Dr. Diane Nicolson reports
AMARC'S DUKE COPPER-GOLD DISTRICT TO BE ADVANCED WITH FUNDING FROM BOLIDEN
Amarc Resources Ltd. has entered into a mineral property earn-in agreement with Boliden Mineral Canada Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Boliden Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Boliden may earn up to a 70-per-cent ownership interest by making staged exploration and development investments in Amarc's 100-per-cent-owned Duke porphyry copper-gold district in central British Columbia. Amarc is the operator of the project.
Amarc's 678-square-kilometre Duke district is located 80 km northeast of Smithers within the Babine region, one of B.C.'s most prolific porphyry copper-gold (Cu-Au) belts, which hosts Noranda Mines' past-producing Bell and Granisle Cu-Au mines and the advanced-stage Morrison Cu-Au deposit. Significant infrastructure exists in the region, servicing an active forestry industry and also former mining activity. Central to Amarc's extensive mineral tenure is the Duke deposit discovery that is located 30 km north of the Bell mine. In addition to the Duke deposit, some 12 new porphyry Cu deposit targets have been identified on Amarc's mineral claims.
"We are very pleased to establish this partnership with Boliden, an innovative and globally recognized diversified mine developer and producer," said Dr. Diane Nicolson, Amarc president and chief executive officer. "Amarc's collaboration with Boliden -- a company with demonstrated experience and a commitment to the full cycle of exploration, development, production and downstream processing -- will substantially enhance the opportunity to realize the full potential of the Duke porphyry copper discovery and the greater Duke district. Our teams are excited about Duke's tremendous potential, and the opportunity to responsibly develop metals, such as copper, that are key to supporting modern society and its transition to a low-carbon future."
Permits for drilling and ground geophysical surveys are in place at Duke. The team is currently finalizing plans for a comprehensive program at Duke to advance both the Duke deposit and prioritized porphyry Cu deposit targets for drill testing.
"Today's announcement is Amarc's second important, non-share-dilutive strategic partnership with a major mining company, and will provide a significant catalyst to our exploration and development activities, and the growth of the company," Dr. Nicolson said, noting that Amarc is also working, as project operator, to advance its Joy Cu-Au district located in the Golden Horseshoe of Northern B.C. with financing partner Freeport-McMoRan Mineral Properties Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Inc.
Duke district agreement with Boliden
Under the terms of the agreement, Boliden has a two-staged option to earn up to a 70-per-cent interest in the Duke district.
To earn an initial 60-per-cent interest, Boliden must fund $30-million of exploration and development expenditures within four years of the effective date of the agreement, of which $5-million is a committed amount to be spent in 2022 and early 2023. Amarc will be the operator during this initial earn-in stage.
Upon earning a 60-per-cent interest, Boliden can elect to earn an additional 10-per-cent interest in the Duke district, for an aggregate 70-per-cent interest, by funding an additional $60-million of exploration and development expenditures at a minimum rate of $10-million per year over the ensuing six years. Once Boliden has earned a 60-per-cent interest, it will also have the right to become the operator.
Upon Boliden finalizing its earned ownership interest, Amarc and Boliden will form either a 60:40 or 70:30 unincorporated joint venture to further advance the Duke district. At that stage, each party will be responsible for financing its own pro rata share of project costs, or be subject to customary equity dilution, converting to a capped royalty if it falls below a 10-per-cent participating interest.
Duke district highlights
Although explored historically, the porphyry Cu system at the Duke deposit discovery has seen only limited drilling. Many of the 21 historical, shallow and closely-spaced core holes intersected and ended in significant mineralization. In the main area of known mineralization, these holes extended to only 124 metres vertical depth from surface. Examples of the historical results are: hole 71-14 intersected 87 m of 0.4 per cent Cu, 0.021 per cent molybdenum (Mo), 2.2 grams per tonne (g/t) silver (Ag) and 0.05 g/t Au from 29 m to the end of the hole, including 40 m of 0.48 per cent Cu, 0.023 per cent Mo, 2.6 g/t Ag and 0.07 g/t Au; and hole 70-02 intersected 113 m of 0.3 per cent Cu, 0.012 per cent Mo, 1.1 g/t Ag and 0.06 g/t Au from 30 m, including 12 m of 0.41 per cent Cu, 0.01 per cent Mo, 1.6 g/t Ag and 0.09 g/t Au.
The historical drilling was restricted to a small portion of a robust, three km north-south by one km east-west induced polarization (IP) chargeability anomaly, which is thought to have been offset by faulting. When reconstructed, this IP chargeability anomaly has a classic donut shape that was the target of Amarc's eight core holes completed in 2017 through 2018 (see Dec. 19, 2017, and June 12, 2018, news releases). Seven of the eight core holes drilled over an area measuring approximately 400 m north-south by 600 m east-west successfully intersected porphyry copper-style mineralization to a vertical depth of 360 m. This mineralization remains open to expansion.
Further, Duke lies within the Babine region, a belt of rocks that is highly prospective for discovery of Cu-Au deposits yet is relatively unexplored due to widespread glacial cover (four m to 18 m thick in the Amarc Duke deposit discovery drill holes). Amarc has completed a comprehensive compilation of government and historical data over the entire Duke district, which provided a new interpretation of the geological, geochemical and geophysical characteristics of the Babine belt, identifying 12 previously unrecognized porphyry Cu deposit targets with exciting potential (see May 6, 2020, news release).
Amarc's Duke project 2020 technical report (Duke report) provides in-depth information on both historical and modern exploration activities by Amarc completed within the Duke district, outlining its significant potential. The Duke report is available on the Amarc website.
About Amarc Resources Ltd.
Amarc is a mineral exploration and development company with an experienced and successful management team focused on developing a new generation of long-life, high-value porphyry Cu-Au mines in B.C. By combining high-demand projects with dynamic management, Amarc has created a solid platform to create value from its exploration- and development-stage assets.
Amarc is advancing its 100-per-cent-owned Ike, Duke and Joy porphyry Cu plus or minus Au districts located in different prolific porphyry regions of Southern, central and Northern B.C., respectively. Each district represents significant potential for the development of multiple and important-scale, porphyry Cu plus or minus Au deposits. Importantly each of the three districts is located in proximity to industrial infrastructure -- including power, highways and rail.
Amarc is associated with HDI, a diversified, global mining company with a 30-year history of porphyry Cu deposit discovery and development success. Previous and current HDI projects include some of B.C.'s and the world's most important porphyry deposits -- such as Pebble, Mount Milligan, Southern Star, Kemess South, Kemess North, Gibraltar, Prosperity, Xietongmen, Newtongmen, Florence, Casino, Sisson, Maggie, Ike and Pine. From its head office in Vancouver, Canada, HDI applies its unique strengths and capabilities to acquire, develop, operate and monetize mineral projects.
Amarc works closely with local governments, indigenous groups and stakeholders in order to advance its mineral projects responsibly, and in a manner that contributes to sustainable community and economic development. It pursues early and meaningful engagement to ensure our mineral exploration and development activities are well co-ordinated and broadly supported, address local priorities and concerns, and optimize opportunities for collaboration. In particular, Amarc seeks to establish mutually beneficial partnerships with indigenous groups within whose traditional territories its projects are located, through the provision of jobs, training programs, contract opportunities, capacity funding agreements and sponsorship of community events. All Amarc work programs are carefully planned to achieve high levels of environmental and social performance.
Dr. Roy Greig, PGeo, a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has read and approved all technical and scientific information related to the Duke project contained in this news release. Dr. Greig is Amarc's vice-president of exploration.
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