NorthWest Copper (TSXV: NWST) announced on Wednesday that recent drilling has returned the highest-grade Cu-Au interval ever intersected at Kwanika, one of the two deposits comprising the company’s advanced-stage copper-gold exploration project in British Columbia.
Kwanika is located within the Quesnel Terrane, which hosts numerous porphyry copper-gold deposits such as Mount Milligan, New Afton and Highland Valley. The deposit is accessible by road from the town of Fort St. James.
The new high-grade interval consists of massive to semi-massive copper and gold mineralization at moderate depth in the western half of the deposit, the company said. It expands the high-grade portion of the deposit, introducing a new style of mineralization.
The highlighted drill intercept returned 235.45 m of 2.92% copper equivalent (CuEq), comprising 2% Cu, 1.21 g/t Au and 5.3 g/t Ag. This intercept included a mineralized interval of 153.25 m of 4.13% CuEQ comprising 2.84% Cu, 1.69 g/t Au and 7.5 g/t Ag, and further contains 9.4 m of 33.6% CuEQ comprising 29.85% Cu, 4.34 g/t Au and 70.5 g/t Ag.
“This drill hole is a game-changer for our Kwanika deposit and for the region. The very high grade within a larger porphyry system is very unusual and establishes a brand new and incredibly exciting target type,” NorthWest’s CEO Peter Bell said in a news release.
“We drilled one of the highest-grade drill holes reported globally in 2018, when DDH18-SD-421 intersected 100 m of 5.3% CuEq, at our adjacent Stardust deposit. This new Kwanika drill hole is even higher-grade than drill hole 421 and occurs just 7 km away. The presence of such extraordinary grades in multiple deposits is both surprising and rare, and opens up multiple, very high-grade exploration targets over a substantial area,” he added.
NorthWest’s goals at Kwanika in 2021 included expanding the high-grade zone and improving the grade within it by drilling angled holes across mineralized structural zones with closer-spaced drilling. Results to date have exceeded expectations, both expanding and improving the continuity and grade, according to Bell.
This recent hole is higher grade than any previously drilled on the Kwanika property, and appears to be a new style of mineralization, the company said. The relationship of this new style of mineralization to the rest of the mineralization is not yet clear, but it adds another style of high-grade to the suite of exploration targets at Kwanika and the company’s adjacent Stardust project.
NorthWest has focused on the high-grade portion of Kwanika and adjacent high-grade Stardust deposit since the company was created in March. Previous assay results from Kwanika followed the releases of favourable Stardust metallurgy in April 2021 and an expanded high-grade Stardust resource in May 2021.
The latest near-surface results, plus another set of deeper holes still to be released, are expected to support an updated Kwanika resource planned for Q4 2021.
Shares of NorthWest Copper soared 33.3% by noon EDT, after hitting an all-time high of C$1.10 earlier in the session. The copper-gold mining junior has a market capitalization just north of C$111 million ($90m).