Dr. Michael Gunning reports
VR INTERSECTS 2.7% TREO WITH 28.5% PMREO AT SOUTH RIM, THE SECOND AREA OF HIGH GRADE REE CRITICAL METALS DISCOVERED AT HECLA-KILMER TO-DATE
VR Resources Ltd. has released the second batch of geochemical data for the two drill holes completed last fall on the South Rim of the Hecla-Kilmer complex (H-K) located in Northern Ontario. Data from the last remaining drill holes are expected shortly.
- Drill hole HK22-020:
- 212 metres of continuous mineralization at 0.7 per cent TREO (total rare earth oxide) with 17 per cent PMREO*, with one-metre samples up to 2.7 per cent TREO with 28.5 per cent PMREO, and including 48 m at 1 per cent TREO with 19 per cent PMREO at the end of the hole, and open to depth.
- The 212-metre intersection in hole HK22-020 is on structure, along strike to the southeast of the 25.5 m at 1.131 per cent TREO with 18 per cent PMREO intersected in hole HK22-015.
*PMREO is the sum of high-value rare earth oxides (REOs) used in permanent magnet motors and turbines used in electric vehicles (EVs) and wind turbines (Pr2O3 (praseodymium oxide), Nd203 (neodymium oxide), Tb2O3 (terbium oxide) and Dy2O3 (dysprosium oxide)).
Five drill holes were completed at Hecla-Kilmer in November, 2022, for 1,437 m; provided are the key rare earth element critical metal intersections which span an area of approximately two by three kilometres in the western half of the multiphase alkaline complex at H-K.
Multiple zones. This is the second large area of over 1 per cent TREO mineralization discovered at Hecla-Kilmer. The new data are from two holes on the South Rim zone which is located approximately 2.5 km to the south of the REE intersections previously reported for Pike zone, such as the 461 m intersection in hole 13 (NR23-001, Jan. 17, 2023). Intersections in three additional areas will be followed up in 2023: around hole 17 to the west of Pike zone; around hole 16 in the centre of the complex; and around hole 1 to the southeast of Pike zone.
PMREO grade. The consistent 16 to 28 per cent proportion of PMREO in the TREO mineralization at South Rim is consistent with mineralization at Pike zone located 2.5 km to the north. This ratio is important because of the high value of the PMREOs in response to the demand for permanent magnets in EVs and wind turbines. For comparison, published resources for most Canadian light rare earth element deposits in carbonatite generally contain between 12 and 15 per cent of the high-value PMREO (such as neodymium), which is roughly 40 per cent lower than the proportion at Hecla-Kilmer.
Lateral scale. Like at Pike zone, REE mineralization in holes 15, 19 and 20 at the South Rim is associated with carbonatite dikes, veins and vein breccia within high-temperature, hydrothermal potassic alteration that is both intense and widespread, characterized by mineral assemblages dominated by magnetite, biotite, apatite, carbonate and disseminated sulphide. Importantly, these broad alteration envelopes on structure are also mineralized, as in the carbonatite dike swarm of sovite breccia in hole 19. The sovite breccia is the southern shoulder to the mineralized structure which was intersected in holes 15 and 20, which were inclined to the north and northeast, respectively.
Vertical extent. The veins and vein breccia with up to 2.7 per cent TREO with 28.5 per cent PMREO in hole 20 occur within an intersection of 212 m of continuous mineralization grading 0.7 per cent TREO, with the most intense polymetallic mineralization of REE plus Nb2O5 in the lower 48 metres, and open to depth. This is similar to the intense REE mineralization at the bottom of the 461 m intersection in hole 13 at Pike zone, which is also open to depth.
Chief executive officer comment
From VR's CEO, Dr. Michael Gunning: "The
critical metal discovery at Hecla-Kilmer emphasizes:
of the hydrothermal system evident in drill core over an area of two by three km;
The number of occurrences of over 1 per cent TREO mineralization;
at least four discovered to date;
The higher-than-normal component of the high-value PMREOs, from
16 to 28 per cent of TREO;
Location, both with regard to mineralization coming to bedrock surface at the base of till and the location of Hecla-Kilmer, just 23 km from provincial infrastructure.
