Dec '07/Jan '08

New Brunswick

The excitement continues

Mineral exploration highlights for New Brunswick

By Les Fyffe, director, New Brunswick Geological Surveys Branch

New Brunswick has seen a marked increase in mineral exploration and mine development in 2007. Approximately $32 million will be spent this year on mineral exploration programs (up from $16 million in 2006) and over $100 million on the development of metallic and industrial mineral operations in the province. There are currently 35,000 claims in good standing (up from 20,800 in 2006) — a number not seen since the Bathurst staking rush in the early 1950s. Much of the new staking in southern New Brunswick was in response to a tenfold increase in the price of uranium. The value of mineral production in New Brunswick reached $1.5 billion in 2006, up from $875 million the previous year. Base metals from the Brunswick Mine accounted for about 80 per cent of this total.

Mine development in New Brunswick

Blue Note Mining Inc. has refurbished the Caribou underground mine and mill and Restigouche open pit mine in the Bathurst Mining Camp, at a cost of $84 million. The first shipments of lead concentrate from Blue Note Mining have been delivered to the Xstrata smelter in Belledune. Blue Note has also developed a three-year exploration plan geared towards regional exploration in the Bathurst Camp that includes a comprehensive geophysical survey over the Caribou and Restigouche properties, as well as the nearby Armstrong, McMaster and Orvan Brook properties.

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. announced plans for a new two million tonne per year potash mine in Sussex, New Brunswick. The construction project will cost US$1.6 billion, take four years to complete, generate the equivalent of 2,500 person-years of employment and create 140 new full-time positions.

Adex Mining Inc.plans a minimum of 5,000 metres of drilling within the Fire Tower, North and Deep Tin zones on its Mount Pleasant Mine property in southwestern New Brunswick. The drilling program will be carried out in conjunction with the general reactivation and upgrading of the infrastructure at the mine property, including the undertaking of bench-scale metallurgical test work to develop preliminary flow sheets. The preliminary budget for the project is estimated to be $1.5 million.The Fire Tower Zone contains a NI 43-101 compliant inferred resource of 13.1 million tonnes at 0.35% WO3 and 0.21% MoS2. The North and Deep Tin zones contain a NI 43-101 non-compliant historical total resource of 3.65 million tonnes of 0.80% Sn, 107 grams per tonne In, 0.87% Zn and 0.1% Cu.

Mineral exploration activities in New Brunswick

Capella Resources Ltd. has completed an airborne magnetic and radiometric survey over four of its uranium properties in southern New Brunswick. A new discovery in Late Devonian volcanic rocks at Harvey yielded scintilometer readings in the 5,000 to 8,000 cps range with a maximum reading of over 40,000 cps. A handheld spectrometer registered a spot reading of 1,475 ppm uranium. Historical records indicate the presence of veins of pitchblende, pyrite, fluorite, arsenopyrite and secondary uranium products. A second discovery close to Late Devonian volcaniclastic sandstones near Hoyt yielded scintilometer readings ranging from 1,000 to 14,000 cps. Capella is currently drilling the Hoyt anomaly, which is associated with chlorite-altered zones containing hematite, pyrite and fluorite.

Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc. and Phelps Dodge Corporation of Canada, Ltd., a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., have formed a joint venture to explore for sediment-hosted, stratiform copper deposits in the Maritimes Basin of southeastern New Brunswick. Work will consist of mapping and prospecting focused on defining drill targets along the Dorchester Mine horizon and at the Goshen prospect. The Dorchester deposit contains an historic resource of 6 million tonnes of low-grade copper, including zones of 2 to 10% Cu. The Goshen copper prospect is reported to host 25,000 tonnes of 2.25% Cu.

CVRD Inco Ltd. has entered into a five-year agreement with the province of New Brunswick that gives it exclusive rights to search for uranium in a 136,000 hectare area extending along the southern margin of the Maritimes Basin between Sussex and Moncton. CVRD Inco has completed extensive geochemical surveys and delineated drill targets on some of its properties.

