During the market downturn Eagle Plains leveraged its treasury to make some keys project acquisitions including the Fisher, Chico, Orchid and Truscott (now part of the Fisher project) gold projects located south and north of Silver Standards' Seabee Mine. Other key acquisitions include important additions to the Iron Range and Vulcan properties. Deal flow including NSR's were conducted on several properties in the Patterson Lake South (see news release dated March 1, 2016) and Pikoo Diamond districts. These acquisitions were made possible by the combination of poor market conditions and a healthy treasury held by Eagle Plains.
Eagle Plains carried out exploration programs on several projects this year expending approximately $550,000 on the Iron Range, Vulcan and Fisher, Chico and Orchid properties combined. As a result of Silver Standard optioning the Fisher Project, $400,000 of the $550,000 will be reimbursed to Eagle Plains as part of their earn-in terms.
Eagle Plains is pursuing drill permits on several of these projects in anticipation of future programs.
Silver Standard Resources recently announced at the Saskatchewan Geoscience Conference that they are planning for a 3000m drill program at the Fisher Project in 2017.
Phase 1 of the 2016 exploration program is focussing on recently acquired areas of the property and will consist of geologic mapping, soil-sampling and review of existing drill-core from historical work. Phase 2 work will include geophysical surveys and detailed geological work to define targets for diamond drilling.
An ground-based exploration program is being prepared for the Iron Range to further define drill targeting. Difinitive plans will be announced at the commencement of the program.
The Fisher project will be the main focus of Eagle Plains exploration efforts this year with a comprehensive ground-based exploration program underway for gold mineralization similatr to that of the neighbouring Silver Standards' Seabee and Santoy deposits. The Fisher project has been assembled by recent regional-scale property acquisitions and the amalgamation of several Eagle Plains properties. These include the Kettle Falls project where in 2014 work by Eagle Plains located high-grade mineralization in greenstone rocks with grab-samples up to 9.2 g/t Au and a follow-up channel sample returning 1.39 g/t Au over 8m coincident with an open soil anomaly.
Located approximately 5km south of the most southern extent of the Fisher Project, the Chico claims overlie the Tabbernor Fault system and are transected by several northeast- to east-trending splay faults. The Chico claims are being explored for gold mineralization similar to that at the neighbouring Silver Standards' Seabee and Santoy deposits. In early September crews were dispatched to conduct a systematic exploration program of the project area utilizing the results of the most recent airborne geophysical survey carried out by Eagle Plains in late August.
Located approximately 30km south of the most southern extent of the Fisher Project, the Orchid Project overlies the Tabbenor Fault system and is transected by several northeast- to east-trending splay faults. The Orchid claims are being explored for gold mineralization similar to that at the neighbouring Silver Standards' Seabee and Santoy deposits. In early September crews were dispatched to conduct the first systematic exploration work carried out to date on the property by Eagle Plains.
Catalogue of Previous Exploration Programs on Eagle Plains Projects
Exploration Summary July 2015
Phase one field work was completed on 4 projects in northern Saskatchewan as mentioned in a news release dated June 30, 2015.
Crews have completed prospecting and mapping
Kettle Falls (now part of the Fisher Property)
Crews have completed prospecting, mapping, and till sampling
Eisler (now part of the Fisher Property)
Crews have completed a program at Eisler where they prospected, mapped, and till sampled
This program has been postponed due to access logistics
Soil and rock sampling, prospecting and Heavy Mineral Concentrate sampling have been completed
Till sampling and heavy mineral concentrate explained
Till (glacial till) sampling is similar to heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) sampling where it is used for regional scale geochemical and mineralogical analysis. Large samples (10 kg), generally on a wide spaced grid pattern, are taken within an area of interest. These samples are then screened to a predetermined size and then analyzed for minerals that may indicate potential deposits up-ice or upstream or uphill. Till sampling is effective in areas of limited bedrock exposure.
Eagle Plains maintains a strong financial position and continues to explore existing projects while researching and acquiring new opportunities in western Canada. Exploration is primarily funded by partner companies budgeting approximately $1.5m for the 2014 programs.
Sound management, a vertically integrated business model and conservation of the treasury has allowed us to continue to better position the company as a project generator for the eventual remergence of the junior mining sector. Our wholly-owned exploration consulting company, TerraLogic Exploration, has outperformed expectations and is expanding to meet demand.
These are difficult times for our industry, however, as a 20 year veteran, Eagle Plains has developed a business model that incorporates the cyclical nature of the industry, both up and down. An example of this is maintaining a "War Chest" of approximately $12m of mineral tenure assessment credits in BC. These credits may be applied to projects within the province. During a prolonged downturn Eagle Plains may elect to strategically deploy these credits to enhance its project portfolio.
Exploration Summary 2014
A comprehensive and systematic evaluation of all available exploration data covering a span of 117 years has commenced. The study is focussing on tenure acquisition and target ranking/generation in order to move the project forward into a phase of active exploration.
Preliminary results from the current work program have indicated three areas of interest which define high-priority exploration targets for both “Sullivan Style” SEDEX base + precious metal mineralization and IOCG style mineralization. In addition, one of the three targets is being evaluated for its affinity toward Coeur d’Alene style structurally-hosted base + precious metal mineralization.
