Vancouver, British Columbia -- Bell Copper Corporation ("Bell" or the "Company") (NEX: BCU.H) is pleased to provide an update to the ongoing Kabba exploration program. Drilling of hole K-12 on its Kabba porphyry copper project in Arizona has been completed, and a program of comprehensive geophysical exploration will commence at Kabba early next month. KEX continues to sample and assay drill core from previous drilling on the Kabba project. Funding and expertise for all of the work is being provided by KEX. Kennecott's expenditure will accrue toward its obligation under an earn-in agreement announced on April 19.
Drillhole K-12 targeted a zone of coincident electrical geophysical anomalies in the gravel-covered hangingwall block of the faulted porphyry system. K-12 demonstrated that the source of the geophysical anomalies is abundant disseminated pyrite accompanying sericitic alteration in the uplifted edge of a fault block. This result suggests that K-12 was drilled on the flank of a porphyry copper system.
In terms of geological indicators of porphyry copper mineralization, K-12 is the most encouraging hole yet drilled on the Kabba project. The drillhole encountered altered breccia and porphyry from a surprisingly shallow depth less than 400 meters beneath the surface to the bottom of the hole at 1183 meters.
Key geological features seen in K-12 include:
Disseminated chalcopyrite (copper sulfide),
Molybdenite (molybdenum sulfide),
Strong sericitic alteration, and
Intervals of hydrothermal breccia
All of these features are consistent with the sought-after porphyry copper target, though they did not attain the extraordinary intensity that is expected at Kabba on the basis of the intensely veined and altered outcropping footwall of the faulted system. Further drilling will be conducted on the property to locate the expected locus of the porphyry system seen in K-12, guided by new evidence collected in the upcoming geophysical survey program.
Hole K-12 was terminated at a shallower-than-planned depth of 1183 meters as a consequence of unusually difficult drilling problems. The drillhole encountered long intervals of extremely weak rock, allowing the hole to repeatedly collapse, trapping several sections of drill steel and preventing deepening of the hole without undue expense.
Once logging of the K-12 core is completed, the core will be shipped to Kennecott Exploration Company's facility in Utah for splitting and sampling by Kennecott personnel. Assay results are expected to be available in the fourth quarter.
Surface Geophysical Surveys
Beginning in the first week of October, Kennecott Exploration Company will kick off a program of geophysical surveys in order to build a structural model of the gravel-covered target area to guide further drilling. These surveys will include:
Drone-mounted airborne magnetic survey
Surface electrical magnetotelluric (MT) survey
Downhole induce polarization (IP) survey
First, the project area will be flown with a drone-mounted magnetometer to create a high-resolution magnetic model, potentially highlighting uplifted blocks in the target area where gravel cover may be thinner. This survey is expected to take a few days to complete.
Once surface access agreements are finalized and permits are obtained for survey activity on State of Arizona land, Kennecott will complete a comprehensive electrical resistivity and chargeability survey of the property. The downhole IP survey is expected to illuminate the distribution of chargeable sulfide minerals associated with the copper porphyry target. The surface MT survey is expected to show the subsurface extent of low-resistivity hydrothermal alteration minerals surrounding the heart of the copper target. This work will probably be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Tim Marsh, the Company's CEO, reports "K-12 got closer to the Kabba target than any previous drillhole. The continuity and strength of porphyry copper mineralization and alteration are better in K-12 than anything Bell has drilled previously. Rather than fighting an extraordinarily difficult situation at K-12 at great expense to try to cut the Kabba target at greater depth, we will rely on the geophysical expertise of our partner, Kennecott, to pinpoint the best and shallowest place to expend the next drilling dollars. The mile-wide extent of porphyry intrusions, breccias, alteration and mineralization that have been intercepted from K-9/10 to K-11 to K-12 demonstrates that we are chasing a large porphyry system, though we still seem to be on the flank, rather than the middle, of a large upflow zone that we expect to find."
The technical content of this release has been reviewed and approved by Timothy Marsh, PhD, PEng., the Company's CEO and President. No mineral resource has yet been identified on the Kabba Project. There is no certainty that the present exploration effort will result in the identification of a mineral resource or that any mineral resource that might be discovered will prove to be economically recoverable.
The Company's Kabba porphyry copper-molybdenum project lies on a productive porphyry copper trend between Freeport's Bagdad mine and Origin Mining's Mineral Park mine in northwestern Arizona, a state that has produced ten percent of the world's copper. Porphyry-style alteration has been intersected in drillholes K-8 through K-11 and was predicted to be present beneath gravel-covered hills based on a fault model linking it with an outcropping porphyry root zone 8 kilometers to the west. Drillhole K-11, completed in the summer of 2015, cut nearly 900 meters of altered and mineralized porphyry that is interpreted to be the pyritic shell surrounding a more copper-rich central zone.
Under an agreement announced April 19, 2016, Kennecott Exploration Company, part of the Rio Tinto Group, has the right to earn a 51% interest in the Company's Kabba porphyry copper project by spending US$ 3,000,000 on the project over the next 5 years. If KEX earns 51% in the first option, KEX has a second option to earn an additional 19% in the project by spending an additional US$ 10,000,000 over the eight years following the first option period. To date, KEX has secured an initial 5% interest by completing a mineral lease payment.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of
Bell Copper Corporation
Timothy Marsh, President, CEO & Director
For further information please contact the Company
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