VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arras Minerals Corp. (TSX-V: ARK) (“Arras” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce assay results from holes Bg21005 and Bg21006 from the ongoing exploration drill program at the Beskauga copper-gold deposit and surrounding area (“Beskauga” or the “Project”).
- Hole Bg21006 returned a significant intersection of 689.2 metres (“m”) of mineralization grading 0.76 % copper-equivalent (“CuEq”) or 0.92 gram per tonne (“g/t”) gold-equivalent (“AuEq”) (0.60 g/t gold (“Au”), 0.24 % copper (“Cu”), 1.4 g/t silver (“Ag”) and 12.8 ppm molybdenum (“Mo”)) starting at 43.0 m from surface to end of hole.
- Including 120.9 m grading 2.35 % CuEq or 2.84 g/t AuEq (1.95 g/t Au, 0.69 % Cu, 3.8 g/t Ag and 15.7 ppm Mo) from 348.9 m depth down-hole.
- Including an exceptionally high-grade interception of 17 m grading 7.48 % CuEq or 9.05 g/t AuEq (6.77 g/t Au, 1.78 % Cu, 8.8 g/t Ag and 24.5 ppm Mo) from 446.0 m depth down-hole.
- And including 99.9 m grading 1.11 % CuEq or 1.34 g/t AuEq (0.85 g/t Au, 0.38 % Cu, 1.9 g/t Ag and 25.8 ppm Mo) from 493.1 m depth down-hole.
- Hole Bg21005 tested, for the first time, an approximately 400 x 500 meter circular magnetic high immediately west of the Beskauga deposit. The hole returned 903.6 m of mineralization grading 0.16% CuEq or 0.20 g/t AuEq (0.16 g/t Au, 0.09 % Cu, 1.2 g/t Ag, and 43.5 ppm Mo) starting at 49 m from surface and hosted within a strongly potassic-altered monzodiorite.
Diamond drilling is ongoing at Beskauga with further assay results expected in the coming months. The Company has recently changed drilling contractors to have the option to drill deeper, as required.
Tim Barry, CEO of Arras, commenting on these latest results, stated, “The Company is pleased to deliver more exceptional drill results with hole Bg21006 confirming historical drilling and further increasing the continuity and dimensions of the highest-grade ore shoot to the south and to depth at Beskauga. With each new drill hole, we are improving our understanding of the deposit geology and controls on mineralization. Bg21005 is an exploration hole aimed at identifying the cause of a prominent bulls-eye magnetic high, identified in our airborne magnetics survey, west of the main deposit. We have now identified the anomaly as a strongly potassic-altered monzodiorite intrusion. Despite being weakly mineralized, there are several lines of geochemical and structural evidence that support our favoured hypothesis that the monzodiorite is not the causative intrusion for the copper-gold mineralization at Beskauga Main. We believe that the potassic core of the porphyry responsible for the mineralization at Beskauga Main has yet to be found and is the focus of our continued drill program. Nevertheless, the recognition of a potentially separate mineralized intrusion revealed in Bg21005 may support the clustering of two or more porphyry centers and is a reminder of how much more there is yet to discover at Beskauga.”
A summary of the results announced in this news release is outlined in the table below.
Table 1. Summary table for holes Bg21005 and Bg21006.
Notes: Copper Equivalent (“CuEq”) grades reported for the drill holes at Beskauga were calculated using the following formula: CuEq % = Copper (%) + (Gold (g/t) x 0.8264) + (Silver (g/t) x 0.0107) + (Molybdenum (ppm) x 3.3333). Gold Equivalent (“AuEq”) grades reported for the drill holes at Beskauga were calculated using the following formula: AuEq g/t = Gold (g/t) + (Copper (%) x 1.2100) + (Silver (g/t) x 0.0129) + (Molybdenum (ppm) x 4.0334). Assumptions used for the copper and gold equivalent calculations were metal prices of US$3.00/lb. Copper, US$1,700/oz Gold, US$22/oz Silver, US$10/lb. Molybdenum, and metallurgical recoveries were assumed to be 100%.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/0b49793e-bdd8-4d61-8d14-62a01f1d34d3
In October 2021, Arras announced the start of the initial phase of a permitted 30,000-meter diamond drill program targeting the extensions of the Beskauga deposit both laterally and at depth (Figure 1). The drill program is being conducted under the Option to Purchase Agreement (“Option Agreement”) executed on January 26, 2021, with Copperbelt AG (“Copperbelt”), a private mineral exploration company registered in Zug, Switzerland.
