Vancouver, British Columbia, Nov. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Universal Copper Ltd. ("Universal Copper" or the "Company") (TSX Venture: UNV) (Frankfurt: 3TA2) has completed a comprehensive 3-Dimensional (“3D”) geological modelling initiative to establish the controls on the distribution of higher-grade mineralization at the Company’s flagship Poplar Copper Deposit (“Poplar”) which will be used to direct ongoing exploration drilling at Poplar in 2023. This is the first time a 3D geological model has been created for the Poplar deposit and it demonstrates the project has considerable exploration upside potential:
Higher-grade copper-molybdenum-gold-silver mineralization is focused along porphyry intrusion contacts; these contact zones have not been the focus of historic exploration drilling.
The deposit is open at depth, toward the north and toward the east
Numerous higher-grade targets (porphyry intrusion contacts, step-outs, step-downs, and down-plunge target zones) are present both internal to and adjacent to the Poplar Resource suggesting there is excellent potential to increase the grade and tonnage of the resource.
The Poplar deposit is one of the few remaining road accessible porphyry copper-molybdenum-gold-silver deposits in British Columbia with the potential for grade and resource expansion as well as the potential for discovery of additional new porphyry centers within the large land position.
Clive Massey, Universal Copper’s CEO, stated: “The newly recognized geological controls on copper-molybdenum-gold-silver mineralization are the result of a dedicated 8-month 3D geological modelling effort based on logging/relogging of drill core, lithogeochemistry, mineralization zonation, and newly acquired alteration data. This campaign has yielded a heighten understanding of the distribution of higher-grade mineralization at Poplar.” Mr. Massey added, “Furthermore, the work has established a predictive modeling framework which will be central to targeting exploration drill holes in 2023 where we will continue to add high-grade tonnes to the Poplar deposit.”
Figure 1. Distribution of Copper-Gold-Molybdenum-Silver
Recent high-grade intercepts include drill hole 22-PC-138 which cut 214.4 meters @ 0.500% CuEq* (0.401% copper, 0.15 g/t gold and 1.27 g/t silver) as well as drill hole 22-PC-137 that contained 0.535% CuEq* (0.353% copper, 0.14 g/t gold and 5.91 g/t silver) over the last 216 metres of the hole (see news releases from July 12, 2022, and May 31, 2022). These recent drill results indicate copper-molybdenum-gold-silver mineralization in new search spaces is extensive, continuous, and controlled by the host rock geology. Prior to this year, a 3D geological model had not previously been developed for the Poplar deposit. The new model will be used to target higher grade mineralization and to increase the size of the deposit through diamond drilling going forward (see below).
* Copper equivalents based on the following: copper US$9,972.10 per tonne, gold US$1,816.60 per ounce, silver US$22.90 and molybdenum US$41,836.39 per tonne.
New 3D Geological Modeling of the Poplar Resource
Systematic geological modeling was done at the Poplar deposit to identify the controls on copper-molybdenum-gold-silver mineralization, establish the 3D mineral deposit geometry, and to evaluate the distribution and continuity of higher-grade mineralized shoots (Fig. 1). A first pass core re-logging initiative using historical drill core at Poplar demonstrated: 1) higher grade shoots and zones of the deposit are controlled by intrusive, volcanic, and sedimentary contacts, and 2) the overlap in the distribution of mineralization-distal (quartz-sericite-pyrite) and mineralization-proximal (K feldspar and biotite) alteration assemblages suggest the deposit is the product of two or more overlapping copper-molybdenum-gold-silver porphyry systems (telescoping). Based on this new understanding, the 3D modeling work was constrained by updated lithogeochemical characterization of rock types, modeling of rock type distribution, and by the zonation of alteration minerals and metals.
Lithogeochemical Rock Classification
Previous attempts to construct a 3D geological model for the Poplar deposit have been hindered by a lack of consistently defined key rock units. Universal Copper has utilized the historical multi-element geochemical drill core database at Poplar to generate a revised host rock classification scheme based on immobile elements (Ni-Th and Zr-Ti) which can be used to “fingerprint” rock types and generate an internally consistent rock classification scheme (Fig. 2).
