It has taken Alianza Minerals Ltd. (ANZ:TSX.V: TARSF:OTCQB) a while, but it finally seems to have hit ultra-high grade silver at its Haldane project in the Keno Hill District (Yukon), and this is exactly what management was looking for all along. A very high grade intercept drilled in January at the same target already generated 1.78m @ 818 grams per tonne (g/t) silver, but this time around the company announced a spectacular 1.26m @3,267 g/t silver intersection, and this is even without the zinc and lead credits. According to management, many more upcoming drill results will create lots of news flow the coming months, so it could be a prolific summer for Alianza Minerals.
All pictures are company material, unless stated otherwise. All currencies are in US Dollars, unless stated otherwise.
Investors had to wait since the phase 2 2021 drill program commenced on May 17, 2021, but the first results didn't disappoint for sure. The first reported hole, HLD21-24, targeting the West Fault target was a resounding success, and the best hole to date. The assayed core averaged 1.26m (estimated true width) @ 3,267 g/t Ag, 7.02% Zn and 5.80% Pb, which equaled 3,720g/t silver equivalent (AgEq), and was part of a wider interval: 3.14m (estimated true width) @ 1,351 g/t Ag, 2.91% Zn and 2.43% Pb (1,542 g/t AgEq). Used metal price assumptions were pretty conservative, with US$20/oz silver, US$1650/oz gold, US$0.90/lb lead and US$1.10/lb zinc. Today's spot prices are US$26/oz silver, US$1807/oz gold, US$1.06/lb lead and US$1.34/lb zinc, adding almost 25% to the AgEq result.
The hole was drilled into vein and breccia mineralization. The West Fault structure in HLD21-24 was intersected over a 13 meter core length of fractured quartzite, fault gouge and brecciation. Mineralization is concentrated within a 2.1 meter section of massive siderite veining with approximately 10% galena and 10% sphalerite as cross cutting veins and masses. A few meters either side of the vein consists of fault gouge, highly fractured and brecciated quartzite with siderite veinlets with 1–2% sphalerite and trace disseminated galena. Recovery throughout the quoted intervals averages approximately 70–75% with the exception of an 80 centimeter interval above the 2.1 meter high grade section, where recovery was zero. This was caused by very broken and fractured portions of the West Fault system; the rock (and potentially mineralization) has likely been ground to fine pebbles that can be very difficult to recover.
Management was obviously happy with the result, as VP Exploration Rob Duncan had this to say:
"The result in HLD21-24 extends the high grade mineralization from HLD20-19 an additional 80 meters to the southwest and down dip," stated Rob Duncan, VP Exploration for Alianza. "The high-grade nature of this intersection is indicative of the potential of this target and other targets at Haldane. We have only scratched the surface of the 1.1 km long West Fault structure."
As can be seen in the cross section, the West Fault extends to depth vertically under a pretty steep angle to the north-west, so the projected drill holes on the map don't seem to cross the drawn West Fault surface trace, but they do at depth. HLD21-24 was aimed at a slightly deeper part of the mineralized structure in the West Fault:
When looking at the table in this section, it is interesting to see the grades and intercepts increasing at depth (varying about 250–325m depth so far), so I wondered if management is planning many more deeper holes along strike. As can be seen in this schematic long sections, hole HLD21-25 is indeed slightly deeper compared to HLD21-24:
I'm curious what the assays of this hole will bring us, and if holes HLD21-23 and HLD21-26 could somehow average the results of HLD20-19 and HLD21-24. CEO Weber stated about potentially drilling deeper holes that. Alianza is systematically stepping out 50 meters at a time, down dip and along strike to define the size and orientation of the high grade vein mineralization at West Fault. Samples from holes HLD21-23, HLD21-25 and HLD21-26 are in process at the laboratory, and are expected back at late July at the earliest, likely one at the time, but maybe two if they are received close enough together. Drilling continues at the West Fault and is expected to continue through mid-July.
After this stellar drill result, I asked CEO Jason Weber if he would ramp up exploration this time with the C$1.26 million raised in June, as the company definitely hit something big now at Haldane, of course depending on drill rig/crew availability. He answered that Alianza is assessing the availability of drill crews later in the summer/early autumn. The company would definitely like to continue to grow the West Fault target, but would also like to go back to Middlecoff and its new Bighorn target, to follow up on the new vein targets discovered in 2019 drilling.
