14:38:57 EDT Sun 01 Oct 2023
Enter Symbol
or Name

Amarc Resources Ltd
Symbol AHR
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Close 2023-03-02 C$ 0.15
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Amarc Resources drills 204 m of 0.42% CuEq at Joy

2023-03-02 10:10 ET - News Release

Dr. Diane Nicolson reports


Amarc Resources Ltd. has released the results of 2022 drilling at the Pine deposit and from scout drilling at prioritized porphyry copper-gold deposit targets clustered across its 482-square-kilometre, 100-per-cent-owned Joy district in north-central British Columbia. During the 2022 season, Amarc completed 37 core holes (15,427 metres) that considerably expanded the Pine deposit to over a 1,700 m strike length, discovered new porphyry Cu-Au mineralization at the five square km Canyon deposit target and further defined additional deposit-scale porphyry systems requiring exploration drilling.

Over the past two years, Freeport-McMoRan Mineral Properties Canada Inc., which is earning in at Joy, has invested approximately $20-million, advancing exploration programs (see Amarc release Oct. 11, 2022). Amarc is operator of the project.

Highlights from 2022 Pine deposit drilling include:

  • 204 m of 0.42 per cent copper equivalent* (0.18 per cent Cu, 0.41 gram per tonne Au and 2.3 g/t Ag (silver));
  • 105 m of 0.40 per cent CuEq (0.13 per cent Cu, 0.47 g/t Au and 2.3 g/t Ag);
  • 107 m of 0.31 per cent CuEq (0.09 per cent Cu, 0.37 g/t Au and 1.2 g/t Ag);
  • 179 m of 0.32 per cent CuEq (0.11 per cent Cu, 0.36 g/t Au and 1.2 g/t Ag).

Highlights from new porphyry Cu-Au discovery at Canyon deposit target include:

  • 96 m of 0.51 per cent CuEq (0.39 per cent Cu, 0.18 g/t Au and 2.6 g/t Ag), within:
  • 296 m of 0.39 per cent CuEq (0.30 per cent Cu, 0.14 g/t Au and 1.7 g/t Ag).

*Copper equivalent (CuEq) calculations use metal prices of: $4 (U.S.)/pound Cu, $1,800 (U.S.)/ounce Au, $24 (U.S.)/oz Ag, and conceptual recoveries of: 85 per cent Cu, 72 per cent Au and 67 per cent Ag.

"The strong results delivered by our 2022 drilling continue to reveal the exceptional potential of the Joy district," said Dr. Diane Nicolson, Amarc president and chief executive officer. "Delineation drilling at the Pine deposit substantially expanded mineralization and it is still wide open. In addition, scout drilling of expansive deposit scale targets is confirming the potential for clustered porphyry mineralized deposits around the Pine; the discovery of new copper-gold mineralization at the largely covered Canyon target is especially exciting. Also, as previously reported, surface surveys are preparing new and compelling porphyry copper-gold deposit targets across Joy for drilling."

Dr. Nicolson said that having recently received and verified all drill results, Amarc is currently in the process of fully integrating all drill core assay details with extensive surface surveys, to complete 2023 program planning with Freeport.

Expansion of the Pine porphyry Cu-Au deposit over 1,700 m of strike length

Prior to 2022, drilling the Pine deposit was, from Amarc's and historical drilling, known to extend over approximately 600 m by 900 m; importantly, it was also recognized to be open to expansion internally and laterally as well as to depth (see Amarc release March 7, 2022). In 2022, the 11 core holes (up to 781 m in length) completed at Pine successfully intercepted significant mineralization that extended the footprint of the deposit over a strike length of 1,700 m. Furthermore, outboard, wider-spaced and mainly historical drilling indicates the potential to expand this footprint to over 2,600 m. Additionally, drilling is highlighting the favourable geometry of the Pine deposit, with the majority of known mineralization occurring from surface to 300 m depth, and locally extending to 550 m depth. The Pine deposit and its expansion potential are hosted within a larger six square km mineralized system, which also remains to be fully explored.

Notably, additional centres of higher Cu-Au grade are beginning to emerge along the 1,700 m Pine deposit trend. For example, Amarc drilling in the northeastern area of this trend has intersected significant porphyry mineralization over 600 m of strike length, including:

  • 63 m of 0.44 per cent CuEq, within 179 m of 0.32 per cent CuEq (JP22017);
  • 57 m of 0.40 per cent CuEq, within 107 m of 0.31 per cent CuEq (JP22015);
  • 135 m of 0.44 per cent CuEq, within 244 m of 0.35 per cent CuEq (JP21009 completed in 2021).

