United Kingdom – Northern Ireland and Scotland Projects
Walkabout has expanded exploration operations into this highly prospective but under explored region with the acquisition of gold and base metal prospective licences and joint ventures. Walkabout is currently managing two main exploration joint ventures in the United Kingdom, one in Northern Ireland and the other in Scotland.
The geology of Northern Ireland and Scotland is part of an extensive orogenic belt related to the Caledonian Orogeny, which stretches from the eastern seaboard of North America, through Northern Ireland, Scotland and into Eastern Greenland and parts of Scandinavia. The orogeny is composed of several deformational, metamorphic and magmatic events related to the closure of the Iapetus Ocean and the amalgamation of Avalonia and Baltica to Laurentia.
In Northern Ireland and Scotland are several geological terranes bound by regional-scale faults that are interpreted to have controlled mineralised fluid flow in the region. The terranes are prospective for both precious and base metals, and are currently the focus of intensive exploration in Newfoundland, Greenland and Scandinavia. However, within the UK these prospective terranes are generally underexplored despite the present of numerous historic precious and base metal mines and occurrences, and the recent discoveries in Norther Ireland (Curraghinalt: ~6 MOz; Cavanacaw: ~0.51 MOz) and Scotland (Cononish: ~0.25 MOz).
Location of Northern Ireland and Scottish licences, and major regional lineaments. Inset: Location of main map in relation to the Appalachian-Caledonia Orogeny stretching from North America through Ireland and the UK to parts of Greenland and Scandinavia.
Northern Ireland Exploration Projects
Northern Ireland is highly prospective for gold (orogenic style), base metals (Cu-Co-Ag VMS) and is also a target for PGE style mineralisation. The company holds approximately 930km2 comprising 4 licences, including 2 joint ventures (JV) with Koza (UK) Ltd, the Tyrone JV and the Antrim Metals JV.
Initial assessment of regional datasets highlighted the Tyrone licence as one of the highest priority areas in Northern Ireland for base metal and gold exploration. As such Walkabout negotiated a binding farm-in agreement with Koza UK for up to 75% of the licence through the expenditure of US$0.5m and the publication of an agreed Preliminary Feasibility Study within the licence area.
The geology of the project licence comprises Neoproterozoic Dalradian terrane metasediments and the Ordovician island arc geology known as the Tyrone Igneous Complex (TIC) which are highly prospective for precious and base metal mineralisation. The TIC has been geologically correlated to the Buchans-Robert’s Arm arc of Newfoundland, an area known for Volcanic Massive Sulphides (VMS) style mineralisation in particular the Buchans Mine where 16.2 Mt at 14.51% Zn, 7.56% Pb, 1.33% Cu and 1.37 g/t Au are reported.
Historic exploration in the region identified the Cashel Rock VMS occurrence to the west of the licence while more recent exploration and research has identified additional base metal (Zn-Pb-Cu) and precious metal mineralisation associated with the Tyrone Volcanic Group (TVG). A re-interpretation of the rocks of the Tyrone licence highlights similarities to rocks of the TVG, and specifically key stratigraphic horizons that are prospective for VMS mineralisation. These include ironstone outcrops and floats (with geochemical signatures typical of a proximal VMS system), hydrothermal alteration assemblages and mineralised tuffaceous volcanics. The project is located adjacent to, and approximately 20km from the 6.07 Moz Curraghinalt gold resource owned by Dalradian Resources (AIM:DLAR).
Regional exploration (regional soil sampling, reconnaissance mapping and grab sampling) by Walkabout has identified several prospective areas for precious and base metal mineralisation and this includes several target areas: Corvanaghan-Golden Hollow and SG. More recently a helicopter-borne Electromagnetic (EM) and Magnetic (MAG) survey was flown over these areas and identified several highly prospective conductor targets ( ASX announcement 27 September 2018).
