The Hecla-Kilmer property is a direct extension of the Company’s ongoing exploration strategy at its nearby Ranoke property, towards a blue-sky discovery of a large footprint copper-gold hydrothermal breccia system using new exploration technologies and modern mineral deposit models on previously untested targets. The Company has been working on Ranoke for the past two years, and the reader is referred to the Ranoke project page on this Website for a detailed description of its mineral exploration potential, and work completed by VR to date.
The Ranoke and Hecla-Kilmer properties are remote and the targets are covered and previously unexplored, yet they are proximal to regional infrastructure including rail, power and highway which enable cost-effective exploration and would facilitate efficient development should a discovery be made.
Both Ranoke and Hecla-Kilmer (H-K) are large magnetic anomalies associated with regional gravity features along the western margin of the Kapuskasing Structural Zone (KSZ), a crustal-scale shear zone hundreds of kilometres long which bisects the Archean Superior province between James Bay and Lake Superior. The KSZ has a long-lived history of repeated ultrabasic and alkaline intrusions spanning 1.6 billion years, and it is a prospective setting for a large IOCG or carbonatite-hosted hydrothermal copper-gold breccia system.
Hecla-Kilmer is a polyphase alkaline intrusive complex with carbonatite approximately 4 – 6 km’s across. A cursory historic drill program in 1971 for base metals in the Paleozoic cover rocks over Hecla-Kilmer identified gold-bearing magnetite-chalcopyrite-fluorite hydrothermal breccia within ultra-basic basement rocks, prior to the discovery of Olympic Dam and the development of the IOCG mineral deposit model, and prior to high resolution airborne magnetic technologies. There has been no modern exploration or drill-testing of the core of the H-K complex for a large hydrothermal copper-gold breccia system.
VR completed a high resolution and sophisticated airborne EM survey over H-K in June, 2020, in order to identify low resistivity bodies and/or finite conductors associated with major magnetic gradients within the untested core of the complex. The Company will consider a first-pass drill program in the fall of 2020, before winter conditions set in, to test the highest priority targets for sulfide-bearing copper-gold-fluorite hydrothermal breccia.
The Hecla-Kilmer property is in the Moose River basin in northern Ontario, Canada. It is approximately 35 kilometres southwest of the Company’s Ranoke property, and only 23 km’s to northwest of the Ontario hydro-electric facility at Otter Rapids at the northern terminus of Highway 634 which links the region to the towns of Cochrane and Kapuskasing situated on the northern Trans-Canada Highway located some 100 km’s to the south.
The town of Moosonee located on tide water at James Bay is located about 125 km’s to the northeast of the property. The Ontario Northern railway connects Moosonee with the mainline at Cochrane along the Trans Canada Highway, and is only 20 km’s west of the property.
The Ranoke property is located in a boreal region of lowland muskeg, with black spruce forest along river drainages. Topographic relief is minimal, and there is no outcrop in the lowland region.
Hecla-Kilmer is a large property, comprising 80 mineral claims in one contiguous block covering 1,649 hectares in an area approximately 5 x 7 km’s in size.
The property is located on Federal crown land, with mineral rights administered by the provincial Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (MENDM). There are no annual lease payments, but the MENDM requires certain annual exploration expenditures and reporting (ie. mineral assessment reports) in order to maintain a mineral claim in good standing. The property falls within the Moose Cree First Nation traditional territory.
The property is owned 100% by VR. There are no underlying annual lease payments to previous owners of the property, nor are there any joint venture or carried interests, other than an industry-standard royalty assigned to the Vendor and including a buy-back provision to VR.
VR has completed the compilation, synthesis and interpretation of all available regional federal and provincial government survey data, and archived provincial mineral exploration assessment data in the Hecla-Kilmer area, and integrated it with the Ranoke project data base.
Ranoke is amenable for the effective use of modern exploration technologies for base and precious metal deposits. Near-by towns with road access facilitate cost-effective exploration. Subdued topography will allow for optimal airborne geophysical surveys such as EM and magnetics. Historic drilling demonstrates that overburden thickness in the range of 40 – 70 m is average for the region and easily penetrated. Historic drilling also demonstrates that copper-gold-fluorite hydrothermal breccia comes to the near-surface so the use of geophysical targeting is effective.
