Group Ten Reports Wide Intercepts of Platinum and Palladium Mineralization from the Chrome Mountain Target Area at the Stillwater West Project, Montana, USA
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Group Ten Metals Inc. (TSX.V: PGE; US OTC: PGEZF; FSE: 5D32) (the “Company” or “Group Ten”) announces results from the Chrome Mountain and East Boulder target areas on the west side of the Stillwater West Project in Montana, USA. This is the second in a series of planned news releases to report results of 2018 exploration programs, on-going historical data compilation, and modeling work at the Company’s flagship PGE-Ni-Cu project adjacent to Sibanye-Stillwater’s high-grade PGE mines in the Stillwater Igneous Complex. With more than 41 million ounces of past production and current M&I resources, plus another 49 million ounces of inferred resources at over 16 g/t palladium and platinum, the Stillwater Complex is recognized as one of the top regions in the world for PGE-Ni-Cu mineralization1,2.
Michael Rowley, President and CEO, commented,
"We are pleased to report results of our work to date in the Chrome Mountain and East Boulder target areas at the middle-west portion of the 25-km-long Stillwater West project (see Figure 1). Mineralization including platinum group elements (PGE), nickel, copper and cobalt at these target areas is associated with two major electro-magnetic geophysical conductors that are approximately 2.9 and 2.6 km in length respectively, and correspond with broad coincident soil and rock geochemical anomalies. The scale of these targets demonstrates the potential for discovery of a major new bulk-tonnage “Platreef-style” PGE-Ni-Cu deposit in the Stillwater Complex, geologically similar to those in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa.”
“Chrome Mountain, in particular, is one of our highest priority target areas and has advanced very rapidly with the discovery of a new style of platinum and palladium mineralization associated with nickel and copper sulphides at the Hybrid Zone (see December 17, 2018 news release). This discovery has attracted significant interest in the Stillwater West project with wide intervals of platinum, palladium, nickel, copper, and cobalt mineralization starting at surface, including nine intervals of over 100 meters in thickness with grade-thickness values of more than 100 gram-meter Total Platinum Equivalent (TotPtEq), including six holes which returned composite mineralization of over 200 meters with grade-thickness values of 200 to 294 gram-meter TotPtEq (see Table 1). Grade-thickness values of 25 gram-meter or more are considered economically significant, with the grade-thickness values at the adjacent J-M Reef mines averaging approximately 34 gram-meter palladium and platinum1. Values of 100 to 300 gram-meter are exceptional, highlighting the strength of the Stillwater West system.”
“Rock sampling programs at Chrome Mountain in 2018 returned up to 16 g/t 3E (8.72 g/t Pt, 7.25 g/t Pd and 0.03 g/t Au) (see Table 2) in previously unrecognized areas, confirming the underexplored nature of the lower Stillwater Complex, and the substantial potential for new discoveries of both higher-grade and bulk tonnage deposits in this famously metal-rich district.”
Chrome Mountain – Overview
As shown in Figure 1, the Chrome Mountain target area is one of eight major bulk tonnage target areas identified by Group Ten Metals across the Ultramafic and Basal Series of the Stillwater Complex. These target areas are highlighted by strong, multi-kilometer electro-magnetic conductive signatures that are characteristic of large bodies of interconnected to strongly disseminated sulphides. These conductive geophysical targets have overlapping highly elevated platinum, palladium, gold, nickel, copper, and chromium values in soils and rock sampling. The limited drilling completed to date on these large geophysical and geochemical targets confirms the presence of corresponding PGE-Ni-Cu mineralization within the 31 holes drilled across the broad Chrome Mountain target area. In addition, the Company has obtained most of the core samples drilled on the property since 2001 for re-logging and sampling as part of the ongoing modeling work, which has allowed the Group Ten team to identify and confirm the potential for Platreef-style deposits in the Stillwater Complex.
The Chrome Mountain target area covers an area of approximately 2.9 km by 2.3 km that includes bulk tonnage “Platreef-style” PGE-Ni-Cu targets within the Hybrid Zone (the Discovery, Dunite Ridge, Bald Hills, and Tarantula Targets), as well as potential bulk tonnage PGE-enriched Ni and Cu sulphide mineralization targets within the basal portion of the complex. Potential also exists for higher-grade PGE “reef-type” targets. Comprehensive soil geochemical data has been collected across Chrome Mountain with high levels of PGE, Ni, Cu and Cr in soils shown across kilometer-scale areas coincident with high level electro-magnetic conductors shown in geophysical survey results (see Figures 2, 3 and 4).
