Geology & Exploration
The zinc-lead mineralization at Scotia Mine is hosted within a Carboniferous limestone reef that flanks the edges of the Windsor Basin in central Nova Scotia. Initial underground mining focused on higher grade mineralization in the toe or fore-reef environment of the limestone reef. The limestone reef rings the edge of the Windsor Basin and unconformably overlies older Meguma Group rocks. Extensive gypsum bearing rocks about the reef environment with their contact with the reef defining the edge of mineralization.
The mineralization at Scotia Mine shows many similarities to other carbonate hosted zinc-lead deposits within the major mining districts of Pine Point in the Northwest Territories and mid-Tennessee. These districts are well known for their large number of deposits over several tens of kilometres of carbonate reef trends. The Scotia Mine may well represent only a small part of the mineralized reef environment within the Windsor Basin.
To the northeast of the existing Main pit area is the Northeast zone that is an extension of the Main pit mineralization and will support an open pit operation. The Northeast zone includes a higher grade mineralization that the Company proposes to mine by underground methods via ramps from the Main and Northeast pits.
Drilling by ScoZinc in 2008 on the Getty deposit, situated about 1.5 km west of the Main pit, defined near surface mineralization amenable to open pit mining (see Mineral Resources and Reserves).
ScoZinc resumed drilling at the Scotia Mine in mid 2011 with definition drilling focused on the 400-metre long southwest extension of the Main pit. This drilling confirmed the extent and nature of mineralization adjacent to defined mineral resources in the Main deposit (see Maps). Information from the drill program and an extensive review of all historical data contributed to a new resource estimate (see August 24, 2012 news release) that demonstrated more than a 50% increase in measured and indicated resources in the Main zone and forms the basis of an enhanced exploration model for ScoZinc’s large land holdings in the Windsor Basin. The Company has completed the planning for a subsequent drilling program that is designed to test the near surface and easterly trend of known higher grade mineralization in the Northeast deposit.
The Company undertook 1,551 line kilometres of helicopter-borne geophysical surveys overt its extensive mineral claims adjacent to the Scotia mine and in Walton, Smithfield and Sterling areas (see March 12, 2012 news release and Maps). Following up on the geophysical targets, geochemical surveys and soil samples continue to be undertaken annually and have identified strong anomalies. Recent soil samples have returned assay values higher than any surface samples in Scotia Mine’s history.