Mr. Stuart Ross reports
CARDERO ANNOUNCES CONTINUING EXPLORATION UNDERWAY AT THE LEDGEND NICKEL-COBALT MASSIVE SULPHIDE PROJECT
Cardero Resource Corp. is continuing surface trenching, sampling and mapping at the Ledgend nickel-cobalt property in southeastern British Columbia. In addition, approximately 90 line kilometres, or 375 hectares, of drone airborne magnetometer geophysics has been flown. Ledgend is one of five properties in the Kootenay project that together total approximately 8,000 hectares. The property owners and Cardero completed soil, silt and rock sampling at Ledgend in 2016 and 2017, collecting over 1,300 samples that produced significant anomalies for this follow-up work.
The properties are located within prospective Lardeau group metamorphic rocks, the host of several volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits, including the past-producing Goldstream mine located north of Revelstoke. The Ledgend property has exposures of massive and semi-massive sulphides and significant nickel-cobalt plus or minus copper plus or minus zinc soil anomalies. Trenches completed to date have exposed mineralized bedrock beneath the soil anomalies. The magnetometer survey results support interpretations of the possible extent of subsurface sulphides.
"We are extremely encouraged by the results of the current work and will continue the program to define the significant nickel-rich base metal mineralization," says Stuart Ross, chief executive officer of Cardero Resource.
About the Ledgend property
The Ledgend property contains the first documented occurrence of nickel-cobalt-bearing massive sulphides in the Kootenay region. The mineralization was first described in 1998 by the B.C. Geological Survey as outcropping massive pyrrhotite with nickel and cobalt minerals. The mineralized horizon can be traced in anomalous soil samples and rock float over hundreds of metres along strike. In 2016, the underlying owners located float boulders from the Discovery area and grab samples of massive pyrrhotite-pyrite float returned values of 0.15 per cent to 0.76 per cent nickel and 100 parts per million to 900 parts per million cobalt, and anomalous copper and zinc.
In October, 2017, a newly discovered large outcrop at the original showing was cleaned and chip sampled, with four metres grading 0.22 per cent Ni and 161 ppm Co, including a one-metre sample grading 0.39 per cent Ni and 0.028 per cent Co. True widths should be close to sample widths. Massive to semi-massive pyrite-pyrrhotite occurs between an upper horizon of siliceous biotite schist and a lower horizon of talc-tremolite schist. The sulphide horizon might thicken along strike due to the intense folding.
The mineralization is hosted by talc-tremolite-carbonate schist within northwest-trending, east-dipping, tightly folded sericite and biotite schists, as well as quartzite of the Index formation, a member of the Lardeau group. Adjacent graphitic and manganiferous layers are particularly anomalous in metals and thought to be seafloor exhalatives generated by submarine hydrothermal fluids. The rock types and style of mineralization are similar to the Outokumpu massive sulphide district in central Finland.
North Grid soil anomalies
Current work is focused on soil anomalies within the North Grid, which covers an area measuring 1,100 metres by 2,000 metres. The central nickel-cobalt soil anomaly is 800 metres in length, with the peak of the anomaly (values up to 0.84 per cent Ni and 0.025 per cent Co) located about 200 metres southeast of the massive sulphides boulders of the Discovery showing. Three hand trenches spaced 100 metres apart have been completed so far on this anomaly and vary from 0.5 metre to over three metres in depth. All trenches uncovered interlayered biotite, actinolite-tremolite and talc-carbonate schist with disseminated sulphides. The actinolite and talc schists are altered remnants of high Ni-Co ultramafic rocks that intruded calcareous sedimentary rocks and are interpreted as one probable source of the metals. Outcrop east of the end of trench TR1000N comprises highly siliceous schist, with finely disseminated sulphides and common fuchsite. This is a classic exhalative horizon.
Identical units were uncovered in trench TR1600N-1425, located about 500 metres to the north of the trench TR1000N area. This indicates that favourable rocks of the Central zone extend over 600 metres of strike length and confirm the soil sampling results.
Northwest-trending Cu-Zn-Co-Ni anomalies occur along the western and eastern margins of the soil grid. Four trenches have been completed over the East zone anomaly, which has the most anomalous copper, cobalt and nickel outside of the Central zone. Rock units comprise interlayered actinolite, muscovite-biotite and narrow talc schist, with sparsely disseminated sulphides in a narrow unit of highly gossanous, calcareous quartzite.