Discovery at Canyon deposit target highlights potential for clustered deposits at Joy

Eight extensive porphyry Cu-Au deposit targets were explored with 26 scout drill holes in 2022, including four targets that had not previously been drill tested. These deposit targets include the Canyon (five square km), Twins (seven square km) and SWT (three square km) which along with Pine (six square km) form the 15.5 km northeast-trending Pine trend, and the South Mex (over 1.9 square km) open deposit target at the south end of the six km long Mex trend (see Amarc's Jan. 23, 2023, news release). These trends are similar to the four km long northeast trend of the Nugget, Kemess North, Kemess Underground, Kemess Offset and Kemess East porphyry Cu-Au deposits in the Kemess mining district held by Centerra Gold Inc., located adjacent to the south of the Joy tenure.

At Canyon, very limited initial scout drilling of this expansive (five square km) and largely covered sulphide system by Amarc in 2021 (JP21006: 27 m of 0.18 per cent CuEq with 0.06 per cent Cu, 0.21 g/t Au) (see Amarc news release March 7, 2022) and historical operators (MEX12-013: 49 m of 0.16 per cent CuEq with 0.05 per cent Cu, 0.20 g/t Au; PIN09-15: three m of 11 g/t Au) intersected promising Cu-Au and Au-only mineralization compatible with the fringes of a potentially important porphyry Cu-Au system. In 2022, further reconnaissance drilling at Canyon discovered a significant new zone of porphyry Cu-Au mineralization with hole JP22030 intersecting:

  • 96 m of 0.51 per cent CuEq (0.39 per cent Cu, 0.18 g/t Au and 2.6 g/t Ag) within 296 m of 0.39 per cent CuEq (0.30 per cent Cu, 0.14 g/t Au and 1.7 g/t Ag);
  • 10.5 m of 0.77 per cent CuEq (0.61 per cent Cu, 0.25 g/t Au and 2.1 g/t Ag).

Four other scout drill holes intersected less robust Cu-Au mineralization disrupted by intermineral intrusions. The Canyon discovery remains open to expansion and requires substantial drilling, as does the host five square km induced polarization geophysical anomaly which indicates the presence of a large-scale sulphide system.

The highly prospective Twins (seven square km) deposit target is located adjacent and to the southwest along the 15.5 km Pine trend from Canyon. A single scout drill hole completed by Amarc in 2021 (JP21004), the first ever drilled into the large Twins target, intersected 63 m of 0.18 per cent CuEq with 0.09 per cent Cu, 0.15 g/t Au and 0.5 g/t Ag, including 39 m of 0.22 per cent CuEq with 0.11 per cent Cu, 0.19 g/t Au and 0.6 g/t Ag, successfully discovering porphyry-type Cu-Au mineralization (see Amarc release March 7, 2022) within this large mineralized sulphide system. In 2022, very widely spaced follow-up reconnaissance drill holes, ranging in length from 216 m to 384 m, targeted magnetic-high features within the extensive IP chargeability footprint and encountered widespread indications of porphyry Cu-Au mineralization.

Based on comparisons with the Canyon discovery and the Pine deposit, intervals of porphyry Cu-Au mineralization, including 27 m of 0.29 per cent CuEq (0.12 per cent Cu, 0.30 g/t Au, 1.2 g/t Ag) in JP22019 and 204 m of 0.11 per cent CuEq (0.04 per cent Cu, 0.14 g/t Au, 0.4 g/t Ag) in JP22020, may represent the lateral or upper parts of a yet undiscovered porphyry Cu-Au centre. The large footprint of this target, its veneer of glacial overburden cover, and Cu-Au intercepts in the widely spaced and relatively shallow drill holes highlight the significant exploration potential for the discovery of another porphyry Cu-Au deposit at Twins.

Systematic exploration of emerging deposit targets

A similar strategy of initial drill testing with single to widely spaced shorter scout drill holes was employed at other overburden-covered targets, including South Mex, South Finlay, North Finlay and CT, with results indicating continued systematic exploration is warranted. At South Mex, a single scout drill hole, the first in this over 1.9 square km IP chargeability anomaly which remains open to expansion, intersected anomalous Au-Cu-Ag (72 m of 0.10 per cent CuEq (0.02 per cent Cu, 0.10 g/t Au, 3.4 g/t Ag) in JP22041) in volcanics that straddle the prospective Triassic-Jurassic contact, a geological environment similar to that hosting the Kemess district porphyry Cu-Au deposits (see Amarc release Jan. 23, 2023).

