April 19, 2023, Vancouver, British Columbia – Surge Copper Corp. (TSXV: SURG) (OTCQX: SRGXF) (Frankfurt: G6D2) (“Surge” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide final exploration results for the 2022 Ootsa-Berg reconnaissance exploration program including drill results from 4 holes at the Sibola target, the maiden hole completed by Surge from the Sylvia target, and surface sampling and mapping across numerous target areas. The Company also provides a summary overview of key results from the 2022 regional exploration program and highlights initial plans for the forthcoming 2023 field exploration program.
Berg Reconnaissance Exploration Highlights
- Multiple new surface discoveries or target advancements were made including:
- Expansion of the Bergette copper-molybdenum-in-soil anomaly to 2.7 by 1.7 kilometres
- Drilling at Sibola has intersected high grade silver including 312 g/t silver over 3 metres, and anomalous gold including 52 metres of 0.10 g/t gold
- A new 1 kilometre long Cu-in-soil target has been identified east of Sibola
- High-grade copper mineralization has been discovered 750 metres north of Sylvia returning up to 1.5% copper and 36.1 g/t silver in a grab sample
- A grab sample from the Tahtsa target has returned 4,150 g/t silver and 4.3 g/t gold from a zone where quartz veining has been observed over a width of 50 metres
- Also at Tahtsa, a composite representative grab sample has returned 0.152% molybdenum from an outcropping ultramafic unit containing quartz veins, magnetite, and molybdenite that has been traced over 50 metres
- A bulk tonnage precious metal target has been identified at the North Whiting Creek Target where 4 representative surface grab samples from a sparsely sampled area 70 metres by 300 metres average 2.17 g/t gold and 33.8 g/t silver, within a larger 400 by 500 metre zinc-lead-copper-in-soil anomaly
2022 Exploration Program Highlights
- In 2022 Surge completed 38 drill holes, 23 induced polarization geophysical lines in 5 grids, conducted extensive surface mapping, and collected 4,481 soil samples and 337 rock samples across the combined Ootsa and Berg properties
- 3 new drill discoveries were made at the new copper-gold zone north of East Seel, the Blackjack target, and the Breccia East target, highlighted by the following drill intersections (previously released):
- Copper-Gold Zone – 100 metres grading 0.23% copper and 0.19 g/t gold (see press release dated January 9, 2023)
- Blackjack – 1430 g/t silver over 2 metres within 66 metres grading 71.3 g/t silver (see press release dated December 15, 2022)
- Breccia East – 64.6 metres grading 0.24% copper, 0.67% zinc, 0.29% lead, 22.7 g/t silver, and 0.17 g/t gold (see press release dated November 2, 2022)
- Drilling at the Bergette target has intersected the longest mineralized zone from the target to date with hole BRG22-02 returning 176 metres grading 0.22% copper and 0.012% molybdenum (see press release dated February 27, 2023)
2023 Initial Exploration Plans
- Berg deposit drilling targeting infill of certain areas within the deposit and testing of deeper geophysical targets
- Sylvia target drilling following up on reconnaissance results described below
- Advancement of Ootsa drill discoveries including the new copper-gold zone, Blackjack, and the Breccia East Zone
- New targets showing scale and grade including Tahtsa, North Whiting Creek, and North Sylvia will be advanced through additional mapping and surface sampling and prioritized for future drill testing
Leif Nilsson, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Surge’s 2022 regional reconnaissance exploration program was a significant achievement for the Company, resulting in a major advancement of the exploration knowledge base in what we consider to be one of the largest emerging critical minerals districts in Canada. The program spanned target drilling, surface geophysical plus soil and rock sampling programs, and widespread prospecting and mapping campaigns across nearly two dozen distinct targets within a 1,250 square kilometre area. Surge made three new drill discoveries at the Ootsa Project during the first phase of the program, and has identified or advanced several new promising targets during the second phase. The Company is currently working on planning activities for the 2023 exploration program which will seek to follow up on several results from the 2022 program, in addition to high-value-add drilling at the Berg deposit, with further details on this program to be provided after the completion of the Berg PEA and before the commencement of the program.”
Berg Area 2022 Reconnaissance Exploration Results
During 2022, the Company completed 38 drill holes, 23 induced polarization geophysical lines in 5 grids, conducted extensive surface mapping, and collected 4,481 soil samples and 337 rock samples across the combined Ootsa-Berg property. The program culminated in three new drill discoveries on the Ootsa property and the advancement of large-scale anomalies at Bergette and several other prospects on the Berg property. The 20-person exploration camp at Sibola was constructed between the Sylvia and Sibola prospects to accommodate low-elevation exploration activities in the northern part of the Berg claim block.