In addition to testing the extents of the Beskauga deposit, the drill program is also targeting a series of previously undrilled targets in the wider area. These wider targets are supported by both ground and recently flown airborne geophysics, as well as in-situ geochemistry, derived using “KGK” drilling (a drilling method akin to 'wet' reverse circulation drilling, that recovers a 1 to 3 m core sample from the top of the underlying bedrock which is used by Arras to efficiently map lithology, alteration, and geochemistry across the property beneath overburden).
For both the diamond and KGK drilling, Arras has been using the local company “Tsentrgeolsemka LLP”. Arras has recently changed drilling contractors to “GRK Iskander Ltd” and mobilized a diamond drill rig with the capacity to drill deeper holes, if required, as well as improved core orientation through triple tube core barrel drilling. GRK Iskander Ltd is one of the leading drilling companies in Kazakhstan, with clients including Rio Tinto, Kazzinc (Glencore), ESAN, and Kazakhmys. Both Tsentrgeolsemka LLP and GRK Iskander Ltd are both independent of Arras.
Results of Bg21005 and Bg21006
Bg21005: (see Figure 1) was designed to test, for the first time, an approximately 400 x 500 metre “bulls-eye” circular magnetic high immediately west of the Beskauga deposit and surrounded by a >500-meter zone of demagnetization. The hole was collared outside Arras’ current Mineral Resource Estimate (see Figure 1) and drilled at an angle of -70 o towards the south to a final depth of 952.6 metres. The hole intersected a highly magnetic, potassic altered intrusive body of monzodiorite that is inferred to dip steeply towards the south. Alteration comprises k-feldspar, secondary (“shreddy”) biotite, magnetite, Mg-rich chlorite, and epidote, with minor argillic overprint comprising phengitic illite and smectite localized around faults and fractures (confirmed by Arras using TerraSpec SWIR/NIR spectroscopy). Mineralization occurs as vein and fracture-controlled zones of magnetite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, bornite, and molybdenite. Generally, the intrusion is weakly mineralized but high tenor veins up to 1.27 g/t Au, 1.62 % Cu and 27 g/t Ag do occur. Compared to the diorite that hosts the bulk of the known mineralization at Beskauga, the monzonite hosts significantly higher Mo grades, up to 2290 ppm Mo. Two minor dykes comprising weakly mineralized potassic-altered xenolithic porphyritic diorite and fresh post-mineral andesite were intersected at depths of 793.2 to 809.4 and 886.3 to 891.1 metres, respectively.
Whilst the monzodiorite discovered in Bg21005 is strongly potassic-altered and hosts mineralization, there is lithogeochemical and structural evidence supporting the monzodiorite may not be the causative intrusion for the copper-gold mineralization at Beskauga Main. Arras considers the potassic core of the causative porphyry to be located at depth and has yet to be intersected in drilling. Arras plans to test this hypothesis through deep drilling in the coming months. Recognition of the monzodiorite as a potentially separate mineralized intrusion supports the clustering of two or more porphyry centers. In addition to ongoing petrological and lithogeochemical studies, Arras has submitted samples for Re-Os (molybdenite) and U-Pb (zircon) geochronology at Durham University, UK, and the Mineral Deposit Research Unit, University of British Columbia, Canada to discriminate whether there is a distinguishable age difference between the two mineralizing systems.
Bg21006: (see Figures 1 to 3) was collared 250 metres west of Bg21002 (for results of Bg21002, refer to Arras’ press release dated February 23, 2022), and drilled at an angle of -70 o towards the NNW to a final depth of 732.2 metres. The hole confirmed the continuity of the exceptionally high-grade mineralization observed in historical hole Bg-63 which was re-assayed by Arras in 2021 (for further details, see Figures 2 and 3, as well as Arras’ press release dated October 7, 2021), extending the ore shoot to the south and to depth. The mineralization observed in hole Bg21006 is hosted within a diorite with moderate, to very strong, argillic alteration comprising illite and smectite (confirmed by Arras using TerraSpec SWIR/NIR spectroscopy) inferred to have overprinted an earlier sodic alteration, as reported by Arras in earlier holes. Mineralization occurs as a mixture of disseminated, vein, and fracture-controlled zones of chalcopyrite, tennantite, and pyrite with minor bornite and covellite (see Figure 3). Zones of sheeted and/or intense stockwork quartz-Cu sulfide veins correlate with the highest-grade gold and copper assays up to 12.4 g/t Au and 3.39 % Cu, respectively.
Two unmineralized post-mineral dykes comprising argillic-altered xenolithic porphyritic diorite and fresh basalt were intersected at depths of 334 to 348.9 and 469.8 to 493.1 metres, respectively. The dykes are enveloped by the highest-grade intercepts, with assays up to 13.8 % CuEq or 16.70 g/t Au adjacent to the dykes. These dykes are therefore interpreted to have filled pre-existing E-W and NW-SE trending fault zones that earlier controlled the copper-gold mineralization. When removing the grade dilution resulting from the unmineralized dykes, it leaves a residual intercept of 651.1 metres of mineralization grading 0.80 % CuEq or 0.97 g/t AuEq within the mineralized diorite.
