Iron oxide copper gold ore deposits (IOCG) are important and highly valuable concentrations of copper, gold and uranium ores hosted within iron oxide dominant gangue assemblages which share a common genetic origin.
The tremendous size, relatively simple metallurgy and relatively high grade of IOCG deposits can produce extremely profitable mines.
In July 2020 field crews working for Canuc Resources Corp. (TSX-V: CDA) started surface exploration work on the north east end of the Company’s ground covering a newly acquired claim (the “El Tule” claim). The El Tule claim had never previously been explored for metals because until October 2019 the claim had been owned by a private Mexican company interested in coal.
Almost immediately the geological field crews identified an extensive breccia zone which was open to the west. Over multiple days of mapping it became evident that the breccia zone had considerable size extent with a strike length in excess of 800 meters and a width in excess of 80 meters. Old mine workings were discovered at multiple locations along the middle of the breccia body. Samples were taken from within the mine workings and very high to bonanza grades of silver were discovered along with magnetite. Samples were also taken along the breccia body in areas where no mining had occurred and, interestingly, silver was reported from all samples taken within the larger breccia body.
In late August of 2020 shortly after the Company’s geological field crews began reporting on the breccia discovery, management uncovered a report that had been written in 2006 by Dr. Murray W. Hitzman who was Head of the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. Dr. Hitzman is one of the world’s foremost authorities on IOCG deposit types. In 2006 he had visited claims located to the south of Canuc’s ground which at that time were held by a public company called Constellation Copper Corp.
Dr. Hitzman’s report was striking because on pages 5, 7 & 8 he stated that the absence of magnetite on the Constellation Copper claims suggested to him that their ground could be the displaced cap of an IOCG system.
On page 12 of his report Dr. Hitzman states that a deeper core zone with magnetite bearing mineralization should be present in the area, possibly NE or N of the Constellation Copper claims that he was visiting. This is in the direction of Canuc’s claims today.
The report also states on page 12 that “.. it appears to me that there is potential for a very high-grade, probably structurally controlled deposit somewhere in the district.” Dr. Hitzman’s thesis was that this would be the core zone of an IOCG deposit type.
In 2020 Canuc geologists found significant magnetite mineralization and high to bonanza grades of silver with gold and copper. The breccia body hosting these metals was found less than 2 km N-NE of where Dr. Hitzman had suggested that the discovery of magnetite could represent the core or lower levels of an IOCG system.
By: Dr. Murray W. Hitzman
Head of the Department of Geology at the Colorado School of Mines, October 2006
Reference to: Pages 5, 7, 8 and 12
Canuc company geologists now believe there is potential to discover the lower levels of a silver heavy IOCG deposit system on the Company’s ground. Target definition is in progress and drilling is expected to begin before year end 2020.