Exploration continues at Ruddock Creek Mine property

Imperial Metals recently reported results from the completed 2011 underground diamond drill program at its Ruddock Creek property

Imperial Metals Corporation recently reported results from the completed 2011 underground diamond drill program at its Ruddock Creek property, which is located about 30 km due east of Avola near Tum Tum Lake.

Highlights include two mineralized intervals intercepted in one drill hole. The first interval graded 14.43 per cent zinc and 2.27 per cent lead over an estimated true thickness of 8.4 meters. The second graded 11.64 per cent zinc and 2.34 per cent lead over an estimated true thickness of 5.9 meters. The underground diamond drill program was designed to further define the Lower E zone, and consisted of 76 drill holes totaling 14,133.4 meters from seven underground drill stations.

Underground drilling commenced in late November 2010 and was completed in July 2011. To facilitate the drilling, the underground workings were dewatered and an additional 367 meters of underground development was completed by extending the E zone decline (or sloping tunnel) by 309 meters to a total length of 1,303 meters from surface, and excavating, drilling, re-muck and sump cut-outs. These drill results confirm that the massive sulphide mineralization of the Lower E zone to date extends 450 meters in an east-west direction and 500 meters in a north-south direction.

The objective of the 2011 underground drilling in the lower E zone was to significantly add to the previously reported resource.

The E zone has been the focus of exploration since it was discovered in outcrop in 1960. This zone has now been defined by both surface and underground drilling for approximately one kilometer down plunge from where it outcrops at surface. Past exploration (1960-2010) at Ruddock Creek included the 982 meter E zone decline, a 180 meter incline cross-cut to provide access for underground diamond drilling of the Lower E zone, 3,584 meters of underground drilling and 44,088 meters of surface drilling.

The 2011 exploration program also included additional surface exploration, geological mapping, sampling and further diamond drilling of the Creek, V and Q zones. The V and Q zones have seen minimal historic drilling and are located along the western extension of the Ruddock Creek Sulphide Horizon, which has been defined along a length of approximately five kilometers. Surface drilling commenced in July and was completed in October 2011. Up to four surface diamond drills have been in operation to complete this phase of the 2011 program before the onset of winter conditions. A news release providing results of the surface drill program is expected by year-end.

A comprehensive report will be completed in early 2012 and will be used to determine the next phase of exploration and development on the Ruddock Creek property.

Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. and Itochu Corporation have an option to earn a 50 per cent interest in the Ruddock Creek property. Their commitment is to spend $14 million by March 31, 2012 to earn a 35 per cent working interest, with the right 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 held by Imperial 50 per cent, Mitsui 30 per cent and Itochu 20 per cent. Imperial will continue to operate the project through its wholly owned subsidiary Selkirk Metals Corp.