VRR.V Loading
Frankfurt: 5VR OTCQB: VRRCF




The Northway diamond exploration project is located in the James Bay region of northern Ontario, Canada. Staked directly by VR in 2022 as part of regional exploration for large-footprint, magmatic-hydrothermal mineral systems along the Kapuskasing Structural zone, the Northway property is a rare opportunity to test a previously unknown kimberlite breccia pipe and potential new field of pipes with new exploration technologies and modern mineral deposit models.

Northway is a direct extension of our work at Hecla-Kilmer using modern, innovative geophysical technologies to explore large-footprint anomalies within the Kapuskasing Structural Zone, but covered by a regional blanket of till. The kimberlite diatreme breccia pipe discovered at Northway is the result of this model and approach: Northway is centered on a large circular magnetic low 900 – 1,200 m across, and just 10 km west of the Ontario Northlands Railway. There is no outcrop in the region; the near-surface target is under cover and not previously explored or drilled.

The magnetic anomaly at Northway is located along the western margin of the KSZ, a crustal-scale shear zone and Proterozoic failed rift hundreds of kilometres long which bisects the Archean Superior province between James Bay and Lake Superior. The KSZ is well defined based on geophysical surveys and geologic mapping; it is a mega-structure with a long-lived history of repeated ultrabasic and alkaline intrusions spanning 1.6 billion years. The Archean Superior province is a prospective setting for kimberlite pipes tapping the mantle, as illustrated with the recently closed Victor diamond mine located to north at Attiwapiskat.

Summary of Current Exploration

Prior to drill testing Northway in November 2022, the Company completed a low-cost, ultra – high resolution drone magnetic survey over the core of the property in March. The survey was designed to map and delineate structures within the large magnetic low observed in regional government surveys. The final survey covers a 2 x 3 km block, comprising 108 line at 50 m spacing and 8 tie lines for a total of 120 line-km. The survey produces a very high resolution of data because of the tight line spacing, the low “tree-top” flight altitude of the drone at just 30 metres above ground, and a computerized flight control paired with a new, very high sensitivity potassium-vapour magnetometer.

In addition to the standard, processed deliverables from the survey, VR contracted an independent 3D MVI inversion model to refine the external boundaries and internal geometries of the anomaly in three dimensional space. As illustrated on the resultant RTP plan map and 3D MVI section shown on this Project Page, the magnetic anomaly at Northway is from 900 – 1,200 m across, sub-vertical in nature, and open to depth beyond the 1,000 – 1,500 metre vertical extent of the model.

Drill Hole NW022-001 was completed to 282m in November, 2022, on the southeastern margin of the circular magnetic feature. It intersected a kimberlite diatreme breccia pipe preserved below Paleozoic limestone and sandstone cover, starting at a depth of approximately 240 m. Follow-up drill hole NW23-002 was completed to 357 m depth in May, 2023. Located in the center of the anomaly, it is a 450 metre step-out from Hole 001, and it intersected kimberlite at exactly the same depth as in Hole 001, preserved below the cover of Devonian limestone and sandstone. The entirety of the kimberlite intersections from holes 001 and 002 will be submitted to the SRC laboratory in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for caustic fushion process and micro-diamond evaluation, planned for the summer of 2023.

Drill core photos included on this website provide a snapshot of the array of textures and important mineralogy observed to-date, including accretionary Kimberley-type pyroclastic kimberlite breccia textures (“KPK”), and more crystalline, hypabyssal or coherent kimberlite (“CK”) phases. Overall, lower curst and mantle-derived eclogite xenoliths are observed in KPK rock in both drill holes, together with phlogopite and olivine megacrysts and spherulitic magmaclasts commonly cored by olivine increase in abundance downwards in hole 002. Kelyphite rimmed garnet-bearing eclogite xenoliths occur at 330.8 m near the bottom of the hole.

VR has initiated a range of petrology, whole-rock geochemistry and mineral chemistry studies of drill core samples from both holes which are in progress and ongoing.

Crater facies kimberlitic mudstone and reworked volcaniclastic kimberlite (“RVK”) which formed at the very top of kimberlite breccia complex at Northway are preserved immediately below the cover of Devonian sandstone in Hole 001. As such, the MVI magnetic inversion model shown on this Project Page and taken from News Release NR23-10 dated May 18, 2023, demonstrates the potential vertical extent of the kimberlite breccia intersected to date in both drill holes at Northway.

Location and Access

The Northway property is in the Moose River basin in northern Ontario, Canada. It is located between the Mattagami and Missinaibi rivers. The nearest town is Moosonee located on tide water at James Bay some 125 kilometres to the northeast. Kapuskasing is located about the same distance to the southwest, on the Trans-Canada Highway (Provincial HWY 11).

