Panther Metals PLC (LSE:PALM) (“Panther” or “the Company”), the company focused on mineral exploration in Canada and Australia, is pleased to raise awareness of information available for review, via our prospectus, on our website at www.panthermetals.co.uk following our listing on the London Stock Exchange on the 9th January 2020.
In Canada the Company holds three contiguous project areas, the Big Bear Project, the Little Bear Project and the Schreiber Pyramid Project which we collectively refer to as the “Big Bear Gold Project” or “Big Bear”. Some highlights of the Big Bear Gold Project (which is our immediate focus) are provided immediately below, in addition to details on the wider project portfolio in Australia.
Canada – Big Bear Gold Project
· The property contains 28 gold and base metal occurrences.
· We see potential for both orogenic gold and volcanogenic massive sulphide (“VMS”) deposits.
· Historic sampling in the Johnston-McKenna area provided the following top five gold grades: 1,038.9 g/t Au, 390.2 g/t Au, 318.9 g/t Au, 286.29 g/t Au and 224.9 g/t Au.
· A bulk sample processed in the late 1930’s from the Little Bear mine provided a reported equivalent gold grade of 1,564 g/t Au. Based on the 1 ton sample containing $1,600 worth of gold, this equates to c.45.61 oz/ton Au, at a historical gold price of $35/oz.
· Historic sample results from the Joa-Walton area provided the following top five gold grades: 233.1 g/t Au, 198.9 g/t Au, 143.7 g/t Au, 79.5 g/t Au and 46.6 g/t Au.
· Based on recent work new data supporting the historical sampling has identified areas within the project which yield gold results in excess of 100 g/t Au.
Australia – Marrakai and Annaburroo Gold Projects
· Exploration in these areas has been sporadic and geographically limited to date.
· 500oz of gold nuggets were historically recovered from the Marrakai project area and rock-chips up to 50.1 g/t Au were recorded.
· Mineralisation at Marrakai is encountered from the surface in several areas, with several shallow high-grade drilling intercepts recorded in the vicinity.
· Grab samples of up to 61.2 g/t Au from veins in the Annaburroo project area.
· The areas in which the Australian projects are located are characterised by highly prospective bedrock and potential host structures, which suggests excellent potential for further discoveries.
Darren Hazelwood, CEO, commented:
“The careful consolidation of the previously fragmented Big Bear Gold project area in Ontario, Canada, has resulted in a highly promising exploration opportunity containing multiple high-grade gold occurrences. It is important to highlight that the numerous sampling programmes conducted by Panther to date have largely confirmed historical work. We now look forward to building our understanding of the gold and base-metal systems which occur within the Big Bear project and to defining targets that can be drill-tested during our next focused work programme.
Meanwhile, in Australia, the granting of the Marrakai Project licence represents a pivotal moment for the Company as we look toward executing our strategy in Australia. The Company has adopted a particular focus on the Northern Territory, an area in which our Chairman, Dr. Kerim Sener, completed his PhD. With the Annaburroo Project awaiting grant following Native Title procedures, we look forward to being able to provide further detail on our planned Australian exploration programmes”.
Big Bear Gold Project
Panther initially acquired three legacy sites comprising 69 claim units, namely the ground covered by the Big Bear Claims, Little Bear Lake Claims and those of the Schreiber Pyramid, these were each a collection of single cell mineral claims. As of 4 October 2019, following further claim acquisitions, Panther held 171 Mining Claims covering a total area of 43 km2 comprising an enlarged Bear Lake Project (now called the “Big Bear Project”). The project area is located within 0.5 km of the town of Schreiber and 170 km southeast of Thunder Bay. The two towns are connected via Trans-Canada Highway 17. The property is also about 15 km southeast of the past-producing Winston Lake zinc mine, one of Canada’s highest grade zinc deposits.
Access to the northern half of the project property is via gravel roads from Schreiber which turn into a winter road and trail suitable only for all-terrain vehicles (ATV), this takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on conditions. The southern perimeter of the project can be accessed by ATV with 15 minutes from Schreiber.
Big Bear lies in the east-west trending Schreiber-Hemlo greenstone belt of the Archean Abitibi-Wawa Subprovince of the Superior Craton. The Abitibi-Wawa Subprovince is a supracrustal meta-volcanic sedimentary sequence which has been intruded by granitic-syenitic plutons and gabbroic dykes and sills.