Figure 1. Summary map showing 2022 exploration work on the Ootsa-Berg project overlain on ZTEM 180 HZ Total Phase Rotation map.
2022 drilling activities started on the Ootsa property and transitioned to the Berg property in August 2022, after receipt of a new Berg exploration permit. All drill results from the Ootsa property and the Bergette target have been released previously. Drill results for the final 5 holes from the 2002 program are presented in this release along with key surface exploration advancements and discoveries.
Four helicopter-supported drill holes, 5 IP lines, and numerous rock and soil samples were completed at the Bergette Target in 2022. Highlights from drilling include hole BGT22-01 which intersected 143 metres grading 0.23% copper and 0.010% molybdenum including 18 metres grading 0.55% copper and 0.021% molybdenum, and hole BTG22-02 which intersected 176 metres grading 0.22% copper and 0.012% molybdenum including 16 metres grading 0.53% copper and 0.034% molybdenum (previously released, see February 27, 2023 news release).
Soil sampling across the Bergette target area has increased the size and improved the definition of the copper-in-soil anomaly which now extends over a 2.7 by 1.7 kilometre area. A new gold zone was discovered on the northeast edge of the Bergette copper-in-soil anomaly identified in grab samples 996352 and 996353. These samples are located 140 metres apart and come from a 0.3 to 2 metre wide sericite-pyrite-quartz alteration zone hosted in volcanic rocks. Rock sample 996352 returned 4.5 g/t gold, 32.6 g/t silver, and 0.27% copper, and rock sample 996353 returned 8.86 g/t gold, 314 g/t silver, and 0.33% copper. The significance and extent of this gold mineralization remain generally unconstrained and the area has seen limited exploration.
Figure 2. Map showing copper-in-soil and gold-in-rocks from the Bergette Target along with locations of 2022 drilling.
Figure 3. Samples 996352 (4.5 g/t gold, 32.6 g/t silver, and 0.27% copper) and 996353 (8.86 g/t gold, 314 g/t silver, 0.33% copper) from northeast of Bergette. Left: 1 to 2 metre wide rusty alteration zone exposed at sample 996352. Right: Close-up of sample 996353 containing semi-massive pyrite and quartz.
The Sibola Target contains overlapping ZTEM, chargeability, and magnetic anomalies that occur along a flat till-covered valley. Four holes tested the target in 2022 along a 2 kilometre strike length. Drilling has confirmed very large alteration systems occur through the area with all holes intersecting large and intense zones of hydrothermal alteration containing varying amounts of pyrite, silicification, sericite, and propylitic alteration.
Hole SIB22-01 intersected a 3 metre interval of high-grade silver returning 312 g/t silver and 0.12% copper from 66 metres depth. The hole also intersected a 52 metre wide interval grading 0.10 g/t gold and 2 g/t silver from 224 metres depth. This broad interval of anomalous gold is associated with thin silica-pyrite and calcite veinlets and patchy silica flooding and sericite alteration in a fine grained volcanic rock. The zone with elevated gold in hole SIB22-01 correlates well with a ZTEM conductor as shown in Figure 5.
Additional zones with elevated precious metals were encountered in holes SIB22-02 and 03 with hole SIB22-02 intersecting a 2 metre zone grading 66.1 g/t silver from 492 meters depth and hole SIB22-03 intersecting a 2 metre zone grading 3.68 g/t gold and 12.1 g/t silver from 410 metres.
|Summary of Assay Results for Selected Holes|
|Drill Hole||From (m)||To (m)||Width (m)*||Au g/t||Ag g/t||Cu %||Zn%|
|*Width refers to drill hole intercepts; true widths have not been determined.|
Figure 4. Sibola Target Map on total magnetic intensity showing copper-in-soils and copper-in-rocks and 2022 drill hole locations.
Figure 5. Cross section A-A’ through the Sibola Target showing drill holes SIB22-01 and 02 on modelled ZTEM resistivity. Section location is shown on Figure 4.
