975, which ended in mineralization at 244 meters,” said Bradley. “A drilling program will determine the ultimate size of this exciting target.”
Liwa Creek Gold Project
The Liwa Creek gold project is a prospective high-grade gold property on the main island of Fiji, near the company’s Nakoro and Korokayiu zinc-copper VMS projects. This high-priority area contains classic epithermal, high-grade gold veins, breccia bodies and silicification zones. Other than regional sampling, minor trenching and grab sampling, little exploration had been completed prior to Thunderstruck’s exploration program.
In November and December 2017, Thunderstruck completed its first exploration program on the Liwa Creek and Rama Creek properties. On Liwa Creek, the program included fieldwork and 530 meters of hand trenching in four separate areas on the prospect. It also included 123 prospecting rock grab samples, 110 ridge-and-spur auger soil samples and 47 BLEG stream sediment samples. Samples from the program returned results of up to 36 g/t and 31.8 g/t gold, including 12.5 percent and 6.8 percent lead in Jensen’s showing.
On the Liwa Ridge showing, the company excavated two trenches, Liwa North and Liwa South. Results from the Liwa South trench included 1.2 g/t gold over 26.5 meters including 3.6 g/t gold over 4.2 meters, within a broader anomalous zone with average grades of 0.61 g/t gold over 71 meters. In the Liwa North trench, the results were of 0.30 g/t gold over 31 meters within a broader anomalous gold zone with average grades of 0.24 g/t gold over 67 meters.
As part of this work, Thunderstruck identified a three-kilometer by three-kilometer gold mineralization zone. The samples from outcrops and trenches at both the Jensen’s and Liwa Ridge showings show the potential for the system to host favorable grades. Meanwhile, the soil and BLEG samples at other prospects show the presence of gold over a large area, suggesting the presence of a large mineralizing system comparable in scale to other large gold-bearing systems in the Pacific Rim of Fire.
Historical data at Liwa Creek includes:
- assays of 8.4 g/t gold and 93 g/t silver from a siliceous, pyritic rock sample taken by Amoco Minerals Fiji Ltd. in the 1970s;
- soil samples assaying up to 9.6 g/t gold; chip sampling from trenches showing 15 meters of 1.9 g/t gold; and 5.5 meters of 2.01 g/t gold from soil sampling and trenching conducted in the 1980s by Geopacific Limited; and
- a chip sample assaying 5.7 g/t gold over seven meters has shown the potential for a regional target area.
“Multiple examples of significant gold mineralization, as well as extensive anomalies, have now been uncovered across the expanse of our property,” Bradley commented. “In particular, these results show that our Liwa and Jensen’s discoveries are shaping up to be intriguing gold targets.”
Thunderstruck completed a five-kilometer IP geophysical survey at Liwa Creek. The survey targeted four gold prospects: Jensen, Liwa Ridge, Lower Vatuvatulevu and Gun. The company recovered values of 55 g/t gold in an outcrop at Jensen and an untested soil anomaly graded 2.5 g/t gold at Lower Vatuvatulevu.
“The results from our Liwa gold prospect also indicate that geophysical anomalies associated with wide-spread surface mineralization extend to a depth of at least 300 meters below each of our four gold targets, where prior sampling and trenching showed locally high-grade gold mineralization at surface,” said Bradley. “With this confirmation of depth potential, we are now ready to determine specific drill targets for each of our identified gold prospects. It’s important to note that, in all cases, the anomalies are open to depth beyond the limits of the geophysical surveys.”
A recently completed academic study at Liwa Creek determined that the property shows characteristics of both high and intermediate sulfidation epithermal deposits. The report found that open-space veining and silicic alteration at higher elevations indicates that considerable potential exists in the structures and warrant additional exploration. It was concluded that the mineralization is controlled by northeast-trending fault zones that remain open at depth and along strike.
In addition to the academic study, prospecting at the Liwa Ridge target has returned one of the highest gold assays to date. Two separate samples returned assays of 11.1 g/t gold and 8.5 g/t gold as well as 57 g/t gold and 109 g/t silver.
