Copper & Zinc Exploration in the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire
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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 4 percent of the main island and includes four main assets; the Nakoro and Wainaleka zinc-copper volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) projects, the Liwa Creek gold project, and the Rama Creek copper-gold porphyry project..
“After three years of negotiations, we now own 100 percent of these highly prospective zinc, copper and precious metal targets and an extensive exploration program for 2018 is underway, said Bryce Bradley, Thunderstruck’s President and CEO. “The company is now entertaining joint venture opportunities, and will be organizing site visits throughout the season.”
Thunderstruck has been conducting geologic mapping, geochemical, and trenching programs on its Liwa Creek and Rama Creek properties to establish future drill targets. Both the Nakoro and Wainaleka zinc-copper VMS projects are the site of successful historical drilling by Australian Anglo American Ltd. (Anglo). Beginning in July 2017, Thunderstruck commenced 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.
Thunderstruck Resources 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. Recent additions to the Board and Advisory Board include Lawrence Roulston and Tookie Angus, both seasoned professionals with a wealth of technical and capital markets successes behind them. The company’s Country Manager, Bill Brook, conducted preliminary exploration work on Thunderstruck’s project areas in the 1980s before discovering the nearby Tuvatu gold deposit now in development with Lion One Metals (TSXV:LIO); comprising an indicated resource of 294,000 ounces gold at a grade of 8.17 grams-per-tonne (g/t) gold, in addition to inferred resources of 445,000 ounces gold at 10.5 g/t gold1.
- 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 world2.
- 26 holes drilled by Anglo with grades up to 12.7 percent zinc and two percent copper.
- Confirmed 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.
- Mineralization remains open at depth and along strike.
- Accomplished management and exploration team.
- 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.
The island archipelago is located on the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire, a 40,000 km arc of tectonic activity along which contain 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 gold3. One of the most developed economies in the Pacific, Fiji is served by a mining-friendly government, and a reasonable royalty (five percent gross profits) and tax structure (20 percent corporate).
The Vatukoula Gold Mine is still in operation 50km 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 gold4.
In addition to gold, Fiji also hosts several undeveloped major porphyry copper-gold deposits. Australian miner Newcrest, along with joint venture partners that include Mitsubishi Materials Corp., is developing its copper-gold project immediately adjacent to Thunderstruck’s properties5. The Namosi project, one of the largest undeveloped copper resources in the world2, 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% 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% copper3.
Fiji is close to Asian markets and the main island of Viti Levu has excellent infrastructure including a deep-water port and hydroelectric dam.
Nakoro Zinc-Copper Project
The Nakoro zinc-copper VMS project is 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 recently acquiring 100% ownership, Thunderstruck built a road from Nakoro village to the property to facilitate future exploration.
Previous drilling by Anglo on this massive sulphide 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 will focus on expanding known zones of zinc and copper mineralization. The gold potential of the property will also 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 (NK202).
Nakoro VMS Surface Geological Compilation
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 @ 12.7 percent zinc, 0.3 percent copper and 56g/t silver (NKD-2)6;
- 23.2 meters @ 5.1 percent zinc, 0.5 percent copper and 22g/t silver (NKD-13); and
- 7.4 meters @ 7.2 percent zinc, 0.3 percent copper and 54g/t silver (NKD-12)
Anglo’s work culminated in release of an uncategorized historic resource prepared by Golder Associates for the Nakoro deposit of 450,000 tonnes averaging 11.6% zinc and 0.64% copper7.
Small diameter “backpack” diamond drilling by the subsequent owner located zinc-copper rich zone close to the surface 120 m north of Anglo drill hole NKD-2. Anomalous intersections included:
- 1.3 meters @ 1.5 percent zinc, 3.3 percent copper, and 37.6 g/t silver; (NKD111, ending in mineralization) and
- 1.6 meters @ 10.9 percent zinc, 3.0 percent copper, and 40.5 g/t silver (NKD123, ending in mineralization).