To that end, the Company completed the first high-resolution airborne EM survey over H-K in June, 2020, using the sophisticated VTEM+ system of Geotech Ltd. Flown at 100 m line spacing over a 6 x 7 km survey block for a total of 450 line-km’s, final data are expected in August. The survey will produce resistivity maps for the complex in three dimensions, and finite conductivity picks which the Company will collectively integrate with high resolution magnetic data to evaluate the potential for sulfide-bearing copper-gold-fluorite hydrothermal breccia zones within the core area of the carbonatite complex.
The Company will consider a first-pass drill program at Hecla-Kilmer in the fall of 2020, before winter conditions set in, in order to test the highest priority targets for copper-gold breccia.
In the context of ensuring a safe working environment for exploration personnel during the ongoing global pandemic, the Company continues to evaluate a return to the Ranoke property this fall, 2020, to complete the first-pass drilling that started last November, 2019, and for which three drill holes are complete (see news release dated March 17, 2020). The goal is to complete the drilling before the winter season sets in, while daylight hours remain long, and ground conditions remain suitable for easy access to water required for drilling.
First-pass drilling of the Hecla-Kilmer complex will be integrated with the Ranoke strategy. The Company has submitted a permit application to the Ontario Ministry of Energy Northern Development and Mines (MENDM) for a reconnaissance-style drill program at H-K. Results from the recently completed airborne survey will be used to refine and prioritize drill targets within the large and complex magnetic anomaly at H-K. The permit is expected by the end of the summer (end of August, 2020).
Any potential drilling this fall at Hecla-Kilmer or Ranoke will be facilitated by the road-accessible camp used early this year for the Ranoke drilling and located nearby at Otter Rapids, at the northern terminus of Highway 634.
Both the Ranoke and Hecla-Kilmer properties are centered on large magnetic anomalies associated with regional gravity features which occur along the western margin of the Kapuskasing Structural Zone, a long-lived, crustal-scale fault zone with bisects the Archean Superior craton between James Bay and Lake Superior, and hosts numerous alkaline, ultrabasic and carbonatite intrusions and kimberlites which span more than 1.6 billion years of activity. This tectonic setting is prospective for the development of large IOCG or carbonatite-hosted copper-gold hydrothermal breccia systems.
Hecla-Kilmer is a large, polyphase alkaline intrusive complex with carbonatite approximately 4 – 6 km’s across. The core of the complex is mostly nepheline syenite and phonolite, surrounded by a myriad of ultra-basic and carbonatite intrusive phases including soviet, ijolite, pyroxenite and olivine gabbro. The complex was emplaced along the regional-scale tectonic suture between two sub-provinces of the Archean Superior Craton; the volcanic-dominated Wabigoon province to the north, and the sediment-dominated Quetico province to the south.
Six diamond drill holes were completed at H-K by Ashland Oil and Elgin Petroleum in 1971 as part of a regional base metal exploration program of the Paleozoic shelf carbonate succession which covers Archean basement rocks in the region. One hole was abandoned, and only 854 m were completed in total in 5 holes, all on magnetic highs in the outer zones of the H-K complex. Ten years later in 1981, Selco Exploration Company completed two drill holes on peripheral magnetic highs of the complex as part of a regional diamond exploration program, and intersected ultra-basic rocks and mafic breccia.
A high-resolution airborne magnetic survey was flown in the region in 1993 for diamond exploration. The survey shows clearly that Hecla-Kilmer is a concentrically zoned, high contrast magnetic anomaly 4 – 6 km’s across. Magnetic boundaries within the complex are sharply defined on RTP, 1VD and 2VD magnetic products. The historic drilling at H-K was done before this high-resolution survey, and before the discovery of the Olympic Dam copper-gold deposit in Australia and the development of the IOCG mineral deposit model, which helps explain why all five holes in 1971 were located in the outer concentric zones of the complex, and why copper-gold-fluorite hydrothermal breccia intersected in drill core in at least one of the holes was not sampled or followed up.
There has been no modern, systematic exploration or drilling of the core of the Hecla-Kilmer intrusive complex for copper-gold hydrothermal breccia; the opportunity for VR is to be the first to apply modern IOCG and carbonatite copper-gold mineral deposit models and the first to use modern exploration technologies to explore the core of the H-K complex for a copper-gold-fluorite hydrothermal breccia mineral system.