The Bottom Brook rare earth elements (REE) property was acquired by Kirrin in 2008. Its potential was re-evaluated during 2009 and the results of the subsequent exploration program exceeded expectations. There are now nine REE targets at Bottom Brook. Drilling results point to high grade REE mineralization - 4.47% TREO over 5.64 m core length, 4.32% TREO over 2.0 m core length, and 1.16% TREO over 15.3 m core length. The best assay result, over 0.3 m core length, shows 15.04% TREO and is 96% LREO. This includes individual assays of 51% cerium, 25% lanthanum and 15% neodymium oxides. REE grades are usually reported as calculated rare earth oxides (REO) and overall results as total rare earth oxides (TREO).
While the project remains at a relatively early stage, sampling and drilling has returned REO mineralization in both the Upper and Lower target zones and hosted in a discrete intrusive that is characterized by a dark green to black colour (easily distinguished from the Alkali Feldspar Granite country rock). REO bearing intervals are coincident with an increase in radioactivity as well as chalky brick red hematite alteration.
Results indicate that the Upper Zone contains very high-grade mineralization over narrow intervals. One sample intersected 15 %TREO over 0.3m and its pattern of gamma profile is similar in all holes of the Upper Zone. The Lower Zone contains significant mineralization (1-2 %TRE0) with much wider intersections (15.3m and 7.5m). The gamma profiles of holes drilled into the Lower Zone tend have more consistent amplitude over the entire mineralized interval.
While mineralization in the REO Target Area shows a significant enrichment in the light rare earth elements, additional compilation of previous analytical results from drilling and prospecting has defined a substantial Heavy REO component to the Bottom Brook mineralization which consistently gives a HREO/TREO of between 8% and 15%.
An unpublished internal report on the mineralogical and chemical characterization of the REO mineralized zones by SGS Lakefield Research Ltd. concludes that monazite, zircon, allanite and apatite are the principle hosts of the REO at the Bottom Brook Zone A.
The late 2011 REE exploration program will comprise one or more of detailed prospecting, rock sampling, geological mapping, a soil geochemical survey, a ground based magnetics survey followed by magnetic data modelling, trenching and drilling.
The REO Zone at Bottom Brook is one of the few known occurrences of REE in Newfoundland, and represents a new and exciting potential mineral deposit.
The Bottom Brook REE property is located in western Newfoundland, Canada. The service centre for the southwestern part of the island, Stephenville, is just 30 km east, with a population of 25,000 and a minerals export facility. Bottom Brook is also close to the province's west coast economic centre, Corner Brook, and is easily accessible. The Trans Canada Highway and existing power lines run through the property, as well as an extensive network of logging roads and pre-existing access routes.
The historic uranium showing (U2 area) at Bottom Brook was discovered by Shell Minerals in 1981 which completed only limited work. Exploration resumed in 2006 when Bottom Brook was acquired by Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (Ucore) which completed airborne geophysics, prospecting on the regional airborne targets and detailed grid work and target testing on the Bottom Brook A Zone and the U2 uranium showing. Subsequent drilling results confirmed that the uranium mineralization was not economic.
REE mineralization at the Bottom Brook A Zone grid area is closely coincident with a distinctive magnetic high. Ucore drilled three holes spaced at 50 metres apart intersected similar mineralization with a best intersection of 4.47% (REE oxides + Y2O3 (yttrium)) over 5.64 metres core length. The REE included all of the 15 lanthanoid elements plus yttrium.
Kirrin's option agreement with Ucore, initially dated September 15, 2008, was revised in September 2011. It allows Kirrin to earn a 50% interest in the Bottom Brook REE property by spending $2,045,000 on exploration by December 31, 2014, including a minimum first year commitment of $700,000, and issuing 300,000 shares to Ucore, including 50,000 shares on signing. Kirrin is current on its earn-in obligations.
Upon Kirrin fulfilling its earn-in obligations, the parties will form a 50:50 joint venture, with each partner contributing its pro-rata share of future expenditures, or Ucore may elect to convert to a 35% interest, which will be carried through to completion of a pre-feasibility study. If either party dilutes its interest to less than 10% in the joint venture, its interest shall be converted to a royalty of 1% or 1.5% of gross sales, depending on underlying royalties, of which 0.5% may be bought-out for $500,000.
