Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. (TSX-V: BAY) (“Aston Bay” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the results of 2018 drill target generation from its 2017 high-resolution airborne gravity gradiometry survey over the Seal Zinc deposit and prospect. The 2017 survey covered 15,327 line kilometres (km) over the >1,000,000 acre (4,145 km2) Aston Bay Property in the Polaris mining district, Somerset Island, Nunavut. Several significant untested anomalies were identified adjacent to and along strike from the Seal deposit (Figure 1), the subject of this release, and target refinement is ongoing in advance of the planned summer 2018 drill campaign. Significant gravity anomalies spatially associated with high-grade copper mineralization were also identified in the vicinity of the Storm Copper prospect and along a mineralized trend extending 80 km to the south (see November 30, 2017 press release). Analyses of these copper-related anomalies and drill hole target generation will be the subject of an upcoming future press release.
Description of Seal and Comparison with Polaris
The Seal Zinc deposit occurs within 200 metres (m) of tidewater and contains a current Inferred Mineral Resource of 1.01 Mt at a grade of 10.24 % zinc (Zn) and 46.5 grams per tonne (g/t) silver (Ag). The deposit is open along strike and at depth. Seal is characterized by stratiform massive and replacive sphalerite-pyrite mineralization within the Lower Ship Point Formation and an associated locally mineralized pseudobreccia in the underlying Turner Cliffs Formation. The style of mineralization and the presence of pseudobreccia are both comparable to the Polaris Mine to the north, which Cominco Ltd. operated for 21 years producing 21 million tonnes ore grading 13.4 % Zn. Although comparable, these features do not necessarily imply that a deposit of the same scale is present at Seal.
The Polaris deposit does not outcrop, and was discovered by Cominco’s drilling of a gravity anomaly north and down-dip of three relatively small zinc showings (Figure 2). Aston Bay has modeled publicly available Polaris gravity data to allow predictive estimation of the scale and magnitude of potential gravity anomalies that may be spatially associated with analogous mineralized bodies at varying depths and sizes.
Figure 1. Geological map of Seal and Seal South areas, and location of subsequent detailed figures. Inset map shows the location of Aston Bay’s Seal Zinc and Storm Copper projects south of the Polaris mine and the community of Resolute Bay in the Polaris mining district, Nunavut.
Figure 2. Geology and gravity survey at the past-producing Polaris mine, including plan view (top) and cross-section (bottom). Note that the deposit is blind, and was discovered by drilling a gravity anomaly north and down-dip of three small surface showings.
New Targets Generated by 2017 Gravity Gradiometry Survey at Seal
Aston Bay’s 2017 airborne gravity gradiometry survey provides the first comprehensive gravity coverage of the Seal deposit and its along-strike and down-dip potential. Modeling and inversion of data has identified numerous gravity anomalies along and across strike from the deposit (S12-S16, Figure 3). In addition to an incompletely drill-tested anomaly immediately northwest of Seal (S15), a distinct target (S16) has been identified approximately 600 m along strike northwest of the Seal deposit, where a surface showing returned grab samples of up to 12% Zn. The only previous drill hole in the vicinity, AB95-12, intersected pyritic mineralization at shallow depth.
The Seal deposit is underlain by an over 1 km-long footwall “pseudobreccia” intersected in three widely spaced historical drill holes (Figure 3). One of these holes, 96AB01-29, returned multiple mineralized intervals within the pseudobreccia, including 7% Zn over 1.1 m and 1.5% Zn over 2.2 m core length at the end of a hole. The Seal pseudobreccia is approximately 100 m stratigraphically below the Seal deposit, and closely resembles pseudobreccia present at the Polaris mine. Importantly at Polaris, the pseudobreccia occurs in the same horizon as the orebody as a lateral alteration and mineralization halo. The untested strike and depth extensions of the mineralized pseudobreccia at Seal are therefore considered targets.
The strata host to Seal and the pseudobreccia appear to be fault-repeated across a steep reverse fault immediately east of the deposit (Figure 3). Only one historical drill hole, AB96-18, tested this fault block, and intersected 2.5% Zn over 2.0 m core length in a zone stratigraphically above the target horizon. The gravity survey has identified an untested anomaly (S12) along strike southeast from this hole, approximately 600 m east of Seal. Aston Bay interprets this area to be prospective for fault-offset and/or distinct zones of mineralization outboard of the main Seal target area.