In July, option partner Minerals & Metals Group (MMG) conducted a two-hole drill program in the Phoenix area of the Findlay Project targeting SEDEX base + precious metal mineralization. Both holes failed to reach target due to poor ground conditions, the program was concluded and MMG terminated the option.
In 2013 exploration crews discovered an area of extremely anomalous soil values, with precious-metal values returning up to 2.96 g/t gold and 18.4 g/t silver, with associated elevated values for arsenic, antimony, lead, zinc and iron. The 2014 work program followed up on these results focusing on mapping, prospecting, hand-trenching and sampling of the 2013 discovery area.
The 2014 work was carried out by option partner North Arrow Resources. This work included the collection of three till samples on the Orchid property and an additional 7 till samples on properties immediately adjacent to the Orchid. The samples are being processed for kimberlite mineral indicators.
Earlier in 2014 a comprehensive data compilation program was conducted for this project to consolidate historical and recent exploration work. This was followed by a 900 line-km airborne time-domain electromagnetic (TDEM) geophysical survey with follow-up geological mapping and prospecting commencing early August. These exploration programs are being funded by option partner Tarku Resources and target uranium mineralization.
Truscott and Kettle Falls (now part of the Fisher Property)
The 2014 work followed-up on data compilation and 2013 field results. Soil geochemical surveys at 25 - 50 m spacing were completed at Truscott and Kettle Lake properties, with focused prospecting and structural mapping near the 2013 gold discovery zone at the Ketle Falls. Lake-sediment and till samples were collected in an effort to better establish the diamond potential.
The 2014 work program followed up on previous work which verified significant uranium mineralization near the SW corner of T-Lake, returning 125 ppm U- one of the highest uranium in lake-sediment sample results in the region. Prospecting and scintillometer surveys were carried out in the vicinity of historical drilling, with silt and water sampling coupled with broad-spaced (50-100m) property-scale geochemical sampling. Biogeochemical, soil and radon-in-water sampling were employed at appropriate microsite locations. Reconnaissance scintillometer surveys were also completed while prospecting/mapping.
Exploration Summary 2013
A ground based program of prospecting, geological mapping and geochemical surveying was conducted to evaluate newly acquired claims near the Red Ledge precious and base metal showing.
Minerals and Metals Group (MMG) has continued with it's option on the Findlay project as per the news release on March 20, 2012. Field work including mapping, geochemical and geophysical surveying were conducted with the design to identify drill targets.
Mapping, prospecting and geochemical surveys were conducted to follow up the geophysical anomalies derived from the 2011 geophysical survey as well as property scale silt geochemical anomalies. This program was designed to locate drill targets. Results are pending.
Mapping, prospecting and geochemical surveys were conducted to follow up the geophysical anomalies derived from the 2011 geophysical survey. This program was designed to locate drill targets. Results are pending.
A prospecting and geochemical sampling program followed up the 2012 program which located anomalous gold values during a sediment sampling program that was regional in scope. Field work is complete and results are pending.
Compilation of historic data into geologic and geochemical databases to assist in the creation of a 3D geologic model. This project has yet to commence.
Prospecting, mapping and soil geochemical grid work assessed the potential of the area in and around 3 historic showings. This project is complete and results pending.
Various Projects (6 new projects)
Preliminary property evaluations have been conducted on the newly staked claims including research, data compilation, prospecting and geochemical sampling. Emphasis was on the Tarku project which hosts gold and uranium occurrences associated with a major crustal sheer zone that extends into the Athabasca Basin. The Tarku contains targets similar to that of the Patterson Lake South discovery (structurally controlled basement hosted uranium).
Exploration Summary 2012
A 500m - 5hole diamond drill program designed to test the Dardenelles vein-hosted gold system was concluded in early August. A ground based geological and geochemical program had also being conducted to develop drill targets on the project including the Tit for Tat and Copper Creek showing areas. Results are pending.
Two drill holes totalling 430m tested the Black Diamond Zone in late June, analytical results announced on October 23rd, 2012. Drilling was designed to further test a prominent structure which hosts quartz vein material up to 8m in width and locally contains high-grade silver, lead and zinc mineralization. The high-grade vein mineralization is interpreted to be representative of a possible feeder structure which may present opportunities for larger manto-type deposits located elsewhere along the structure within host rocks in areas where exposure is limited.
As a result of field reconnaissance, the property has been increased to include an interpreted extension of the Black Diamond structure along strike approximately 5km NNW to the Hot Punch property which has been amalgamated into the Black Diamond property.
A ground-based exploration program has been conducted on the Goatfell Project located near Yahk, B.C. within the Sullivan Camp of projects. This program tested for anomalous soil values associated with geophysical anomalies pertaining to potential sedex-style mineralization with the objective of establishing future drill targets.