The Bottom Brook REE property comprises 488 contiguous claims spanning a territory in excess of 122 square km.
The property straddles the southern Long Range Mountains and extends southwest into St. George's Basin. The highlands are generally underlain by Proterozoic to late Cambrian aged rocks of the Humber Zone's Long Range Complex, which consists of a gneissic complex with interlayed metasedimentary units and a later granite intrusive suite. This basement Complex is overlain at Bottom Brook by a much younger Palaeozoic sequence of sub-aerial clastic sedimentary rocks (Carboniferous Cover) of the Bay St. George Lowlands. The contact between the Basement rocks and the younger basin stratigraphy of the Bay St. George Lowlands is a major unconformity, often modified by later thrust faulting. An extensive radioactive boulder field has been traced to a bedrock source within the project's claim boundary.
Exploration Programs and Results
Kirrin commenced a 1,335 m drilling program in November 2008. Ten holes (LP08-11 to 20) targeted the Bottom Brook A Zone zone. The holes were drilled on sections approx. 50 m apart to evaluate a discrete 250 m long bulls-eye magnetic high. This magnetic high is associated with REO minerals and previous drilling by Ucore in 2007 intersected up to 4.47% Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO) over 5.64 m. Kirrin's drilling intersected multiple mineralized zones, including 4.32% TREO over 2.0 m core length in hole LP08-13 and 1.162% TREO over 15.3 m core length in LP08-17. This near surface mineralization appears to be affected by a number of fault blocks which complicate the continuity of the rare earth-bearing A Zone zone. True width estimates are not known at this time.
A summary of the drill results from the Bottom Brook A Zone Grid drilling follows:
|Hole Number||Grid North||Grid East||Azi||Dip||From (m)||To (m)||Interval (m)||%TREO|
|LP08-12||2+075||1+950||190||50||No Significant Values|
|LP08-14B||2040||1990||190||45||No Significant Values|
|LP08-16||1956||2100||190||50||No Significant Values|
|LP08-18||2000||2150||190||50||No Significant Values|
|LP08-19||2035||2100||190||50||No Significant Values|
|LP08-20||2110||2000||190||50||No Significant Values|
In September 2009, the REE potential of the property was re-evaluated. This included (a) compilation of REE geochemical results from grab samples collected during Ucore's 2007-2008 field seasons and (b) identification of a number of isolated magnetic high anomalies in proximity to the Bottom Brook U3 REE mineralization. A total of eight new targets were identified as having the best potential: Grand Lake North, Grand Lake South, Northcott and the five targets Bottom Brook B to F.
Prospecting and sampling was conducted during October and November 2009 on the Northcott and Bottom Brook B to F targets. This resulted two in the identification of two new areas of REE mineralization:
Bottom Brook B Zone - Assay results of 1.69% and 6.80% TREO were obtained from two grab samples collected from angular boulders containing abundant magnetite and hematite mineralization. The highest grade sample (6.80% TREO) includes individual assays of 2.87% Ce2O3, 1.48% La2O3 and 1.21% Nd2O3. This mineralization is proximal to a discrete isolated magnetic high anomaly, which is located approximately 1 km northeast of the Bottom Brook A Zone
Bottom Brook C Zone - This area was also isolated for follow-up because of the presence of a discrete isolated magnetic high. A total of five samples were taken from magnetite-hematite bearing granite float proximal to the target, all with similar radioactivity and mineralogy to the Bottom Brook A Zone. Sampling results ranged from 1.50 % to 10.04% TREO. The highest grade sample (10.04% TREO) includes individual assays of 4.13% Ce2O3, 2.22% La2O3 and 1.88% Nd2O3.
The 2009 prospecting program was curtailed in November due to the onset of winter conditions. A very brief description of each of the nine targets at Bottom Brook follows:
The Grand Lake North target is located on the north shore of Grand Lake. A grab sample collected in 2007 returned assay values of 2.33% Y+TREO. The sample is enriched in light rare earth oxides (LREO).
