More surprises continue to unfold at the 100%-owned Gumberg project. As has been explained by me and others, the area has a long history of production, (the Östra Silverberg Mine was the largest silver mine in Sweden between 1250 and 1590), but very little modern exploration.
Boreal Metals (TSX-V: BMX) is changing that with new geologic interpretations, geophysical surveys and reconnaissance drilling that continue to lead to new exploration targets. Readers may recall, Gumsberg is a brownfield property, host to over 30 historic mines. Boreal has a diversified portfolio with massive exploration potential — base, precious & battery metals projects, with over 18 targets currently being developed. The focus of this article is Gumsberg’s latest drill results.
This leads to the January 28th press release in which Boreal Metals reported assay results from the first 4 of a recently completed 9-hole, 1,621 m diamond drill program at Gumsberg in the prolific Bergslagen Mining District in southern Sweden. 5 assays are still in the lab. Two of the reported holes were blockbusters, not unlike (but not as spectacular as) results reported from February 28, 2018 (see below, especially BM-17-005}
Boreal Drills Two New High-Grade Discovery Holes
However, what’s crucial to recognize with these new results is that Boreal DID NOT merely report step-out holes from last year’s highly successful drill campaign. The 2 noteworthy results, GUM-18-003 & GUM-18-004 are new discovery holes. The Company has multiple high-grade zinc-silver-lead-gold intercepts in this newly discovered mineralized zone that management is calling the South Zone. Importantly, the South Zone is open at depth and along strike. From the press release, President & CEO Karl Antonius stated,
“Boreal has made a new discovery of high-grade mineralization near the historic Östra Silvberg Mine on our Gumsberg project in Sweden. This is a very exciting development for the Company and is a welcomed reward of our exploration efforts in Sweden.”
The diamond drilling in this 9-hole program tested for mineralization to the east and west of last year’s drill program which included the Company’s best hole BM-17-005, that returned an intercept of 10.94 m of 16.97% zinc, 656.7 g/t silver, 8.52% lead & 0.76 g/t gold. (see Boreal News Release dated February 28, 2018).
The new holes, GUM-18-003 and GUM-18-004 (see chart above) both delivered 11.0 m high-grade intercepts. GUM-18-003 returned 5.9% zinc, 239 g/t silver (7.7 troy oz.), 2.51% lead & 0.96 g/t gold. GUM-18-004 assayed 7.45% zinc, 275.1 g/t silver (8.85 troy oz.), 2.65% lead & 0.77 g/t gold.
Regarding the new discovery, Boreal’s new Director Thomas Söderqvist, former Senior VP at Boliden, and interim CEO at Boliden commented,
“I am really excited to see the analysis and I am truly looking forward to us being able to explore this very interesting area further since I believe that the preconditions for new mining operations in this area, with a long history of mining and plenty of exploration activities, is very good. There has been governement intiatives taken during last year to improve the circumstances for exploration activities in the area which proves the committment from Sweden.”
These discovery holes are exciting coming relatively soon after a ground magnetic survey was done. With the continued help of strategic partner EMX Royalty Corp., has the team found clues to the geology or the structure that could lead to more exploration success? At that completion of the survey, CEO Antonius said,
“The results of the ground magnetic survey at Gumsberg greatly increase the base and precious metal prospectivity of our high-grade Gumsberg Project. The geophysical indications for multiple high-grade ore horizons vastly increases the potential for Boreal to build tons in the prolific Bergslagen Mining District where Boliden and Lundin are actively mining large precious metal enriched base metal deposits.“
The above image ties together the new results with historical drilling. As can be seen in the diagram, the new red colored GUM-18-003 and GUM-18-004 holes are separate from the cluster of blue colored drill holes from early last year. Notice that holes GUM-18-006 & GUM-18-008 also intercepted the mineralized body shown in the press release as pink circles. The mineralization is cosmetically similar to that of GUM-18-003 & GUM-18-004 and Boreal is looking forward to getting these results. If the results are similar, that would show some continuity, which would warrant further drilling in this exciting area.
Boreal Hitting High-Grade Intercepts in Line With Nearby Mines
While it’s still early days for Boreal, for instance there’s no maiden mineral resource estimate yet at Gumsberg, compare the high-grade intercepts that Boreal is hitting to the 2017 year-end reserves & resources (see above) of nearby producer Boliden. The intercepts that Boreal has released are sufficient to warrant the term discovery however, bear in mind that this is still an early-stage project.
Follow up drilling is required to determine whether these strong drill results will ever become part of an economic deposit. For now, the grades and thicknesses that Boreal has uncovered at Östra Silverberg are significant, especially given the closeness to the 2 giant precious metal enriched base metal mines (Boliden’s Garpenberg and Lundin Mining’s Zinkgruvan)..
Another possibility is that pockets of high-grade mineralization at Gumsberg could become satellite deposits for Boliden’s or Lundin’s mines in the district. Boreal would toll mill their metals through the other’s processing facilities. But, this is most likely not a near-term scenario.
Boreal Metal’s high-grade drill holes also compare favorably with past producers Falun & Saxberget, with the same caveat — before a maiden mineral resource estimate, Boreal remains highly speculative. Still, management is encouraged by their drill programs to date. They have hit several very good-to-excellent holes. And, as mentioned, they are excited about 2 of the remaining 5 holes awaiting assays.
Boreal has moved the ball forward with these results, yet the current market cap is C$5.0 M = US$3.8 M, hardly an aggressive valuation. The share price closed at C$0.33 on February 28, 2018, the day when the first great drill results done by Boreal were announced. Now, despite continued exploration success, the share price is C$0.085.
To be fair, most base, precious and battery metal junior companies have seen their share price halved or more from 52-week highs. But, how many of those are actively drilling? And how many are lodging strong results? There have not been many big, important discoveries in Sweden recently. The infrastructure near the Gumsberg project is excellent because of the proximity of Boliden’s Garpenberg and Lundin Mining’s Zinkgruvan mines, both of which are large underground operations.
Boreal Metals (TSX-V: BMX) is prudently and successfully drilling on a significant land package of 18,300 hectares in the famous Bergslagen Mining District. Management just announced 2 high-grade discovery holes, with more results expected in February. The Company has EMX Royalty Corp. as a 9.4% shareholder and strategic partner actively involved with the development of exploration programs. Boreal’s market cap is just C$5.0 M / US$3.8 M.
Silver prices have moved higher recently from about US$14/oz. in mid December to US$15.75/oz. (+12.5%) on January 25th. Zinc inventory through January 24, 2019, as measured by LME warehouse levels, (see chart above) is looking bullish for zinc pricing. Rising metals prices could improve sentiment in the metals & mining sectors. Combined with drilling successes, if/when market sentiment improves, Boreal Metals, with just 58.5 million shares outstanding, could be among the first to move higher. Readers might want to consider doing more due diligence on this zinc, silver, lead, gold opportunity in an ultra-safe jurisdiction.
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