A New Copper-Gold Porphyry For Boxxer Gold?
Boxxer Gold Corp. (TSX.V:BXX) is preparing to drill 26 areas of mineralized skarn and 32 geophysical (IP) targets on its 100% owned Boss porphyry copper-gold project in the Goodsprings Mining District in southern Nevada.
Having recently located two new zones of copper-gold mineralization, including 1.92% copper and 0.72 grams per tonne gold in area chip samples, Boxxer is eager to get drilling on this previously unexplored, potentially massive porphyry copper-gold district.
The Boss project covers approximately 25.12 square kilometers (12,500 acres) and is located 60 kilometers west of Las Vegas in the Goodsprings Mining District.
The Goodsprings District was mined between 1886 and 1931. Historical mining on the property is very similar to other porphyry districts worldwide, and specifically to copper-porphyry districts in Western USA.
Goodsprings has recorded historical production at 280 million pounds of lead and zinc at a combined grade of 26%, 2.7 million pounds of copper at an average grade of 13% and 65,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of one ounce per tonne, resulting in the second largest mineral producing district in the Western USA at that time.
Confidence In The Boss
However, the district has never been systematically diamond drilled. Boxxer is the first company to attempt such a feat and, despite the risky nature of putting all your eggs in one southern Nevada basket, they're confident that they're onto a winner here.
"In the year and a half that I've been working on the ground here, I have yet to have one disappointment." claims Boxxer President and CEO Elmer Stewart, P. Geo, "Even to the point where we did the IP survey, we didn't generate 2 targets; we generated 32 targets. And the targets correlate exactly on top of the interpreted intrusive. The geophysicists who helped me work on this project know Nevada cold, and they said "Elmer, Im very interested in seeing what you've got here when you drill that hole, because I think you have one heck of a target."Results
In a press release issued June 7th 2010, Boxxer released their most recent sampling results. According to the press release:
"Two new zones of copper-gold mineralization have been located outside the area of copper-gold mineralization previously identified in the Boss Extension skarn. The representative characterization sampling completed to determine copper-gold concentrations and the geochemical signature of the mineralization for each zone yielded the following results:
The new zones of mineralization designated Boss -12 and Boss -13, contain the same range of concentrations of copper and gold as the other 19 zones of copper-gold mineralization located within the Boss Extension skarn. The copper mineralization in the Boss -12 zone covers an area of approximately 50 meters by 30 meters and an area of 20 meters by 15 meters in the Boss-13 zone. These mineralized areas are open in three directions, contain significant concentrations of platinum and palladium and exhibit a strong arsenic-cobalt-nickel-molybdenum geochemical signature. Copper mineralization is exposed in outcrop from the portal to the end of a 10 metre long adit on the Boss -13 zone."
"The geochemical data and other criteria suggest the Boss Extension skarn is near the centre of the potential porphyry system." comments Stewart, "Our work continues to locate new zones of copper-gold mineralization that provide a better understanding of the district and its porphyry copper potential. The recent recognition of a 16 kilometre long, wide, intensely folded structural zone cut by north-south faulting that hosts multiple intrusives and at least five areas of mineralized skarn strongly support the porphyry copper-gold model being used to explore the Boss Project."
The average grade of approximately 700 channel and area chip samples taken from the 26 zones of skarn hosted mineralization on the Boss project is 1.01% copper and 0.52 grams per tonne gold.
The Boss Project is one of three copper-gold projects in Nevada and if its neighbor's success is anything to go by, Boxxer has a long and fruitful road ahead of them with The Boss.
The Goodsprings Mining District is located at the interpreted intersection of the northwest trending La Caridad-Mineral Park Belt and the southwest trending Frontal Thrust Belt. Both of these trends host very large porphyry copper deposits such as Butte in Montana and Bingham Canyon in Utah.
