Property Geology and Mineralization
Geology Mapping And Sampling
Detailed geologic mapping and sampling will be continued in areas where exploration in 2022 and 2023 identified the highest density of carbonatites with the highest grades of rare earth mineralization. This core area is along the northeast side, or open southwest facing slope of Sheep Creek where soil overburden is thin and forest cover light and extends from Adit #1 and #2 on the northwest to lode claim SC 35 on the southeast, a distance of ~ two miles. Mapping at a scale of 1:1,000 was initiated in this area during the latter part of the 2022 and 2023 season as a follow up to reconnaissance mapping at a scale of 1:6,000. The 1:1,000 scale appears to be sufficient for both drill hole planning and drill hole interpretations and will be continued. The detailed mapping in 2022 revealed a complex geology of compositionally similar, laterally discontinuous lithologies that grade into each other without marker bed horizons that are further complicated by pre-carbonatite, syn-carbonatite, and post-carbonatite faulting and deformation.
Only about 35% of the property has been mapped on a reconnaissance scale and the remainder of the property beyond the core-area has not been evaluated. It is a priority to traverse these areas and a basic boots on the ground approach will be employed.
Approximately five square-miles of the property remain to be evaluated. Rock chip sampling will be conducted in association with geologic mapping to better define grades of mineralization, domains of mineralization and controls to mineralization. Carbonatite composition can be pegmatitic in character and therefore can vary within short distances thereby necessitating multiple analyses from any given site to quantify average grade mineralization. All newly recognized carbonatite occurrences that are identified during reconnaissance mapping will be sampled. Analytical results of stream sediment samples and soil samples collected in 2022 and 2023 are encouraging and point to multiple areas warranting geologic review. The anomalous samples are either in areas not previously evaluated and therefore suggest newly discovered mineralization or in areas where the magnitude of the anomaly appears to be greater than implied by the known mineralization. All these areas are dominated by overburden that conceals the geology. The stream sediment samples reinforce the observation of widespread district-scale mineralization and several of the anomalies are at the outer edges of the claim block. Additional stream sediments will be collected at tighter spacings to further define the anomalies and will be collected along drainages outside the claim block in the interest of reconnaissance exploration. Areas of anomalous soil samples will be ground-checked and soil sample grids will be integrated into the original 600’ x 1,500’ orientation survey to fill-in areas of mineral interest. Multiple anomalous soil samples occur at the edges of the claim block similar to what was found for the stream sediment samples.
Samples again will be submitted to Activation Laboratories for analysis. Standard and blank samples included as checks in the 2022 samples all were within allowable variations and Act lab’s reputation in the industry reinforces the confidence in the analyses.
Ground Geological Surveys
Mapping during 2022 and 2023 has shown that the structural geology of the property is complex and post-mineralization faulting of carbonatite dikes has occurred along multiple orientations. Although carbonatites rarely outcrop, exposures in cuts and trenches reveal the carbonatites are commonly covered by only a foot or so of overburden. It might be possible to utilize ground geophysics to track and link carbonatite exposures thereby increasing strike lengths and in turn the viability of underground targets. A hand-held magnetic-radiometric survey might be able to discriminate the altered, fenitized selvage that surrounds most carbonatites from unaltered gneiss and meta-diorite. A technique such as VLF-resistivity also might be effective in recognizing these fault/shear bounded linear features. A surface-run magnetic-radiometric survey would be cost-effective compared to exploration trenching and much ground could be covered in a short period of time.
Airborne magnetic-radiometric geophysical surveys have proven to be successful for identifying concealed carbonatite mineralization in the near surface where geology is concealed by overburden and at significant depths where bulk-mineralization could occur with only a distal, minimal surface expression. The area that was surveyed encompasses 14 square miles and includes the US Critical Material claim block and adjacent unclaimed ground. The airborne geophysical survey was a critical part of the exploration program.