Figure 1. Location of Antler Copper Project in Arizona, USA.
Figure 2. Mapped geology at the Antler Copper Project in Arizona, USA, including all previous surface drilling.
Good infrastructure is a feature of the Antler Project – the headframe, above, was used for hoisting ore during previous operations.
Figure 3. Long section through the Antler Deposit showing previous drilling and select significant intersections in surface drilling.
Figure 4. Detailed long section through the Antler Deposit showing previous drilling and select significant intersections in underground drilling immediately around the historical workings.
Figure 5. Cross-section through the Antler Deposit showing previous drilling and select significant intersections in drilling.
On 14 January 2020 New World Resources Limited announced that it had executed an agreement that provides it with the right to acquire a 100% interest in the high-grade Antler Copper Deposit in Arizona, USA.
Location and Infrastructure
The Antler Copper Project is located in a sparsely populated region of north-western Arizona (see Figure 1).
Access to the Project area is excellent; with direct access to the historical mine site by way of 20km of unsealed road that extends east from the town of Yucca (population approximately 6,000) which is on US interstate 40. A rail line passes through Yucca as well as Kingman (population 30,000), some 30km to the north.
The close proximity of good roads and utilities will be advantageous when exploring and developing the Project; affording opportunities to minimise operating costs and lower pre-production capital requirements.
The Antler Deposit lies within two (2) patented (private) mining claims that cover 40 acres. The Deposit is surrounded by an additional seven (7) unpatented (BLM) mining claims that cover a further 340 acres.
Geology and Mineralisation
The Antler Deposit lies within a NE-trending belt of Precambrian gneissic and schistose rocks thought to have originally been volcanic in origin. The Deposit comprises a stratabound, pyrrhotite-rich, copper-zinc volcanogenic massive sulphide (“VMS”) body.
Numerous other VMS deposits, in similarly-aged rocks, are present in northern Arizona. These include the United Verde Deposit – where 33Mt of ore was mined between 1883 and 1975 at a grade of 4.8% Cu, and the UVX Deposit – where 3.9Mt of ore was mined between 1915 and 1992 at a grade of 10.2% Cu (see Figure 1).
Mineralisation at the Antler Deposit outcrops over more than 750m of strike at surface. The host sequence strikes in a north-easterly direction and dips to the northwest. A complex array of tight folds has been mapped, and two north-westerly trending faults have been mapped to offset and truncate the Antler Deposit (see Figure 2).
The Antler Deposit was discovered in the late 1800s. Intermittent production from the Deposit between 1916 and 1970 totalled approximately 70,000 tonnes of ore at a grade of around 2.9% Cu, 6.9% Zn, 1.1% Pb, 31 g/t Ag and 0.3 g/t Au. Ore was extracted over approximately 200m of strike from an inclined shaft, to a depth of around 150m (see Figures 3-5). The average thickness of ore was reported to be around 4 metres. Additional underground workings were developed to a depth of 200m – but no production was recorded from the deeper levels.
Previous mining operations deliberately targeted the highest-grade mineralisation; with stoping undertaken only where such mineralisation was thickest. Accordingly, considerable mineralisation remains, unmined, at very shallow levels immediately adjacent to historical stopes.
Between 1970 and 1975, following completion of the most recent episode of mining, a total of 19 holes were drilled from the surface and underground with the objectives being to:
- increase confidence in the known mineralisation immediately below the mined levels (predominantly below the “7 Level” which was developed 150m below below surface) in advance of anticipated resumption of mining; and
- explore for additional mineralisation.
Considerable high-grade mineralisation was delineated with closely spaced drilling over an area about 150m wide by 200m down-dip, immediately below the historical stopes (see Figures 3-5). Significant intersections (in unmined mineralisation) include:
- 9.66m @ 3.57% Cu, 6.63% Zn, 0.82% Pb, 34.4 g/t Ag and 0.34 g/t Au (U30);
- 7.62m @ 2.80% Cu, 7.29% Zn, 1.61% Pb, 43.4 g/t Ag and 0.54 g/t Au (DDH12);
- 5.18m @ 2.90% Cu, 12.58% Zn, 2.08% Pb, 63.1 g/t Ag and 0.42 g/t Au (U16);
- 7.62m @ 2.47% Cu, 3.52% Zn, 2.81% Pb, 64.5 g/t Ag and 0.46 g/t Au (B-3); and
- 6.40m @ 1.51% Cu, 10.69% Zn, 1.95% Pb, 52.1 g/t Ag and 0.29 g/t Au (U18).
Other, widely-spaced, drilling intersected additional high-grade mineralisation both (i) at depth, considerably below historical workings; and (ii) along strike from the historical workings (see Figures 3-5).
The deepest hole drilled at the Project to date (B-6) intersected high-grade mineralisation more than 400m down-dip of the lowest level of the historically mined workings (see Figures 3 and 5). Results included:
- 9.14m @ 1.53% Cu, 0.95% Zn, 1.10% Pb and 60.2 g/t Ag; and
- 1.22m @ 4.00% Cu, 7.10% Zn, 0.86% Pb and 35.9 g/t Ag
and other, very widely-spaced holes along strike from the historical workings intersected high-grade mineralisation (see Figure 3), with results including:
- 1.65m @ 4.20% Cu, 4.13% Zn, 1.25% Pb and 66.9 g/t Ag (B-4)
- 1.19m @ 3.99% Cu, 9.15% Zn, 0.77% Pb, 27.0 g/t Ag and 0.17 g/t Au (DDH4); and
- 2.13m @ 1.66% Cu, 3.57% Zn, 0.10% Pb and 1.22 g/t Ag (B-1)
The detailed drilling, immediately below the 7 Level, indicates there is substantial high-grade mineralisation that may be rapidly extracted if mining operations resume. And the results from the deeper and more widely-spaced drilling, where high-grades were returned in all but several holes, indicates there is considerable potential to delineate additional, mineable, high-grade mineralisation at the Project with further infill drilling.
In 1975, a consultant to Standard Metals Corporation (the owner of the Project at the time), prepared a preliminary feasibility study into the development of the Antler Deposit. A mineral resource estimate was reported, which comprised:
Forward Work Plans
The Company commenced an initial 2,500m drilling program at the Antler Project in mid-March, 2020.
The Company’s immediate objective is to delineate robust JORC-Code compliant Indicated Resources that can be used in mining studies to evaluate the potential to bring the Antler Deposit back into production in the near-term. So the priorities for the Company’s maiden drilling program are to:
- Undertake an appropriate amount of confirmatory drilling within a panel of “high-confidence, high-grade mineralisation” immediately below the previous stopes that has previously been drilled and sampled from underground (see Figures 3 and 4). Initial production (if mining operations resume) is expected to be derived from this area.
- Undertake in-fill drilling between the more widely spaced and deeper historical holes that indicate there is a thicker, high-grade “plunging shoot” down-dip of the previous stopes (see Figure 3)
- Undertake initial shallow drilling adjacent to historical stopes to test the thickness and grade of unmined mineralisation in these areas; and
- To conduct initial step-out drilling outside the “plunging shoot” to test for thicker high-grade zones of mineralisation.
In parallel with initial drilling activities, representative drill core samples will be collected for metallurgical testwork and geotechnical data will be acquired for initial mine design work. This information will facilitate commencement of studies into the resumption of mining and help optimise equipment sizing.
Given the very high-grades and shallow nature of the mineralisation, the Company intends initially evaluating the potential to develop a low-CAPEX, high-grade mining operation at the Project, which could conceivably be brought into production quickly.