Soil sampling and prospecting of incised creek drainages has resulted in a new copper-in-soil anomaly on the east side of Sibola along with copper mineralization identified in bedrock to the east and south of Sibola. The new copper-in-soil anomaly has been traced for about 1 kilometre and contains copper-in-soil values around 100 to 200 ppm, which is considered a reasonable anomaly for a till-covered area. Historic samples from 1988 to 1991 taken from this area have returned anomalous copper and gold including one sample with 0.13% copper and 0.14 g/t gold, indicating the area is prospective for porphyry copper-gold style mineralization. Hole SIB22-04 was drilled into a magnetic anomaly approximately 1 kilometre to the southwest of this copper in soil anomaly and intersected altered and veined volcanic and intrusive rock with zones of strong silica and magnetite flooding and patchy anomalous gold and silver.
Sample 997066 is a grab sample of propylitic-altered volcanic rock with quartz-carbonate veinlets and malachite stain exposed over 2 metres on the south side of the Sibola Target. The sample returned 1.19% copper and 20 g/t silver.
Figure 6. Mineralization at the Sibola Target, sample 997066 (1.19% copper). Altered volcanic rock exposed over 2 metres containing quartz-carbonate veining, iron staining, and malachite.
The Sylvia Target contains known porphyry copper style mineralization associated with a one kilometre long intrusion within a mostly covered area. In 2022 Surge conducted 6 IP lines over the target along with soil and rock sampling, mapping, and drilled 2 holes. The first drill hole (SYL22-01) was abandoned due to difficult ground conditions and the second hole (SYL22-02) intersected intrusive dikes but did not intersect the main Sylvia intrusion. Hole SYL22-02 did encounter widespread alteration, including quartz veinlets and disseminated pyrite with local chalcopyrite and molybdenite, and intersected 8 metres of anomalous mineralization grading 0.12% copper from 186 to 194 metres depth. Drill testing of the Sylvia intrusion along a further 800 metres of strike length is expected to resume in 2023.
Surface exploration work has identified a low level copper-in-soil anomaly above and around the Sylvia intrusion consistent with a till covered target, as well as multiple soil and rock anomalies surrounding Sylvia.
Figure 7. Sylvia Target Map showing copper-in-soils and copper-in-rocks and 2022 drill hole locations.
Rock sample 997128 located 750 metres north of Sylvia target was a representative grab from mineralized outcrop exposed for at least 20 metres by 50 metres containing disseminated chalcopyrite and malachite within a chlorite altered silicified volcanic rock. The sample returned 1.5% copper and 36.1 g/t silver. Samples 997114 and 997116 are both from altered andesite volcanic rock 250 meters apart and returned 1.47% and 1.38% copper respectively. Sample 997155, located roughly 1 kilometre northwest of sample 997114, is from an altered intrusive rock exposed in a 15 metre long road cut along a recent logging road. This sample returned 0.49% copper. Combined samples 997128, 997114, 997116, and 997155 demonstrate the area north and northwest of the historic Sylvia showing has excellent potential for new porphyry discovery within a largely till-covered zone.
Figure 8. Sample 997128 from north of the Sylvia Target (1.5% copper and 36.1 g/t silver). Left: large green copper stained and mineralized outcrop on ridge top. Right: close up of sample 997128 showing green copper staining and quartz veinlets in silicified volcanic rock containing disseminated chalcopyrite and pyrite.
The Tahtsa Target is located in mountainous terrain 5 kilometres south of the Berg deposit and is defined by elevated copper and molybdenum in soils and silver, gold, and copper in rocks over an area exceeding 2 kilometres in length. Outcrops of sericite altered intrusive rock with molybdenite bearing quartz veinlets have been identified in the area as have gold and silver bearing quartz-sulfide veins. The zone is considered prospective for porphyry molybdenum-copper mineralization and precious metals.
Rock sample 996369 was a selective grab from outcrop that sampled a narrow quartz vein containing pyrite and fine black sulfides from a zone where quartz veinlets were observed over an area at least 50 meters wide. The sample returned 4.3 g/t gold, 4,150 g/t silver, and 2.99% copper and highlights a key area for follow-up work in 2023. Sample 996376, also from the Tahtsa area was a composite representative grab from an outcropping ultramafic unit traced for at least 50 metres and containing quartz veins, magnetite, and molybdenite. The sample returned 0.152% molybdenum and represents a strong molybdenum porphyry target. A nearby grab sample of vein float (sample 996378) returned 0.15% copper, 0.84 g/t gold, 185 g/t silver, 2.34% zinc and 0.155% lead.
Figure 9. Tahtsa Target Map showing molybdenum-in-soils and silver-in-rocks.
