Silver Range concluded an option agreement with GGL Resources Corp. on September 6, 2017 to acquire a dominant land holding in the Providence Greenstone Belt. The optioned property package consists of 42 claims and mineral leases (press release August 2, 2017). Collectively the claims cover 30,657 hectares including approximately 40% of the greenstone belt and include approximately 90% the known mineral showings along it.
The vast majority of precious and base metal resources in the Canadian Shield are preferentially located in greenstone belts. These are packages of intensely deformed, generally steeply-dipping ultramafic through felsic metavolcanics rocks with overlying deep water marine sediments, metamorphosed to greenschist facies. They are commonly Archean in age and found in fault-bounded linear rock belts on the margins of younger intruding granite to granodiorite plutons.
The vast majority of mineral production from Precambrian rocks in Canada and the focus of most current exploration is concentrated in greenstone belts. Within them, gold and silver are commonly found in large mesothermal vein systems (Archean lode-gold deposits) and iron formation hosted sulphide deposits. Famous examples of prolific greenstone belts in Canada include major gold producing districts at Timmins, Kirkland Lake, and Red Lake in Ontario, and Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Base metals together with byproduct precious metals are found in massive sulphide deposits associated with ultramafic through intermediate volcanic sequences. Examples include nickel mines in the Raglan Belt in northern Quebec, and the Kambalda district in Australia; and copper, lead and zinc deposits in the Abitibi region of Quebec, and at the huge Kidd Creek Mine near Ontario. Greenstone belt mineral endowment generally scales up with size and the base metal endowment is influenced by the relative proportions of ultramafic through felsic rocks. Nickel deposits are primarily associated with ultramafic rock sequences while intermediate through felsic rock units host significant zinc resources.
Providence Greenstone Belt
The Providence Greenstone Belt is located approximately 250 km northeast of Yellowknife in the centre of the Slave Craton. Notes from a Geological Survey of Canada canoe traverse down the Coppermine River in 1932 mentioned volcanic rocks in this district but the outlines of the greenstone belt were not mapped until 1970. The discovery of diamonds on the adjacent Lac de Gras 1:250,000 map sheet in 1991 spurred detailed mapping of the Winter Lake sheet to the west, completed in 1999.
Exploration in the area dates from the 1970’s with Noranda following up GSC mapping and discovering several gold showings. In 2001, GGL Resources staked the length of the newly mapped 140 km long by 10 to 30 km wide greenstone belt and conducted the first systematic exploration in the area. In 2007, they made a significant nickel discovery in komatiitic ultramafic volcanics and followed this up with comprehensive airborne geophysical surveys and limited geological mapping and prospecting. Exploration since 2012 has been intermittent with several small ground geophysical surveys completed for diamond exploration purposes.
The Providence Greenstone Belt is a succession of ultramafic – mafic through felsic rocks capped by deepwater sediments, metamorphosed to upper greenschist – lower amphibolite grade. Structurally, the belt is largely an elongated, north-trending, north-plunging isoclinal syncline following the margins of younger plutonic rocks with a notable eastern and east-trending appendage in the Desteffaney Lake area.
The Providence Greenstone Belt has been recognized by the Government of the Northwest Territories as an area of high mineral potential and the proposed Yellowknife to Grays Bay all weather resource access road has been sited to run along the eastern side of the belt between the centre of the Providence Greenstone Belt and the diamond mines at Lac de Gras.
The Providence Project hosts 4 known gold targets as well as numerous base metal (nickel, zinc, copper) occurrences. Silver Range is compiling the historic work on the belt and integrating the results of an August 2017 geological program to define several drill targets on the property.
More information will be forthcoming when the results of this program are released in the fall of 2017.