McFauld's Lake Overview
With 875 claims covering approximately 14,000 hectares, Probe Mine's has assembled one of the larger land packages in the McFauld's Lake greenstone belt stratigraphy. The Corporation's holdings are distinguished by their location within all of the prospective settings where major discoveries have been made in the McFauld's area to date, including chromite, nickel, copper, platinum group metals (PGM), base metal volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS), gold and vanadium. Two of Probe's properties, Tamarack and Black Creek, have demonstrated this potential with the discovery of Cu-rich VMS mineralization and chromite, respectively, while considerable untested potential remains on all properties. Probe's four projects, Tamarack, Victory, Black Creek and McFauld's West, each represent a unique setting, and a unique potential, in the Ring of Fire.
The region, in the southern part of the Sachigo River Greenstone Belt, has been the centre of considerable exploration activity since the discovery of polymetallic volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) mineralization by DeBeers Canada in 2002.
The Company's McFauld's Lake area projects lie in a sparsely vegetated area of subdued topography in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario. Greenstone belt volcanic stratigraphy at McFauld's Lake is overlain by a thin cover of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks, making the identification of geophysical anomalies, followed by diamond drill testing the optimum exploration strategy in this region.
Two main geologic settings have been targeted by mineral exploration: a mixed volcanic sequence hosting base metal VMS mineralization; and an ultramafic horizon located along the contact of the volcanics that is host to nickel-copper, chromite and gold discoveries. The volcanics represent the majority of the rock types found in the 100km long belt, with ultramafic intrusive so far identified only along a 20km zone near the center of the volcanic belt.
In addition to the mixed volcanics and ultramafics, a gabbroic/mafic complex has also been identified, which is spatially associated with the ultramafic intrusive. Significant intercepts of vanadium-rich mineralization have been reported by Noront Resources from the gabbro.
Probe Mines has assembled a significant land package within all three geologic settings, and has to date identified VMS mineralization on its Tamarack and Victory properties. An NI 43-101 resource estimate has been completed on its high-grade Black Creek chromite asset. The deposit includes a measured and indicated 8.645 million tonnes averaging 37.41% Cr2O3 and an additional inferred 1.6 million tonnes averaging 37.78%.
Owing to the size and location of these properties significant areas remain to be tested and considerable potential exists for the identification of other VMS and chromite deposits, as well as nickel-copper and precious metal deposits.
McFauld's Lake Geology
Very little is known about the geology of the McFauld's Lake area, with most of the information obtained from recent drilling in the area of the VMS, Nickel and chromite discoveries. The McFauld's Belt, commonly referred to as "The Ring of Fire", is an over 100km long, arcuate greenstone belt comprised predominantly of a bimodal population of basaltic and rhylotic-dactic volcanic rocks with minor intercalated sediments. At the center of the midpoint of the arc, situated at the contact of the greenstone belt and granodioritic country rocks, is a 20km long, thin, sill-like body of variably altered and sheared ultramafic intrusive, which hosts all of the known Ni-Cu, PGM and chromite mineralization. The Eagle's Nest Ni-Cu deposit is hosted in an interpreted "feeder dyke", which is thought to have acted as one of the conduits for magma emplacement.
Mineralization in the Ring of Fire is as varied as it is extensive. To date, potential economic sources of Cu-Zn, Cu-Ni, Cr2O3, PGM, Au and V have been identified in the felsic volcanic and ultramafic intrusive rocks of the belt.
The most significant VMS deposits occur in two areas of the belt, central and northern,and are distinguished by copper-rich and zinc-rich varieties, respectively. The central VMS deposits are typically associated with highly Mg-metasomatized felsic volcanics, characterized by intense talc alteration. Although some examples contain zones of zinc rich mineralization, most are notable for their high-grade copper. The McFauld's deposit (Spider) reported over 18m of 8% Cu in drill intersections, while Probe's A-Zone discovery hole returned 7.8m at 3.1% Cu.
The discovery of nickel-rich magmatic massive sulphide deposits was a turning point for the McFauld's area. The best example of this mineralization is represented by the Eagle's Nest deposit (Noront) and is characterized by thick, very high-grade intersections, including over 46m of 6.3% Ni, 2.8% Cu and 15.1g/t Pt+Pd+Au.
Following the nickel discovery, attention focused on the Belt's chromite potential with thick, high-grade drill discoveries by Freewest Resources in 2008. Chromite has surpassed all other commodities in terms of volume, and the acquisition of Freewest and Spider by Cliffs Natural Resources indicates its economic importance to the Belt. In addition to the value of Probe's Black Creek chromite, with Cliffs stating its intention to commence production by 2015, the Black Creek chromite deposit has become strategically important.
The Black Creek deposit is advantageously located between the Black Thor and Big Daddy deposits, and is interpreted to represent the southwest extension of the Black Thor horizon. Its strategic importance lies not only in the thick, high-grade mineralization, but also in its location and morphology. Black Creek lies in the middle of the Black Thor and Big Daddy deposits, separating these two zones. It is also close to bedrock, witnessed by outcrop on the property in close proximity to the deposit.
This is important for two reasons, as it provides low stripping ratios for mining and,perhaps more importantly, a stable base for infrastructure and operations. The McFauld's area is characterized by muskeg and it is rare to find stable footings. The morphology of the deposit is also important as it appears, from drilling, to represent a consistent lens of mineralization uninterrupted by faulting or deformation. Drill results from other chromite deposits indicate that faulting exerts considerable control over the lateral and vertical continuity of the chromite bodies, complicating potential mining scenarios. Black Creek shows a relatively consistent continuity along strike and at depth and is projected to surface through shallow drilling.
The Black Creek deposit represents a relatively uncomplicated deposit, and is an asset of strategic importance in the Belt.
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