ABACUS MINING & EXPLORATION CORP. : http://www.amemining.com/ : QwikReport
The 10,252-hectare Willow property is located approximately 65 km southeast of Reno, Nevada and 13 km due west of Yerington, Nevada, in the Buckskin Mountain Range. The property was acquired in February of 2017 in an option agreement with Almadex Minerals. The Nev-Lorraine claims are contiguous and wrap around the far southeast corner of Willow. Nev-Lorraine is subject to a separate lease agreement with private landowners signed in February 2018.
Willow and Nev-Lorraine occur in the western portion of the historic Yerington Copper Camp. Both properties were explored in the 1960s to the early 1980s by Anaconda Mining, Bear Creek Mining and Conoco, to identify a porphyry copper deposit analogous to the nearby Yerington Mine which produced approximately 1.6 billion pounds of copper from 1952 to 1978 for Anaconda Mining. Year-round access from Yerington is along paved roads leading to well-maintained gravel roads that skirt the claims. A series of old drill roads provides good access to the entire combined property.
Four porphyry copper deposits and numerous Cu-Fe and Cu-Au skarns have been identified to date in the Yerington camp. The porphyry deposits are Yerington, Ann Mason, Bear-Lagomarsino and MacArthur. The main skarns are Pumpkin Hollow and the Mason Valley, Bluestone and Malachite Mines.
The only porphyry to go into production was the Yerington deposit, which contained approximately 162 MT of 0.6% Cu. Recent exploration under the old pit has been carried out by Quaterra Resources, who also control the adjacent Bear-Lagomarsino and MacArthur porphyries. The Bear-Lagomarsino deposit contains > 500 MT of 0.4% Cu, while MacArthur has an M&I oxide resource of 159 MT at 0.212% Cu. Quaterra initiated a Prefeasibility study on MacArthur in December of 2017. The other large porphyry in the camp is Ann Mason with an M&I resource of 1.4BT at 0.32% Cu, owned by Mason Resources. The Ann Mason property is contiguous to Willow to the east.
Some of the earliest production at Yerington occurred from skarns. The Mason Valley, Bluestone and Malachite Mines produced approximately 3.8 Mt grading 1.5%--6.2% Cu from 1910-1931. The Pumpkin Hollow skarn/Fe-oxide deposit is currently being developed by Nevada Copper. It contains a P&P resource of 572 MT at 0.4% Cu.
Option Agreement -- Willow Property
On February 15, 2017 Abacus announced the signing of an option agreement with Almadex Minerals Limited and its wholly-owned Nevada subsidiary Almadex America Inc. to acquire the exclusive right and option to earn up to a 75% undivided ownership interest in the Willow property in Nevada. The option agreement provides for Abacus to earn an initial 60% ownership interest in the property, following which an additional 15% interest may be acquired, at which stage a joint venture agreement between Abacus and Almadex would be established.
Under the terms of the Option Agreement, Abacus may acquire up to a 75% interest in the Willow property in two stages:
Initial 60% Option Interest - To acquire the initial 60% option interest in the property, the Company is required, over a period of five years, to issue in stages a total of 2,500,000 common shares in the capital of the Company, and to incur in stages minimum exploration expenditures totaling US$3,000,000 on the property.
Upon having earned the 60% option interest in the property and until the 10th anniversary date, Abacus will be required to incur minimum exploration expenditures on an exploration program on the property of US$500,000 per year. Abacus will act as the Property's operator during the initial five-year term and following the earning of the 60% option interest, until such time as a joint venture is established, as described below.
Additional 15% Interest and Forming of Joint Venture - In order to earn the additional interest, such that Abacus would have an aggregate interest of 75% in the property, Abacus will be required to deliver a Feasibility Study on the property to Almadex on or before the 10th anniversary date. Upon having earned the additional interest, Abacus will continue to act as the property's operator until such time as a 75:25 joint venture is established for the further management, exploration and development of the property.
Lease Agreement -- Nev-Lorraine Claims
On February 6, 2018 Abacus announced the signing of a ten-year lease agreement on the Nev-Lorraine claims. The agreement allows the Company to explore these claims by incurring yearly expenditures of US$20,000 and by making escalating yearly lease payments, starting at US$60,000 and increasing by US$10,000 each year thereafter.
At any time during the life of the agreement, Abacus can elect to purchase the claim group outright for sums ranging from US$1,500,000 to US$1,950,000, with the vendors not retaining an NSR. The yearly expenditures are cumulative, meaning that any excess expenditure can be carried through to subsequent years.
