In the oil and gas industry, barite is heavily used as a weighing agent in drilling fluids/muds; picture shows close-up on drilling fluids bouncing off the shale shaker of a drill rig. (Image)
Today, Mountain Boy Minerals Ltd. (“MTB”) reported significant metallurgical test results on the massive sulphide-barite mineralization in core from last year’s drilled hole DDH-SC-2016-2 (18.94 m @ 46.73% barite, 1.21% zinc, 0.31% copper, 0.12 g/t gold, 28 g/t silver and 0.03% lead; the full width of the zone was not intersected as drilling was terminated due to bad weather and freezing of the water source).
The produced barite concentrate “far exceeds API (American Petroleum Institute) Standards” for use in the oil and gas industry. Initial tests indicate high-grade concentrates (at high recoveries):
• 91.6% BaSO4 (at 83.2% recovery)
• 53.8% zinc (89.1%)
• 26.2% copper (70.5%)
Rene Bernard, Chairman of MTB, commented in today’s press-release:
“We knew that we have potential for a large resource of Barite at Surprise Creek but were unsure about recovery and quality of the final product. We are absolutely delighted to have these great results on our first attempt. After all we are talking about a mineral which according to the 2016 USGS report on Barite sells for an average of $198 f.o.b. mill with industry relying on imports for 78% of its needs. With this knowledge in hand we can now promote our location within short trucking distance to deep water port, infrastructure, metal credits and proximity to key markets to attract industry partnerships. Our goal is to have a 43-101 industrial mineral resource later this year after all drilling is completed.”
Considering these excellent metallurgical test results and the potential for extensive barite zones at or near surface at the Ataman Zone on the Surprise Creek Property in the “Golden Triangle” area of British Columbia, it becomes clear that MTB now sees itself in a position to attract strategic industry partners to bring the project to the next level. As the Ataman Zone is only one exposure of a number of VMS zones located on the property, MTB’s work during 2017 will explore and define other sulphide, sulphide-barite zones as well as barite veins. See Initiating Coverage for further information on MTB’s projects and management team with considerable “skin in the game”.
“Drilling grade barite is produced from commercial barium sulfate-containing ores. It may be produced from a single ore or a blend of ores and may be a straight-mined product or processed by beneficiation methods, i.e. washing, tabling, jigging, or flotation.“ (Source: API)
The metallurgical testing used drill core from the Ataman Zone, a mineralized system that has been traced over 1,200 m of strike length. Along the northeastern end of the exposure, it is 650 m wide by 600 m in height.
The initial metallurgical work was done by SGS Laboratory in BC. The work included flotation methods to recover the copper and zinc minerals and subsequent flotation of the tailing to determine barite recovery as well as purity. The concentrate from the barite flotation was then sent by SGS to Ana-Lab in Texas to determine the levels of any impurities that may hinder use as in oilfield drilling.
After successfully separating copper and zinc sulphides with good recovery, the barite was floated with excellent recovery rates. SGS recovered a copper grade of 26.2% at 70.5% recovery and a zinc grade 53.8% at 89.1% recovery in the open cycle batch test. The lab estimated that the recovery should be higher for both copper and zinc in a closed circuit test. Further testing on copper and zinc recoveries will be carried out on 2017 drill core. Gold and silver metals are mostly contained within the copper concentrate.
The initial flotation results on the tails from the sulphide flotation tests indicate a product with 91.6% BaSO4 at 83.2% recovery. This was an open circuit test, and there was 10.8% barite in the intermediate product from the sulphide tests. SGS estimated that the final recovery should be higher than 83.2% (should be close to 90%) but this can only be confirmed by locked cycle test in future. The SGS test results will be posted on the website upon receipt of the final report.
Surface work in 2016 on a 25 m wide barite zone, located 120 m west of DDH-2016-SC-2, yielded high barite values along with significant base metal values. See map on the right showing this sampling. The surface work also indicated barite zones extending to the mountain top. In addition to a main barite zone, numerous shears contain barite and sulphides.
Red Cliff Project: Drill Results Pending
On July 5, MTB announced to have intersected visible gold in the third hole (see pictures on the right) of an ongoing drill program at the Red Cliff Property in the “Golden Triangle“ of BC. MTB formed a joint venture with Decade Resources Ltd. (TSX.V: DEC; market capitalization: $12 million CAD) with MTB owning 35% and Decade the remaining 65%. Since July 5, Decade has traded some 12 million shares, currently at $0.12 CAD (+71% in last 9 trading days). Considering that MTB owns 35% of Decade‘s flagship Red Cliff Project, the upcoming drill results may also have a substantiated impact on MTB.
