Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. (TSX-V:BAY; OTCQB:ATBHF) (“Aston Bay” or the “Company”), through its wholly owned subsidiary Blue Ridge Mining Inc., is pleased to announce that it has entered into an exploration agreement with a private landowner for another key parcel of land adjacent to the Company’s Mountain Base Metals Project (“the Project”) in Central Virginia. In addition, based on encouraging visual results, the company is expanding the ongoing diamond drill program at the Project from 1,500 to 2,500 meters (see August 25, 2021, Aston Bay press release).
The newly signed exploration agreement will add 89 acres (36 ha) to the Project area, which now sits at over 2,072 acres (835 hectares). Negotiations for exploration agreements over other prospective parcels are ongoing as the Company seeks to further expand the Project area.
“We are excited to partner with another local private landowner to examine the tremendous potential in this under-explored base metal belt,” stated Thomas Ullrich, CEO of Aston Bay. “We have significantly expanded the mineralized footprint and confirmed that this is a sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) system. This is just what our team, led by Don Taylor, has been targeting. SEDEX deposits are an important source of base metals world-wide and are prized for their large scale potential and consistency. Well-known SEDEX deposits include Red Dog in Alaska, Sullivan in British Columbia and Mount Isa in Australia. These deposits form in basin environments and usually form camps with multiple occurrences. The prospective lithologies in Virginia that Don Taylor targeted as a potential SEDEX host are virtually unexplored for this deposit type before now. Samples from the initial drillholes are at the lab and we eagerly await the results. We are excited to continue drilling.”
The ongoing drill program at the Project has completed more than 1,600 meters in five holes. Copper and zinc mineralization has been encountered in all of the 2021 drillholes. The mineralization intersected in the drilling comprises stacked zones of disseminated and semi-massive chalcopyrite and sphalerite, with pyrite and pyrrhotite, hosted within metamorphosed carbonate rocks. These zones vary up to 20 meters in apparent thickness (core length), with thinner zones of more concentrated disseminated and semi-massive sphalerite- and chalcopyrite-bearing mineralization on the meter to sub-meter scale. Deep in the drillholes (below 300 meters depth), similar sulfide mineralization has been intersected in quartz veins and zones of silicification, potentially representing a feeder zone. Together, these styles of mineralization suggest a SEDEX (sedimentary exhalative) deposit model.
An example of the copper and zinc mineralization from hole ABM21-003 is presented in Figure 1.