First Narrows Resources Corp. has completed a surface definition drilling program on its Chester base metal deposit in the southern part of the Bathurst Mining Camp. A total of 154 holes have been drilled — 22 holes in 2006 and 132 holes in 2007.An underground exploration program has begun with the reopening of the decline constructed in 1975. The next stage of the underground program will focus on dewatering, refurbishment, surveying, geological mapping and sampling. First Narrows also reported that a drill hole on its Falls Creek property in central New Brunswick intersected 112 metres of granite with visible wolframite, scheelite and molybdenite mineralization.

Freewest Resources Canada Inc. reported that its Clarence Stream property in southwestern New Brunswick contains more than 300,000 ounces of gold and 6.4 million pounds of antimony. A 120 kilometre representative sample of drill core from the Central Zone tested by CANMET yielded a head grade of 8 grams per tonne Au with a recovery rate of 88.3% using conventional cyanidation leach. Another 15 holes were drilled in the East Zone, including hole CS07-240, which intercepted 12.45 grams per tonne of gold over 4.5 metres. Freewest also began to probe the gold-bearing system at Clarence Stream to greater depths in the last half of 2007. Nine holes tested a one kilometre long portion of the shear structure that hosts a number of proximal gold deposits. Gold intercepts included 6.59 grams per tonne over 7 metres at a vertical depth of 210 metres in hole CS07-264, and 3.59 grams per tonne over 7 metres at a vertical depth of 208 metres in hole CS07-265. In addition, Freewest has acquired a uranium property in the Plaster Rock area of westcentral New Brunswick. Samples collected during previous exploration work in the area in 1978-79 indicated grades between 0.118 and 0.236% U3O8.

Geodex Minerals Ltd. reported a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate for Zone III of its Sisson Brook deposit in central New Brunswick,based on assay results from 13 holes drilled by Texasgulf/Kidd Creek Mines from 1979 to 1982 and from 28 holes drilled by Geodex in 2006. The inferred resource estimate ranges from 167.4 Mt of 0.021% Mo and 0.059% WO3 with a cut-off grade of 0.025 WO3% equivalent to 12,300,000 tonnes of 0.057% Mo and 0.110% WO3 with a cut-off grade of 0.225 WO3% equivalent. The WO3 per cent equivalent cut-off value is calculated by converting molybdenum to tungsten values using a factor of 2.97. Geodex also discovered a high-grade scheelite skarn about five kilometres north of the Sisson Brook tungsten-molybdenum deposit. Additionally, nine holes were drilled on its Pughole-Whopper property, situated three kilometres west of the former Mount Pleasant mine in southwestern New Brunswick. Hole WP-06-01 intersected 1.27% Zn and 26.5 grams per tonne In over 1.56 metres, WP-06-02 intersected 6.26% Zn and 51.0 grams per tonne In over 1.6 metres, and WP-07-04 intersected 2.80% Zn and 62.8 grams per tonne In over 31.7 metres.

Landmark Minerals Inc. staked 280 mineral claims in the Gowland Mountain area of southern New Brunswick. The property is underlain by oil shales of the Carboniferous Albert Formation and is considered prospective for sedimentary-hosted uranium deposits.

Noront Resources Ltd. and Cadillac Ventures Inc. are undertaking a $1.5 million exploration program on the Burnt Hill tungsten deposit located in central New Brunswick. The joint venture will include drilling to provide sufficient information to confirm previous data contained in the technical report and allow for the preparation of a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate.

Puma Exploration drilled 20 holes in the Haché deposit on its Nicholas Denys property in northern New Brunswick in 2007.The four drill holes with the best silver assays ran 461 grams per tonne over 6 metres, 331 grams per tonne over 3.05 metres, 244 grams per tonne over 4.6 metres and 262 grams per tonne over 4.2 metres. A preliminary metallurgical test on a 30 kilogram composite core sample recovered 460 grams per tonne Ag, 2.2 grams per tonne Au, 6.0% Zn and 3.7% Pb. Puma also drilled a hole into the Nicholas Denys granite that assayed 0.03% Mo over 93 metres.

