Renforth Reports Encouraging Assay Results Following Maiden Drilling Program at Surimeau Property
After a busy year of exploration throughout 2020, the break for the holiday season provided a welcome pause for Renforth Resources Inc. (CA:RFR – $0.07 & US:RFHRF – $0.06 & GER:9RR – €0.04). Drilling activity at two projects had advanced rapidly and over-worked assay laboratories were struggling to keep up with the volume of sample shipments. However this week the company reported assays results from the drilling completed at Surimeau.
Recent field work and sampling completed by Renforth, along with data from historical trenching activity, led to the interpretation of the Victoria West target area spanning a strike length of roughly 5 kilometers. The maiden drill program of three shallow holes was completed at this target last fall. The assay results from this drilling work now confirm that a base metals discovery is in process at Victoria West.
Near surface base metals mineralization was encountered in all three of the drill holes at Victoria West. Distinct intervals of nickel, copper and zinc enrichment were hosted within volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) alteration, often intertwined with ultramafic alteration zones.
This shallow discovery zone validated through initial drilling work, is therefore a promising indication for the potential of this enormous target. Victoria West is part of a larger structural target that extends more than 20 kilometers along strike to where the Colonie base metals occurrence has been outlined a the opposite end. Between these two main base metals showings the remainder of strike along this system remains largely unexplored. At least one other regional structural target of similar magnitude extends laterally in a separate band to the north, which may also provide multiple discovery zones as exploration work continues.
Wide Mineralized Zones Encountered with Attractive Grades of Base Metals
Drill core from SUR-20-02 provided an illustration of the complexity related to wide bands of multi-layered alteration. Within a core length of roughly 56 meters, one near surface interval of 9m was mineralized with copper content of 0.173% average grade. A wider section with an average grade of 0.481% zinc was also present in this shallow zone. Further down hole, the best interval yielded 0.126% nickel over a core length of more than 20m.
Drill hole SUR-20-01 was collared about 200m further along the structural target. This drill core also provided several shallow mineralized intervals with distinct sections that were enriched with nickel, copper and zinc. While hole SUR-20-03 was not completed to the full scheduled depth, just over 30m of continuous drill core was mineralized everywhere it was sampled. One attractive section extended more than 13m bearing 0.156% nickel. This section also provided the highest grade zone, a sample of one meter enriched with 0.483% nickel. The drill core terminated within mineralization, opening the potential that an even wider section may ultimately be defined from this zone.
Several sections of drill core were not considered for assay during the first round of analysis. Given the wide intervals that are now confirmed to carry base metals alteration, Renforth has opted to include additional samples from the remaining untested drill core. The core will be split and bagged prior to submission to the laboratory for evaluation.
The grades presented from drill core assays confirm results achieved from sampling work completed last year in the vicinity of the target zone. It will take some time before the remaining assay results are available. The mineralized intervals may yet amount to even more attractive zones when all of the data is presented.
High Magnitude Potential Warrants Increased Scale of Exploration Activity at Surimeau
One other potential ‘bonus’ surprise may be pending. Renforth has opted to expand on the panel of analysis that will be carried out for the core samples. Assaying will now include testing for platinum group elements (PGE) content. PGE are commonly encountered along with nickel alteration. This suite of metals includes platinum, palladium and rhodium, along with lesser known metals such as indium, iridium, osmium, and ruthenium.
If even low grade PGE content is identified within the same alteration zones as the base metals alteration, the potential for a valuable additional by-product would materially improve the economics for the deposit area. For example, rhodium is currently the most valuable metal in the world based on spot price.
The Company has recruited a specialist for the next round of exploration. Dr. James Franklin has been appointed Principal Technical Advisor for Surimeau. A geologist with direct experience in the advancement and exploration of several VMS deposits worldwide, Franklin was previously recognized for his accomplishments with his addition to the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.
At this early stage of the breakthrough VMS discovery at Surimeau, Franklin is expected to contribute towards the successful follow up of exploration. Interpretation of the latest data is already in process to update the exploration model. As target definition continues the Company expects that drilling work may be underway again as soon as April.
Next Phase of Drilling Work Commences at Parbec
This week Renforth also reported that the extensive ongoing drill program at its Parbec project has resumed. This will be a continuance of the successful program that was underway at the project late last year. At least another 5000m of total drilling is scheduled in this round. The overall program is expected to comprise at least 15,000m of drilling work when the final hole is completed in the months ahead.
Both infill drilling and step out targets will be part of this round. The objective is to build data that can optimize the resource definition for the deposit. Deeper targets below known gold zones will be reached through longer drill holes. Some infill drilling is also planned where necessary to maintain drill density of roughly 25 meters between drill holes.
Seven of the scheduled drill holes will be lower-risk confirmation drilling designed to replicate drilling work reported by previous operators. Some historical drilling prior to 2007 could not be included in the resource estimate for Parbec under the standards of NI43-101 reporting. Known gold zones encountered from historical work must therefore be replicated with new drill holes. The confirmation work is expected to provide a meaningful upgrade to the overall deposit resource as this data becomes available.
Of note, Renforth has achieved a perfect success rate in drilling at Parbec so far, with all 45 drill holes that assays have been received for encountering meaningful gold values. Drill core from a further 22 previously completed holes are still pending assay. The results will be reported as this backlog of assaying is resolved in the weeks ahead. Following the receipt of all results from this extensive drill program, Renforth will be compiling an updated resource estimate for the project.
Renforth is already a proven, successful participant in the Abitibi mineral belt having presented two significant gold deposits, one of which was sold. That the Company was able to secure the large, wholly-owned Surimeau property in the midst of this district is noteworthy. This property has tremendous potential for a wide ranging exploration effort with several appealing targets already outlined. VMS style alteration has now been encountered at Surimeau with the potential to evolve into a high value deposit.
It is extremely encouraging that Renforth was able to deliver this discovery success from the very first drill holes. In addition, the setting for this initial discovery is appealing with attractive grades encountered almost from surface. Wide sections of alteration and the distinct suites of mineralization encountered in close proximity are also promising for the future potential of this target zone. The inventory of targets so far is already sufficient to keep the Company busy for many years. Much of the property area remains unexplored.
The outlook for Surimeau has added an exciting dimension to the story. As the newest VMS discovery in Canada, the appeal of base metals leverage builds further speculative upside. Dubbed ‘battery metals’ as they are currently in demand for the fabrication of batteries to power electric vehicles, the spot prices for nickel and copper have been rising in recent months. There is also potential for a PGE component to be outlined as work continues, advancing the multi-metal value proposition further at Surimeau.
Meanwhile drilling work has resumed at the nearby Parbec property. Renforth is once again advancing two exciting exploration programs in one of the most prolific mineral districts in all of Canada. Expect a steady stream of assay results in the months ahead. Smallcaps Recommendation: BUY.
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