Chrome Mountain – Hybrid Zone
The Hybrid Zone is characterized by broad intervals of highly anomalous PGE levels associated with chromite and nickel and copper sulfides with complex pegmatoidal and magmatic breccia textures in the Ultramafic Series lithologies. The complexly textured host rocks, together with broadly disseminated chromite and sulphide, are geologically similar to the Platreef setting in South Africa’s Bushveld Complex.
Table 1 presents highlight intercepts from ten holes drilled in the Discovery target where nine separate intercepts exceeded 100 meters thickness with continuous highly elevated PGE, Ni, Cu and Co mineralization, starting at surface, including 118 m at 1.73 g/t TotPtEq (0.36 Pt, 0.56 Pd, and 0.09 Au for 1.0 g/t 3E along with 0.12% Ni, 0.03% Cu and 0.01% Co for 0.17% NiEq). In addition, six holes returned composite mineralization of over 200 meters in thickness that occurs over a strike length of approximately 600 meters which remains open in all directions and occurs within a broader one kilometer wide area of highly anomalous metals in soils. These holes were targeted on highly elevated platinum and palladium values in soils that characterize the entire Hybrid Zone (see Figure 3). Along with the untested additional soil targets and geophysical conductors, these drill results demonstrate the potential for significant bulk tonnage mineralization at the Chrome Mountain target area.
Chrome Mountain – Dunite Ridge and Bald Hills Targets
Several intrusive dunite targets have been identified in the core of the Hybrid Zone (see cross section CM-6 in Figure 7). Work at Chrome Mountain in 2018 led to the discovery of the Dunite Ridge and Bald Hill targets where mapping of olivine chromite-rich intrusive returned chip samples of up to 16.0 g/t 3E (as 8.72 g/t Pt, 7.25 g/t Pd, and 0.03 g/t Au) at Dunite Ridge. A second sample at Dunite Ridge returned 7.45 g/t 3E as 2.32 g/t Pt, 5.10 g/t Pd, and 0.02 g/t Au (see Table 2). These samples occur within a highly elevated PGE, Ni and Cu soil anomaly covering at least 750 meters of strike. Intrusive dunites can have spectacular grades in the Bushveld Complex, but have not been systematically explored for in the Stillwater Complex. The intrusive dunites identified at the Chrome Mountain target area are one of several occurrences across the overall Stillwater West Project. Dunite Ridge and Bald Hills are priority targets for follow-up work in 2019.
Intercepts with grade thickness values over 25 gram-meter TotPtEq are presented above. Total Platinum Equivalent (TotPtEq g/t) and Total Nickel Equivalent calculations reflect total gross metal content using metals prices as follows (all USD): $6.00/lb nickel (Ni), $3.00/lb copper (Cu), $20.00/lb cobalt (Co), $1,000/oz platinum (Pt), $1,000/oz palladium (Pd) and $1,250/oz gold (Au). Values have not been adjusted to reflect metallurgical recoveries. Total metal equivalent values include both base and precious metals, where available. Results labelled ‘n/a’ were not assayed for that metal. Total platinum equivalent grade thickness was determined by multiplying the thickness (in meters) by the Total Platinum Equivalent grade (in grams/tonne) to provide gram-meter values (g-m) as shown. All holes were conducted by Group Ten’s QP and are not considered historic.
Chrome Mountain - Tarantula Target
In the eastern area of the Hybrid Zone, work in 2018 identified the Tarantula Target, where highly anomalous PGE mineralization occurs in the Ultramafic Series. Host rocks are pegmatoidal bronzitite; disseminated chromite, sulphide and magmatic breccia textures have been described over an approximate strike length of at least 500 meters.
Table 2 presents select rock sample results from reconnaissance prospecting and geological mapping programs at the Chrome Mountain and East Boulder target areas in 2018 which confirm the presence of significant platinum, palladium, nickel, copper and cobalt mineralization with grades up to 3.56 g/t Pd, 0.618% Ni, and 0.049% Co outside of the Dunite Ridge Target discussed above (see Table 2). High chromium levels were also noted with 14 samples returning grades of 10 to 26.8% Cr. In addition, test work indicates a consistent ratio of rhodium content relative to platinum values. Neither chromium nor rhodium values have been included in the calculation of metal equivalents in the tables above and below.
Results over 2 g/t TotPtEq are presented above. Total Platinum Equivalent (TotPtEq g/t) and Total Nickel Equivalent were determined as per Table 1.
Figures 6 and 7 present cross sections representing the Company’s current understanding of the Hybrid Zone and surrounding stratigraphy. The Hybrid Zone is open in all directions, and is a priority target for follow-up in 2019.