According to the July 5 news:
“As a result, all holes on the Montrose were continued past areas where previous drilling would have been terminated. All three holes completed on the Montrose zone contain visible gold at depths deeper than expected. The 3 holes have tested a zone up to 150 m in vertical height in an area that had not been tested previously. The latest hole intersected almost 100 m of weakly sheared and brecciated intrusive with mineral zonation occurring from 150 to 250 m in depth. Along the upper intersection, weak disseminated pyrite is present with local quartz-amethyst-galena-sphalerite-chalcopyrite-pyrite stringers in zones up to 5 m. At 163 m core length, fine visible gold is noted in galena-sphalerite stringers. From the top mineralized zone, short galena-sphalerite sections are noted to 218 m where the hole intersects a 18 m section of quartz-amethyst-galena-sphalerite-chalcopyrite-pyrite stringers. At 227 and 229 m, visible gold is noted within the galena-sphalerite veinlets. At the termination of the galena-sphalerite veinlets, chalcopyrite-pyrite veining is present along the bottom chill margin of the intrusive as well as the baked contact of the red tuff. The chalcopyrite-pyrite veining is present over a 10 m length. True width of the intrusive appears to be at least 70 m in DDH-Mon-17-3. Photos of the gold bearing galena stringers as well as chalcopyrite-pyrite stringers are included below. On the Red Cliff zone, located 900 m south of the Montrose drilling, the Company has completed 3 holes. The holes contain a 5-6 m wide mineralized zone with strong chalcopyrite-pyrite within quartz veins and silicified intrusive.“
Portfolio Project Update
On July 6, MTB provided an update on its “Golden Triangle“ projects and noted that the company will be actively exploring a number of its BC properties with the focus on the “Golden Triangle“ holdings, with the following projects being explored in the 2017 program:
Mr. Kruchkowski reports that the company is currently engaged in a respectful consultation and accommodation process with local First Nations represented by the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. After an initial “Preliminary Environmental Assessment“ (P.E.A.) review conducted by the Lower Similkameen Indian Band , the company has now asked for and received a cost estimate for required field studies, project coordination and meet with Chief and Council .Field studies will start once scheduling can be arranged. In describing the “Manual Creek Tuffs“ Mr. Neil Church, Ph.D., P.Eng identified an area measuring approx. 5 square km along a 5 km long belt with zeolitic beds ranging up to 10m in thickness. Here he estimated that the amount of tuff sub cropping the glacial till is estimated to be about 5MM tones in an area of only 20 hectares. From his calculation and sampling statistics the accessible zeolitized tuff is estimated at 4MM tones and the calculated clinoptilolite bearing tuff at 3MM tones (Assessment Report 26889). The Company has not verified this data and it is being used for reference purposes.
Mr. Bernard, the company‘s Chairman states: “We are delighted to hear constant news about the growing importance of Zeolite in a host of applications, ranging from farming (including hydroponic), animal feeds, environmental remediation to name a few. The “Manual Creek“ zeolites offer significant deposits to supply these markets for years to come from a strategic location with excellent infrastructure close to the U.S. border and rail connection in Oroville, WA. We are looking forward to work with the Lower Similkameen Indian Band and local First Nations seeking their approval to develop these resources for our mutual benefit“.
The Company is exploring the property in joint venture with its partner. A drill program is underway and results were announced in news releases on June 20 and July 5, 2017.
The Phase I drilling is continuing on the both the Red Cliff and Montrose zones. Metallurgical work is also being conducted on core from DDH-MON-12-62 in order to obtain possible recovery methods.
Surprise Creek/BA Properties
Metallurgical testing continues on core from DDH-SC-2 to provide details on possible metal recoveries with emphasis on barite recovery and purity. The Company plans to formulate an exploration program once snow conditions allow.“
Full version / View looking west at drill access trail near the Red Cliff Zone
Full version / View looking north at drill access trails from the area of the Red Cliff workings.
Interview with Rene Bernard from Mountain Boy Minerals
by Isabel Belger
Shares Issued & Outstanding: 138,937,982
Canadian Symbol (TSX.V): MTB
Current Price: $0.07 CAD (07/17/2017)
Market Capitalization: $10 Million CAD
German Symbol / WKN (Frankfurt): M9U / 728492
Current Price: €0.015 EUR (07/17/2017)
Market Capitalization: €2 Million EUR
Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in MBYMF over the next 72 hours.