Figure 1. Location of the holes completed to date as part of Arras’ planned 30,000-metre drill program on the Beskauga Main deposit and wider area.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/877559c4-38bf-46fa-ab3c-91c3935e8037
Figure 2. Cross-section showing hole Bg21006 in relation to several historical holes drilled by Copperbelt. Also shown are grade contours based on the Beskauga block model for copper (only) developed for the purposes of the current Mineral Resource Estimate for Beskauga (for further details, please see Arras’ press release on June 20, 2022). CuEq grades of key intercepts in Bg21006 and historical holes are shown. The cross-section demonstrates the steep, southwest dipping high-grade copper-gold-silver trend observed through Arras’ exploration to date. This trend is observed beginning at the paleo-bedrock surface (43 m in depth), to average between 200-300 m wide and to be consistently mineralized down to at least 1000 metres.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8c9e3fb5-353a-4a2e-b85b-5a7169301778
Figure 3. Cross-section showing hole Bg21006 in relation to several historical holes drilled by Copperbelt. Also shown are grade contours based on the Beskauga block model for gold (only) developed for the purposes of the current Mineral Resource Estimate for Beskauga (for further details, please see Arras’ press release on June 20, 2022). AuEq grades of key intercepts in Bg21006 and historical holes are shown. The cross-section demonstrates the steep, southwest dipping high-grade copper-gold-silver trend observed through Arras’ exploration to date. This trend is observed beginning at the paleo-bedrock surface (43 m in depth), to average between 200-300 m wide and to be consistently mineralized down to at least 1000 metres.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/02698d93-929d-4823-85df-818a342190f3
Figure 4. Photos of the diamond drill core from Bg21006 showing the typical styles of veining, mineralization and alteration observed throughout the hole.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d0a0a335-a7b6-43e0-9f40-ade431af0851
Figure 5. Diamond rig drilling hole Bg21006 at Beskauga. The project benefits from flat topography and ease of accessibility. Note the 1100 KVA power line in the distance that passes through the project area.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/0510ab63-f415-49c2-b7de-5d8582143183
About the Beskauga Deposit: The Beskauga deposit is a gold-copper-silver deposit with an “Indicated” Mineral Resource of 111.2 million tonnes grading 0.49 g/t gold, 0.30% copper, and 1.3 g/t silver for 1.75 million ounces of contained gold, 333.6 thousand tonnes of contained copper, and 4.79 million ounces of contained silver and an “Inferred” Mineral Resource of 92.6 million tonnes grading 0.50 g/t gold, 0.24% copper and 1.1 g/t silver for 1.49 million ounces of contained gold, 222.2 thousand tonnes of contained copper, and 3.39 million ounces of contained silver. The constraining open pit was optimized and calculated using a Gross Metal Value (“GMV”) cut-off of $20/tonne based on a price of $1,750/oz for gold, $3.50/lb for copper, $22/oz for silver, and with an average recovery of 85% for copper and 74.5% for gold and 50.0% for silver.
Based on exploration undertaken to date, the Beskauga deposit is interpreted by Arras to represent a gold-rich porphyry copper-gold deposit that has been overprinted by high-sulfidation epithermal mineralization, either through telescoping or due to clustering of multiple porphyry centers within the Beskauga license that have superimposed alteration and mineralization upon earlier phases. Beskauga is located within the highly under-explored Bozshakol-Chingiz Volcanic Arc, which hosts KAZ Minerals’ Bozshakol porphyry Cu-Au mine only 130 km west of Beskauga. Bozshakol is one of the largest copper resources in Kazakhstan with 1.123 billion tonnes at 0.35% Cu, 0.14 g/t Au and 1.0 g/t Ag in Measured and Indicated Resources. The mine has 30 Mtpa ore processing capacity and a remaining mine life of >40 years.
Contrary to many porphyry copper deposits being developed in other jurisdictions globally, the Beskauga project, located only 350 metres above sea-level, benefits from excellent modern infrastructure and accessibility. The region is mining-friendly and hosts several large-scale mining operations. Arras’ operations are based out of the nearby mining town of Ekibastuz, which services the largest coal mine in Kazakhstan and provides a highly trained workforce for the Company to draw upon. Paved road access, 1100 KVA power lines (see Figure 5), heavy rail, and the Irtysh–Karaganda irrigation canal all lie within a 25-kilometer radius of the project. The capital city of Nur-Sultan, located approximately 300 kilometres along a double lane highway to the west of the project, has a major international airport allowing for easy access and administration of the Beskauga project.