Exploration at Northway is based out of a road-accessed camp established on private land at Otter Rapids, an Ontario hydroelectric facility located on the Abitibi River about 50 kilometres to the southeast of the property. Provincial Highway 634 provides road access to Otter Rapids from Smooth Rock Falls, located at the junction of HWY 634 with the Trans-Canada Highway.

The property itself is located just 15 kilometers west of the active ONR railway spur line which connects the town of Moosonee with the mainline at Cochrane on the Trans Canada Highway, thus providing port access to the Moose River region.

The Northway 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; Northway is a few tens of kilometres north of the northern limit of exposed Archean Superior Province shield in northern Ontario.

Property Description and Ownership

The Northway project consists of 64 contiguous claims in a single block and is surrounded by 19 additional claim blocks, for a total of 284 claims over similar magnetic anomalies, within an area of approximately 50 x 70 kilometres in size.

The properties are on provincial crown land. Mineral rights are managed by the provincial Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (MENDM). There are no annual 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 properties falls within the Moose Cree First Nation traditional territories.

The property group is owned 100% by VR. There are no underlying annual lease payments, nor are there any joint venture or carried interests associated with the property. There are no royalties attached to the property.

Exploration Target

As a result of the kimberlite breccia pipe discovery at Northway, VR staked 19 new, Tier 1 and Tier 2 targets in the region. The upside potential of the expanded project is two-fold. First, it relates the sheer breadth of kimberlite now intersected in two holes 450 m apart at Northway, within the magnetic anomaly from 900 – 1,200 m across. Second, the breadth and energy of the Northway pipe speaks to potential for a field of pipes around it, that is a kimberlite event recorded by the numerous magnetic anomalies staked by VR around Northway.

Observations from drill core indicate that the upper-most crater facies of the kimberlite complex is preserved, and infilled by Devonian sandstone and limestone of the Hudson shelf. As such, Northway is not simply the discovery of yet another thoroughly explored Jurassic kimberlite in eastern Canada, but rather the discovery of a new pipe and potential field of pipes related to a previously unrecognized mid-Paleozoic kimberlite event in Canada’s northern Superior Craton.

The area west of James Bay was explored extensively for diamonds from the 1960s through 1990s, culminating in the discovery and development by DeBeers of the Victor mine located 300km to the north of Northway. Northway, however, is different from the anomalies targeted during that exploration:

  1. Northway is a magnetic low, not a magnetic high;
  2. The Northway anomaly and breccia pipe complex is from 900 – 1,200 m across, much larger compared to the small magnetic highs typically a few hundred metres across drilled historically, and;
  3. Northway is older than the Paleozoic strata (410MA*) which cover it, as opposed to the younger, Mesozoic kimberlite pipes (170MA) targeted previously in the region which come through the Paleozoic limestone to the base of the glacial till cover.

Previous Exploration

The Northway target is previously unexplored: it is under cover, it is north of exposed Archean Superior Province shield, and it is north of easy road access in northern Ontario. The specific area of the Northway property is not included in any mineral exploration assessment reports filed with the MENDM, and there are no historic drill holes located at Northway in the MENDM drill hole database.

Regional Geology and Historic Regional Exploration

The Northway property occurs on the western margin of the Kapuskasing Structural Zone (KSZ), a crustal-scale shear zone which bisects the Superior craton in a complex, northeast-southwest trending zone of uplifted, high grade metamorphic rocks extending for more than 500 kilometres between Lake Superior and James Bay. There is believed to be more than 20 kilometres of vertical crustal displacement along the KSZ. It is clearly defined by positive gravity and magnetic domains on regional-scale geophysical maps.

The KSZ has a long-lived history of repeated ultra-basic, alkaline and carbonatite intrusions and kimberlite facies diatremes which collectively span more than 1.6 billion years of earth history, to as young as 125 million years ago. Intrusions in and around Coral Rapids and along the western margin of the KSZ where Archean rocks are exposed in major river drainages such as the Abitibi have been explored since the early 1960’s, and many have been age-dated.

The Northway property is near the southeastern margin of the Paleozoic Hudson shallow marine shelf, a Devonian-aged platform assemblage of limestone above a basal sandstone. The Moose River Basin developed on the southeastern-most margin of the shelf in Cretaceous time; a small successor basin less than 50 kilometres across, and preserved as finely laminated and poorly indurated mudstone and siltstone. These Devonian and Cretaceous strata in the Moose River area were deposited on a gneissic crystalline basement of metamorphosed sedimentary assemblages and lesser volcano-plutonic complexes of the Archean English River domain in what is believed to be the thickest part of the Superior craton in northern Canada.