The Schreiber-Hemlo greenstone belt includes a number of known gold deposits including the current Barrick Gold Hemlo Mine which has reportedly produced over 22 million ounces of gold to date from a combination of underground and open pit mining. Although the Hemlo Mine is on the same greenstone belt as Big Bear, it cannot reasonably be quoted as an adjacent or neighbouring project on account of its distance and geological difference. It does, however, serve to illustrate a type of deposit that can be found within the greenstone belt that may represent a target for Panther.
The Archean rocks of the Schreiber-Hemlo Greenstone Belt are predominantly subaqueous mafic tholeiitic metavolcanic rocks which overlie a less voluminous, predominantly calc-alkaline sequence, both of which are interlayered with minor clastic and chemical metasedimentary rocks. Mineral deposits and occurrences within the belt, comprise precious metal (gold and silver) veins in fractures and shears in the mafic metavolcanic and granitic rocks; molybdenum-copper vein deposits associated with the border zones of the granitic batholiths; nickel-copper deposits associated with a gabbro intrusion; and polymetallic base metal copper-lead-zinc-silver occurrences associated with clastic and chemical interflow metasedimentary units.
Panther’s work to date has focused on the verification of previous exploration results and historical data research and compilation. In 2018, Panther conducted soil geochemical sampling on five survey grids along with regional prospecting and outcrop sampling. The anomalous geochemical soil results which ranged up to 0.71 g/t Au, show a strong correlation with the Total Field Magnetic airborne geophysics and the interpreted lineaments/structures derived from the digital elevation model. Panther’s outcrop sampling has confirmed high grade results, attributed to historical work areas, including a quartz vein sample from the Schreiber Pyramid mine yielding 105.5 g/t gold & 6.61 g/t silver.
Marrakai Gold Project
The Marrakai Project comprises a single licence granted for six years on 10 October 2019 (EL32121) covering an area of 10.1km2, located 70km to the southeast of Darwin, Northern Territory. The Marrakai Project is located near infrastructure and the Toms Gully (15km away) and Rustlers Roost (18km away) deposits, which are owned by China Hanking Holdings Limited. Toms Gully is a high-grade underground mine containing 1.1Mt @ 8.9 g/t Au (0.3 Moz); operations are expected to recommence in 2019. Rustlers Roost contains 51Mt @ 1.0 g/t Au (1.6Moz) and is one of the largest gold projects in the region.
The Marrakai Project is located within the Palaeoproterozoic Pine Creek Orogen (“PCO”), proximal to a major NW-trending magnetic lineament. Several gold prospects, including Chins Gully, Johns Flat and Jasons Rise, occur within the Marrakai Project area along a topographically low ridge which trends NE-SW across and outside the licence over an area of 7 x 1km. Coarse gold has been identified in surface outcrop and sub-crop occurring over at least 3km of strike within the licence, with a peak rock-chip grade of 50.1 g/t Au recorded from the Johns Flat prospect, located 1km to the SW of Steves Hill. Several anomalous stream-sediment samples were returned from 2 to 3km to the SW of Steves Hill in the area of Chins Gully. Significantly anomalous rock-chip samples were identified in several other areas across the licence area.
The gold prospects within the licence are located on the western flank of the major Marrakai Anticline, which occurs to the SE, within the same sequence that hosts the Marrakai Reef, Merlin Station Dam, Joseph and Stop 16 gold prospects about 20km to the southwest of the Project area. Within the area, the Steves Hill prospect (located just outside of the licence area) was the first to be discovered in 1999, following which 500 oz of gold nuggets were recovered; the largest of which were c. 30 oz and 23 oz. The mineralisation consists of quartz veins hosted by banded greywacke and siltstones of the Burrell Creek Formation, which are metamorphosed to lower greenschist facies. Quartz veins in outcrop are typically less than 1m wide and contain variable amounts of pyrolusite. The siltstones have not been specifically sampled or assayed, although a trench on the northern side of the Chins Gully prospect yielded 0.5 g/t Au over 4m, which did include samples of host rock material.
