Alderan revving up for Utah exploration

ALDERAN Resources move to option the Valley-Crossroads and Drum projects in Utah in March have all the ingredients that exploration director Peter Williams believes will deliver it a discovery within 12 months, it just needs to raise the cash to fund its work by June 21.
Alderan revving up for Utah exploration Alderan revving up for Utah exploration Alderan revving up for Utah exploration Alderan revving up for Utah exploration Alderan revving up for Utah exploration

Peter Williams

Haydn Black

Reporter

"I think we can do it," he told investors on a video call yesterday to introduce the new portfolio, which has become the company's focus since it signed up Rio Tinto's Kennecott Exploration for a staged A$30 million, farm in over its foundation Frisco copper project to the west.
 
"I am confident we have the right team, the right ground and the right mix of targets," he said.
 
The veteran explorationist, who was a founding member of IGO and Intierra, has re-teamed with geologist Marat Abzalov, with whom he worked at WMC Resources.
 
The technical team also includes ex-IGO/WMC geophysicist Dave Johnson, former Rio copper boss Bruno Hegner, ex-Newmont/Kennecott Great Basin specialist Jeff Nicholes and former Newmont geochemist Simon Bolster.
 
Alderan believes the company's option agreement with Tamra Mining Company offers exposure to a significant holding, where decades of fragmented tenements have prevented systematic exploration.
 
The junior needs to spend US$1.25 million over the next year, and is convinced the Valley-Crossroads and Drum projects have the right geologies. 
 
Valley-Crossroads has hosted copper mining for over 100 years and is prospective for porphyry, skarn, and breccia copper-gold mineralisation, while Drum, in the Detroit mining area, has "affinities" to Newmont's nearby 2.2 million ounce Long Canyon mine.
 
Utah's Great Basin was a "very safe jurisdiction" with "infrastructure (that) doesn't come much better", but the focus has been on copper, with "a lot of unfinished business in eastern side of the basin in terms of gold", Williams said.
 
Alderan's leases are within two three of the underexplored Eocene-aged magmatic belts: Tintic and Pioche-Marysvale. The third, the Bingham Belt, shares its name with the world-class mine, which is known for its vast copper endowment, but is no slouch when it comes to gold mineralisation.
 
The junior's plan is to develop targets for drilling within six months.
 
Williams said it was "staggering" that there had never been a high-resolution aeromagnetic survey over Valley-Crossroads or Drum, but it was the result of a fractured exploration history.
 
Also planned are IP surveys, plus relogging, resampling, and re-interpretation of prior work.
 
Valley-Crossroads was historically known as a copper province, with existing shallow open pits recovering high-grade copper, up to 40%. Gold was known, but was secondary, with just a fraction of   all metres drilled were assayed for gold, so it will be up to Alderan to put the story together.
 
Key areas of initial interest include the shallow OK Mine pit and a 1200m diameter OL 11 IP anomaly to the south where a single hole returned 110m at 0.16% copper, and ended in mineralisation. 
 
Other prospects include Candy B, which has intercepts of high-grade copper and silver, but was never assayed for gold, while rock chips collected at Gold Peak returned 14% copper and 10gpt gold. 
 
Drum, now known as the Detroit gold project, about 100km to the north, was anecdotally described by Newmont as being "in the top 1% of targets in the Great Basin" after the miner completed a broad geochemical survey, but was never able to consolidate enough ground.
 
The focus there is on Carlin-style and skarn mineralisation, like the nearby three million ounce Cove mine.
 
Detroit has only hosted small-scale open-pit mines, but the shallow oxide lacks the volume Alderan is looking for.
 
However, they indicate to Alderan areas where the gold-bearing fluids interact with the thick, reactive stratigraphy that could host multi-million ounce deposits at depth. 
 
There is evidence of sulphide gold at depth in the Mizpah prospect.
 
The junior, which had about A$400,000 cash at the start of the quarter, is considering the best way to fund its initial work programs with US$1 million spending committed at Valley-Crossroads and $250,000 at Detroit.
 
Shares in Alderan were up 7% in early trade to A6c, valuing the explorer at $10.8 million.