Targets at Seal South
The Seal South target area is on a peninsula directly southeast and along strike from the Seal deposit, across a northwest-trending fault (Figures 1, 3, 4). The fault offsets the host strata and also the Seal gravity anomaly, which persists southwards ~2 km along the peninsula (target S12), and is coincident with a 7,000 parts per million (ppm) Zn-in-soil anomaly (Figure 3). There are no previous drill holes in this target.
Further southeast across a normal fault, the gravity survey has identified multiple targets (S1-S11) in the Seal South area (Figure 4). Pseudobreccia in the same stratigraphic position as at Seal has two associated gravity anomalies (S1, S2). Soil samples returned anomalous results of up to 10,600 ppm zinc within the Thumb Mountain Formation host to Polaris, which is underlain by several gravity anomalies including S4, S7, and S8. The four 0.7 to 1.5 km-spaced historical drill holes at Seal South did not test these targets.
Figure 3. Gravity gradiometry results over Seal Zinc deposit area, with geology, soil anomalies and historical drilling. Numbered targets are referred to in text. The surface projection of the Seal deposit is shown in grey.
Figure 4. Geology and gravity gradiometry results over the Seal South area, with geology, soil anomalies and historical drilling. Numbered targets are referred to in text. Note the presence of mineralization-associated pseudobreccia in the same stratigraphic position as at Seal, and highly zinc-anomalous soil samples.
2018 drill program
Aston Bay is planning a drill program to be carried out during the 2018 June-August field season, which will include targeting Polaris-type zinc mineralization at Seal and Seal South. The program will also target high-grade copper mineralization in the vicinity of
Storm Copper and adjacent prospects, where the 2017 gravity gradiometry survey identified significant untested gravity anomalies along strike from known mineralization, which will be the subject of an upcoming press release.
Dewing, K., Sharp, R.J., Turner, E., 2007, Synopsis of the Polaris Zn-Pb District, Canadian Arctice Islands, Nunavut, in Goodfellow, W.D., ed., Mineral Deposits of Canada: A Synthesis of Major Deposit-Types, District Metallogeny, the Evolution of Geological Provinces, and Exploration Methods: Geological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division, Special Publication No. 5, p. 655-672.
As per National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, Michael Dufresne, M.Sc., P.Geol., P.Geo., a Director of and a consultant to Aston Bay, is the Qualified Person for the Company and has prepared, validated and approved the technical and scientific content of this news release. The Company strictly adheres to CIM Best Practices Guidelines in conducting, documenting, and reporting its exploration activities on the Storm Project.
ABOUT ASTON BAY HOLDINGS LTD.
Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. (TSX-V: BAY) is a publicly traded mineral exploration company exploring for large, high-grade, sediment-hosted copper and zinc deposits in Nunavut, a mining-friendly Canadian jurisdiction. Aston Bay is 100% owner of the 1,024,345-acre (414,537-hectare) Aston Bay Property located on western Somerset Island, Nunavut. The Aston Bay Property hosts the Storm Copper Project and the Seal Zinc Prospect, with historical drilling confirming the presence of sediment-hosted copper and zinc mineralization.
The Company’s public disclosure documents are available on www.sedar.com.
Statements made in this press release, including those regarding the closing and the use of proceeds of the private placement, management objectives, forecasts, estimates, expectations, or predictions of the future may constitute “forward-looking statement”, which can be identified by the use of conditional or future tenses or by the use of such verbs as “believe”, “expect”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “project”, “plan”, and words of similar import, including variations thereof and negative forms. This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect, as of the date of this press release, Aston Bay’s expectations, estimates and projections about its operations, the mining industry and the economic environment in which it operates. Statements in this press release that are not supported by historical fact are forward-looking statements, meaning they involve risk, uncertainty and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although Aston Bay believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which apply only at the time of writing of this press release. Aston Bay disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by securities legislation. We seek safe harbour.
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FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:
Thomas Ullrich, Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: (416) 456-3516