Assay and QAQC Procedures: Diamond drill core was sampled in 1-metre intervals (except were shortened by geological contacts) using a rock saw. Core diameter is a mix of HQ and NQ depending on the depth of the drill hole. Samples were cut and sampled at Arras’ operational base in the town of Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan by Company personnel. All sample preparation and geochemical analysis of the diamond drill core were undertaken by ALS Global at its laboratories in Karaganda (Kazakhstan) and Loughrea (Republic of Ireland), respectively. ALS Global is an accredited laboratory that is entirely independent of the Company.
After drying and fine crushing, a 250 g split was pulverized to 85 % passing a -75-micron screen. A 30 g split of the pulp was analyzed for gold using fire assay and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) finish (ALS method: Au-AA25™) at ALS Karaganda. A second pulp split was then air freighted to ALS Loughrea and analyzed for 48 elements by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) after 4-acid digestion on a 0.25 g aliquot (ALS method: ME-MS61™). Samples exceeding 1% copper were re-analyzed using a 4-acid digest ICP-MS ore grade method (ALS method: Cu-OG62™).
Arras Minerals operates according to its rigorous internal Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) protocols, which are consistent with industry best practices. This includes the insertion of certified standards, blanks, and field duplicates comprising of quarter drill core at an insertion rate of 2.5%, 2.5%, and 5% respectively, which is deemed appropriate for this stage of exploration. The blanks and standards are Certified Reference Materials (CRM’s) supplied by Ore Research and Exploration, Australia. Internal QA/QC samples were also inserted by the analytical laboratories and reviewed by the Company prior to release. No material QA/QC issues have been identified with respect to sample collection, security, and assaying.
Qualified Person: The scientific and technical disclosure for the Beskauga Project included in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Joshua Hughes, Vice President Exploration, and a full-time employee of Arras Minerals Corp., who is also a Member and Chartered Professional Geologist (MAusIMM CP(Geo)) of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists (FSEG) and a Fellow of the Geological Society of London (FGS). Mr. Hughes has sufficient experience, relevant to the styles of mineralization and type of deposits under consideration and to the activity that he is undertaking, to qualify as a Qualified Person (“QP”) for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure of Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”).
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Tim Barry, MAusIMM (CP(Geo))
Chief Executive Officer and Director
+1 604 687 5800
About Arras Minerals Corp.
Arras is a Canadian exploration and development company advancing a portfolio of copper and gold assets in northeastern Kazakhstan, including the Option Agreement on the Beskauga copper and gold project. The company’s shares are listed on the TSX-V under the trading symbol “ARK”.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors concerning estimates of Measured, Indicated, and Inferred Resources: This press release uses the terms “measured resources”, “indicated resources”, and “inferred resources” which are defined in, and required to be disclosed by, NI 43-101. The Company advises U.S. investors that these terms are not recognized by the SEC. The estimation of measured, indicated and inferred resources involves greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic feasibility than the estimation of proven and probable reserves. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that measured and indicated mineral resources will be converted into reserves. The estimation of inferred resources involves far greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic viability than the estimation of other categories of resources. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that estimates of inferred mineral resources exist, are economically minable, or will be upgraded into measured or indicated mineral resources. Under Canadian securities laws, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies.
Disclosure of “contained ounces” in a resource is permitted disclosure under Canadian regulations, however the SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute “reserves” by SEC standards as in place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures. Accordingly, the information contained in this press release may not be comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies that are not subject NI 43-101.
Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events and Arras’ future results that are subject to the safe harbors created under the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Exchange Act, and applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements include, among others, statements regarding the use of net proceeds from the recent private placement, plans and expectations of the drill program Arras is in the process of undertaking, including the expansion of the Mineral Resource, and other aspects of the Mineral Resource estimates for the Beskauga project. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts, and projections about Arras’ exploration projects, the industry in which Arras operates and the beliefs and assumptions of Arras’ management. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “targets,” “goals,” “projects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “continues,” “may,” variations of such words, and similar expressions and references to future periods, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond management’s control, including undertaking further exploration activities, the results of such exploration activities and that such results support continued exploration activities, unexpected variations in ore grade, types and metallurgy, volatility and level of commodity prices, the availability of sufficient future financing, and other matters discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in the Non-Offering Prospectus filed on the Company’s profile on SEDAR on May 31, 2022 and in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2021 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed on February 17, 2022 available on www.sec.gov. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement made by the Company in this release is based only on information currently available and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise.