BIG SANDY focuses on the faulted-off top of a 25-square-kilometer Laramide porphyry system located along the Bagdad-Perseverance-Mineral Park trend. The discovery of several unusual surficial copper occurrences lead the Company to believe that they are linked to a shallowly covered porphyry copper deposit.
Big Sandy project is a large , truncated porphyry copper-molybdenum prospect located in northwestern Arizona, approximately 30 kilometers from the Company’s Perseverance Project. The Big Sandy project comprises approximately 1400 hectares of mineral tenures, including 128 federal lode mining claims and 3 State of Arizona Mineral Exploration Permits.
BIG SANDY EXPLORATION CONCEPT
Bell Copper began exploring the Big Sandy area in 2009, after geologic success in discovering what was believed to be the faulted top of the Wheeler Wash porphyry copper-molybdenum system, 30 kilometers to the north at the Company’s Perseverance project.
Extrapolation southward along the controlling Hualapai Fault suggested that the known Laramide-age Diamond Joe porphyry copper system would also have a faulted-off top, lying east of Diamond Joe out in the Big Sandy Valley. No copper occurrences had been previously reported in any government databases from the area, but upon field investigation by the Company, several surficial occurrences have now been discovered. The Company believes that the unusual copper occurrences are linked to a shallowly covered porphyry copper deposit.
Nearby porphyry systems in the same Laramide belt include Bagdad 50 kilometers to the southeast, Mineral Park 65 kilometers to the northwest, and the Company’s Perseverance JV with Cordoba Minerals, 30 kilometers to the north.
EXOTIC COPPER and FANGLOMERATE
Copper minerals found at Big Sandy by the Company are hosted in geologically recent terrace gravels of the Big Sandy River, in young faults that have recently conducted groundwater up to the surface, and as clasts in an extensive fanglomerate formation. Black manganese-copper oxide deposits crop out on the property in young terrace deposits of the Big Sandy River, demonstrating the recent discharge of metal-rich, acidic groundwater from the target area. This exotic copper deposit is expected to lie down hydrologic gradient from a concealed copper-molybdenum porphyry system, analogous to the “Exotica” copper deposit below the Chuquicamata porphyry in Chile.
Additionally, fanglomerate clasts carrying chrysocolla and chalcocite (supergene copper minerals) have been found across a distance of 1250 meters on the Company’s claims. Many varieties of veins and alteration types typical of porphyry copper deposits (e.g. “A-veins” and “D-veins” of Gustafson and Hunt, 1975), have been found in the fanglomerate formation cropping out over an area measuring 1250 meters by 800 meters. Heavy mineral associations in the fanglomerate are identical to those from outcropping Laramide rocks of the Diamond Joe porphyry copper system, located 12 kilometers to the west-southwest. The coarse grain size and angularity of clasts in the fanglomerate suggest that the formation was mainly transported to its current location en masse by structural movement (i.e. faulting), rather than by sedimentary transport. This implies that the underlying bedrock target may be grossly intact.
BIG SANDY EXPLORATION ACTIVITIES
To understand the distribution of electrically conductive rocks that might indicate the presence of copper porphyry-related sulfide mineralization and hydrolytic alteration beneath the fanglomerate at Big Sandy, Bell has contracted Quantec Geoscience Limited to perform a property-wide Spartan magnetotelluric (MT) survey. Quantec has mobilized and will be performing the survey imminently.
Samples collected from exotic copper and iron mineralization have been sent to the lab for geochemical analysis. Assays anticipated in the coming weeks
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