VANCOUVER, Jan. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Amarc Resources Ltd. ("Amarc" or the "Company") (TSX-V: AHR; OTCBB: AXREF) announces that Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. ("TCMC"), which was recently acquired by gold-focused Centerra Gold Inc., has relinquished its option to earn up to a 50% interest in the IKE porphyry copper-molybdenum-silver discovery and surrounding district, located near Gold Bridge, British Columbia ("BC").
TCMC acquired a 10% participating interest in the IKE Project by investing $6 million in exploration programs undertaken in 2015 and 2016 (see news release dated February 29, 2016). TCMC has elected to exchange its 10% participating interest for a 1% Conversion Net Smelter Royalty from mine production; capped at a total of $5 million. As a result, Amarc has re-acquired a 100% interest in the IKE Project which hosts the newly discovered IKE deposit and at least 4 other nearby, major, stand-alone porphyry copper deposit targets that are now ready for drilling.
"Thompson Creek's investment materially advanced the delineation of the IKE copper-molybdenum-silver deposit, and identified four new and quite compelling porphyry copper deposit drill targets," said Amarc Chairman, Robert Dickinson. "Amarc is thrilled with the opportunity to re-acquire a 100% interest in the important-scale IKE Project, widely acknowledged as one of the brightest new copper exploration plays in the province, at a time of rising commodity prices and market sentiment."
Amarc continues to be fully committed to unlocking the emerging value of the IKE Project along with its recently announced JOY and DUKE porphyry copper-gold and copper-molybdenum acquisitions located in the Kemess region of north-central and the Babine region of central BC, respectively.
Amarc also announces that it has acquired a 100% interest in the Galore Property from Galore Resources Inc. ("Galore Resources"), clear of any royalties to Galore Resources, by making a final payment of $280,000. The Galore Property comprises extensive mineral claims surrounding the IKE porphyry copper-molybdenum-silver discovery and hosts several of the additional, drill-ready copper-gold and copper-molybdenum porphyry deposit targets (see news release dated July 19, 2016). This transaction marks the successful completion by Amarc of a series of property dealings to acquire 100% of the entire IKE district.
Amarc's IKE Project is located 33 km northwest of the historical mining communities of Gold Bridge and Bralorne, in south-central BC near the heartland of the Province's producing porphyry copper mines. Core drilling of the IKE deposit is located above tree line within large and barren cirques. Although current access to the site is by helicopter, there is good infrastructure in the region. Mainline logging roads leading northwest from Gold Bridge extend to within 13 km of the IKE property. Power, railways and highways are all available in the area of Gold Bridge and the regional towns of Pemberton and Lillooet.
TCMC's investment over the past two years facilitated key geological advancement and expansion of Amarc's IKE discovery, and the delineation of four additional important-scale porphyry copper deposit targets in the immediate district – Mad Major, OMG, Rowbottom and Quinn (see news release October 17, 2016). Furthermore, it allowed Amarc to also discover a number of other newly emerging porphyry copper and precious metal epithermal deposit targets within the extensive IKE mineral property. Over the last three years, 12,360 m of core drilling in 21 holes, 85 km of induced polarization ("IP") geophysical surveys, 177 km2 of regional geological mapping and a collection of 2,115 talus fine and rock samples were completed.
Amarc recently applied to the provincial government for permits to drill up to 300 core holes within up to a 5 year period at IKE.
Amarc has acquired 100% of the JOY mineral claims, subject only to an underlying Net Smelter Returns royalty from production which is capped at $3.5 million. JOY is located 310 km north-northwest of Mackenzie in an area of moderate topography in the Kemess District of north-central BC which is one of BC's best areas for the discovery of porphyry and epithermal deposits. The JOY property is accessed by helicopter from seasonal roads that come within 0.5 km of the JOY property boundary, or from the Kemess mine site located 25 km due south. Power also extends to the Kemess mine site and its 300-person camp.
