Despite the fact that the Canadian Province of New Brunswick is not as well known in mining circles as several more famous regions, the prestigious Fraser Institute rankings of mining jurisdictions for 2011-2012 named that province as the single most favorable jurisdiction for mining in the world. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador also placed in the top twenty rankings.
One Canadian junior mining company, Greenlight Resources Inc, has accumulated a portfolio of projects within these provinces and is sufficiently impressed with the Canadian Atlantic region to have officially changed their name during June, 2012 to Great Atlantic Resources Corp. The name change is also consistent with company president Christopher Anderson’s personal goals for the company, expressed in the phrase, “Boots and hammers on the ground in Atlantic Canada.”
It was your correspondent’s privilege to accompany Great Atlantic’s management and geologic team on a journalist and analyst tour of their various New Brunswick projects during late June, 2012.
Great Atlantic’s four most important projects are detailed below.
Keymet Property, New Brunswick. Elm Tree Minerals Inc. can earn up to a 70% interest in the property following certain cash and share payments as well as meeting funding requirements to advance the property, plus an additional 10% interest upon completion of a bankable feasibility study.
The Keymet Property consists of 162 mineral claims comprising 6,480 acres located in the famed Bathurst Region of New Brunswick and has had a lengthy mining history. The Keymet vein was first discovered in 1882. After favorable assays were returned from grab samples, a 20-meter shaft was sunk around 1909 and a drift was put in along the vein. No further development was recorded until 1947-52 when the vein was traced by widely-spaced drilling over a distance of 2,400 feet from the shaft, leading to a production decision.
The mine entered a period of active production from 1954 to 1956, processing a total of 56,000 tons of ore grading 0.25% copper, 2.44% lead, 2.59% zinc and just below one ounce per ton silver before a fire destroyed the mine buildings. During the productive life of the mine, a shaft was constructed down to the 366-meter level. When we visited the mine site, all that remained was a body of crushed rock and the previous shaft had been blocked off.
An exploration program has been developed to explore two distinct types of mineralization which are found in the northern areas of the claims. These include the known lead-zinc-copper-silver veins associated with past production and the newly discovered disseminated gold-silver showings associated with chloritic alteration and silicification. Grab samples taken from the past production ore dump ran 549 grams per tonne (gpt) Ag, 2.35% Cu, 33.90% Pb and 22.90% Zn.
Working in cooperation with Elm Tree Minerals, company geologists have identified specific drill targets and an 11-hole drill program covering 2,050 meters has been proposed for late summer 2012 to test various targets within the two zones. In addition, there are several areas on the main claim block where outcrops of up to 3 gpt Au are known to exist and the company plans trenching and sampling programs to identify new drill targets.
Mining within the Bathurst Mining Camp has been extensive with the largest project being the Bathurst No. 12 Mine, which finally shut down during the past two years due to exhaustion of mineable reserves. However, to Great Atlantic’s benefit, extensive infrastructure remains available within the region and, for purposes of research, the Province of New Brunswick has also maintained extensive bodies of core recovered during past regional mining efforts.
Porcupine Rare Earth Element and Base Metal Property, New Brunswick. Explorex Resources Inc. can earn up to a 70% interest in the property following certain cash and share payments as well as incurring specified exploration expenditures, plus they may earn an additional 15% upon completion of a bankable feasibility study.
Greenlight’s original interest in Porcupine was triggered by significant rare earth element (REE) anomalies that were collected on the property. Extensive exploration work was conducted in 2011 including prospecting, Induced Polarization (IP) surveys and a 971 sample soil geochemical survey. Based on this work, company geologists were able to identify strong, coincident east-west trending Cu, Pb, Zn anomalies and spatially distinct rare earth element (REE) anomalies. Access to the Porcupine Property is excellent with roads leading directly into the project and area infrastructure is very supportive of mining enterprises.
Explorex commissioned a “NI 43-101 Technical Report: Evaluation of the Porcupine Property in Central New Brunswick: CU, Pb, Zn, Ag and Rare Earth Elements” in December, 2011. The Report confirmed “...an enhanced chargeability horizon and spatially distinct REE anomalies...Some of the REE anomalies are near foliated granite, and are found within a linear north-trending zone between two resistivity highs that could represent a fault.”
The report’s author, Rudolph Stea, recommended a two-phase program of exploration at Porcupine including bedrock mapping, trenching and sampling. The company is presently conducting an initial mapping and prospecting program over the property.
REE’s themselves have garnered a great deal of attention over the past few years. They have become essential components of many phases of “green technology,” being particularly applicable to wind turbines. In addition, REE’s are also essential for many military weaponry programs, a consideration heightened by the fact that China controls a near monopoly on the REE supply market, and they have stated publicly they intend to limit shipments of REE supplies in the near future, meaning the discovery and eventual production of North American sources could take on significant importance.
Otter Lake Property, New Brunswick. Great Atlantic has entered into an option agreement with Portage Minerals Inc. to acquire a 50% interest in the 4,160-acre Otter Lake property and the company owns 100% interest in an additional 2,400 acres acquired via staking, bringing the total contiguous land position at Otter Lake to 6,560 acres.
Otter Lake is located 15 Km east of the Mt. Pleasant zinc, indium, tungsten, molybdenum and bismuth deposit, which is presently being readied for renewed production. Four significant Au, Ag, W, Mo and Bi showings occur on the property between the Pender Brook and Sawyer Brook Fault Zones. These faults are within Silurian metasediments and are bound by the northern flanks of the Mt. Douglas and Magaguadavic granites. An extensive trenching program is now underway with access provided by a gravel road.
Specific goals of the current exploration program include defining drill targets for the 2012 drilling season and identifying several tungsten and gold targets with a wide range of Au values up to 30 gpt throughout the property. Five specific target areas have been identified at Otter Lake including the Porphyry Zone, Otter Lake, Jimmy Hill, Line 10-11W and the Shear Mine.
The Shear Mine target area is of particular interest with a discovery history dating back to the 1860s.
Christmas Island Gold and Graphite Property, Nova Scotia. The company has entered into an option agreement to acquire a 100% interest in the former Big Beach property in return for defined cash and share payments plus exploration expenditure commitments.
Christmas Island’s potential involves both gold and graphite—a mineral of particular recent interest. Graphite has many industrial applications such as pencils, paints, batteries, founding facings and dry lubricants, but two uses have been the particular forces behind the recent burst of interest in graphite. First, most Chinese car manufacturers prefer graphite for brake linings and brake shoes and, given that the rate of manufacture of autos in China has been growing rapidly in recent years, this represents a substantial new demand. Second, graphite has applications as an ingredient in “graphene,” a material at the leading edge of scientific research that could revolutionize many industrial procedures.
The company was pleased to learn that it has been classified as a mid-tier graphite explorer by Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. in their recently published Sector Overview of graphite explorers.
Great Atlantic recently commenced an exploration program on the property to expand on known gold and graphite showings and conduct the first systematic geological exploration on the project to determine drill targets.
In addition to these properties, the company also has several other early-stage manganese, antimony and gold projects located in Atlantic Canada.
One of the reasons New Brunswick ranks at the top of the Fraser Institute listings is the province is well aware of the economic, social and job training aspects of mining within the provincial economy and is truly committed to the encouragement of mining enterprises. Another group also aware of the advantages of mining is the Eel Ground aboriginal Band, which invited the tour members to enjoy an Atlantic lobster and salmon feast. Tribal leaders made it clear they were aware of the benefits that accompany successful mining ventures.
Further information is available at: www.greenlightresources.com or e-mail: email@example.com