Scout drilling at SWT returned local zones of anomalous Au-Cu compatible with proximity to a porphyry Cu-Au system (such as 78 m of 0.09 per cent CuEq (0.02 per cent Cu, 0.11 g/t Au, 0.04 g/t Ag) in JP22028), as well as local vein-hosted Au-only mineralization (2.7 m of 3.7 g/t Au in JP22024). At the adjacent Wrich occurrence, Au-Ag-Cu mineralization (108 m of 0.20 per cent CuEq (0.03 per cent Cu, 0.23 g/t Au, 6.4 g/t Ag) in JP22044) is associated with advanced argillic alteration zones and may represent a higher-level signature of a porphyry Cu-Au system.

About the Joy district

Amarc's 100-per-cent-owned Joy district is located on the northern extension of the prolific Kemess porphyry Cu-Au district that includes the former Kemess South mine, the permitted and development-stage Kemess North underground deposit, and the advanced-stage Kemess East underground deposit -- all currently held by Centerra Gold. Through its association with Hunter Dickinson Inc., Amarc's technical team was first to recognize the Kemess district's true porphyry potential, acquiring Kemess North and Kemess South as early-stage prospects and advancing both to significant porphyry Cu-Au deposits. Kemess South was sold in 1996 on beneficial terms to a predecessor of Northgate Minerals, which brought that deposit into production.

The Joy district is readily accessed via resource roads servicing the southern end of the Toodoggone region, including Centerra's Kemess porphyry Cu-Au deposits and the historical Lawyers, Baker and Shasta epithermal precious metal mines now being redeveloped by Benchmark Metals Inc. and TDG Gold Corp., respectively.

In May, 2021, Amarc entered into a mineral property earn-in agreement (EIA) with Freeport, a wholly owned subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (see Amarc release May 12, 2021). Freeport may acquire up to a 70-per-cent ownership interest in Joy by making staged investments totalling $110-million.

In 2021, Freeport contributed $5.94-million to the year 1 Joy exploration program and approximately $14-million in 2022 as its year 2 investment (see Amarc releases Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, 2021).

Further in-depth information on historical and more recent exploration activities completed within the Joy district prior to 2021 can be found in the company's Joy project 2020 technical report, filed under Amarc's profile on SEDAR or located on its 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 35-year history of porphyry 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, Pine and Duke. 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 its 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 financing agreements and sponsorship of community events. All Amarc work programs are carefully planned to achieve high levels of environmental and social performance.

Qualified person as defined under National Instrument 43-101

Dr. Roy Greig, PGeo, a qualified person as defined under National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical content in this release.

Quality assurance/quality control program

Amarc drilled mostly NQ-size core in 2022, except in the Pine deposit area, where the holes were drilled to HQ core size and then reduced to NQ, typically around 200 m depth, to hole completion. Over all, 12 per cent of the 2022 core drilled was HQ size. All drill core was logged, photographed and cut in half with a diamond saw. Half core samples from Joy were sent to the Activation Laboratories Ltd. (Actlabs), Kamloops, Canada, facility for preparation and analysis. During peak periods, samples were also prepared at Actlabs laboratories located in Timmins and Ancaster, Ont.

At the preparation laboratory, the entire sample was dried, crushed to 80 per cent passing two-millimetre size, mechanically split (by riffle) to obtain a representative sample and then pulverized to at least 95 per cent minus 105 micrometres (method RX1). The pulverized fraction was analyzed for Au at either the Actlabs, Kamloops, Timmins or Ancaster laboratory by fire assay fusion of a 30-gram subsample with an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy finish (method 1A2-ICP). All samples were also analyzed with a multielement ICP finish. In this method, Cu, Ag and 58 additional elements were determined by four-acid digestion of a 0.25-gram subsample followed by an ICP-OES and ICP-MS (mass spectrometry) finish (method UT6). Samples over 10,000 parts per million Cu by UT6 were also analyzed by assay-grade four-acid digestion ICP-OES. All multielement and Cu ICP analysis was done at the Ancaster facility.

The three Actlabs facilities are ISO/IEC 17025 accredited. As part of a comprehensive quality assurance/quality control program, Amarc control samples were inserted in each analytical batch at the following rates:

  • Standards: One in 20 regular samples;
  • Coarse reject duplicate splits: One in 20 samples;
  • Blanks: One in 80 regular samples, or once per drill hole.

The control sample results were then checked to ensure proper QA/QC.

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