The Kemess District is well-known to Amarc's technical team, as Hunter Dickinson Inc. ("HDI"), with whom Amarc is associated, is credited as the first company to recognize its true porphyry potential – acquiring both the early-stage Kemess South and Kemess North prospects into their operated company, El Condor Resources, and developing them into significant porphyry copper-gold deposits before that company was taken over. Northgate Minerals went on to produce 3 million ounces of gold and 780 million pounds of copper over a 12-year period to 20101 (Kemess South), and AuRico Metals recently announced a 628 m intercept grading 0.53 g/t Au and 0.41% Cu2 (Kemess East). Amarc considers the JOY porphyry copper-gold deposit target to be an extension to the prolific Kemess porphyry gold-copper district.
Geological timing is key to making a discovery of a major Cu-Au porphyry deposit in the Kemess region with a close overlap in time between porphyry copper-gold mineralization (ca. 203-194 Ma) and the Black Lake Intrusions (ca. 205-191 Ma). An ideal setting for discovery occurs at JOY with the Jock Creek Pluton, one of the Black Lake Intrusions, located in the north-central portion of the JOY property. The Jock Creek Pluton has been dated at 196.7 Ma, approximately the same age as the 199.6 Ma host of the Kemess South deposit, which hosted a 50,000 tonnes per day past producing mine.
Recorded prospecting-style work by various past operators on the JOY claims began in 1968 and continued intermittently through to 2004. Over 2,000 soil samples, 840 rock samples and 30 silt samples were collected, but no ground geophysical surveys or drilling have been done and there has been little geological mapping. However, a number of porphyry copper-gold and epithermal Ag-Au deposit targets are clearly evident across the mineral property. Most importantly, compilation of all historical sampling along with a recently completed confirmation soil survey at site, has revealed the presence of a 7 km2 area of strong, coincident and overlapping soil and rock anomalies. This outstanding and important scale porphyry copper-gold deposit target is named Deposit Target 1. The extensive and coincident copper, molybdenum, gold, silver, lead and zinc soil anomalies outlining this target are interpreted to be reflecting a large and shallowly buried, copper-gold porphyry deposit.
Amarc intends to engage early with First Nations and develop permit applications to submit to the provincial government for IP surveys and drilling at JOY.
Amarc has secured a 100% interest in the DUKE mineral property as well as extensive adjacent mineral claims over nearby second-order exploration targets. DUKE is located 80 km northeast of Smithers BC, within the well-known Babine porphyry-copper district, 30 km north of former mines (Bell and Granisle) operated by Noranda Minerals Inc. between 1966 and 1992, and producing a total of 1.1 billion pounds of copper, 634,000 ounces of gold and 3.5 million ounces of silver3. DUKE is also just 10 km northeast of the Morrison Deposit, a 225 million tonne copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry deposit with a completed Feasibility Study4.
The property is accessible from Smithers by road and an industrial-scale barge crossing of Babine Lake from the town of Granisle. A longer, all-road commute is available from Fort St. James, 150 km to the southeast. Power extends to the former Bell mine.
DUKE was intermittently explored between 1965 and 2010 with geochemical, IP and magnetometer surveys and 30 shallow diamond drill holes. Extensive glacial cover precludes geological surveys and hinders geochemical survey interpretation, but most of the holes drilled intersected significant lengths of porphyry-style mineralization that remains open both laterally and to depth. For example, DDH-14, intersected 87 m of 0.40% Cu, 0.021% Mo, 2.2 g/t Ag and 0.05 g/t Au from 29 m to the end of the hole. Another hole, DDH-02, located 430 metres southeast of DDH-14 intersected 107 metres of 0.30% Cu, 0.011% Mo, 1.2 g/t Ag, and 0.06 g/t Au from 30 m. Porphyry mineralization was encountered by drill holes over an area of 800 m by 400 m which is open laterally in several directions. The average vertical depth of all holes drilled in this mineralized area is 90 m, with the deepest being only 124 m. Eighty percent of the holes drilled in this mineralized area bottomed in porphyry copper mineralization. Additionally, IP survey results indicate a significant area of prospective ground has yet to be drilled.