The Corvanaghan-Golden Hollow area has a strong structural control and lies on a secondary fault to the Tempo-Sixmilecross Fault approximately 2km to the southeast. This fault represents one of the regional NE-SW terrane boundaries which are considered to be the main mineralised fluid-conduits for the Dalradian. This area is interpreted to be prospective for base metal mineralisation: Strataform Pb-Zn-As and Vein type Ag-Cu-Co-Pb-Bi, and also orogenic gold. Multiple quartz-sulphide veins were sampled from NE-SW trending curved structures reaching a width of 1m in an old quarry. Assay results from the veins reported up to 0.13% Co, 1.27% Cu and 50.3 g/t Ag in individual samples. This correlates to anomalous Cu and Co soil anomalies from detailed soil sampling in the area. Additional high-grade float samples recovered from a field approximately 600m SW of the Co-Cu-Ag occurrences reported gold values up to 58.5 g/t (ASX announcement 20 February 2018). These rocks represent a different style of mineralisation to the veins observed in the quarry.
Corvanaghan-Golden Hollow VMS (Cu-Co-Ag) and Orogenic Gold Target area showing the possible undercover extensions of the cobalt bearing quartz-sulphide veins as well as the high-grade gold occurrence from float sampling in the immediate area.
Follow up work on these targets along with the other target areas in the regional (geochemical and geophysical) datasets is currently being planned with an aim of progressing the highest priority targets to initial shallow drilling targets.
Antrim Metals JV
The Antrim Metals Gold JV is a 50:50 joint venture with Koza UK where Walkabout has assumed management of the project, and can earn a further 25% to increase their holding to 75% on publication of a JORC mineral resource.
Gold mineralisation in Northern Ireland is of similar character to the known deposits in the Republic of Ireland and Scotland where mineralisation is predominantly Orogenic gold and is hosted in Dalradian and Ordovician aged metasediments. These gold occurrences are strongly structurally controlled, with the main mineralisation being closely associated with major, deep seated, crustal-scale lineaments and associated structures.
The JV licences Lon01/14 and Lon02/14 are interpreted to cover an extension of the highly prospective Dalradian Gold Belt structures which hosts a number of significant high grade gold deposits in Northern Ireland including the 6.1Moz Curraghinalt gold resource owned by Dalradian Resources (AIM:DLAR). Much of the northeast extension of this fault from Curraghinalt is covered by the thick sequence of tertiary aged volcanics except in the far northeast where Dalradian rocks are again exposed. The Antrim Metals JV covers this area. Earlier exploration on the licences has identified several gold-in soil anomalies and limited drilling identified grades of up to 8.05g/t Au. A review of the previous exploration data is currently underway and the gold targets are the focus of future exploration.
Scotland Exploration Project
Walkabout has signed a farm-in agreement with Scottish company JDH Exploration covering 3 licences comprising 746 km2 located in the Southern Uplands Terrane of Scotland which hosts numerous historical high-grade lead, zinc, silver occurrences that were sporadically mined on a small scale during the 1800s onwards.
Location of Scottish licences, known mineral occurrences and historic mines.
No recent exploration has been undertaken on any of the three licences other than a regional reconnaissance exploration (Mineral Reconnaissance Programme) by the British Geological Survey (BGS) in the 1970s and 1980s. Initial reviews of the available data for the licences suggests several mineralisation styles are present. These include:
- Quartz vein-hosted gold occurrences within metasediments
- Pb-Zn + Ag + Au in veins related to intrusions
- Mafic intrusion related Ni-Cu + Ag + Au + PGE mineralisation
- Porphyry Cu + Ag + Au related to intrusions
The Company is currently reviewing all available historic data and ranking targets in terms of priority for exploration. In addition, the Company through the vendor is in negotiation with stakeholders with regard to access and local regulations. A detailed heritage survey is being undertaken in order to identify areas of sensitive historic heritage and to engage with relevant stakeholders in agreeing to the exploration strategy.
Under the terms of the farm-in agreement, Shackleton Resources will earn 75% of JDH Exploration by sole funding a minimum of GBP100,000 on exploration on the licences (Stage 1 Farm-in Expenditure). During the 12-month period following the end of the Stage 1 Farm-in Period (Stage 2 Farm-in Period), Shackleton will sole fund a minimum of GBP150,000 on exploration on the licences (10% of which amount shall be allocated to corporate overheads; Stage 2 Farm-in Expenditure).