The Grand Lake South target is located on the south shore of Grand Lake. A grab sample collected in 2007 returned assay values of 0.84% Y+TREO. The sample is enriched in light rare earth oxides (LREO).
The Northcott target is located immediately adjacent to Mineral License 011844M owned by Edwin Northcott. Three grab samples collected during the 2007 - 2008 field programs returned assay values up to 0.96% Y+TREO. Samples were enriched in the light rare earth oxides. All samples were sub-angular boulders (float) located between the south shore of a small pond and the bottom a large ridge rising to the south-east. One sample collected from granitic outcrop on the ridge returned an assay value of 0.18% Y+TREO. Follow up prospecting was conducted in this area during the fall 2009 program. Four additional samples were recovered based on high radioactivity and values ranged between 0.07 and 0.71% Y+TREO.
The Bottom Brook A Zone was initially discovered in 2006 while prospecting coincident magnetic and uranium geophysical anomalies. Follow up prospecting revealed the presence of magnetite-hematite REO bearing rock that was termed U3 REO Zone. It has since been renamed Bottom Brook A. Subsequent drilling has uncovered significant REO mineralization up to 5.6m of 4.47% TREO.
The Bottom Brook B target is located approximately 1 Km from the Bottom Brook A Zone. Two samples were collected during a helicopter traverse in 2008, and returned assay values of 1.13% and 3.06% Y+TREO. The samples were collected from angular boulders containing abundant magnetite and hematite mineralization. Two additional samples were collected during the 2009 prospecting program, from the same area of high grade float for additional analysis with a more precise analytical technique. Values from the latest sampling were 1.69% and 6.80% Y+TREO.
Geochemical results from samples previously collected in the Bottom Brook C target area were re-evaluated based on their REO potential. A cluster of five grab samples that consisted of magnetite-hematite bearing granite boulders, returned assay values between 0.63% and 5.95% Y+TREO. During the 2009 prospecting program an additional five samples were collected. All with similar radioactivity and mineralogy to the Bottom Brook A zone. Results from the 2009 sampling ranged from 1.50 % to 10.04% Y+TREO. Although these samples are from float, the source of this material is probably the bull's eye magnetic high represented as Bottom Brook C target. A concern here is that the float material may be related to the Bottom Brook A zone which is located 1 km up hill from the float.
The Bottom Brook D, E, and F airborne magnetic targets were prospected during the 2009 program. No anomalous radioactivity was observed at either locality.
A follow-up program of ground magnetics and geochemistry is planned, to be followed by trenching and/or drilling on the discrete magnetic targets. Additional prospecting will also be done on the other targeted areas.
|To 09/2008:||~$1,800,000||(by Ucore)|
|Kirrin to 12/2010||$955,000|
Comments on REE exploration results to July 2008:
Between 2006 and July 2008, Ucore completed airborne geophysics and follow-up on the regional airborne targets, resulting in a number of other uranium and REE discoveries. The following is a brief summary of Ucore's work on the REE targets:
Bottom Brook REE Grid: The Bottom Brook discovery is located 2 km east of U2 and Ucore's work included ground geophysical surveys, trenching and three drill holes. The drilling was targeted on two bull's eye magnetic high anomalies and results included very high REO assays over 4 to 6 m in width. The magnetic signature and drill holes demonstrated the compact nature of the deposits. Intersections from the three holes are shown below. The $/tonne values are calculated by consultant Wayne Reid from published commodity prices and based on 100% recovery of the REO metals and Y2O3. The results of the three drill holes follow:
|Hole #||From (m)||To (m)||Interval (m)|| Grade
| US $*
* Note- Value calculated from Total REO plus Y2O3 using prices in effect February 2008
Subsequent mineralogical studies completed by SGS Lakefield Research Limited identified monazite and allanite as the minerals containing the Rare Earth Elements. The samples tested by SGS Lakefield averaged 5.6% light rare earth oxides, 0.31% heavy rare earth oxides, and 0.27% yttrium oxide. Monazite contained 74% to 90% of the Rare Earth Oxides and its liberation varied between 80% and 95% at a grind between 25 to 80 μm. Allanite contains the bulk of the remaining Rare Earth Oxides (10% to 20%) and its liberation was approximately 60% at <30 μm.
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