Exploration

Strategy

 

Aston Bay is in search of Congo-style Copper and Polaris-size Zinc on the Aston Bay Property.

  • Mineralogy, zonation, grade and structural setting for both Storm Copper and Seal Zinc are similar to sediment-hosted copper deposits such as Kamoa-Kakula located in the Congo, as well as zinc deposits such as Polaris, located 200km to the north, and Kipushi, also in the Congo.
  • High-grade copper and zinc mineralization at surface, confirmed by over 9,000 metres of historical drilling at Storm (e.g. 110m of 2.45% Cu) and Seal (e.g. 18.8m of 10.6% Zn).
  • Exposed surface mineralization drives exploration strategy in the search for the prize: concealed Sediment-Hosted Copper and Zinc Deposits

Aston Bay believes that the fluids responsible for both Storm Copper and Seal Zinc may have mineralized other permeable horizons that remain concealed at depth. The geologic model proposes saline fluids scavenging metals from the basin sediments or underlying basement rocks which then migrate through formations and along faults; if a reducing agent (e.g., organic material such as petroleum or natural gas) is encountered either in a permeable horizon or fault, metals will precipitate as the fluid is chemically reduced. Metal deposition follows the progressive reduction of the fluid, from copper when first reduced proximal to the fluid source, through iron and finally to lead and zinc distally. As such, the known surface expressions of mineralization at Storm and Seal may be indications of other, potentially larger, zones of mineralization concealed within the flat-lying sediments on the Aston Bay Property.

Property Overview

The Aston Bay Property is 100% owned by Aston Bay and located 100 km south of the community of Resolute Bay, Nunavut on western Somerset Island. The property is adjacent to tidewater on Aston Bay and comprises 12 prospecting permits and 133 contiguous mineral claims, covering an area of approximately 1,024,345 acres (414,537 hectares). The property has good access to shipping lanes, and the landscape provides favorable conditions for development of roads and a protected deep-water port. Exploration is supported through excellent infrastructure in the nearby hamlet of Resolute Bay.

Historical exploration around the Aston Bay Property has defined two distinct styles of mineralization, both hosted by sedimentary rocks of the Prince Regent Basin that formed on the eastern flank of the Boothia uplift approximately 450 million years ago:

  • The strata-bound Seal Zinc (Zn) Prospect mineralization is similar in style to sediment-hosted zinc deposits such as Kipushi (60 MT@7% Cu, 11% Zn)* as well as Polaris (21 MT@13.4% Zn)**, located just 200km to the north along the same structural trend.
  • The stratigraphic and structurally controlled Storm Copper (Cu) Project mineralization is similar in style to sediment-hosted copper deposits such as Kamoa-Kakula (1.1 BT@2.8% Cu indicated 244 MT@2.1% Cu Inferred)***.

Historically, the area has been an exploration target since 1960, when mineralization was first discovered while conducting oil and gas exploration in the region. From early 1964 until 2007, Cominco Resources (now Teck Resources Ltd.) was actively conducting exploration within the Aston Bay property. Commander Resources Ltd. acquired prospecting permits in the area after the land package held by Teck lapsed in 2007.

In December 2015, Aston Bay agreed with the original property vendor and optioner, Commander Resources Ltd., to consolidate ownership of the underlying core landholdings for the Storm Copper property. Under the terms of the Consolidation Agreement, Aston Bay issued 11M shares to Commander for a 100% interest in the core landholdings. Commander retains a 0.875% GOR in the area of the original Commander claims. Aston Bay has an option to buy the GOR down to 0.4% with a one-time payment.

*Robertson et al., 2016.
**Dewing et al., 2007.
***Ivanhoe Mines website, May 16, 2017.