The Jean Marie property is a copper-molybdenum-silver-gold porphyry prospect located 50 km south of Northwest Copper's Kwanika Copper-Gold deposit and 50 km west of Centerra Gold's Mt. Milligan Copper-Gold Mine in central BC. The property covers 12,610 hectares and has multiple mineralized zones which are open for expansion with drilling.
Historical work conducted at Jean Marie includes over 10,000 metres of drilling and dozens of ground-based geophysical and geochemical surveys, with the majority of exploration being completed by Cominco Ltd. between 1970 and 1974. To date, exploration activities were focused on drilling in three copper porphyry zones. Each of these mineralized zones straddles the Jean Marie fault, a significant controlling structure that has been mapped for over 12 km on the Project.
Drill results demonstrate kilometer-scale base and precious metal mineralization over a large, under-explored property with multiple untested diamond-drill targets.
Location and Access
The project is located 50 km south of NorthWest Copper's Kwanika copper-gold deposit, and 50 km west of Centerra Gold's Mt. Milligan copper-gold mine in north central British Columbia. The property is accessed by an extensive network of well used forestry roads. Transmission lines that supply hydroelectric power to the Mt. Milligan Mine are located 50 kilometres to the east, rail runs 50 kilometres to the southwest.
Geology and Mineralization
The Jean Marie property lies within the Quesnel Terrane, part of the Intermontane Belt, a composite of low metamorphic grade magmatic arc segments of mixed oceanic and continental affinities, and oceanic plates, which amalgamated to the North American continental margin in the Early Jurassic Period. The Quesnel Terrane hosts a rich endowment of porphyry copper-gold mineral deposits including Highland Valley, Mt. Milligan, Mt Polley, Copper Mountain, New Afton, Woodjam, Kwanika, and Kemess.
The Jean Marie property covers the Jean Marie pluton, an outlier on the southwest side of the main body of the Hogem Batholith. It is a northwesterly trending, elongate diorite to quartz diorite intrusion that is cut by a small body of granodiorite to quartz monzonite near its south end The intrusive rocks of the Jean Marie pluton have been dated by PEMC and are roughly contemperaneous with the Early Cretaceous Mesalinka suite of the Hogem Batholith. The pluton was intruded into sedimentary, mafic volcanic, and volcanosedimentary rocks of the Witch Lake Formation of the Takla group.
Mineralisation is concentrated within granodiorite, quartz diorite and within altered mafic volcanic rock near the contact between the Jean Marie pluton and Takla group volcanics. Mineralization is characterised by chalcopyrite, molybdenite and minor bornite associated with quartz and potassium feldspar within veins. Mineralization within the volcanic host tends to be chalcopyrite filled hairline fractures and seams of massive chalcopyrite with or without quartz. Malachite is common within fault zones along which granite and syenite dikes have cut the main intrusion and the volcanic rocks. The volcanic rocks exhibit blocky fracturing generally more pervasive than the fracture density in the crosscutting intrusive rocks, and chalcopyrite is locally significant along hairline fractures and smeared along small faults in the andesites within the altered contact zone.
Historical work conducted on the Jean Marie Project includes over 10,000 metres of drilling and dozens of ground-based geophysical and geochemical surveys, with the majority of exploration being completed by Cominco Ltd. between 1970 and 1974. Historical exploration activities were focused on drilling in three copper porphyry zones: the A, B, and C Zones. Each of the three mineralized zones straddles the faulted contact between the Jean Marie Pluton and the volcanic rocks of the Takla group, a controlling structure that has been traced for 12 km.
During 2020, PEMC completed a total of 15 RC drill holes totaling 1,692 metres at the A Zone. Copper mineralization was encountered in 13 of 15 holes with 8 holes averaging greater than 1000 ppm copper over the entire length of the hole. A broad, tabular zone of elevated Cu values (>0.2% Cu) was delineated over an area of approximately 400 x 500 metres; this zone remains open to the NE and SW and suggests the presence of a larger mineralizing system. Elevated levels of copper, silver and molybdenum were encountered in drilling with drill hole JMR014 averaging 3.37% copper and 11.4 g/t silver over 3.05 metres and drill hole JMR008 averaging 1.4 g/t silver over the length of the hole; a strong correlation exists between copper-dominant (gold-poor) mineralization and silver grades.
2021 saw a significant advancement in the understanding of the geologic processes responsible for mineralization at Jean Marie. The exploration season began with re-logging of significant portions of the historical drill core. This re-logging was the first step in developing a comprehensive geological database that is invaluable in developing robust targets for drill testing. Geochronological work completed at the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia helped to redefine the geological model and exploration thesis on the Jean Marie property. In collaboration with the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (“MDRU”) at the University of British Columbia, select samples of intrusive rock were went for fertility analysis. Results from this work demonstrated that the Jean Marie pluton and associated intrusive rocks are highly fertile for copper porphyry mineralization.
PEMC retained Precision GeoSurveys to complete a 128 sq-km high resolution, triple-boom magnetic gradient, radiometric, and VLF-EM airborne geophysical survey at Jean Marie. Despite over 30 years of exploration history at Jean Marie, this is the first high-resolution multi-sensor airborne survey to be completed. This data was integrated with geology and geochemistry to guide the Company's 2022 drilling campaign.
Surficial mapping was completed by Quaternary geology expert Derek Turner, using historical survey data, as well as aerial imagery and data from a 2021 LIDAR survey. The revised surface geology allowed PEMC to reinterpret historical near-surface geochemical and geophysical data and to better target mineralisation below till cover.
A total of 634 soil samples were collected at Jean Marie. This work focused on expanding the current historical soil sampling coverage. Wide spaced soil sampling focused on areas where there has been no coverage. This included zones that lie along strike with known copper and gold mineralization. Tighter spaced soil sampling focused on the mineralized drilling areas and will augment the historical soil sampling with modern multielement data. The results broadly agreed with historical soil and MMI data that found anomalous copper and molybdenum in soil-till. Results from the soil geochemical data point to a clear target below till that has never been drill tested. New arsenic and gold in till anomalies correlate with the location of known gold mineralisation in the south of the property and may represent a different style of gold mineralisation on the property.
Reclamation work was also completed in the area where PEMC completed a reverse circulation drill program in 2020.
Exploration Plans for 2022
Initial exploration work in 2022 will consist of diamond drilling Target 1 and Target 2 areas located on the western contact of the Jean Marie pluton.
Target 1 aims to test the Jean Marie contact zone below copper-rich mineralization discovered during shallow drilling completed in the 1970s and 1990s. Of the 32 drill holes completed in this area, only eight holes were drilled deeper than 130 metres. A hydrothermal breccia encountered in hole 97-11 suggests that higher grade mineralization may exist below the current depth of drilling in this area.
Target 2 aims to test the apparent source of the largest copper, molybdenum soil/till anomaly on the Jean Marie property. Pacific Empire completed a LIDAR survey in 2021 and this data was the foundation of a revised surficial geology map that was used to trace the source of the largest soil anomaly to a location that is "Up-Ice" from previous drilling. This target has never been drill tested.
Later in the summer, PEMC will continue with the soil sampling program that began in 2021. Sampling will focus on an area in the eastern portion of the property where historical soil sampling has returned significant copper and molybdenum in till values.