Rockridge Resources Ltd. (ROCK:TSX.V) is a fairly new mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral resource properties in Canada. Its focus is copper and base metals. More specifically, base, green energy and battery metals, of which copper is all three! Not just any place in Canada, world-class mining jurisdictions such as Saskatchewan. And, not just good jurisdictions, but in mining camps with significant past exploration, development or production, in close proximity to key mining infrastructure.
The company's flagship project, Knife Lake, is in Saskatchewan, Canada, (ranked third best mining jurisdiction in the world) in the Fraser Institute Mining Company Survey. The project hosts the Knife Lake deposit, a near-surface, (high-grade copper) VMS copper-cobalt-gold-silver-zinc deposit open along strike and at depth. Management believes there's strong discovery potential in and around the deposit area, and at additional targets on ~85,000 hectares of contiguous claims.
On May 7th, Rockridge reported additional results from its winter diamond drill program at its flagship Knife Lake project in Saskatchewan. Hot on the heels of last week's press release (April 30th) of two holes, comes three more. I was planning on writing an article on those excellent results, but Equity.Guru beat me to the punch, putting out this well done piece. Readers following along may recall that the key takeaway was that holes KF19001 and KF19002 largely confirmed historical grades, intercept widths and geological conditions. Fast forward to May 7th, and management's interpretation of drill holes KF19003, KF19004 and KF19005 was announced. Results on the remaining seven holes will be released over the next 20–30 days. As a reminder, Rockridge has an option agreement with Eagle Plains Resources to acquire a 100% interest in the majority of the Knife Lake Cu-Zn-Ag-Au-Co VMS deposit.
Earlier this year, Rockridge drilled 12 holes for a total of 1,053 meters. Importantly, this represents the first work on the property since 2001. Readers may recall from reading past articles and interviews on Epstein Research and Equity.Guru and viewing videos of CEO Jordan Trimble, that the company's primary goal is to explore districts that have been under-explored, never explored, or not recently explored. Management's highly skilled and experienced technical team and advisors deploy the latest exploration technologies and methods. A lot has changed in 18 years; a simple example would be the use of drones to fly various surveys.
Whatever management is doing seems to be working, as evidenced by two of the first five holes returning very strong results, and the third hole, KF19003 a true blockbuster.
Hole KF19003 was even better than the first two holes. In fact, significantly better, with a grade (Cu Eq.) x thickness (in meters) value of 91, compared to 41 and 49. Make no mistake, KF19001/19002 were great, they averaged 1.21 Cu Eq. over an average 38.5m. But, KF19003, WAS something to write home about…. [if under the age of 30, Google the idiom, "nothing to write home about"]. Near-surface like the first two holes, the 37.6m interval assayed 2% Cu, 0.2 g/t Au, 9.9 g/t Ag, 0.36% Zn and 0.01% Co, for an estimated 2.42% Cu Eq. grade. 2% Cu over 37.6 meters is a tremendous showing at under 41 meters downhole.
Holes KF19004 and KF19005 were mineralized, but had narrower intercept widths of interest. Still, there were attractive Cu Eq. grades (1.25% and 1.20%, respectively). Interestingly, gallium (up to 25.6 ppm) and indium (up to 15.2 ppm) values were found in the mineralized zones of all three holes. Those two rare earth metals trade at an average of about US$300/kg. Each 10 ppm = 1kg/tonne. KF19004 and KF19005 confirmed mineralization up-dip of historically drilled high grade mineralization. So, those two holes were like KF19001 and KF19002, important in building the potential resource size. All activities are advancing the project toward an NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate later this year.
Perhaps best of all, drill hole KF19003 confirmed high-grade mineralization up-dip of KF19002 in an area where no historical drilling is known to have been done. Therefore, this assay, and perhaps nearby assays to follow, will increase the size and grade of the upcoming mineral resource estimate. There were also encouraging zinc values, incl. 4m (from the 37.6m) of 1.32% Zn, nearly C$50/tonne rock. Gold values up to 0.63 g/t are interesting, but like the zinc, I'm referring to only the best grades, from smaller intercepts. That 4m interval I mentioned also had 7.54% Cu. This is clearly a COPPER deposit, Knife Lake is a near-surface, high-grade Cu project. See drill hole results from KF19001 – KF19005 below. Holes KF19001 and KF19002 were released on April 30th, and KF19003-KF19005 on May 7th.
Rockridge's president and CEO, Jordan Trimble commented: "The results from drill hole KF19003, specifically 2.42% Cu Eq. over 37.6m, far exceeded our expectations and represents one of the best holes ever drilled on the project. It is important to note that this drill hole was collared in an area where no historical drilling has been reported. As such these drill results are expected to have a positive impact on the historical resource. Final results from the remaining 7 drill holes are pending and will provide steady news flow over the near term."
Drill indicated intercepts (core length) are reported as drilled widths and true thickness is undetermined. (Details about calculation of Cu Eq. grade can be found in the press release).(Details about calculation of Cu Eq. grade can be found in the press release).
From the press release: "The Knife Lake area saw extensive exploration from the late 1960s to the 1990s with the last documented work program completed in 2001. Between 1996 & 1998, Leader Mining completed 315 diamond drill holes, outlining a broad zone of mineralization occurring at a depth of less than 100 m. Late in 1998, Leader published an historical estimate, reporting a, "drill-indicated" resource of 20.3 M tonnes, grading 0.6% Cu, 0.1 g/t Au, 3 g/t Ag, 0.06% Co & 0.11% Zn. Within the historical estimate there is a higher grade zone containing 11.0 M tonnes of 0.75% Cu, plus other metals."
NOTE: These mineral resource estimates are not supported by a compliant NI 43-101 technical report. A qualified person has not done the work to classify these estimates as current mineral resources in accordance with NI 43-101 standards. Furthermore, the categories used for these historical resource estimates are described as, "drill-indicated". This is not a NI 43-101 resource category, but based on the methodologies & drill hole spacing, management believes it would likely be classified as Inferred.
The project is within the word famous Flin Flon-Snow Lake mining district that contains a prolific VMS base metals belt. Management paid <half a penny/lb of copper and they believe there's tremendous exploration upside. The goal? High-grade discoveries in a mineralized belt that could host multiple deposits, as VMS-style zones often contain clusters of mineralized zones. Of course, the trick is finding them. No modern exploration, drilling or technology has been deployed at Knife Lake. It was discovered 50 years ago and last explored in the 1990s. Airborne geophysics, regional mapping and geochemistry were done. Management believes that modern geophysics—high resolution, deep penetrating EM and drone mag surveys to cover large areas in detail—could make a big difference.
The deposit remains open at depth. Additional discoveries are very possible as the property is >85,000 hectares in size. The winter drill program marks the end of the beginning of this highly prospective project. Importantly, the program gives the company's technical team valuable information about geology, alteration and mineralization that will be applied to regional exploration targets. According to the press release, most of the historical work was shallow drilling in and around the deposit area. Very little regional or district work has been documented. In fact, there wasn't even much drilling done below the deposit. That's why management is optimistic about discovery potential both at depth and regionally. I'm excited to see what the next seven assays add to the Rockridge Resources (TSX-V:ROCK) story!
Peter Epstein is the founder of Epstein Research. His background is in company and financial analysis. He holds an MBA degree in financial analysis from New York University's Stern School of Business.[NLINSERT]
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