Blue Ridge Project
“The high-quality Virginia dataset and projects identified at the Blue Ridge Project have highlighted a very prospective base and precious metal terrane that remains under explored. Based on the early drill success within the terrane there are high expectations for a significant discovery. Current plans by Aston Bay are to follow up on that early success as well as expand exploration to investigate the numerous targets already generated.”Don Taylor
Aston Bay is in the process of purchasing privately-held Jack’s Fork Exploration Inc., led by award-wining geologist Don Taylor.
Through the JFE acquisition, Aston Bay will own exclusive rights to an integrated geophysical, geochemical and geological dataset over the Blue Ridge Project area located in central Virginia, USA. The Project is located within a copper-lead-zinc-gold-silver (Cu-Pb-Zn-Au-Ag) mineralized sedimentary and volcanic belt prospective for sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) or Broken Hill (BHT) type deposits. Correlative rock units in adjacent states of North Carolina and Tennessee host historic mineralized deposits including Ducktown, Ore Knob, Gossan Lead and Haile.
Don Taylor, CEO of JFE, will join the Aston Bay team in the position of Technical Advisor for the Blue Ridge Project. Mr. Taylor is also COO of Arizona Mining Inc. and the 2018 Thayer Lindsley Award winner for his discovery of the Taylor Pb-Zn-Ag Deposit in Nevada.
The comprehensive Blue Ridge Project dataset includes:
- airborne EM/Mag survey covering approximately 50km x 100km (500,000 hectares or over 1.2 million acres).
- regional stream sediment survey coincident to the AEM survey, including
- traditional -80 mesh survey samples analyzed for 31 elements, and
- heavy mineral concentrate sampling identifying specific minerals of interest.
- multi-element soil grids over select targets
- drill hole database
- archival drill core and multi-element geochemical data from 20 diamond drill holes at area Cu-Zn-Pb prospects
- assay data from multiple historical drill holes at area gold prospects.
The Project has numerous strengths that will be accretive to Aston Bay, including:
- near term discovery potential
- a target- and data-rich, under-explored project with drill-ready targets and access to a very large land position
- significant recent and historical drill intercepts with limited follow-up
- numerous base metal and gold prospects identified through geophysics, geology & geochemistry
- year-round access and well-developed infrastructure allow for steady news flow
- private land leases in advanced stages of negotiation, and
- well-established mining law and permitting process
History of the Area:
Geological investigations by BHP Minerals (BHP) and joint venture partner, Cominco American Inc (CAI) in 1995 identified a geologic terrane in the Lynchburg area as a prospective belt with largely unrecognized potential for sediment-hosted base metal massive sulfide and/or gold deposits. Regional geological mapping and geochemical sampling confirmed the potential and led to land acquisition, detailed sampling, limited surface diamond drilling and an airborne geophysical survey. Exploration by BHP and CAI ended in 2000 and the total expenditures by BHP and CAI are estimated at US $4.5M.
Don Taylor, through JFE, continued with exploration, constructing a database of the available historic geological, geochemical and geophysical data and conducted significant additional work on the ground. JFE’s total expenditures was approximately US$3M, with work including reconnaissance and project-area geological work including mapping, rock and soil sampling, and ground geophysics since 2008.
Geology and Mineralization:
Past exploration efforts were focused on the discovery of sedimentary-hosted Cu-Zn-Pb-Ag deposits of the sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) or Broken Hill (BHT) type.
Historic exploration for such deposits has been limited due to rare bedrock exposure (typically ≤1%) and extensive saprolite development. Modern exploration occurred only in the middle to late 1990’s when BHP and later joint venture partner CAI, identified the south-central section of the Blue Ridge terrane as permissive to host significant massive sulfide deposits of these types.
BHP and CAI drilled 11 core holes on area properties; nine of the 11 historic holes intersected notable amounts of disseminated, vein-type, and massive base metal mineralization within marbles and schists over short sections. Significant highlights from that drilling include; 2.77% Cu, 0.94% Zn, 0.54% Pb, and 8.2 ppm Ag over 16.4 feet, and 1.17% Cu, 5.23% Zn, 0.90% Pb, and 21.3 ppm Ag over 7.4 feet in separate holes. The historic drilling results indicate that the stratigraphy in the project area contains mineralization consistent with the SEDEX/BHT type and the potential to host significant and economic Cu-Zn-Pb-Ag deposits of this type.
Further information on specific properties will be made available as land agreements are finalized.