Thunderstruck’s Management Team
Brien Lundin – Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board
Thunderstruck Resources Co-Founder Brien Lundin was appointed Chairman of the Board in August 2016. Lundin has been an active investor and speculator in the mining and technology sectors for over four decades. He serves as President and CEO of Jefferson Financial, Inc., a privately held company that hosts the annual New Orleans Investment Conference. Lundin publishes Gold Newsletter, a monthly publication that covers small cap resource stocks as well as geopolitics and macro-economics, a newsletter that has been the cornerstone of precious metals advisories since 1971.
Bryce Bradley – President, CEO and Co-founding Director
With a strong background in Capital Markets and Investment Banking, Bryce Bradley has facilitated the structuring and financing of dozens of private and publicly traded small and micro-cap companies. She founded and served as President of Generic Capital, as well as Saltus Mercantile Corp. (now Robson Capital Partners Corp.), both merchant banks focused on capital raising and advisory services for mining exploration companies. She graduated with an Honors B.Sc. degree from the University of Toronto in 1996.
Lawrence Roulston — Director
Lawrence Roulston is a mining professional with over 35 years of diverse experience as a mining analyst and consultant. He is Managing Director of WestBay Capital Advisors, providing business advisory and capital markets expertise to the junior and mid-tier sectors of the mining industry. Previously, he was the editor of Resource Opportunities, an independent investment publication focused on the mining industry. He is President and CEO of Auramex Resource Corp. and Chairman of Metalla Royalty and Streaming Ltd.
Linnea von Hessert — Director
Linnea von Hessert is a geologist with over 20 years of experience in the mining industry, having worked for majors and juniors as well as the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada. She is an active investor with significant holdings in the mineral exploration industry. Von Hessert graduated from the University of Montana with a B.S. in geology in 1999.
Annie Zou – CFO and Corporate Secretary
Annie Zou works with public companies in the resource, biopharmaceutical and technology industries. Her knowledge and experience support the financial reporting, regulatory compliance, treasury and audit functions. She completed her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of British Columbia, specializing in Accounting and Statistics. She is also a candidate for Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC).
Tookie Angus — Advisor
For the past 40 years, Tookie Angus has focused on the structuring and financing of significant international exploration, development and mining ventures. He is the former chairman of the board of BC Sugar Refinery Ltd.; he was a director of First Quantum Minerals until June 2005, a director of Canico Resources Corp. until its takeover by CVRD in 2005, and a director of Bema Gold until its takeover by Kinross Gold in 2007. More recently, he was managing director of mergers and acquisitions for Endeavour Financial, a director of Ventana Gold until its takeover by AUX Canada Acquisition in 2011, and a director of Plutonic Power until its merger with Magma Energy in 2011. He was until recently Chairman of Nevsun Resources Ltd. He is currently Chairman of K92 Mining and San Marco Resources.
Kristopher J. Raffle – Technical Consultant
Mr. Raffle is a Principal and Consultant of leading international mineral exploration consulting firm APEX Geoscience Ltd. and has been registered as a Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.) with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) since 2007. Kris manages APEX’s Vancouver team of Geoscience Professional’s providing a range of geological consulting services including: NI 43-101 technical reports, property evaluation, intensive exploration data analysis, program design, geological modelling, and mineral resource estimation. His technical experience includes over 16 years of work on Archean lode gold, copper-gold porphyry, epithermal, volcanic-hosted massive sulfide (VMS), and kimberlite deposits throughout Canada, US and Mexico.
Moape Navia – Country Manager
My Navia is a geologist graduating from University of South Pacific and has worked in several capacities in the Fijian mining industry, including 15 years at the Mineral Resource Department as Senior Technical Assistant and Mining Inspectorate Officer. His roles included overseeing a full revision of the Fiji Mining Act (which is based on English Mining Law) as well as enforcement of the Explosives Act, Mining Act and Quarries Act. He spent 10 years as Permitting/Lands Manager with Lion One Metals (TSXV:LIO); helping to take the Company’s Fijian Tuvatu high-grade gold asset from exploration through to development. He also worked as a geologist at the Vatukoula gold mine in Fiji.
*Disclaimer: The profile provides information which was sourced and approved by Thunderstruck Resources (TSXV:AWE) in order to help investors learn more about the company. Thunderstruck Resources is a client of the Investing News Network (INN). The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this profile page, to which links are placed on Investingnews.com and channel newsletters.
The company description, investment highlights and catalysts were sourced by INN and approved by the company. INN does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information contained on this page.
INN does not provide investment advice and the information on Investingnews.com profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security.
INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.
Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company.