A 944,500 tonne nickel-copper deposit was discovered in 1980 by Prospection Inc. (Wasabi Resources) in the course of exploring the area for gold. The Ni-Cu zone was traced for a 250 metre strike length by 20 holes spaced at 50 m intervals and followed down dip for 150 m. Cobalt and PGE were not assayed for in 1980. A single line 6 channel MKV Input conductor detected by a 1970 survey coincides with the zone. Subsequent helicopter EM-magnetic surveys in 1986 traced the zone and indicated several other magnetic anomalies that may reflect favourable pyroxenite host rocks along strike. These airborne (helicopter EM and magnetic) surveys have been reprocessed and suggest that there is a fault offset on the west end of the Norton deposit to the south where an untested conductor occurs.The depth of penetration of the helicopter EM probably did not exceed 100 m.
In 2001 a single claim covering the Norton Zone was purchased from R. L. Duess and R. B. Durham by paying $ 5,000 and issuing 100,000 shares. A 2.0 % NSR is retained by the vendors where 1.0 % may be purchased at any time for 1.0 million and the remaining 1.0 % may be purchased on a first right of refusal. An area of interest of 1 mile (1.6 km) from the original claim will apply to any claims staked by East West. Subsequently a total of 149 additional claims were staked in October 2001 covering a 11 km long trend northeastward and westward from the Norton zone.
Recontouring the original drill data with the holes completed in 2002 now suggests that the sulphide zone actually plunges to the northeast at roughly 450. Mise-a-la-masse surveys carried out in June 2002 confirm that the conductive sulphides continue to depth, possibly as far as 550 E which is 300 m beyond the known sulphide intersections. The mise-a-la-masse survey also extended the zone to 100W giving the potential strike of 650 m. VLF EM and magnetic surveys were completed in July – August 2002. Geochemical soil sampling and IP-resistivity surveys were completed by September 2002 to trace the extension of the zone.
Reassaying of the split half of the remaining 1980 AQ drill core for holes U-2 to U-19 was carried out in July – August, 2001 which discovered that important PGE and cobalt values were present (see NR Sept. 4 and Sept. 6, 2001). The highest PGE values of 4.38 grams occurred in hole U-12 associated with elevated copper values of 1.6% Cu. As a general observation PGE values increase with increasing nickel and nickel-cobalt correlates. Previous assays of 1.8% nickel obtained by AA assay methods compare with 1.9% obtained by ICP. The general Palladium (Pd) -platinum (Pt) ratio is 4:1 however this reverses in hole U-12 to 3:1 Pt:Pd and this phenomena was seen in U-7 and hole G suggesting a plunge line to the northeast. Most sections with elevated copper yield elevated Pd:Pt above 1.5 grams, but this relationship is not consistent. Upon closer examination of the core, not only was hole U-1 removed by the previous workers (possible for presentations) but sections of higher copper values in other holes such as U-2 (40 – 44 m) that yielded up to 2.56% Cu were removed. A follow-up drill program was initiated in July, 2002 to redrill next to hole U-1 (hole A), test the area near U-2 (hole G) and do 25 m centre fill in holes that would define the plunge line. The copper rich zone was located in hole G and F where up to 7% Cu over 1 m were intersected. The drilling in 2002 confirmed PGE values can increase with increasing nickel.
It is important to accurately determine the plunge in order to do deeper drilling down plunge to trace the extension suggested by the mise-a-la-masse. In addition the drill hole spacing would allow for a more accurate tonnage calculation in the future and would meet the new standards proposed by the CIMM (Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy), adopted in Nat. Policy 43-101. An additional benefit to this approach was the discovery of a thickening of the sulphides in hole D25 which is interpreted to be a new down plunge extension of the zone in U-4 and/or a whole new lense that appears to extend into an area not previously drilled. Deeper down plunge holes are now required to follow up this discovery, and three holes N, M, W were drilled in September-October 2003. Hole N intersected a 15 m zone of sulphide mineralization that consisted of two phases, an upper pyrrhotite-pentlandite breccia zone and a lower chalcopyrite-pyrite-pyrrhotite zone separated by a 1m thick layer of gabbro-pyroxenite. Hole W also intersected the zone, but hole M was stopped in gabbro due to the lack of drillrods. This hole will be deepened in a preposed 2003 drill program.
Drilling completed in July through October used a Longyear 28 drill that cored a thinwall B core that is 42 mm in diameter compared with the previous AQ (27 mm). This yielded a better sample and better recovery. Acid tests were done to measure the dip of the holes as previously done on the 1980 U series.
Two sections 1+00E and 0+75E obtained core adjacent to hole U-1 and located the brecciated massive sulphide phases “durchbewegung” texture which typifies the main massive sulphide zone. Evidence of deformation of the pyroxenite-hornblendite host is best observed at the structural hanging wall basalt contact. Previous work on the U series of holes categorized a separate footwall unit as an amphibole tuff. This unit which is shown on the sections and the pyroxenite are now interpreted to be the same unit (ie) a highly deformed pyroxenite now metamorphosed to amphibole (hornblendite). Metamorphic grades have reached amphibolite facies, which starts to obscure the primary rock composition and texture. Copper (chalcopyrite) has definitely been remobilized into stringer zones in the pyroxenite host and in micro folds within the sulphide zone. Therefore there is the possibility for copper to be more highly remobilized along a fold axis that could reflect a plunge line for the zone. Hole D contained 3.3 % Cu over 1 m and occurs where the sulphide zone is thickening, hence indicating a concentration along a lense axis (ie. Boudinage). Work to date now suggests that two or more northeast plunging lenses occur that are open down plunge. These lenses thicken to 13 – 22 m from the average 6- 10 m thick sulphide zone.
For comparison, this geological setting is similar to the Thierry Mine near Pickel Crow where a 975 m long structure hosted several lenses of sulphide that were 5 – 30 m thick and contained 14 million tonnes of 1.68% copper and 0.18% nickel with gold, silver and PGE credits.