- Copper South License
Location and Property Description
The Copper South Project is situated approximately 45 km south and east of the Town of Snow Lake where active mining and milling of base metal massive sulphide-type deposits and precious metals has been ongoing for decades. Access to the property is by a variety of logging roads and trails and both fixed and rotary air transport. The Copper South Project consists of a single mineral exploration license (MEL 269A) with a total area of 5,880 hectares. It is 100% owned by VMS Ventures.
History of Exploration
The project area consists of mineral exploration license 269A situated in an area of extensive organic cover that overlies Ordovician dolomite that in turn obscures the prospective volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Flin Flon-Snow Lake greenstone belt. Accordingly, traditional bedrock geological mapping and prospecting are useless and indirect methods of exploration based on geophysics and geochemistry are required. The project area straddles the same belt of sub-Paleozoic volcanic rocks and associated sedimentary rocks that host the Copperman copper-zinc deposit and underlies both the Copper and Copper Extension projects. The general area has been explored primarily by airborne geophysical surveys and some ground geophysical surveys and diamond drilling.
Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited defined numerous magnetic anomalies on the basis of flying airborne magnetic surveys in 1962. In 1973 Manitoba Mineral Resources undertook Turam electromagnetic surveys in the area and recommended diamond drill testing of the numerous conductive responses that this survey documented. In 1978 Manitoba Mineral Resources returned to drill some of these anomalies and intersected primarily graphitic horizons however it is noted that lithologies intersected by drilling included strongly altered rhyolite tuff. Alteration included sericite with minor chlorite and silicification.
In 1985, Noranda Exploration Company, Limited undertook an Horizontal Loop electromagnetic geophysical survey and defined multiple conductive zones, some with strike lengths of up to 2.25 km. A total of 17 bedrock conductors were defined and recommended for further exploration. In 1986 Noranda with joint venture partner Manitoba Mineral Resources Ltd. undertook ground electromagnetic and magnetometer surveys and drilled a total of 1423 metres in 11 holes. Results indicated graphitic conductive zones with up to 60% pyrite and lesser pyrrhotite were present. Assays indicated base and precious metal contents were low.
In 1990 Quest Canada Resources flew Questor airborne geophysics including electromagnetic and magnetic surveys and documented multiple conductive zones. The Snow Lake joint venture, consisting of Teck Explorations Ltd., Consolidated Samarkand Resources Inc. and T.S.A. Explorations Ltd., established grids over Questor airborne electromagnetic and magnetic anomalies and followed up with DEEPEM and magnetic surveys in 1991. The best conductive responses were targeted with nine diamond drill holes. Previous drilling had intersected mafic flows and intrusions, sulphide-rich graphitic argillite, mixed mafic and felsic flows and tuff with lenses of graphitic argillite and metasedimentary rocks with graphitic argillite and pyrrhotite-bearing iron formation. The Sylvia and Kof copper-zinc mineralized zones are hosted within this stratigraphic sequence. The Snow Lake joint venture concentrated drilling on the sequence of mafic to felsic flows and tuff and intersected pyrite-pyrrhotite-rich graphitic argillite although locally the host rock units were strongly altered to a combination of chlorite and sericite. Numerous additional conductors were never tested.
Between 1993 and 1995 Hudson Bay Exploration and Development Co. Ltd. undertook airborne electromagnetic and magnetic using their SPECTRUM system and defined multiple bedrock conductors.
Philosophy of VMS Ventures Exploration
At the Copper South Project the recognition of the host rocks to the Copperman, Sylvia and Kof copper-zinc massive sulphide mineralization and the potential for repetitions to this mineralization on to the Copper South mineral exploration license provides an excellent case for follow-up exploration on the property. Subsequent to historical exploration data review an integrated geological-geophysical-geochemical exploration program to assess the Copper project area for additional base metal massive sulphide-type mineralization and associated precious metal mineralization was initiated. Due to dolomite cover the initial phase of exploration on this project will consist of geophysical and geochemical targeting with diamond drill follow-up.
The Copper South Project area is characterized by variably altered volcanic rocks flanked to the northwest by mafic intrusive rocks and overlain to the south by dolomite. These Proterozoic volcanic rocks, which also host base metal massive sulphide deposits in the Snow Lake area, continue southwards from the Copperman Project area where they are covered by a thin veneer of flat-lying limestone that gradually increases in thickness to the south.
The sub-Paleozoic southwest-trending greenstone belt that underpins the Copper South Project consists primarily of juvenile arc volcanic rocks including mafic and felsic volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, greywacke and derived gneiss. This sequence is intruded by a compositionally diverse suite of lithologies including gabbro, diorite, quartz diorite, leucocratic granodiorite to tonalite, granite and syenite to monzonite. This sequence is flanked to the east and in fault contact with graphitic greywacke and derived gneisses and migmatite that are intruded by monzodiorite to quartz monzonite.
VMS Ventures Inc. conducted an airborne geophysical survey over the property in early 2007 using GEOTECH’s VTEM system. Numerous well-defined conductors were identified. Some of the conductors were drilled previously and found to contain pyrite and graphite rock units, but others have not been tested to date. These anomalous VTEM responses indicate the presence of bedrock-hosted conductive metals such as copper- and zinc-bearing sulphide with associated gold and silver as well as graphite and the iron sulphide minerals pyrite and pyrrhotite. Of importance is the recognition of VMS-style alteration associated with some of the undrilled conductors. Follow-up geochemical surveys have been initiated and VTEM anomalies with coincident geochemical survey results become targets for follow-up drill testing.
Phase 1 partial extraction soil geochemical surveys were completed in 2009 with the aim of identifying those airborne electromagnetic anomalies with anomalous base and precious metal geochemical signatures. Phase 2 of detailed soil geochemical surveys were initiated in 2010. Coincident VTEM geophysical and soil geochemical anomalies will be followed up with detailed grid-based soil geochemical surveys to pinpoint follow-up exploration and will help to focus planned diamond drilling in 2010.
Base metal massive sulphide-type mineralization hosted within a sequence of altered volcanic rocks and chemical sedimentary rocks or exhalites are indicative of volcanogenic massive sulphide-type base metal mineralization (“VMS”). This deposit type is representative of Flin Flon – Snow Lake VMS-type deposits and includes the Discovery Zone at Reed Lake. This type of mineralization is the target at the Copper South Project.