In addition, float samples collected at that time 60 m north of Anglo drill hole NKD-12 returned 21.1% copper (NK83), 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% and 11.3% copper; 26% and 14.0% zinc; 1,026 g/t and 498 g/t silver (float samples NK202 and NK209 collected from the NK83 area).
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 will 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.
Historical drilling by Anglo returned high grade zinc over 600m strike length
Wainaleka Zinc-Copper Project
Thunderstruck Resources’ second flagship project is the Wainaleka 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.
Historical drilling on the property by Anglo totaled 1,850 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 at 12.0% zinc, 1.75% copper, and 25 g/t silver (WLK1A);
- 9.7 meters at 5.5% zinc, 2.35 copper, and 47 g/t silver (WLK4);
- 15.5 meters at 1.3% zinc, 1.5% copper, and 8.0 g/t silver (WLK10)
Results from exploration work by the previous owner included:
- 2007 surface sampling with two samples returning 19.9% zinc, 2.7% copper (AW1001) and; and 14.4% zinc and 7.1% copper (AW1003);
- 2002 trenching returned an intersection of 5.5 meters at 6.8% zinc, 2.6% copper, and 212 g/t silver (samples W464 and W465, ending in mineralization); and
- near surface diamond drill intersection of 2.2 meters averaging 11.8% zinc, 1.9% copper, and 8.9 g/t silver (WLKD-107, ending in mineralization).
Two stacked mineralized zones are apparent at Wainaleka including a high-grade central zinc zone, and an underlying copper zone.
Recent QEMSCAN mineralogical analysis by Thunderstruck on 10 polished Wainaleka massive sulphide samples returned an average of 26.3% modal sphalerite (ranging from 0.1% and up to 66.5%), and an average of 4.2% chalcopyrite (ranging from 0.1% to 17.9%). 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% sphalerite) mineralization. Several reagent schemes and processing conditions can be evaluated to limit recovery of arsenic bearing minerals, and pyrite present in a minority of samples.
Wainaleka VMS Deposit Central Cross-Section and 3D Geologic Model
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 Wainaleka 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 their first exploration program on the Liwa Creek and Rama Creek properties. On Liwa Creek, the program included field work 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 this 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 71.3 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 3.0-kilometer by 3.0-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 favourable 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. “
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 at Rama Creek 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 field work 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 37.6 meters. Further exploration is required to determine the true width of the mineralization.
“This recent work confirms a mineralized gold-copper porphyry system at least a kilometre in diameter, which remains open to the north and south,” said Bradley. “The trenching showed the significance of the peripheral gold-in-soil anomalies, giving us a discovery in the first test, with several other anomalies yet to be tested. Having verified and extended the results of the historic work at Rama, and having done the same earlier at our various other targets, Thunderstruck’s Fijian properties are beginning to attract considerable interest in the mining industry.”
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 is also a Director of Sojourn Ventures, Inc. (SOJ.V), and Co-Founder and Chairman of Natcore Technology, Inc. (NXT.V). He serves as President and CEO of Jefferson Financial, Inc., a privately 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 and CEO, 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. Ms. Bradley graduated with an Honors B.Sc. degree from the University of Toronto in 1996.
Linnea von Hessert — Director
Linnea von Hessert is a geologist with over 20 years 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. Ms. Von Hessert graduated from the University of Montana with a B.S. in geology in 1999.
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/CEO of Auramex Resource Corp. and Chairman of Metalla Royalty and Streaming Ltd.
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.
Bill Brook — Country Manager
Bill Brook is a graduate of the University of Tasmania with over 40 years of experience in the industry, including senior positions with Goldstralian and international exploration and mining companies. He has been working as a geologist in Fiji since 1980, and with the formation of Geopacific Limited in 1986 conducted preliminary sampling on Thunderstruck’s portfolio of properties before discovering the Tuvatu 787,000 ounce gold deposit to the northwest.
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 sulphide (VMS), and kimberlite deposits throughout Canada, USA, and Mexico.
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