Rockport Mining Corp. has opened up several new trenches on its Devil Pike Brook property in southern New Brunswick. Gold values up to 18.7 grams per tonne over 4.35 metres have previously been reported in quartz veins on the property.

Sparton Resources Inc. has staked a copper-uranium property in southwestern New Brunswick that was the subject of several exploration programs from the early 1970s to the early 1980s by various companies, including BP Oil Ltd. and Aquitaine Company of Canada. Numerous boulders of altered carboniferous sedimentary rocks found on the property assayed on average 1% Cu, 0.3% U and 0.1% Y.

SLAM Exploration Ltd. reported that its Nash Creek deposit in northern New Brunswick contains a total indicated resource estimated at 3.24 million tonnes grading 4.67% Zn, 0.80% Pb and 27.8 grams per tonne Ag, with an additional inferred resource of 2.69 million tonnes at 3.65% Zn, 0.77% Pb and 20 grams per tonne Ag.Assays from 20 holes drilled in a newly discovered mineralized sulphide breccia zone extending northward from the Nash Creek deposit include 1.77% Zn,0.78% Pb and 0.65 ounce per tonne Ag over 18 metres in hole NC07-46;2.24% Zn, 0.68% Pb and 19.16 grams per tonne Ag over 26.8 metres in hole NC07-49; and 6.67% Zn, 2.59% Pb and 1.28 oz/t Ag over 11.75 metres in hole NC07-55. SLAM also drilled 12 holes into its Nepisiguit base metal deposit in the Bathurst Mining Camp in 2007.Assays in Zone A include 7.74% Zn,2.88% Pb,0.10% Cu and 31.4 grams per tonne Ag over 6 metres in hole NP07-6; 10.58% Zn, 2.34% Pb, 0.20% Cu and 91.8 grams per tonne Ag over 3.75 metres in hole NP07-10; and 6.09% Zn, 0.81% Pb, 0.21% Cu and 31.3 grams per tonne Ag over 11.22 metres in hole NP07-15. Assays from Zone B include 7% Zn, 1.05% Pb, 0.06% Cu and 32 grams per tonne Ag over 0.45 metres in hole NP07-8; and 2.26% Zn, 0.41% Pb, 0.07% Cu and 14.8 grams per tonne Ag over 17.45 metres in hole NP07-9.

Stratabound Minerals Corp.reported gold assays from 23 holes drilled in 2006 on its Elmtree property in northern New Brunswick, including 2.53 grams per tonne over 11 metres in DH06-25; 1.02 grams per tonne over 21 metres in DH06- 30; 2.52 grams per tonne over 6.5 metres in DH06-28; 0.5 grams per tonne over 15.5 metres in DH06-33; and 0.5 grams per tonne over 64 metres in DH06-41. They were awarded a $100,000 grant from the province of New Brunswick’s new Deposit Evaluation Program to upgrade reserve estimates on their Captain copper-gold property in the Bathurst Mining Camp. Twelve holes have been drilled to date. Hole CP07-1 intersected a 7.5 metre interval of 3.18% Cu and 0.44 grams per tonne Au, with an average grade for the entire 52 metre interval of 1.12% Cu and 0.24 grams per tonne Au. Stratabound also reported gold assays from grab samples taken on its Big Presque Isle property located along the Trans- Canada Highway near Florenceville in western New Brunswick. Averages of a series of samples included 0.53 grams per tonne across 60 metres,1.33 grams per tonne over five metres and 3.80 grams per tonne over seven metres. Xstrata Zinc Canada and its junior mining partner El Niño Ventures Inc. are continuing to explore for base metal deposits in the Bathurst Mining Camp under an Advanced Exploration Agreement with the province of New Brunswick. Nearly 150 holes have been drilled over the past five years to investigate anomalies outlined by airborne and ground geophysical surveys.

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