Holes BZ03-1 and 2 were drilled east west from either end of trench TR02-2, angled at -50° to -55° towards each other. Both holes penetrated the saprolite profile and bottomed in bedrock at about 50 m vertical depth. Although no ore minerals could be recognized in the quartz stockworks in saprolite due to oxidation, the same quartz stockworks in bedrock carry up to 1% chalcopyrite, 3% magnetite and 5% pyrite. Potassic feldspar alteration envelopes grading outwards into phyllic and argillic alteration were readily recognizable surrounding the quartz veinlets in the bedrock.
Hole BZ03-3 is a vertical hole drilled some 175 m east of trench TR 97-02 and well east of the deep auger gold anomaly defining the JQA target. This area is a laterite-capped hilltop, which we now know, covers an eastern extension of the JQA porphyry-type gold mineralization. The much thicker saprolite profile (hole BZ03-3 did not reach bedrock), heavy kaolinite alteration and corresponding poor core recoveries all point to a more active supergene environment under the hilltop laterites compared to the JQA sidehill saprolite and Pointu Kreek alluvial environments.
Hole BZ03-4 was drilled at -55° to the west beneath trench TR97-02, intersecting a thicker saprolite profile than the first two holes and hitting bedrock at about 70 m vertical depth. There is no obvious reason why the gold values are higher in this hole and so core recoveries may be a factor in the assay results from each of the drill holes.
Even though it is still early in the 30 hole Phase 1 drilling program, a number of conclusions can be drawn from the first 4 holes:
1) Porphyry-type gold-copper mineralization extends from surface to at least 113 m in vertical depth as shown by hole BZ03-3.
2) The mineralization is at least 325 m wide from the west end of the trench TR97-02 to hole BZ03-3 in the east, still open.
3) The reported gold values may be understated due to poor core recoveries.
4) Copper minerals observed in bedrock may contribute to gold equivalent grades (copper analyses still awaited from lab).
5) The super lightweight diamond drill being used operates at a low cost because it can be broken down and carried through the jungle by hand and only needs a small pad for set-up.
However, the drill is underpowered and therefore suffers from poor core recoveries.
6) The objective of using a lightweight diamond drill was to determine the presence of a potentially large gold-copper porphyry system. Early results appear to support this hypothesis.
7) Steeper angled holes (-60°) are easier to drill than shallower angles (-50°), and NTW (3 in) diameter rods return better core recoveries than BTW (2.4 in) rods.
The Phase 1 drilling program is now on hole 17 and progressing satisfactorily after a slow start. The assay lab has been backlogged with work, but results can now be expected approximately every two weeks until completion.
Canarc management view the JQA prospect as having two attractive economic mine models. Firstly, the near-surface saprolite gold mineralization may be best suited for low cost open pit mining and a gravity recovery plant similar to the Brasilia mine in Brazil, operated by RTZ in partnership with Kinross. This mine produces 250,000 oz gold per year from a head grade of 0.47 gpt gold at a US $167 per oz cash cost.
Secondly, once the saprolite had been mined, we could conceivably have a pre-stripped porphyry-type gold-copper deposit in bedrock and enough net cashflow from the saprolite mine to pay for a large flotation concentrator similar to the Baja de la Alumbrera mine in Argentina, also operated by RTZ in partnership with Wheaton River. This mine produces 759,000 oz gold per year from head grades of 0.59 gpt gold and 0.51% copper at a US $ -18 per oz cash cost after copper credits.
In addition to the porphyry-type JQA prospect, the Phase 1 drilling program will also test several high-grade, sheer-vein gold prospect areas, such as JQS, JQW, JQB and Pointu Kreek.
Richard Williams, MSc, PGeo, is the Qualified Person supervising the Phase 1 drilling program on the Benzdorp property. He has instituted a Quality Control program of blanks and duplicates to ensure the integrity of all assay results.
All drill core is split by Canarc personnel at the Benzdorp camp, and then flown to Parimaribo for shipment to FILAB, a large, European commercial lab company operating in Cayenne, French Guyana. The core samples are then dried, crushed, split and a 30-gram subsample is taken for analysis. Gold is determined by fire assay with an atomic absorption finish and copper is analyzed by atomic absorption. FILAB is using its own standards for quality control checks. Canarc will also be sending reject samples from FILAB to other laboratories for additional quality assurance checks.