The Moose River Basin has a long and varied if not sporadic checkerboard history of mineral exploration during the past 100 years. Overall, Cretaceous coal seams were the focus at the turn of the previous century, the basement unconformity at the base of the Paleozoic shelf was the focus for base metal exploration in the 1970’s, and there was active diamond exploration through the 1980’s and 90’s, extending and eventually focusing in the region west of James Bay at Attawapiskat, far to the north of Northway.

Overall, exploration in the region is hindered by the lack of outcrop in the boggy, lowland terrain, and by the cover of up to 400 metres of mid-Paleozoic (Devonian) marine shelf strata and Cretaceous in-land basinal strata overlying Archean basement. Archean VMS and Proterozoic orogenic gold deposits occur in the surrounding sub-provinces of the Superior craton, but there are no active base metal or precious metal mines in the Moose River Basin region. The Attawapiskat diamond mine (“Victor”) of Debeer’s located well to the north along the Attawapiskat River has reached the end of its mine life after more than a decade in production.

There are lignite occurrences exposed in the banks of the Abitibi River north of Coral Rapids. The coal seams were first studied in detail by the Geological Survey between 1871 and 1912. They extend westward from the Abitibi River within the confines the Cretaceous Moose River Basin. More than one hundred shallow drill holes were completed by the Ontario Department of Mines between 1926 and 1930 to evaluate the resource, leading ultimately to the completion of two shafts and some 389 metres of interconnecting drifts. Drilling resumed in the early 1950’s with the completion of an additional 182 holes. In 1981, the Ontario Energy Corporation re-visited the potential of the coal and evaluated lignite stratigraphy farther to the west. Hundreds of shallow drill holes were completed on a lease which exceeded 1 million acres. Drill holes were completed around, but not on, VR’s current Northway kimberlite property.

The Aquitane Company of Canada Ltd. completed airborne and ground geophysics between 1972 and 1974 to evaluate the hydro-carbon potential of Paleozoic strata, and twelve diamond drill holes to test for base metal, MVT mineralization. In 1978, Kerr-Addison Mines complete a series of reverse circulation drill holes near Coral Rapids to test exposed basal sandstone at the eastern edge of the Hudson Platform for uranium. These targets were re-visited and re-tested in 2006.

Diamonds were the focus of modern mineral exploration in the James Bay region. Exploration started in the 1960’s by DeBeers (Monoprose Canada), focused initially in the Attawapiskat River region well to the north of the Moose River Basin, and built on the pioneering regional aeromagnetic program of the Geological Survey of Canada. Ongoing and extensive regional till and alluvium heavy mineral sampling and high-resolution magnetic surveys through the late 1980’s eventually led to the discovery of numerous kimberlite pipes, including Victor.

Selection Trust (later named Selco Exploration Company) began alluvial sampling in the KSZ region in 1962, and were joined by Esso Minerals in 1979. The first composite kimerlite – lamprophyry dyke was drilled in 1967, followed by drilling of the Valentine carbonatite complex in 1969. Between 1979 and 1983, the Selco – Esso partnership completed regional heavy mineral sampling of till and alluvium over an area exceeding 100,000 hectares, and an aeromagnetic program launched in 1980 led to the identification of numerous post-Paleozoic, pipe-like anomalies, of which 45 were drill-tested; most were non- copper-bearing, ultra-basic and alkaline intrusions, and four were kimberlite-facies diatremes.

Regional-scale exploration in the KSZ - Moose River Basin region waned after 1983. Various small-scale airborne magnetic surveys and ground-based EM surveys, and local alluvium sampling programs were completed at the property-scale between 1983 and 2006, with the focus mostly on previously known, ultra-basic and alkaline intrusions and diatremes exposed at surface in and around Coral rapids, but also on limestone for industrial mineral applications.

Some 40 years later, VR has taken the opportunity to be the first company to apply new exploration technologies and modern mineral deposit models to explore the region for large footprint mineral systems in the presence of both Archean tectonic suture boundaries of the Superior craton and the Proterozoic KSZ, a crustal-scale failed rift and host to a myriad of intrusions and hydrothermal and volcanic breccia bodies which span some 1.6 billion years of earth history.

Exploration Camp, Otter Rapids, Ontario

Aerial drone magnetic survey, March, 2022

Drill Program, November 2022

Drill Program, May 2023

Property location in Northern Ontario

Property location on gravity basemap of Kapuskasing Shear Zone

Drill holes on Magnetic Map for Northway Property

Geologic Cross Section of kimberlite breccia pipe at Northway

Drill Core Photos, NW22-001, November 2022

Drill Core Photos, NW23-002, May 2023