Amarc intends to engage early with First Nations and develop a permit application to submit to the provincial government for drilling at DUKE.
About Amarc Resources Ltd.
Amarc is a BC-based mineral exploration and development company with an experienced and successful management team. It is focused on advancing the 100% owned IKE Project, a major new porphyry copper-molybdenum discovery combined with at least four nearby and drill-ready, major porphyry copper deposit targets. As well, Amarc has recently acquired a 100% interest in the JOY and DUKE porphyry copper projects, also in BC. The Company is applying for drill permits for all of the 7 major porphyry copper targets it now owns and is planning how best to prioritize and finance the development of these exceptional discovery-stage targets. Amarc's goal is to develop a whole new generation of BC porphyry copper mines.
Amarc is associated with HDI, a diversified, global mining company with a 25 year history of porphyry discovery and development success. Previous and current HDI porphyry projects include some of BC's and the world's most important mineral resources, such as Pebble, Mount Milligan, Kemess South, Kemess North, Gibraltar, Prosperity, Xietongmen, Newtongmen, Florence, Sisson and Maggie. From its head office in Vancouver, Canada, HDI applies its unique strengths and capabilities to acquire, develop, operate and monetize mineral projects to provide superior returns to shareholders.
Amarc is committed to working constructively with governments and stakeholders towards the responsible development of its projects, while contributing to the sustainable development of local communities. All work programs are planned to achieve high levels of environmental performance and local benefits, including providing opportunities for employment, contracting and training for local people. The Company works hard to support government's consultation duties to assist with timely and fair decision making. Amarc is committed to meaningful and constructive engagement with First Nation communities and for the IKE Project has offered and remains open to the comprehensive and progressive agreements it has proposed at the early discovery-stage of project development. The Company believes that the best outcome is always achieved in the atmosphere of openness, constructive discussions, and mutual respect from all interested parties.
Qualified Person as Defined Under National Instrument 43-101
Mark Rebagliati, P. Eng., a Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical content of this release.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Ronald W. Thiessen
Chief Executive Officer
1. MINFILE Number 094E 094, MINFILE Production Detail Report, BC Geological Survey, Ministry of Energy and Mines, BC.
2. Aurico Metals news release November 8, 2016.
3. MINFILE Number 093L 146 and 093M 001 MINFILE Production Detail Report, BC Geological Survey, Ministry of Energy and Mines, BC.
4. Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. news release February 27, 2009.
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Forward Looking and other Cautionary Information
This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All such statements, other than statements of historical facts that address exploration drilling, exploitation activities and other related events or developments are forward-looking statements. Although the Company 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. Assumptions used by the Company to develop forward-looking statements include the following: Amarc's projects will obtain all required environmental and other permits and all land use and other licenses, studies and exploration of Amarc's projects will continue to be positive, and no geological or technical problems will occur. The Company cannot guarantee that the Consolidated Loan and issuance of securities contemplated by this release will complete. There is no certainty that the Company will be able to repay the Consolidated Loan or any other outstanding debt or liability of the Company in a timely manner or at all. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include market prices, potential environmental issues or liabilities associated with exploration, development and mining activities, exploitation and exploration successes, continuity of mineralization, uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary permits, licenses and tenure and delays due to third party opposition, changes in and the effect of government policies regarding mining and natural resource exploration and exploitation, exploration and development of properties located within Aboriginal groups asserted territories may affect or be perceived to affect asserted aboriginal rights and title, which may cause permitting delays or opposition by Aboriginal groups, continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. For more information on Amarc Resources Ltd., investors should review the Company's annual Form 20-F filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov and its home jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com