Noble Mineral Exploration Inc. is a Canadian-based junior exploration company holding several highly prospective properties in some of Canada’s most prolific mining jurisdictions. Operating as a project generator, Noble de-risks projects through data compilation and exploration in order to generate option agreements and joint venture exploration programs to benefit shareholders. Projects include;
In addition to the exploration assets, Noble also holds various royalties and interests in other companies and projects within the mining and exploration sector. Operating under a project generator model has allowed The Company to capitalize on projects through JV’s and spin outs that result in Noble having a robust portfolio of equity positions.
For the purpose of this article, the focus will be on the The Boulder Project
The Boulder Project is a 4,600 ha – Copper-PGM focused exploration project near Hearst in Northern Ontario (See Figure 1). The property itself has seen very little to no exploration at all historically. The allure to the project was a discovery that was made about 20 years ago when a local entrepreneur decided that a farm highlighting some of the local wildlife would be a viable tourist attraction. During the process of improvements to his property, he decided to add a water feature to his property. While digging with a backhoe, he hit a boulder that proved to be a challenge. With some difficulty he was able to pull the boulder out of the hole and place it off to the side where it sat with the other material from the excavation. (See Figure 5 for location of the Boulder discovery)
Figure 1 – Property claim boundaries
The boulder sat there for some time, covered in mud but slowly the rain washed the surface of the boulder and exposed the glimmering sheen of raw metal. Now Andre (the property owner) had always had an interest in the rocks and would pick up samples when something caught his eye. So naturally he realized that this was no ordinary looking boulder and so he returned to the pile with the excavator loaded into his truck and put it in his garage… There it sat, for almost 20 years.
Figures 2 & 3 – “The Cousineau Boulder”
Friends would drop in and he would invariably show them the boulder until one day a friend recommended, he call the Resident Geologists Office in Timmins and get them to look at it. Ed van Hees, the Resident Geologist in the Timmins Area at the time and now a consultant to Noble, took a look at it and at first glance, determined it was some sort of iron formation with very interesting characteristics, and asked if he could send a piece out to the government lab for analysis. Ed’s first thought was, could this be a meterorite as he also considered that it was from the Hearst area, where there are virtually no known metal deposits, except for some iron formations.
In 2019 Ontario Geological Survey analyzed a sample from the 140kg boulder and determined that the boulder was composed of 71.8% copper; 3.5% lead, 1.09% zinc; 252 g/T of silver, 3.79 g/T of gold; 4.43 g/T of palladium; and 2.22 g/T of platinum and consisted primarily of the mineral cuprite. For context, in mines such as Kidd Creek in Timmins, the average copper content is 1.8%.
When Ed received the results, he could not believe his eyes and thought, there must be some mistake. He verified the results with the lab to ensure that they corresponded to the sample that was submitted… There was no lab error. To his surprise the results were accurate and the metal value contained in the boulder are in excess of $10,000CDN per tonne of material or a gold equivalent of 138 grams of gold per tonne or for those that like the old method, 4.4 oz/ton gold.
Andre then took the boulder to the Timmins Mining Show in hopes of garnering some attention and had some general inquiries, but COVID hit and in Andre’s words, “Everything went quiet.” Ed filed the discovery in the Annual Report of the Resident Geologist in Timmins, and everyone hunkered down for the pandemic.
During the winter of 2020/2021, Noble’s Exploration manager, Wayne Holmstead was reviewing Ed’s report and came across the account of the boulder with a photo. With interest, Wayne started looking for data that could point to the origin of the boulder as boulder tracing has always been an interest of his and has historically led to the discovery of some very important ore deposits, including the large Eleonore gold deposit in Quebec. After going through the available information, Wayne contacted some of his colleagues and raised enough money to stake claims and do some exploration work.
Figure 4 – The Cousineau Boulder cut in half.
Not long after, Wayne brought the project to Vance as he knew that Vance was interested in acquiring new projects at the time and was willing to take a chance on a longshot. After careful review and having the chance to see the boulder for himself, they drafted an agreement for Noble to acquire 100% interest in the project.
During the Fall of 2021 Noble launched an exploration program on the property to in an effort to identify the source of the boulder. Basal till samples collected from two fence lines of hand auger holes, located about 100 m and 1 km north of the boulder location, produced 35 gold grains. These gold grains defined a southeast-northwest trending dispersion train that indicates they were transported southeast by a glacial transport from a source area located to the northwest. The dispersion train appears to begin near a northeast trending magnetic anomaly to the northwest of the property. The gold grains are predominantly reshaped (24) but also include modified (7) and pristine (4), supporting evidence of local source.
Airborne Geophysics were conducted in early 2022 to get an updated look and more defined structure of the high mag anomaly believed to be the potential source.
Figure 5 – Boulder Project High Mag anomaly in correlation to the location of the boulder discovery
Upon a detailed review and consultation with glaciation experts, Nobles team of geologists and consultants identified several exploration targets. Some of the areas of interest were located on property adjacent to the existing Boulder Project and to cover the additional targets the company acquired 88 additional mining claims.
The next steps being taken to prepare for exploration on the Noble Minerals’ Boulder Project property will include;
Updates will be provided as they occur.
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