SW2 Polymetallic Project (PGE/V/Ti/Fe/Cu/Ni/Co) - Wyoming
The SW2 Polymetallic Project is the company flagship. It occupies the lower portions of the Lake Owen mafic to ultramafic intrusive complex (LOC) about 50 km southwest of Laramie, Wyoming. The complex occurs as a steeply-dipping, layered intrusive near the margin of the Wyoming Craton. The Proterozoic-Age Lake Owen complex contains numerous stratiform vanadiniferous titanomagnetite and Platinum Group Element (PGE) occurrences within an area of about 7 km by 10 km. Wyoming Mines (WM) owns 100% of the mineral rights on the SW2 project through nearly 100 unpatented lode mining claims that cover a layered intrusive stratigraphic thickness of over 1 km and a strike length of over 5 km near the base of the intrusive. There is no underlying royalty. Within that 1+ km thickness of layered igneous stratigraphy controlled by WM, there are several different vanadiniferous titanomagnetite layers that at least locally contain massive magnetite (72% iron) +/- V and Ti, along with several PGE-bearing sulfide layers hosted by troctolite. Limited microprobe analysis of sulfides minerals by the previous operator detected significant amounts of platinum,palladium, rhodium, and iridium.This is similar to the geology of both the Stillwater Complex in Montana USA, and the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. Previous operators have categorized the LOC as a Merensky-Stillwater type occurrence.
Primary target types identified thus far include the thick vanadiniferous titanomagnetite layers and nearby PGE-bearing sulfide layers. At least 16 vanadiniferous titanomagnetite layers that are reportedly up to 240 meters thick with a lateral persistence of 5+ km and 12 layers of cumulus sulfide mineralization have been recognized in the LOC. The existence of several stacked, vanadiniferous titanomagnetite layers within the WM holdings means that WM controls a total of at least 20-25 km strike length of layered vanadiniferous titanomagnetite and PGE-bearing intrusive stratigraphy. One concept that has not yet been investigated is the existence of a Ni/Cu/Co or PGE-bearing basal massive sulfide occurrence similar to the Mouat Deposit found at the base of the Stillwater Complex. Recent geophysical surveys at the LOC using a proprietary SP method suggest that strong sulfide mineralization exists near the base of the intrusive, covered by thin deposits of Quaternary Age unconsolidated sediments. This is a newly-defined target that has never been drill-tested.
Globally, most layered mafic-ultramafic intrusive complexes are enriched in PGE near the base and relatively depleted in PGE within the upper layers of the intrusive complex. The previous operator first identified the upper mineralized horizons, and completed l6 drill holes. By the time the covered lowest mineralized horizon with the most robust geophysical signature was identified, the gods of upper management, through their irrefutable wisdom, had irrevocably decided to terminate the project. Therefore, although the lowest layered stratigraphy should be a priority, there has been no significant work attempted on the lowest cumulate horizon. The entire eastern half of the SW2 holdings has had absolutely no drilling, despite the large amplitude (5000+ nanotesla), laterally extensive ground magnetic anomalies detected there.
In 1989, after several seasons of drilling at the Lake Owen Complex, a preliminary appraisal (non 43-101 compliant) of the grade and tonnage of the V/Fe/Ti oxide mineralization was made by the previous operator. Their work suggested the presence of about 1.4 billion tons (1.25 billion tonnes) of surface mineable oxide cumulates having a 1989 value of $23/ton as magnetite and ilmenite in four layers ranging in thickness from about 90-240 meters. That conclusion was based partially upon over 1200 sample analyses. Since then, no exploration efforts have been focused on further sub-surface evaluation of the oxide cumulates. Although the 1989 resource appraisal is certainly preliminary and admittedly tentative in nature, plus perhaps optimistic, it does provide an idea of the magnitude of this mineral occurrence. Further, the lowest zone of cumulate iron oxide mineralization was not yet discovered when the preliminary resource appraisal was generated. Since it has the most robust geophysical signature of any of the zones over a 6 km+ strike length, one might assume that, if it was discovered prior to 1989, it could conceivably have pushed the 1989 preliminary resource appraisal up into the 2 billion ton range. Finally, when the previous operator completed an early summary report in 1989, iron or prices (62% Fe) were only US$12/tonne. As of 2021, iron ore prices (62% Fe) are in excess of US$150/tonne. It is possible that this price appreciation could have a major positive impact on project economics.