Figure 10. Sample 996369 from the Tahtsa Target (4150 g/t silver and 4.34 g/t gold). Left: altered, rusty outcrop with quartz veinlets. Right: Quartz pyrite-chalcopyrite vein with patches of black sulfide.
North Whiting Creek
Mapping and sampling was conducted on a large, highly gossanous zone on Surge’s claims located immediately north of Huckleberry Mines’ Whiting Creek deposit. The zone contains variably hornfelsed and pyritic layered sedimentary and volcanic rocks that are weak to strongly magnetic and variably silicified. Four representative grab samples from a sparsely sampled 70 metre by 300 metre area have returned strong gold and silver values, with the 4 samples averaging 2.17 g/t gold and 33.8 g/t silver. This includes sample 996215 which returned 0.41 g/t gold and 37.3 g/t silver, sample 996307 which returned 6.25 g/t gold and 35.7 g/t silver, sample 996308 which returned 1.06 g/t gold and 27.2 g/t silver, and sample 996238 which returned 0.96 g/t gold and 34.8 g/t silver. These samples occur within a 400 by 500 metre soil anomaly containing elevated zinc, lead, and copper and represent a new target that warrants additional exploration for bulk tonnage precious metal potential.
Figure 11. North Whiting Creek Target Map showing zinc-in-soils and gold-in-rocks.
Figure 12. Mineralization north of Whiting Creek. Left: outcrop of quartz veined and siliceous-pyritic volcanic rock sample 996307 (6.25 g/t gold, 35.7 g/t silver). Right: close up of sample 996307 showing quartz veinlets and fine disseminated pyrite and magnetite.
2022 Ootsa-Berg Exploration Program Round-Up
Surge has made three new drill discoveries at the Ootsa Project in 2022, including the new as-yet-unnamed porphyry copper-gold zone north of the East Seel porphyry deposit, a high-grade silver discovery at Blackjack, and the polymetallic Seel Breccia East Zone, as summarized below.
The Company discovered a new zone of copper-gold porphyry style mineralization located immediately north of the new Seel Breccia East Zone, where hole S22-330 intersected 100 metres grading 0.23% copper and 0.19 g/t gold from 40 metres downhole (previously released, see January 9, 2023 news release). Geophysical data show a 200 by 400 metre conductive and chargeable feature immediately north of hole S22-330 that is considered prospective to host copper-gold porphyry-style mineralization and has not been drill tested previously.
Hole BJ22-01 at the Blackjack Target tested a large ZTEM geophysical anomaly and discovered a high-grade silver vein within a large halo of disseminated silver returning 1430 g/t silver over 2 metres within 66 metres grading 71.3 g/t silver (previously released, see December 15, 2022 news release). Blackjack represents a very large and highly altered intrusive centre that is highly prospective for precious metal mineralization and wide open for further expansion and discovery.
The Seel Breccia East zone sits immediately east of the East Seel deposit and 21 holes drilled in 2022 have defined a breccia-hosted zone up to 240 metres long, by 200 metres wide, and extending to 150 meters depth, hosting zinc, lead, copper, silver and gold. Hole S22-319 from the zone intersected 138 metres grading 0.94% zinc, 8.1 g/t silver, 0.07 g/t gold from 98 metres downhole, including 36 metres grading 1.49% zinc, 14 g/t silver, 0.14 g/t gold and 0.11% copper (previously released see February 7, 2023 news release). The zone also returned high grade mineralization including hole S22-315 which intersected 64.6 metres grading 0.24% copper, 22.7 g/t silver, 0.17 g/t gold, 0.67% zinc, and 0.29% lead from 71.4 metres downhole and hole S22-316 which intersected 40 metres grading 1.51% copper, 38.6 g/t silver, 0.23 g/t gold, and 0.24% zinc from 90 metres downhole (previously released, see November 2, 2022 news release).
2023 Exploration Plans
The Company is currently planning a 2023 exploration program at Ootsa and Berg with further details to be announced prior to the commencement of the program. The 2023 program is anticipated to include drilling at the Berg deposit focused on expanding and filling in near-surface higher-grade zones, increasing precious metals sampling of the deposit, and potentially a deep drill test to better understand the system at depth. Drilling is scheduled at the Sylvia target as a continuation of the single completed hole drilled in 2022, and there is potential for follow-up drilling at the new discoveries made at Ootsa in 2022.