Rotary Air Blast (“RAB”) drilling undertaken by Renison Consolidated Mines NL in the early 2000’s, in the area of Steves Hill, identified a deep regolith profile. Results from no deeper than 6m from surface provided the following best intercepts, some of which were coincident with a saddle reef structure:
2m @ 9.32 g/t Au
2m @ 5.74 g/t Au
2m @ 3.46 g/t Au
2m @ 2.22 g/t Au
This drilling programme was followed up with Reverse Circulation (“RC”) drilling primarily at the Steve’s Hill prospect, which provided the following additional intercepts from depths of less than 36m from surface:
1m @ 2.10 g/t Au
1m @ 2.00 g/t Au
1m @ 1.44 g/t Au
The generally lower grade and narrower intercepts in the RC drilling are probably attributable to the down-dip continuity of vein mineralisation away from the hinge zone of a local anticlinal structure. In contrast the typically wider and higher grade intercepts in RAB drilling are attributable to saddle reefs along the hinge zone of the same structure.
Annaburroo Gold Project
The Annaburroo Gold Project comprises a single licence application (EL32140) covering an area of about 150km2, located 105km to the southeast of Darwin, Northern Territory. The Annaburroo Project is located near infrastructure and the Toms Gully (20km away) and Rustlers Roost (27km away) deposits, which are owned by China Hanking Holdings Limited. Toms Gully is a high-grade underground mine containing 1.1Mt @ 8.9 g/t Au (0.3 Moz); operations are expected to recommence in 2019. Rustlers Roost contains 51Mt @ 1.0 g/t Au (1.6Moz) and is one of the largest gold projects in the region. It is expected that this licence area will be explored by Panther contemporaneously with the Marrakai Gold Project, which is located 32km away to the west.
The Annaburroo Project is located within the Palaeoproterozoic Pine Creek Orogen (“PCO”), proximal to the Mount Bundey granite and Mount Goyder syenite. The host rocks in the area are metamorphosed sandstone, siltstone, mudstones, tuffs and sulphidic/carbonaceous units of the Palaeoproterozoic South Alligator and Mount Partridge groups, which represent highly prospective but variable hosts for gold mineralisation in the Pine Creek Orogen. The area around these intrusive rocks is known to contain several uranium (e.g. Quest 31 to 33) and gold prospects, and may also have potential to host an unusual style of hydrothermal Au-PGE (±U) mineralisation encountered at the Coronation Hill (4.85Mt @ 4.31 g/t Au, 0.65 g/t Pd and 0.19 g/t Pt), Gold Ridge and Sargents North deposits found elsewhere in the PCO. The presence of suitable host structures and stratigraphy, proximity to high-heat producing intrusions and spatially related uranium and gold mineralisation is suggestive of potential for this style of deposit.
Despite the potential for the area to host various styles of gold mineralisation, exploration since the early 1970s has been sporadic and geographically limited. Only two phases of work during the past fifty years have involved significant field activities with several other operators having conducted only cursory exploration, field reconnaissance and data review. During the late 1980s Newmont Australia identified the Donkey Hill gold prospect from several grab samples with results up to 50.8 g/t Au and 13.7 g/t Au from different veins. Follow-up trenching recorded five-metre composite chip samples up to 6.68 g/t Au. This work led to a short Reverse Circulation (“RC”) drilling programme (four RC holes totalling 244m) with a best intercept of 2m @ 3.10 g/t Au from 28m in hole RCD-3.
No further work of significance was undertaken in the area an airborne magnetic, radiometric and electro-magnetic survey in the late 2000s, which was followed up by field reconnaissance and a geochemical soil survey of 665 samples. Grab samples of up to 61.2 g/t Au from veins at the Donkey Hill prospect and 0.27 g/t Au from a large outcropping quartz vein 3.8 km to the north of Donkey Hill, highlighted the prospectivity of the broader “Annaburroo Dome”. This work was followed-up with six RC holes for a total of 666m designed to test parts of the Donkey Hill prospect and three geophysical anomalies approximately 5km to the north.
Panther recognises that the Annaburroo Gold Project is highly prospective for the discovery of orogenic gold systems. This is underpinned by the underexplored nature the licence area, which is characterised by highly prospective bedrock and potential host structures. The widespread post-mineral cover and the very limited drill testing to date suggests there is opportunity for gold deposits to have been overlooked in earlier exploration. Almost all of the previous drill-testing occurred in a limited area at the Donkey Hill gold prospect
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