Chrome Mountain – Basal Zone Targets
The Company is also targeting potential bulk-tonnage sulphide mineralization in the Basal Series of the complex at Chrome Mountain where mineralization may be associated with interaction between the layered basal magmatic system and the basement country rocks. Interaction and assimilation of basement country rocks is an important component of the Platreef deposits in the Bushveld Complex, where the country rocks may be in place as the footwall or occur as large rafts within the layered magmatic stratigraphy. Kilometer-scale geophysical, geochemical and geological signatures present compelling bulk-tonnage targets in this type of setting for PGE-enriched Ni/Cu sulfides in the lower Stillwater Complex stratigraphy.
The potential for deposits of this type in the Chrome Mountain area has been confirmed by reconnaissance rock chip samples and geological mapping work by Group Ten in 2018, as well as in limited historic drilling, which targeted nickel and copper sulphides in the Basal and lowest Ultramafic Series. These drill holes were relatively shallow, and were only selectively assayed where base metal sulphide levels were high. A few of these high-sulphide intercepts were assayed for PGEs confirming that the nickel and copper sulphides in these areas are highly enriched in PGEs. Notably, this historic drill sampling did not assay areas enriched in chromite, which typically exhibit higher-grade PGE mineralization. Data from the 355 series drill holes by AMAX in the 1960s and 1970s, shown on cross sections in Figures 6 and 7, confirm the presence of net-textured to massive sulphide hosted mineralization proximal to the strongest electro-magnetic conductive signatures.
2018 rock sample results from the historic Lindgren Target in the basal series at Chrome Mountain are particularly compelling as they confirm the presence of significant PGE, Ni and Cu mineralization with results of 0.315% Ni, 0.976% Cu, and 0.030% Co (0.94% Ni Eq) in sample 337365 and 0.342% Ni, 0.054% Cu and 0.034% Co (0.56% Ni Eq) in sample 337368 (see Table 2). Basal zone sulphide targets will be a priority for follow-up work in 2019 at Chrome Mountain.
East Boulder Target Area
As shown in Figure 2, the East Boulder target area centers on a highly conductive geophysical anomaly with coincident highly elevated levels of PGE, Ni, Cu and Cr metals in soils (Figures 3 and 4) covering an area approximately 2.6 km x 1.9 km. The East Boulder target area has less outcrop exposure than the adjacent Chrome Mountain target area (Figure 5) and, as a result, remains much less explored despite historic placer mining in the area. Two drill holes from 2008 confirm the presence of Pt, Pd and Au mineralization adjacent to the EM conductive high anomaly but were not tested for base metals.
Work in 2018 included surface mapping and limited sampling with results up to 3.4 g/t 3E, 0.21% Ni, and 0.15% Cu (4.84 g/t TotPtEq) (see Table 2) providing support that similar mineralized stratigraphic horizons continue into the East Boulder target area.
Future work at the East Boulder target area will include detailed mapping and rock sampling to develop and refine drill targets in the area of the electro-magnetic conductors and coincident soil anomalies.
Amendment to the Catalyst Property Agreement
Group Ten announces that it has amended the terms of the agreement for the Catalyst Project within the Company’s Kluane PGE-Ni-Cu Project in Canada’s Yukon Territory, as announced on August 16, 2017. The amendment allows the Company to meet the $10,000 cash payment requirement by the issuance of 200,000 common shares, and is subject to regulatory approval.
Group Ten will be exhibiting in the Investor’s Exchange at booth #3018 at the PDAC convention in March in Toronto, among other upcoming shows. The Company looks forward to releasing further results from the adjacent target areas in the coming weeks.
About Stillwater West
The Stillwater West PGE-Ni-Cu project positions Group Ten as the second largest landholder in the Stillwater Complex, adjoining and adjacent to Sibanye-Stillwater’s world-leading Stillwater, East Boulder, and Blitz platinum group elements (PGE) mines in south central Montana, USA. With more than 41 million ounces of past production and current M&I resources, plus another 49 million ounces of Inferred resources1,2, the Stillwater Complex is recognized as one of the top regions in the world for PGE-Ni-Cu mineralization, alongside the Bushveld Complex and Great Dyke in southern Africa, which are similar layered intrusions. The J-M Reef, and other PGE-enriched sulphide horizons in the Stillwater Complex, share many similarities with the highly prolific Merensky and UG2 Reefs in the Bushveld Complex, while the lower part of the Stillwater Complex also shows the potential for much larger scale disseminated and high-sulphide PGE-nickel-copper type deposits, possibly similar to Platreef in the Bushveld Complex3. Group Ten’s Stillwater West property covers the lower part of the Stillwater Complex along with the Picket Pin PGE Reef-type deposit in the upper portion, and includes extensive historic data, including soil and rock geochemistry, geophysical surveys, geologic mapping, and historic drilling.