Should the project eventually prove to be economically viable, the current project development concept envisions a large open-pit that exploits the numerous parallel 90-240 meter thick massive to semi-massive to disseminated Fe +/- Ti & V resource while also removing any thinner sulfide-rich PGE zones from the same pit. The subdued topography on the property is favorable for open-pit development. A tentative estimate on a waste to ore ratio, including internal waste, would probably range from about 3:1 to 5:1. Alternatively, however, if only narrow PGE-bearing sulfide layers are found to be economic, the resulting mine could be an underground operation similar to that of the Stillwater Mine. Infrastructure on the project is superb. Improved gravel roads and an existing abandoned railroad grade both provide access to the project. Finally, one of the most positive aspects of the project is that it contains both precious metals and base metals.
In March 2023, Wyoming Mines completed an Option Agreement with Troy Minerals. The agreement calls for US$500,000 in payments and US$1 ,000,000 in work commitments over the first five years of the agreement to acquire 100% of the project. Wyoming Mines will retain a 2.5% NSR royalty. The agreement also contains a production bonus for vanadium which could be quite substantial if the Chevron Minerals estimates from 1989 are accurate. Troy Minerals will be operator of the project.
Castle Creek Project – Idaho
The Castle Creek Property lies about 80 km south of Boise, Idaho along the margin of the Snake River Plain, a vast Cenozoic Age structure that has significant gold and silver mineralization elsewhere along its margins. About 30 km to the northwest of the Castle Creek property, the Silver City district has produced over a million ounces of gold and over ten million ounces of silver from high-grade underground deposits. Castle Creek lies in an area that is not environmentally sensitive. Because of the low elevation, it is accessible most of the year. It has apparently never been drill-tested or controlled by a company with a competent geological staff.
It is underlain predominantly by granodiorite that contains pelitic gneiss xenoliths and mafic dikes altered to listwanite. Previous work at Castle Creek is virtually undocumented, but extensive historic mine workings are abundant. One of these mine workings is about 300 meters in length. Preliminary dump sampling in 2008 yielded assays up to 43.5 g/t gold and 1772.7 g/t silver. One mine dump sampled near the east side of the property returned a gold grade of 43.5 g/t gold from a quartz/arsenopyrite vein. Pulverized rock and a cement foundation located adjacent to the dump suggests that ore was milled there at some time in the past. The scant historic records available indicate that this first phase of production occurred around 1915.
During the 1960’s, when gold was worth $35.00/ounce and silver was worth about $1.00/ounce, the property was controlled by a small private company. In 1963, they shipped a 5.45 tonne bulk sample to the Tooele Smelter in Utah which averaged 86.6 g/t gold and 1254 g/t silver. In 1964, another bulk sample of 7.55 tonnes shipped to the Tooele Smelter averaged 32.7 g/t gold and 155.5 g/t silver. The two shipments contained a total of 13.36 tonnes that averaged 56.0 g/t gold and 634.4 g/t silver. Ores of these grades are often “direct shipping” ores. It should be cautioned that the above-mentioned grades of gold and silver are not representative of any certain volume of remaining mineralized material. It simply quantifies historic production which probably consisted of select, hand-sorted mineralized rock.
In March 2008, during an initial evaluation, a robust hydrothermal breccia (diatreme?) was discovered on the western side of the property (see photo in upper left). Samples from this breccia are spectacular, containing semi-massive to locally massive pyrite, galena, sphalerite, arsenopyrite, and possibly ruby silver within a siliceous, sulfide-bearing matrix. Clasts within the breccia consist of dark grey rhyolite with semi-massive sulfides, massive arsenopyrite, massive pyrite with various base metals, and white-light grey quartz. Preliminary grab samples of the breccia contained up to 7.8 g/t gold and 933 g/t silver. Although the extent and orientation of this breccia are uncertain, it constitutes a possible bulk-tonnage target. Sampling and geological mapping has thus far been cursory in nature. No road access is available to the mine workings which contain the most extensive gold-silver bearing breccia, suggesting that this area was never exploited. Historically, the breccia was not as attractive as the high-grade veins. However, the breccia occurrence can be drill-tested from existing ranch roads, which simplifies permitting work.
In November 2022, the Castle Creek claims were sold to another company. Wyoming Mines retains a 2.5% Net Smelter royalty on any production from the claims.
Determining the location of sulfide minerals is important because they hold the platinum group elements we are looking for