VAL-D’OR, Quebec, Oct. 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SOQUEM, a subsidiary of Investissement Québec, is pleased to announce the results of the drilling exploration program completed in winter 2023 on its Wagosic Property. The property, wholly owned by SOQUEM, is situated 90 km west of Matagami, near the former Selbaie mine (56.9 Mt @ 0.87% Cu, 1.85% Zn, 0.55 g/t Au, 39 g/t Ag; CONSOREM 2012).
The program achieved its main objectives of discovering the new “Xylem” mineralized zone and demonstrating the continuity of VMS-037, previously intersected in hole 1338-19-037. The latter returned grades of 4.64% Zn, 230.6 g/t Ag and 1.58% Pb over 24.2 m (press release dated Oct. 23, 2019). Seventeen (17) holes totalling 5,811.8 m were drilled on three showings on the property: Copper Zone, Detour-Selbaie and Silver Zone 2 (Figure 1).
Located near the Copper Zone showing, the Xylem discovery was intersected by hole 1338-23-058, which returned grades of 1.77% Cu, 14.9 g/t Ag and 0.05 g/t Au over 13.8 m, including 6.87% Cu, 55.7 g/t Ag and 0.24 g/t Au over 2.4 m. The mineralized zone (Photo 1) had not been previously intersected, as only three other holes have been drilled within a radius of 400 metres. Mineralization occurs mainly as injections of semi-massive chalcopyrite and pyrite brecciating a massive, porphyritic and chloritized felsic unit. An area of interest, 500 metres across and covered by chargeability anomalies, remains highly prospective (Figure 2). Table 1 presents the main analytical results for samples from the Xylem/Copper Zone area.
Hole 1338-23-055 also intersected a mineralized extension some 70 m southeast of VMS-037 in the Detour-Selbaie showing area (Figure 3). The extension returned grades of 3.49% Zn, 73.9 g/t Ag and 0.33% Pb over 40.15 m, including 5.44% Zn, 172.2 g/t Ag and 0.48% Pb over 11.0 m. Mineralization is mainly pyrite and sphalerite in semi-massive bands, as disseminations and/or in veins and veinlets at the contact between strongly altered rhyolite and lapilli felsic tuff. The VMS-037 mineralization remains open along strike and at depth (Figure 4). The main analytical results for the VMS-037/Detour-Selbaie area are also presented in Table 1.
Table 1. Main results from the 2023 program – Wagosic Property
|1338-23-047||30.40||33.20||2.8||2.42||tr||24.1||tr||tr||Copper Zone showing|
|1338-23-049||146.50||149.50||3.0||–||0.10||193.0||0.73||–||Silver Zone 2 showing|
*Intervals are presented as drill core lengths.
The Wagosic Property, one of SOQUEM’s flagship projects, is at the exploration drilling stage with a program planned for winter 2024. The property is known for its VMS (volcanogenic massive sulphide) mineralization, mainly zinc and silver, with local copper, gold and lead enrichments. Two mineralized trends are present on the property: a northern axis that includes the Xylem/Copper Zone area and a southern axis that includes the historical Detour-Selbaie and Silver Zone 2 showings, extending over nearly 6 km. The property is being explored using a new lithostratigraphic interpretation with shallow dips, which enhances the potential for discoveries.
The Wagosic Property is part of the Selbaie Block, which also includes SOQUEM’s B26, Calixa, Carheil and Beschefer properties. The area has undergone in-depth geological reinterpretation, including integrating lithogeochemical and geophysical data. The reinterpretation has provided a complete and standardized view of the region, thereby maximizing the chances of discovery in this fertile terrain for VMS-type mineralization. Base metals, such as copper and zinc, are strategic elements for mineral exploration in Quebec for the province’s electrification projects and to power its existing ore processing and processing infrastructure.
Work planned for 2023-2024
A nearly 6,000-metre drilling program is planned for winter 2024 on the Wagosic and Calixa properties. At Wagosic, 4 to 6 drill holes have been planned on a preliminary basis to follow up on the Xylem discovery, mainly to define the orientation of the mineralized zone and improve the geological understanding of the area. A deep hole will also be drilled in the VMS-037/Detour-Selbaie area. The objective is to explain a stack of electromagnetic anomalies detected at great depths about a hundred metres east of hole 1338-23-054A. These EM anomalies would be stratigraphically below VMS-037, within a favourable setting for discovering significant copper mineralization.
At Calixa, a drone-borne magnetic survey covering a portion of the west block of the property was completed in September 2023. The data from this high-definition magnetic survey will help build a more detailed geological and structural interpretation of the region. The new polymetallic discovery by Probe Metals and Midland Exploration (LAP-22-012 with 0.2% CuEq over 345.5 m, press release dated Dec. 6, 2022), approximately 800 m west of the Calixa property, demonstrates the potential of this underexplored area.
Strict QA/QC protocols were implemented, including the insertion of certified reference material samples and blanks. All samples were sent to the ALS Geochemistry laboratory in Val-d’Or for preparation and analysis.
Samples were weighed, crushed and pulverized, and then dissolved by the 4-acid method and analyzed by ICP-MS/OES for 48 elements. If the value for metals such as Cu, Zn and Pb exceeded 1% and/or Ag above 100 ppm, the sample was re-assayed by 4-acid digestion followed by ICP-AES analysis.
For gold (Au), 50 g of material was dissolved by fire assay and analyzed by atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). The pulps of samples grading greater than 5.0 g/t Au were systematically re-assayed by gravimetry.
The technical information contained in this press release has been reviewed by geologist Catherine Jalbert, Vice-President of SOQUEM, acting as a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
SOQUEM, a subsidiary of Investissement Québec, is dedicated to the exploration, discovery and development of mining properties in Quebec. SOQUEM also contributes to maintaining strong local economies. Proud partner and ambassador for the development of Quebec’s mineral wealth, SOQUEM relies on innovation, research, and strategic minerals to be well-positioned for the future.
Photo 1. Xylem discovery: chalcopyrite and pyrite injections within a porphyritic and chloritized felsic unit in hole 1338-23-058.
Figure 1. Location of Wagosic and other properties of the Selbaie Block.
Figure 2. Plan view of the Xylem/Copper Zone area.
Figure 3. Plan view of the VMS-037/Detour-Selbaie area.
Figure 4. Longitudinal view (N110/-55°) of the VMS-037/Detour-Selbaie area.