Note 1: Report on Montana Platinum Group Metal Mineral Assets of Sibanye-Stillwater, November 2017, Measured and Indicated Resources of 57.2 million tonnes grading 17.0 g/t Pt+Pd containing 31.3 million ounces and 92.5 million tonnes grading 16.6 g/t containing 49.4 million ounces. Grade thickness was determined by applying the reported minimum mining width of 2.0 meters to the M&I grade of 17 g/t Pt+Pd for an average grade thickness of approximately 34 gram-meter (g-m).
Note 2: Public production records from Stillwater Mining Company from 1992 to present.
Note 3: Magmatic Ore Deposits in Layered Intrusions—Descriptive Model for Reef-Type PGE and Contact-Type Cu-Ni-PGE Deposits, Michael Zientek, USGS Open-File Report 2012–1010.
About Group Ten Metals Inc.
Group Ten Metals Inc. is a TSX-V-listed Canadian mineral exploration company focused on the development of high-quality platinum, palladium, nickel, copper, cobalt and gold exploration assets in top North American mining jurisdictions. The Company’s core asset is the Stillwater West PGE-Ni-Cu project adjacent to Sibanye-Stillwater’s high-grade PGE mines in Montana, USA. Group Ten also holds the high-grade Black Lake-Drayton Gold project in the Rainy River district of northwest Ontario and the highly prospective Kluane PGE-Ni-Cu project on trend with Nickel Creek Platinum’s Wellgreen deposit in Canada‘s Yukon Territory.
About the Metallic Group of Companies
The Metallic Group is a collaboration of leading precious and base metals exploration companies, with a portfolio of large, brownfields assets in established mining districts adjacent to some of the industry’s highest-grade producers of platinum & palladium, silver and copper. Member companies include Group Ten Metals (TSX-V: PGE) in the Stillwater PGM-Ni-Cu district of Montana, Metallic Minerals (TSX-V: MMG) in the Yukon’s Keno Hill silver district, and Granite Creek Copper (TSX-V: GCX) in the Yukon’s Carmacks copper district. The founders and team members of the Metallic Group include highly successful explorationists formerly with some of the industry’s leading explorer/developers and major producers and are undertaking a systematic approach to exploration using new models and technologies to facilitate discoveries in these proven historic mining districts. The Metallic Group is headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada and its member companies are listed on the Toronto Venture, US OTC, and Frankfurt stock exchanges.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
|Michael Rowley, President, CEO & Director|
|Email: email@example.com||Phone: (604) 357 4790|
|Web: http://grouptenmetals.com||Toll Free: (888) 432 0075|
Quality Control and Quality Assurance
2018 rock chip samples were analyzed by Bureau Veritas Mineral Laboratories in Vancouver, B.C. Samples were crushed and split, and a 250 g split pulverized with 85% passing 200 mesh. Gold, platinum, and palladium were analyzed by fire assay (FA350) with ICP finish. Selected major and trace elements were analyzed by peroxide fusion with ICP-EB finish to insure complete dissolution of resistate minerals. Following industry QA/QC standards, blanks, duplicate samples, and certified standards were also assayed.
2007 drilling was conducted by Group Ten’s QP while working for Beartooth Platinum. Pre-2001 drill results are considered historic and have not been independently verified by Group Ten. Mr. Mike Ostenson, P.Geo., is the qualified person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101, and he has reviewed and approved the technical disclosure contained in this news release.
Forward Looking Statements: This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts including, without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization, historic production, estimation of mineral resources, the realization of mineral resource estimates, interpretation of prior exploration and potential exploration results, the timing and success of exploration activities generally, the timing and results of future resource estimates, permitting time lines, metal prices and currency exchange rates, availability of capital, government regulation of exploration operations, environmental risks, reclamation, title, and future plans and objectives of the company are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. Although Group Ten believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of material factors and assumptions. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include failure to obtain necessary approvals, unsuccessful exploration results, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, results of future resource estimates, future metal prices, availability of capital and financing on acceptable terms, general economic, market or business conditions, risks associated with regulatory changes, defects in title, availability of personnel, materials and equipment on a timely basis, accidents or equipment breakdowns, uninsured risks, delays in receiving government approvals, unanticipated environmental impacts on operations and costs to remedy same, and other exploration or other risks detailed herein and from time to time in the filings made by the companies with securities regulators. Readers are cautioned that mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Mineral exploration and development of mines is an inherently risky business. Accordingly, the actual events may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. For more information on Group Ten and the risks and challenges of their businesses, investors should review their annual filings that are available at www.sedar.com.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.