Four trenches are planned along the West zone, which is a two-kilometre-long Cu-Zn plus or minus Co-Ag anomaly along the northwest margin of the soil grid (open to the north and southwest).
Airborne magnetometer survey
The pyrrhotite-bearing massive sulphides, as exposed at the Discovery showing, were considered to be most easily traced in the subsurface with a magnetometer survey. Pioneer Aerial Surveys Ltd. mobilized to the property in mid-June to fly approximately 90 line kilometres of aeromagnetometry, covering 375 hectares over the North Grid. Pioneer Aerial Surveys used its UAV-MAG system, consisting of a multirotor UAV platform, a GEM Systems GSMP-35A potassium vapor magnetometer and a GEM Systems GSM-19 overhauser base station. The survey flew east-west lines spaced at 50 metres (with 500-metre perpendicular tie lines). Drone-flown magnetometer surveys have the advantage of low-flight speed, resulting in ultrahigh-density resolution (with the average station separation around 60 centimetres at 10 metres per second).
Cardero has received plan maps of total magnetic intensity, analytical signal, first vertical derivative and horizontal derivative, as well as a 3-D inversion and elevation sections through the 3-D model. The analytical signal map clearly shows a magnetic high associated with the Discovery showing massive sulphide mineralization and underlying the hosting talc-carbonate schist exposed in trenches TR0900N to TR1600N.
The Central zone magnetic anomaly extends over 500 metres farther south past TR0900N, to the southwest corner of the soil grid, merging with the West zone soil anomaly. The West zone also has a coincident magnetic anomaly at the north end, separated from the Central zone anomaly by a northeast-trending fault running along upper Ledgend Creek. Trenching is planned for this area.
Additional aeromagnetic and soil anomaly maps are available on the Cardero website.
Contingent on the success of the current work program, exploration is expected to expand to cover the remainder of the Ledgend property. The northern one-third of the property remains to be evaluated and a historical aeromagnetic survey indicates there is good potential onstrike with the mineralized units described in this news release.
Exploration potential of the Kootenay project
Cardero believes the meta-volcanic and meta-sedimentary units of the southern Lardeau group to have excellent potential for hosting volcanogenic massive sulphides with significant nickel-cobalt (plus or minus copper-zinc) content. The other known VMS occurrences in the belt were either discovered in areas of good rock exposure, at high elevations, or by chance during construction of forestry roads. The heavily vegetated, low-elevation regions are underexplored and few previous workers in the area recognized the potential for nickel-cobalt mineralization. Past exploration has focused on lead-zinc-silver replacement and silver-gold vein deposits. The exploration results described here for the Kootenay project are preliminary in nature and not conclusive evidence of the likelihood of a mineral deposit.
Sampling procedures and quality assurance/quality control
The 2017 soil program at Ledgend was designed and supervised by M. McClaren, PGeo, J.M. Dawson, PEng, and John Drobe, PGeo, the company's chief geologist. Soil samples were taken from the B horizon whenever possible and were collected using a mattock or shovel. Sample sites were labelled with blue and orange flagging tape with the number recorded on the tape. Soil samples were placed in waterproof kraft envelopes, after which samples were dried and collated. All soil samples were then shipped in sealed bags to ALS Minerals laboratories in Kamloops or North Vancouver, B.C. The samples were dried at 60 C and sieved to minus 180 microns (prep 41), then analyzed by ICP-MS for 51 elements (method AuME -- TL43). Overlimit gold results (over one ppm) were repeated by method Au-AROR43.
This sampling program did not include a comprehensive quality assurance/quality control program; however, ALS Minerals is an ISO 9002 registered laboratory and inserted blanks, standards and duplicates following its QA/QC protocol. In addition, follow-up field duplicate samples were collected from the anomalous soil lines, both high and low, and the results returned satisfactory values.
Mr. Drobe, PGeo, Cardero's chief geologist and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed the scientific information that forms the basis for this news release. He has approved the disclosure herein. Mr. Drobe is not independent of the company -- he is an officer, a shareholder and holds incentive stock options.
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