Doré Copper Mining (TSXV: DCMC) says drilling at its Corner Bay copper project in Quebec will help expand its mineral resource estimate as it aims to complete a feasibility study in 2024.
The Toronto-based company finished almost 40,000 metres of drilling this year at the site about 500 km northwest of Quebec City, it said in a news release on Tuesday.
Drilling highlights from the last dozen holes included 5.1 metres of 5.68% copper, 0.32 gram gold and 18.3 grams silver per tonne, and 510 parts per million molybdenum in drill hole CB-22-86; and 2.6 metres of 3.69% copper, 10.3 grams silver per tonne and 414 parts per million molybdenum in drill hole CB-22-83.
“The results confirm the continuity of the copper mineralization in the deposit,” CEO Ernest Mast said in the release. “We have also identified a number of holes from 2004 with high-grade copper mineralization in the upper portion of the deposit that were not incorporated in the mineral resource.”
The company intends to continue infill drilling at the site in 2023 following exploration drilling at the nearby Doré Ramp and Joe Mann projects, Mast said. There is also about 2,000 metres in infill drilling planned at the Devlin project in next year’s first quarter. Completing the feasibility study in 2024 depends on improved market conditions and additional funding, he added.
Doré wants to be Quebec’s next copper producer as demand for the metal used in wiring and plumbing fluctuates with the Chinese economy and high inflation around the world. Prices were at record highs earlier this year, but demand for copper is expected to be sustained for years during the global transition to green energy to fight climate change.
After reviewing drilling required for the feasibility study, Doré identified nine holes from 2004 that were excluded from the current mineral resource estimate. All holes intersected copper mineralization at a shallow depth in the two subparallel veins above the dyke, the company said.
Significant high-grade intercepts from those holes included 7.07 metres grading 10.09% copper and 0.61 gram gold per tonne in hole CB-04-13; and 13 metres grading 3.23% copper and 0.38 gram gold per tonne in hole CB-04-15.
The company envisions the Corner Bay project as a hub-and-spoke operation, with Corner Bay as the main feed for Doré’s centralized Copper Rand mill, supplemented by the Devlin and Joe Mann deposits.
Corner Bay, located on the south flank of the Lac Doré Complex, was discovered in the early 1980s. A ramp running 115 metres underground was built in 2008 by Campbell Resources (TSXV: CCH), but there was no production besides a development sample of 36,000 tonnes. Doré began drilling in 2017 and has expanded the deposit along strike and down plunge, it said.
The site holds an indicated resource of 2.68 million tonnes grading 2.66% copper and 0.26 gram gold per tonne for contained metal of 157 million lbs. copper and 22,000 oz. gold, according to a preliminary economic assessment released in May.
The inferred resource from the same study showed 5.86 million tonnes grading 3.43% copper and 0.27 gram gold per tonne for contained metal of 443 million lbs copper and 51,000 oz gold, based on a cut-off grade of 1.3% copper and a copper price of $3.75 per pound.
While the drilling results confirm continuity of copper mineralization for the site’s Main Vein that straddles a dyke, they also defined the presence and continuity of a second vein located 50 metres east of the Main Vein above the dyke, the company said in Tuesday’s release. Mineralization in this area appears to be parallel and controlled by mafic dykes, interpreted as originating from the Chibougamau Pluton, Doré said. The Corner Bay camp is about 40 km by road from Chibougamau, Quebec.
Second vein intercepts included 2 metres grading 3.34% copper, 0.56 gram gold and 15.6 grams silver per tonne in hole CB-21-53; and 0.6 metre grading 0.9% copper in hole CB-21-58.