Imperial Metals Corporation reported on Nov. 5 the results from its 2012 exploration program, which is nearing completion at its Ruddock Creek lead-zinc property located 30 kilometers east of Avola. The 2012 program included surface diamond drilling on the V and Creek zones, underground diamond drilling on the Lower E zone and underground collection of a metallurgical bulk sample.
While the focus of exploration at Ruddock Creek has been the E zone, surface exploration has continued over the past several years to evaluate the potential to identify further resources along the five-kilometer “Ruddock Creek Sulphide Horizon”. This ongoing program resulted in the discovery of the V zone three kilometers west of the E zone in 2011. This zone had only been briefly explored in 1963 with one packsack drill hole located at the extreme western end.
The V zone was the focus of the 2012 surface program. Detailed drilling extended and further defined the zone over a strike length of 500 meters and a vertical depth of 250 meters. Wider spaced drilling extended the mineralization to a depth of 500 meters from surface.
Drilling in 2012 extended the Creek zone both laterally and down dip providing further information for development studies.
The 2012 underground diamond-drilling program concentrated on the up dip extensions of the Lower E zone. This program was recently completed and results are pending.
In 2012 the underground workings were dewatered to allow for underground diamond drilling and further underground development. Previous development has not been directly in the mineralization as it was designed predominantly for underground drilling. This year a drift was completed through a selected section of the massive sulphide zone, which allowed for the collection of a ten tonne bulk sample for future metallurgical testing and also provided important information on mining conditions in the mineralization.
Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. and Itochu Corporation have an option to earn a 50 per cent interest in the Ruddock Creek property. Mitsui and Itochu spent $14 million by March 31, 2012 to earn a 35 per cent working interest. They elected to spend a further $6 million by March 31, 2013 to earn an additional 15 per cent working interest, at which point Ruddock Creek will be operated by way of a Joint Venture with Imperial 50 per cent, Mitsui 30 per cent and Itochu 20 per cent.