Figure 2. Geochemical Modeling Example and Basic Lithologic Relationships at Poplar
Lithological modeling based on the 2022 core relogging work as well as newly defined lithogeochemical units was completed to characterize the Poplar deposit architecture and to constrain the controls on mineralization. The oldest rocks at Poplar consist of layered sedimentary and volcanic rocks that dip shallowly to moderately toward the east and are intruded by the C Porphyry (mineralized), followed by the X Porphyry (mineralized) and then by a series of sills, dikes, and other post mineral intrusions (Fig. 1). The X porphyry occurs as vertical bodies internal and marginal to the C porphyry. Comparing the orientation of the layered rocks (sedimentary and volcanic) to the orientation of the X Porphyry suggests the deposit may be tilted toward the east, imparting a steep westerly plunge to the magmatic-hydrothermal system. The newly recognized geometry for X Porphyry contacts is a first-order control on high-grade mineralization.
Alteration modeling at Poplar was conducted using 12 representative drill holes across the deposit where higher grade mineralization is present. A Terraspec was used to generate Short Wave Infrared (“SWIR”) data to quantify the alteration mineralogy at regular intervals down the drill holes. Mineralization-distal alteration zones (quartz-sericite and chlorite-epidote) overlap with mineralization-proximal alteration zones (potassium feldspar-biotite) suggesting the deposit may be a product of two or more overlapping porphyry-type mineralizing events (telescoping; Fig. 3). Telescoped porphyry deposits can have mineralized root zones, as well as multiply overprinted high-grade zones with elevated vein density.
Figure 3. Alteration Zonation and Mineralization at the Poplar Deposit
* *Copper equivalents based on the following: copper US$9,972.10 per tonne, gold US$1,816.60 per ounce, silver US$22.90 and molybdenum US$41,836.39 per tonne.
The Universal Copper technical team has improved the understanding of the distribution of higher-grade mineralization at Poplar and is continuing to build out a predictive modeling framework. The new 3D geological framework will be directly applied toward upcoming drill campaigns, which are being designed to test the newly recognized search spaces both inside and adjacent to known mineralized volumes. Multiple high-priority target zones have been identified and the team anticipates further refinement of the exploration framework as new datasets come into focus from 2023 drilling.
The 61,566-hectare Poplar Project hosts a current undiluted indicated mineral resource of 152.3 million tonnes grading 0.32 per cent copper, 0.009 per cent molybdenum, 0.09 g/t gold and 2.58 g/t silver and an undiluted inferred mineral resource of 139.3 million tonnes grading 0.29 per cent copper, 0.005 per cent molybdenum, 0.07 g/t gold and 4.95 g/t silver. The mineral resource estimate has a cut-off grade of 0.20% copper. Universal Copper cautions investors mineral resources, which are not mineral reserves, do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Poplar lies in a historic mining region, located 35km from the Huckleberry Mine and 42km from Equity Silver Mine, where low snowfalls will allow year-round work. The road accessible property is bisected by a 138 Kva Hydro electric line and lies 88km from the rail head at Houston and 400km from the deep-water port at Prince Rupert by rail.
The technical content of this New Release has been reviewed and approved by R. Tim Henneberry, P. Geo (BC) a member of the Company’s Advisory Board and a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.
About Universal Copper
Universal Copper Ltd. is a Canadian-based copper exploration company focused on the acquisition and exploration of copper properties. The Company's management team has many years of experience in exploration, finance, and efficient public company management. Universal's current focus is on advancing the Poplar Copper Project, one of the most advanced pre-production copper projects in British Columbia with a historic 43-101 resource.
For additional information, please visit the Company's website at www.universalcopper.com
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Clive H. Massey
President & CEO
For further information, please contact:
Phone: (604) 341-6870
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This news release contains certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking" statements. Forward looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "projects", "potential”, and similar expressions, or that events or conditions "will", "would", "may", "could" or "should" occur. Although Universal Copper Ltd. 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 may differ materially from those in forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of Universal Copper Ltd. management on the date the statements are made. Except as required by law, Universal Copper Ltd. undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the event that management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change.