"Consider that the South Rim is now the fourth area of mineralization at Hecla-Kilmer with grades in individual veins and breccia zones with 1 to 3 per cent TREO and containing 16 to 28 per cent PMREO.
"The potential for each of these areas is two-fold:
- "Lateral continuity of TREO mineralization along structure;
- TREO mineralization in breccia systems with no apparent limit to vertical extent."
This REE critical metal discovery at H-K has progressed continuously since mineralization was first intersected at surface in hole 4 during the first reconnaissance program in October, 2020. Since then, VR has expanded geochemical techniques to include analysis by lithium-borate fusion to optimize detection of all REEs, and utilized QEMSCAN thin-section analysis to characterize REE mineralogy. Going forward:
- VR has commenced a study of drill core samples from holes 13 and 15 using scanning electron microprobe (SEM) to determine exactly which minerals host the high-value magnet rare earth elements. Results are anticipated this quarter, and work will be continuing through 2023;
VR has initiated the scoping for metallurgy and mineral extraction studies using a bulk sample obtained from core from a dedicated drill hole with a representative, broad intersection of REE mineralization starting at surface. This work is planned for the first half of 2023, utilizing the world-class REE expertise at SGS Lakefield Laboratories in Ontario.
Follow-up drilling is planned for the spring of 2023. It will focus on supporting the aforementioned advanced-stage studies at Pike zone, and completing additional exploration drill holes on the other three areas of mineralization discovered to date.
Over all, the path forward for this emerging discovery is strengthened by its location, just 23 km to the west of the provincial hydroelectric dam at Otter Rapids, with supporting and active Ontario Northern railroad and Highway 634 infrastructure.
Summary technical and geological information for the company's various exploration properties is available at the company's website.
VR submits sawn drill core samples for geochemical assay to the ALS Global Ltd. laboratory facilities in Timmins or Thunder Bay, Ont., with final geochemical analytical work done at the ALS laboratory located in North Vancouver, B.C., including lithium borate fusion, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy analyses for base metals, trace elements and full-suite REE analysis, and gold determination by atomic absorption on fire assay. Analytical results are subject to industry-standard and National Instrument 43-101-compliant quality assurance/quality control sample procedures, including the systematic insertion of sample duplicates, blanks and certified reference material (CRM) done both externally on the project site by the company and internally at the laboratory by ALS, as described by ALS.
Technical information for this news release has been prepared in accordance with the Canadian regulatory requirements set out in National Instrument 43-101. Justin Daley, PGeo, vice-president, exploration, and a non-independent qualified person, oversees all aspects of the company's mineral exploration projects, and the content of this news release has been reviewed on behalf of the company by the CEO, Dr. Gunning, PGeo, a non-independent qualified person.
About the Hecla-Kilmer property
The Hecla-Kilmer complex is located 23 km northwest of the Ontario hydroelectric facility at Otter Rapids, the Ontario Northland Railway and the northern terminus of Highway 634, which links the region to the towns of Cochrane and Kapuskasing to the south, itself located on the northern Trans-Canada Highway.
The H-K property is large. It consists of 224 mineral claims in one contiguous block approximately six by seven km in size and covering 4,617 hectares. The property is owned 100 per cent by VR. There are no underlying annual lease payments on the property, nor are there any joint venture or back-in interests.
Hecla-Kilmer is located on provincial Crown land, with mineral rights administered by the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNDM). There are no annual payments, but the MNDM requires certain annual exploration expenditures and reporting. The property falls within the traditional territories of the Moose Cree and Taykwa Tagamou First Nations.
About VR Resources Ltd.
VR is an established junior exploration company focused on greenfield opportunities in critical metals, copper and gold. VR is the continuance of four years of active exploration in Nevada by a Vancouver-based private company. The foundation of VR is the diverse experience and proven record of its board in early-stage exploration, discovery, and mergers and acquisitions. The company is well financed for its exploration strategies and corporate obligations, and focuses on underexplored, large-footprint mineral systems in the western United States and Canada. VR owns its properties outright and evaluates new opportunities on a continuing basis, by staking or acquisition.
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