LONGUEUIL, CANADA–(Marketwired – Nov. 21, 2017) – Highland Copper Company Inc. (TSX VENTURE:HI) (the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update on the exploration work currently underway on its 100% owned UPX Minerals Property located in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan, USA.
- Encouraging first field exploration season completed, with field activities continuing into the winter months;
- Multiple new nickel-copper massive sulphide targets generated from state-of-the-art geophysical interpretation;
- Rock and soil sampling from Ishpeming Greenstone belt returned anomalous gold values, including from areas with no previously known gold mineralization;
- Overburden sampling program underway in area with potential for banded iron formation gold mineralization.
In May 2017, UPX Minerals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Highland Copper, acquired from Rio Tinto a mineral property in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan with an area of about 1,800 square kilometers (447,000 acres) – the “UPX Property”. The UPX Property covers several Precambrian geological domains with known potential for nickel-copper massive sulphide deposits, gold deposits, and sediment-hosted base metal deposits. For each of these geological domains, the exploration team has carried out a systematic compilation of historical data and is developing exploration targets with ongoing geological mapping, rock and soil sampling programs, and interpretation of 5,500 km² of high-resolution magnetic data covering the full extent of the UPX Property.
Nickel-Copper Massive Sulphide Exploration
The potential for significant nickel-copper massive sulfide deposits on the UPX Property has been demonstrated by discovery of the Eagle and Eagle East deposits, currently being mined by Lundin Mining. Prior to the UPX acquisition, Rio Tinto identified and partially evaluated eight targets for this deposit type within the UPX Property area. Sulphide-bearing ultramafic rocks were intersected by drill holes in two of the target areas. The historical drill core is under review at the Company’s new core facility in the city of Marquette.
In addition to the eight previously known targets, Highland has independently generated over 20 new targets by processing the high-resolution magnetic data with state-of-the-art 3D inversions. Follow-up fieldwork and drilling is planned in 2018.
Ishpeming Greenstone Belt Gold Exploration
The Ishpeming greenstone belt is located in the southwestern extension of the Wawa-Abitibi geological Subprovince, which hosts several world-class gold and base metal deposits in Ontario. The UPX Property covering this belt extends from around Marquette to both the west and northwest, with a surface area of over 250 km2 (see Figure 1). Although numerous historical gold prospects and three small mines have been discovered in the Ishpeming greenstone belt, there has been minimal exploration during the past 30 years.
The Company has begun an evaluation program consisting of geological mapping, rock chip sampling and a soil geochemistry survey. To date, 655 rock samples and 1,400 soil samples have been collected. From the available assay results of 534 rock chip samples on outcropping quartz veins and shear zones, 24 samples were returned with values greater than 1 g/t gold. This includes one sample from a 20 cm wide quartz vein with an assay of 135 g/t gold, from an area with no previously known gold mineralization.
Gold mineralization encountered so far is typical of the Canadian Shield, with gold being spatially associated with felsic porphyries and/or shear zones located close to major structures that transect the belt (see Figure 2). Higher grade gold mineralization often occurs within broader alteration zones that include sericitization, silicification, carbonatization and sulphidation.
Very few of these mineralized zones have been evaluated through drilling or any modern exploration methods and the Company is planning both overburden and diamond drilling programs targeting shear-hosted mineralization this winter.
Paleoproterozoic Gold Exploration
The UPX Property includes over 210,000 acres of mineral title within the Paleoproterozoic-aged rocks of the Marquette Range Supergroup. These rocks host the Marquette Iron Range that has been producing iron ore for over 150 years. Although there are historical reports of gold, silver and copper mineralization in these rocks, little modern exploration has taken place for any of these metals.
Highland has commenced geological mapping and systematic outcrop sampling, and has carried out a reinterpretation of the magnetic survey data that covers this region. Although the majority of assays are still pending, five “grab” samples of waste rock from old iron mine workings and outcrops have returned assay values between 1 and 5 g/t gold. Twenty-four glacial till samples were recently collected from sites located down-ice from the potential host rocks, with results expected by the end of 2017. Additional areas for overburden sampling will be defined during the winter months, with drilling planned for the 2018 field season.
Sediment-hosted Base Metal Exploration
Previous explorers found several large glacial boulders with zinc and copper mineralization in the southern part of the UPX Property. Glacial overburden covers much of the area and discouraged further exploration at the time. Available public geological maps and proprietary high-resolution geophysical data confirm the presence of bedrock formed by sedimentary sequences of a geological environment typical of Mount Isa type base metal deposits. Highland plans to conduct overburden drilling up-ice from the mineralized boulders to attempt to discover their source rocks.
Highland is very encouraged by the results of the exploration work done so far in the UPX Property. Several base metal and gold targets have been generated and the Company is considering multiple alternatives to fund and advance its exploration plans, including funding it internally and through joint venture agreements. The long-term exploration goal is that mineral deposits discovered in the area will create a pipeline of projects and provide a sustainable resource base for the Company.
Sampling and Analysis
All sample preparation and analyses has been carried out at accredited ALS Chemex laboratories, in either Thunder Bay, Vancouver or Reno. Gold analysis for rock samples has been carried out using a 30g fire assay method with an ICP finish. Over limit samples containing greater than 10g/t gold were re-assayed using a gravimetric finish. Gold analyses for soil samples have been carried out using an aqua regia digest and low level ICP finish. Following Highland’s standard procedures, a full suite of field duplicates (for soil samples), laboratory duplicates, and certified reference materials have been analyzed with each batch of samples.
The sampling results presented above are preliminary in nature and not conclusive evidence of the likelihood of the occurrence of a mineral deposit.
The technical information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Carlos Bertoni, P. Geo, Vice President Exploration of Highland, and a qualified person under Canadian National Instrument 43-101.
Highland Copper Company Inc. is a Canadian exploration company focused on exploring and developing copper projects in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, U.S.A. Highland is fully financed to complete the Copperwood Project feasibility study update, which is the Company’s main priority, and which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018. The Company has 459,148,153 common shares issued and outstanding. More information about the Company is available on the Company’s website at www.highlandcopper.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements (within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation) that are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to vary materially from targeted results and objectives. Specifically, this press release includes forward-looking statements regarding the Company’s objectives to complete and be able to fund, within the schedule mentioned or at all, planned exploration programs on the UPX Property and to complete the Copperwood feasibility study. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ, including, without limitation, the availability of required funds to finance all required expenditures, the results of the various work programs and studies, receipt of all necessary permits, and all such risks and uncertainties described in Highland’s management’s discussion and analysis, press releases and other filings made by Highland from time to time with securities regulatory authorities. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to the Company as of the date hereof, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements except as required by law.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
David Charles, Manager, Investor Relations