The Yerington district occurs within the former site of a Jurassic-aged subduction-related magmatic arc that marks what was once the western margin of North America. The subduction led to the creation of a large quartz monzonite batholith (dated at 169 Ma) that was emplaced into the arc, and the batholith is directly overlain by a 2-3 km series of cogenetic volcanic flows and interbedded volcaniclastics. The batholith intruded a 3 km sequence of volcanics and sediments.
The batholith was in turn intruded by later granites, with the porphyry copper deposits associated with granite porphyry dyke swarms emanating from this later intrusion. The porphyry deposits are found both along the contact with the batholith, and above within the overlying volcanic rocks. The hydrothermal activity that formed the copper deposits altered a large volume of the surrounding rock above the batholith.
Later faulting formed the basin and range topography characteristic of the area today, causing all rocks to be tilted 60-90° to the west, including the porphyry copper deposits. The net effect in the Yerington district is an exposed cross section through a porphyry district, with the roots in the east and the tops to the west.
Abacus initiated work on the Willow project in April of 2017, to follow up on some initial soil geochemistry and IP geophysics undertaken by Almadex. The Company completed compilation of historic data, detailed geological mapping, soil geochemistry, magnetic and IP geophysical surveys and relogging and sampling of historic skeleton core.
The geological mapping delineated altered rocks covering at least 16 km², over much of the Willow and all of the Nev-Lorraine property. More intense alteration occurs in two, east-west, funnel shaped zones with increasing sericitic, silicic and advanced argillic alteration towards the west or northwest. The northern system covers an area of approximately 1.5 km north-south by 2.0 km northwest-southeast, while the southern zone is 2.5 km north-south by 2.5-3.0 km east-west.
The soil survey outlined broad, strong copper and molybdenum anomalies over the eastern part of the southern alteration zone, with several smaller anomalies to the west. The northern alteration zone contained much weaker soil anomalies.
As work progressed, it became evident that the southern alteration zone was larger, with much stronger Cu-Mo soil geochemistry and that it contained a higher proportion of granite porphyry dyke swarms and frequent quartz veining, all of which increase in intensity to the east. Along with ground geophysics and other work described below, a 2.0 km by 2.2 km portion of this southern alteration zone has become the Company's "Target Zone".
Geophysical work entailed ground magnetics and IP. The Target Zone is marked by a magnetic high on the east side, flanked by a very broad magnetic low to the west. The high is thought to be truncated by the Range Front fault to the east, and the low is interpreted to represent strongly hydrothermally altered rocks. A prominent IP anomaly straddles the Willow/Nev-Lorraine property boundary within the broad magnetic low and is thought to represent sulphide mineralization.
The new target was further enhanced by analyzing rock and soil samples collected in 2017 with a spectrometer, which detects any hydrothermal minerals present. The results were then compared with a published 2015 model of hydrothermal alteration and geochemical dispersion around porphyry copper deposits, that was in large part based on studying the adjacent Ann Mason deposit. The model predicts that outward from a porphyry copper deposit, successive alteration halos of Cu, Mo, W, Sn and Se will be developed. The Willow and Nev-Lorraine properties contains this exact pattern within the Target Zone, providing a strong validation of the geological and geophysical interpretation.
In 2017 the Company was able to locate, relog and sample skeleton core from shallow 1970's drilling at Willow. The vertical drilling, most of which was several km west of the new Target Zone, intersected a series of flat lying porphyry dykes with anomalous copper values, thought to represent the upper parts of a porphyry system, plus a series of flat, sub-parallel faults. By examining the geology and geochemistry of these drill holes, an estimation of displacement along these flat-lying faults was made. The Company believes that these faults have displaced the original target zone at depth further to the west and closer to surface, within the combined Willow/Nev-Lorraine property, into an area not previously drilled.
In summary, the new Target Zone is defined by coincident geological, geochemical and geophysical signatures typical of a porphyry copper deposit. It is marked by a 2.0 km by 2.2 km zone of intense silicic and advanced argillic alteration, a high proportion of granite porphyry dyke swarms, and frequent quartz veining. It contains a very strong Cu-Mo geochemical anomaly coincident with a broad magnetic low and an IP high. Geochemical modelling indicates that the Target Zone lies in close proximity to a productive porphyry copper center. The Target is analogous to the Ann Mason deposit to the east and the Yerington deposit further east, but it is thought to represent a separate porphyry center.
The technical information in this section has been reviewed and approved by Paul G. Anderson, M.Sc. P.Geo., a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101. It was written based on first hand knowledge of the property, published geological papers and a review of adjacent company's websites. The mineralization and/or resources/reserves of other properties in the district is not necessarily representative of the mineralization hosted on the Company's Willow and Nev-Lorraine Properties.