Fieldwork in 2022 identified multiple new areas showing potential for sizeable targets, such as high-grade silver, gold, molybdenum, and copper mineralization at the Tahtsa target, gold and silver mineralization at North Whiting Creek, and copper mineralization east of Sibola and north and northwest of Sylvia. Additional surface work, including mapping and sampling will be conducted at these targets to evaluate them for future drill testing.
All drill core is logged, photographed, and cut in half with a diamond saw. Half of the core is bagged and sent to Actlabs in Kamloops, British Columbia for analysis (which is ISO/IEC 17025 accredited), while the other half is archived and stored on-site for verification and reference purposes. Gold is assayed using a 30g fire assay method and 33 additional elements are analyzed by Induced Coupled Plasma (ICP) utilizing a 4-acid digestion. Duplicate samples, blanks, and certified standards are included with every sample batch and then checked to ensure proper quality assurance and quality control.
Soil samples were analyzed by portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) with analysis completed through thin plastic sandwich bags on the fine fraction of dried soil samples within an enclosed XRF workstation using an Olympus Innov-X Delta series pXRF unit equipped with a 4 W 40 kV Xray Tube and an Rh anode excitation source. Samples were analyzed using the factory set soil mode utilizing 3 beams, with a 105 second run time. Approximately 15% of the samples analyzed were quality control samples consisting of standards, blanks, and duplicates. A total of 448 soil samples were also analyzed by fire assay and Induced Coupled Plasma (ICP) utilizing 4-acid digestion with good overall correlation between pXRF and ICP results for copper, molybdenum, arsenic, lead, and zinc.
Element highs, lows, and averages for the 2022 rock and soil samples are summarized in the tables below.
|Statistics for 337 rocks samples from 2022 program|
|Element||High (ppm)||Low (ppm)||Average (ppm)|
|Statistics for 4481 soil samples from 2022 program|
|Element||High (ppm)||low (ppm)||Average (ppm)|
|*only 448 fire assay gold analyses were performed on the 2022 soil samples (ppm = parts per million).|
Dr. Shane Ebert P.Geo., is the Qualified Person for the Ootsa and Berg projects as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and has approved the technical disclosure contained in this news release.
About Surge Copper Corp.
Surge Copper Corp. is a Canadian company that is advancing an emerging critical metals district in a well-developed region of British Columbia, Canada. The Company controls a large, contiguous mineral claim package that hosts multiple advanced porphyry deposits with pit-constrained NI 43-101 compliant resources of copper, molybdenum, gold, and silver – metals which are critical inputs to the low-carbon energy transition and associated electrification technologies.
The Company owns a 100% interest in the Ootsa Property, an advanced-stage exploration project containing the Seel and Ox porphyry deposits located adjacent to the open pit Huckleberry Copper Mine, owned by Imperial Metals. The Ootsa Property contains pit-constrained NI 43-101 compliant resources of copper, gold, molybdenum, and silver in the Measured, Indicated, and Inferred categories.
The Company is also earning a 70% interest in the Berg Property from Centerra Gold. Berg is a large, advanced-stage exploration project located 28 km northwest of the Ootsa deposits. Berg contains pit-constrained NI 43-101 compliant resources of copper, molybdenum, and silver in the Measured, Indicated, and Inferred categories. Combined, the adjacent Ootsa and Berg properties give Surge a dominant land position in the Ootsa-Huckleberry-Berg district and control over three advanced porphyry deposits and multiple copper, gold, and silver exploration targets.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer
For further information, please contact:
Riley Trimble, Corporate Communications & Development
Telephone: +1 604 416 2978
LinkedIn: Surge Copper Corp
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This News Release contains forward-looking statements, which relate to future events. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "will", "may", "should", "expects", "plans", or "anticipates" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. All statements included herein, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the Company’s plans regarding the Berg Property and the Ootsa Property. These statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results, level of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such uncertainties and risks may include, among others, actual results of the Company's exploration activities being different than those expected by management, delays in obtaining or failure to obtain required government or other regulatory approvals, the ability to obtain adequate financing to conduct its planned exploration programs, inability to procure labour, equipment, and supplies in sufficient quantities and on a timely basis, equipment breakdown, impacts of the current coronavirus pandemic, and bad weather. While these forward-looking statements, and any assumptions upon which they are based, are made in good faith and reflect the Company's current judgment regarding the direction of its business, actual results will almost always vary, sometimes materially, from any estimates, predictions, projections, assumptions, or other future performance suggestions herein. Except as required by applicable law, the Company does not intend to update any forward-looking statements to conform these statements to actual results.