Butte has produced 1.4 billion tonnes of copper and Bingham Canyon has produced 3.9 billion tonnes of copper, and is still producing. Boxxer's property is essentially right at the intersection of 2 major structural trends, both containing multi-billion tonne copper deposits.
What's more, Stewart believes that geologically, The Boss Project is similar to The Bingham Canyon Project.
"Based on everything we've done to date, I think this project is very akin to Bingham Canyon, mainly because of the gold content, the structural set up and the sheer size of the copper gold footprint in the district. Bingham Canyon has produced 3.9 billion tonnes of material at an average grade of 0.8% copper and 0.2 grams of gold, and it's got another 20 years in it. Looking at a map of the region, I can actually fit the total size of the Bingham Canyon district into the copper gold footprint of the Goodsprings district. Now I don't think that's a coincidence. I think that's a function of the geological development of it."
Cue Freeport McMoRan
Another vote of confidence in the area comes in the form of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX). The world's largest publicly traded copper company has just recently taken up land positions in the Goodsprings District and to Boxxer, this speaks volumes.
"Not only do 3 mining analysts and 1 porphyry expert believe we're onto something here on he Boss, now Freeport has come into the district and taken up huge land positions. That leads me to believe that they also think we've got some substantial porphyry potential, because we know they're not looking for 50 million tonnes, they're not looking for 100 million tonnes, they've got to find something that's big".
Despite the name, Boxxer Gold Corp. is a copper exploration company. When Midasletter.com asked why copper, Stewart stepped up with an arsenal of answers.
"We're basically focused on copper because we like the supply demand equation", says Stewart.
Among these are:
- Copper consumption is projected to grow by 2.5% to 3.5% per year to the year 2035;
- The annual shortfall in copper supply versus demand is forecasted to be 8 to 11 million tonnes of copper by 2035;
- One new mine per year, producing 1.2 MT of copper, is required to meet this forecasted copper demand;
- The China Mining Association forecasts copper consumption to increase by 12% in 2010 and lastly;
- Rio Tinto forecasts a 15% reduction in copper production in 2010 due to mining lower head grades.
The deposits we're focusing on are copper deposits and copper porphyry deposit because they're large and I think they make a big difference to junior resource companies. We want to be an explorer; we don't want to be a developer. I've been there and it's a real tough transition, Ive gone through that a few times. The targets we're going after are primarily copper, but they have significant gold and silver credits with them as well which is very typical of porphyry systems. So that's why we're in copper and porphyry in North America."
Next for The Boss?
Speculation, hope and ambition aside, Boxxer will know for sure what they're dealing with in Goodsprings with the commencement of their 8,000 meter diamond drill program. The company has signed a drilling contract with Marcus & Marcus Exploration Inc. to complete the drill program on 12 of the 32 IP targets outlined on The Boss Project and a geologist has been retained to supervise the drilling program and the logistics related to the core sawing, sampling and analysis of the samples has been arranged.
The last hurdle for Boxxer is the acceptance of the amended Notice of Work, filed to the Bureau of Land Management almost two weeks ago. When that comes through, drilling will commence and the real potential of The Boss shall be revealed.
Next for Boxxer?
While primary emphasis is obviously on the Goodsprings District, Boxxer plans to advance the company's remaining projects. A complete farm-out option is scheduled for the Gordon Lake Gold project in Northwest Territories, Canada. Exploration is due to commence on the Buena Vista IOCG project in west central Nevada and exploration is also on the cards for the Boyer Ranch property in the Table Mountain Mining District, Nevada.
For now however, focus is on The Boss.
"We've got all the criteria that you need – the mineralization is extensive, we've got the grades, we've got the right silver to gold ratio to say we're in a proximal copper-gold skarn and we've got the right geochemical signature" Stewart concludes, "The only thing I need to do now is diamond drill those targets and if we are right, then we will have demonstrated that Goodsprings is a porphyry copper district in south west Nevada, and that is my objective."
Follow the company's progress at www.boxxergold.com