Phase I of drilling at the Iron Range is complete after commencing mid April. Approximately 3000m were drilled to test a number of high priority targets at the Canyon, Talon and Row Zones for Sullivan-style lead-zinc-silver mineralization as well as gold mineralization similar to that intersected in the 2010 Talon Zone gold-silver-lead-zinc discovery. Results of this phase of work have been reported in a project update on July 30. Future work will focus on following up geophysical anomalies and priortize targets for drill testing.
The Acacia drill program was completed during late spring. 616m of diamond drilling was conducted to test for both base and precious metals in potential VMS style mineralization that may occur in clusters and/or stacked lenses. Soil sampling and prospecting were conducted prior to the drill program to assist with targeting. Although drill results intercepted subeconomic mineralization, this was the first drilling at the Acacia zone and sulphides were encountered in the majority of holes. The degree and extent of alteration is encouraging and typical of VMS deposits.
Field work is complete at the Ice River Project. Exploration focussed on following up the REE discovery made in 2009 with the goal of determining the nature and extent of the REE anomaly. Results are pending.
An 1800m, 4 hole diamond drill program was conducted by option partner Minerals & Metals Group (MMG) on the Findlay property during August. The drill program was designed to test for SEDEX style mineralization. Results are pending.
Initial reconnaissance was conducted on this grass roots property during the summer of 2012. Reporting including analytical and interpretation are pending.
Wollaston and Oreo
Ground based exploration is now complete on the multiple grassroots uranium and rare earth targets at the Wollaston and Oreo projects in northern Saskatchewan. Results will assist with tenure evaluation and drill targeting.
In July a two hole - 600m diamond drill program was completed. It was designed to test a strong electromagnetic (“EM”) geophysical anomaly that is coincident with highly anomalous uranium lake-sediment samples. The project was completed in approximately two weeks, results are pending..
During early July a 649m - 6 hole diamond drill program concluded at Eagle Lake. This program tested the Red October occurance for uranium mineralization. Soil sampling and a magnetic geophysical survey indicate that mineralization is coincident with a pronounced linear magnetic high feature. This magnetic feature is continuous for at least 1.5 kilometers and is coincident with several radioactive features. Results have been announced on Dec 4th, see highlights here.
Exploration work is conducted in phases in order to minimize costs and maximize the potential for discovery. Geologic mapping is the base for this and is a constant exercise. It is normally available on a very broad scale by previous government and private initiatives completed sometimes many years ago. As an exploration company, the field information we collect is used to refine the mapping as it becomes available and is conducted on every program, in essence, taking it from a broader scale to a finer scale. Good mapping is essential for interpreting geological information and targeting potential ore bodies. Several methods are used to collect information for mapping:
Geochemistry - Soil, rock and stream silt samples. These samples are collected in the field and their location mapped using GPS. Once analyzed, either by laboratories or in the field using XRF handheld devices, the results are mapped and a picture begins to emerge of areas with anomalous values. These areas may then warrant further sampling on a more intensive grid specific to that area.
Geophysics - This technology was initially developed to assist with the hunt of enemy submarines during the Second World War. In the exploration industry it has been refined to measure conductive/resistive and magnetic properties of rock and also their density. These properties are measured on an increasingly intensive scale as you move from airborne to ground based surveys. Down-hole geophysics is used to measure these properties along specific layers of rock.
Prospecting - Is employed to collect rock samples quickly over a large area in order to sample as broadly as possible in a short period of time. The location of these samples are recorded in order to provide for mapping the results and targeting areas with anomalous values
Geological Surveying Explained
Geochemical - There are basically two types of geochemical surveys, lithogeochemical and biogeochemical. Lithogeochemical, the most common, is the sampling of rocks, soils and silts. Biogeochemical is the sampling of plant material. Samples for both types of surveys are collected, there location recorded for future reference, then sent to labs for analysis.
A geochemical survey area is normally focussed around a mineral showing or an anomalous value that was collected in a broader scope survey commonly known as a regional geochemical survey.
These regional geochemical surveys cover large areas of land where samples of creek sediments are collected and analyzed for anomalous mineral values. Stream sediment samples are utilized because water tends to mobilize these minerals where they ultimately collect in the sediments.
Once an anomalous mineral value has been identified either in an outcrop (showing) or in a sediment sample, a more focussed survey can be conducted in the area to determine the extent of this anomalous value. Upon completion, considering all the information, drill targets are identified and prioritized.
This is exactly the procedure followed by Eagle Plains at the Mackenzie Valley zinc project where the regional geochemical survey data was obtained by EPL as a result of a survey conducted by Rio Tinto in the 1970's. Analysis and mapping of this data provided information to conduct more focussed surveys around areas returning anomalous values.
Geophysical - There are two ways to conduct geophysical surveys, ground based and airborne.
Employing sophisticated electronic equipment, these surveys are conducted using magnetic, electromagnetic and radiometric resonance to measure the variations in the earths' magnetic field. Different kinds of rocks and mineralization will return different values as they change the way the magnetic field resonates through them. Changes in this conductivity are then mapped to provide a three dimensional view of these of values. In general, areas of interest to geologists are where two distinctly different types of resonance values border each other. This is indicative of an event where an alteration may have occurred in the rocks and alteration is what we look for.
Follow this link for more information about grass roots exploration
Updated April 5, 2017