OK2 Minerals (OK.V) has now started what could be one of the most exciting drill programs in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle area. After a very encouraging exploration season in 2016, OK2 has been able to raise more cash and is 100% ready to re-enter the Pyramid project as it plans to start a substantial exploration program.
In this report we will provide a review of the 2016 exploration results and why those results increased the confidence in the existence of a large porphyry target at Pyramid.
Following up on the 2016 exploration results
After having worked on the Pyramid copper-gold project for almost four years, OK2 Minerals planned to drill six Reverse Circulation holes in the fall of last year. Unfortunately only 4 holes reached the target depth, as OK2 Minerals had to suspend its drill program due to the deteriorating weather in that specific part of British Columbia. The fifth hole had to be abandoned before reaching target depth.
The RC drill program was actually very successful. Granted, nobody will get really excited about 7.6 meters at 0.09% copper and 0.01 g/t gold and 49 meters of 0.02% copper and 0.05 g/t gold, but these drill results were actually incredibly interesting, as it taught VP Exploration George Cavey so much more about what’s underneath the surface area.
First of all, ALL of the drill holes intersected anomalous zones of mineralized intrusive rocks. Sure, the mineralization is still relatively weak, but the high-grade interval of 2.5 g/t gold over 1.52 meters in the first hole gives you an indication there’s definitely something there, as do the longer intervals with a lower copper-gold grade.
All holes were also inspected by a Terraspec Halo instrument (which basically identifies the different temperatures at the formation of the rocks), and this analysis has undeniably confirmed the (gold) mineralization at Pyramid is very consistent with the alteration you usually see at large copper-gold porphyry systems.
That’s important, as it also immediately explains why the gold grade in the RC holes was generally higher than the copper grade. Gold is more ‘mobile’ than copper, and that’s why you will see relatively higher gold grades further away from the ‘hot spot’ of a copper-gold porphyry zone.
What will happen this year?
OK2 Minerals announced on May 2nd it had contracted two drill operators for the 2017 exploration and field season at the Pyramid copper project where it’s first priority will be to complete the reconnaissance Reverse Circulation drill program which started last fall and had to be suspended due to the harsh weather.
Approximately 665 meters were drilled last year, but OK2 Minerals will be much more aggressive in the 2017 drill campaign, as the company plans and expects to drill up to 3,500 meters throughout the West, Central and East zones of the Pyramid property. The crews to start this drill will be mobilizing at the end of May and with drilling beginning shortly thereafter, we expect to see the first assay results in July/August which will provide additional information about the sub-surface settings.
The importance of this RC drill program should not be underestimated because even though it might be too early to expect ore-grade results, this targeted drill program will make much more information available to OK2 Minerals, and the RC drill program will then be used to design a diamond drill program. This 2,000 meter diamond drill program will then target the deeper structures to figure out what’s really lying underneath the three Pyramid zones.
You might remember hole 5, which had to be abandoned due to the adverse weather at the end of last year, was targeting a large and deep chargeability anomaly. That wasn’t just a blind target, as the drill target was determined by high grade samples in the surrounding area of the anomaly. We would expect OK2 Minerals to give this zone a lot of attention in this year’s exploration efforts.
British Columbia is well-known for copper porphyry systems
We already explained why the Pyramid zone was an interesting prospect on an interesting location as the Quesnel Terrane is what we described ‘prime hunting ground’ for large copper-gold deposits.
But perhaps it also makes sense to have a closer look at some of the other copper-gold porphyry systems in British Columbia, just to give you an idea of how big these projects could be. In the next table, we will highlight five similar copper-gold porphyry projects in the Quesnel Terrane and the Stikine Terrane. Keep in mind all data were sourced from publicly available documents, and whilst we do believe the information to be up to date, there might always be slight changes to grades and total resources.
As you can clearly see, the BC copper-gold porphyry systems have two things in common. The average grade is relatively low (0.25% Cu + 0.25 g/t should be sufficient to make it work), and the deposits are absolutely huge. That’s what makes them a preferred choice for larger suitors, as the BC porphyries are widely known to deliver a clean copper concentrate (which is highly sought after by Asian smelters), whilst the mine lives are several decades long, and the geopolitical risks are minimal, once all permits have been received.
Of course, there is no guarantee Pyramid will ever grow into a large copper-gold mine, but we just wanted to point out the entire Quesnel Terrane is very prospective for large deposits. Pyramid has passed the ‘sniffer test’ with the first few RC holes, and this year’s drill program will be very important to define the mineralized zones.
OK2 Minerals is now cashed up
OK2 Minerals has also completed another capital raise as the company was able to secure C$1.84M in funding. A total of 14.73 million units have been issued at a price of C$0.125, which each unit consisting of one share and one half of a purchase warrant. Each full warrant entitles the warrant holder to acquire an additional share at a fixed price of C$0.20. Should all 7.365 million warrants be exercised within the 24 month period, OK2 Minerals would see an additional cash inflow of approximately C$1.47M.
When CEO Mike Devji was travelling through Brussels at the end of last year and after this financing was completed, he emphasized the company’s reluctance to raise cash in a flow-through placement. Indeed, the entire C$1.84M placement was completed in ‘hard dollars’, which should reduce the risk of ‘flippers’ who’d immediately sell out of their flow-through shares after the 4 month hold period.
OK2 Minerals will be very busy in 2017 as the company has budgeted and signed contracts for a total of 5,500 meters of drilling, of which 1/3rd will be diamond drilling. It’s a pity the bad weather didn’t allow OK2 to complete its holes in the 2016 campaign, but as the company will now start its exploration season any day now (rather than drilling right before winter), we expect a lot from this summer’s drill program.
Of course, this still is an early stage exploration program, but the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. Last year’s RC drilling definitely confirmed the property has its merits after the 1980 sampling program completed by the BC government demonstrated the potential for a copper-gold porphyry system.
The author has a long position in OK2 Minerals.OK2 Minerals is a sponsor of the website. Please read the disclaimer