As a reminder, Alianza finally seems to be approaching the great drill results that Alexco Resource (AXU.TO) is currently producing at their Bermingham Northeast Deep Zone, which is located in the center of the Keno Hill mining district, in between the old mines. Highlights of their program are 8.76m @ 3,583 g/t Ag, 5.3m @2,070 g/t Ag, 8.15m @ 1,414 g/t, 6.12m @1,560 g/t and 7.46m @1,381 g/t Ag. Alexco is drilling to expand the existing resource of 45 Moz @ 844 g/t Ag at depth, and they own several other high grade deposits in Keno Hill, only confirming the very prolific nature of the Keno Hill region.
Haldane is not the only project of Alianza Minerals. Among others, the company is working at Twin Canyon in Colorado, and Tim Silver in the Yukon. It expects to get a drill permit for Twin Canyon this summer. The current status is this is still looking like it's happening this summer, and it is actively looking to find a JV partner who could assist in exploration. The goal is to start drilling in Q3 of this year, and potential partners continue to look at it.
Regarding the Tim project, Coeur Mining, the operator of the JV, has completed a reconnaissance exploration program last month, which consists of a SkyTEM airborne geophysical survey, and will be followed up by groundwork later this season. According to CEO Weber it will most likely still be late 2021 before the company has anything it can release publicly.
Regarding the Yanac Copper project in Peru, there have been some developments. The new president-elect Pedro Castillo is anti-mining, but as the results were very close, opposing candidate Keiko Fujimori is battling to overturn the result at the moment, although it is likely she will not succeed in this. As management is actively talking to potential partners, it hopes to get a partner in to drill test the copper porphyry target here.
On June 15, 2021, Alianza Minerals also announced the forming of a strategic alliance with Imperial X (now called Cloudbreak Discovery Plc), to acquire and explore copper deposits in the United States, more precisely in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. Under the terms, either company can introduce projects to the strategic alliance. Projects accepted will be held 50/50 but funding of the initial acquisition and any preliminary work programs will be funded 40% by the introducing partner and 60% by the other party, already outlining the position for Alianza as the predominant finder, although according to Weber both groups have great access to early-stage copper ideas in this part of the world. Project expenditures are determined by committee, consisting of two senior management personnel from each party. Alianza will be the operator unless the alliance steering committee determines that Imperial X would be a more suitable operator, on a case-by-case basis. The period of the alliance is two years and can be extended for an additional two years.
Alianza and Imperial X expect to make project acquisitions for the alliance in the near future and start exploring shortly after each acquisition has closed.
The wait is over, and Alianza Minerals seems on track to resembling the central Keno Hill grades at its Haldane project, as drilled by the likes of Alexco, routinely containing four-digit silver grade results. The impressive 1.26m @ 3.267 g/t silver intercept would fit in there nicely, but this is not all as management has three more drill results coming up, completed at the same target, and plans to drill many more this summer. The recently raised C$1.26 million gives them much room to maneuver, and as such I'm looking forward to more exciting news coming up soon.
Mt. Haldane drilling
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The Critical Investor is a newsletter and comprehensive junior mining platform, providing analysis, blog and newsfeed and all sorts of information about junior mining. The editor is an avid and critical junior mining stock investor from The Netherlands, with an MSc background in construction/project management. Number cruncher at project economics, looking for high quality companies, mostly growth/turnaround/catalyst-driven to avoid too much dependence/influence of long-term commodity pricing/market sentiments, and often looking for long-term deep value. Getting burned in the past himself at junior mining investments by following overly positive sources that more often than not avoided to mention (hidden) risks or critical flaws, The Critical Investor learned his lesson well, and goes a few steps further ever since, providing a fresh, more in-depth, and critical vision on things, hence the name.[NLINSERT]
Disclaimer: The author is not a registered investment advisor and currently has a long position in this stock. Alianza Minerals is a sponsoring company. All facts are to be checked by the reader. For more information go to www.alianzaminerals.com and read the company's profile and official documents on www.sedar.com, also for important risk disclosures. This article is provided for information purposes only, and is not intended to be investment advice of any kind, and all readers are encouraged to do their own due diligence, and talk to their own licensed investment advisors prior to making any investment decisions.
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