TNT Mines hones in on juicy zinc targets in Montana
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Special Report: Junior explorer TNT Mines (ASX: TIN) has identified several mouthwatering targets at its newly acquired Pelley Ridge zinc project in the US state of Montana and is only weeks away from testing the two most compelling with drilling.
TNT formalised the acquisition of Pelley Ridge in May and immediately set out conducting geophysical fieldwork at the site with a view to refining targets for a maiden drilling program.
Last week the company told the ASX that an Induced Polarisation (IP) survey had produced several strong anomalies in close proximity to sulphide-hosted zinc mineralisation identified in previous drilling at an area of the project known as Gossan Knob.
Cross-referencing the results of the IP survey with other indicators such as outcropping geology and soil geochemistry has seen two distinct targets within 800 metres of each other, Gossan Knob and Chlorite Ridge, emerge as priorities.
“Despite producing some highly significant drilling intercepts historically, only limited work was conducted at Pelley Ridge by previous owners,” TNT chairman Brett Mitchell said.
“There is no questioning the quality of these new targets and we look forward to testing them over the coming weeks.”
TNT anticipates appointing a drilling contractor this week and commencing a program of either Reverse Circulation or diamond drilling in July, with results to flow from there.
The company believes Pelley Ridge could produce a major base metals discovery similar to the Sullivan zinc deposit to the north in British Columbia, Canada, noting that it is interpreted to lie in the same geological setting.
Sullivan, which closed in 2001 after 92 years of continuous production, contained more than 160 million tonnes of 12%-plus combined lead-zinc mineralisation with additional silver credits.
The sedimentary basin that hosts both Sullivan and Pelley Ridge (known as the “Purcell Supergroup” in Canada and the “Belt Supergroup” in the US) stretches across more than 200,000km2 in Montana, Wyoming, Washington in the US and British Columbia and Alberta in Canada.
Within this vast surface area, Pelley Ridge boasts the best drill intersection produced outside of the Sullivan deposit – 14.9 metres at 5.43% zinc from a depth of 71 metres including 10.8m at 7.21% zinc.
This hole was drilled by Cominco in the 1980s. The project was subsequently owned by Phelps Dodge and Chinese mining group MMG, which relinquished its interest in 2016 as part of its exit from the US.
It was well-known geologist and successful mining project generator Cherie Leeden, the founder and former managing director of ASX-listed African graphite play Battery Minerals, that brought Pelley Ridge to TNT.
A graduate of the Western Australian School of Mines, Leeden is now based in Nevada and has developed strong relationships within the North American mining industry.
She has joined TNT as a technical adviser and continues to conduct due diligence on several gold and base metals assets in North America that may complement Pelley Ridge.