Sunday 23rd October 2016

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Zijin’s avant-garde

Equitas Resources finds an undrilled copper-gold prospect close to home

by Greg Klein

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The search for copper-gold porphyry potential takes some companies far and wide. So Equitas Resources TSXV:EQT sees an additional advantage to its newly acquired Nahmint property. Within easy reach of the company’s Vancouver headquarters, “we could go visit the project this afternoon if we wanted,” says Equitas president/CEO Jay Roberge. Located 25 kilometres from Port Alberni on southern Vancouver Island, the 9,552-hectare property has five past-producing mines, road and water access, nearby power, positive local response and a solid foundation of recent work. What really intrigues Roberge, however, is that Nahmint has yet to be diamond drilled. “We don’t know of any drilling of any sort.”

That’s the kind of early-stage opportunity Equitas looks for, he says. The company’s goal, should assays prove fruitful, would be to escalate shareholder value with a new discovery. That strategy has drawn the immensely deep-pocketed interest of Zijin Mining Group, China’s biggest gold and second-biggest copper producer. Listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges, the giant holds about 19.9% of Equitas.

Equitas Resources finds an undrilled copper-gold prospect close to home

Boots on the ground: Paul Carpenter, Jacques Houle, Michelle Ickringill and Brant Protasiewich completed Equitas’ October program at Nahmint.

The company considered over a hundred other properties before deciding on Nahmint. And if there’s a silver lining to the downturn, it’s the relatively low price of this acquisition.

Nahmint produced copper, silver and gold for 10 years up to 1918. Work since 2006 has included extensive soil and rock sampling as well as 1,079 line kilometres of aeromagnetic surveys. As of October 30 Equitas wrapped up its own initial field work on the property’s Three Jays North target, near one of the former underground mines. That program produced another 303 soil samples, 35 rock samples and six stream moss mat samples for lab analysis. Results are expected by late November.

Specifically the soil sampling and mapping found elongate zones of silicified, sulphidic mafic volcanics containing stockwork and disseminated fine-grained sulphides including pyrite, chalcopyrite and bornite.

Soon to begin is a satellite survey of the entire property, using remote sensing and geospatial technology to complement all the data compiled so far. Those results are expected within weeks. Slated for December or early 2014 is an NI 43-101 report.

The previous aeromagnetic survey shows an anomaly at Three Jays. “What’s really exciting about that is the anomaly down-dips to the south at about 80 degrees,” explains Roberge. “The mine shaft down-dips to the south at 80 degrees too, but they were a few hundred metres south of the anomaly itself. Then when they got to the bottom they started putting in horizontal workings towards the north, perhaps thinking they would find a new layer. We believe Three Jays could be a porphyry system with overlying high-grade skarn and that’s going to be the initial focus.”

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