Projects

The Snettisham Project

Located 50 km Southeast of Juneau, the capital of Alaska, the Snettisham project covers a highly prospective Alaska-type ultramafic intrusion, historically known to host Fe, Ti, V, Pt and Pd mineralization.

Project History

Snettisham mineralization has been subject to several programs of beneficiation test work including the US Bureau of Mines RI 5195 Report (1956). Highlights from this study include:

  • A potentially large deposit containing titaniferous magnetite that can be recovered as high-grade magnetite concentrate using magnetic separation.
  • It is possible to produce an iron ore concentrate containing in excess of 60% Fe with good iron ore recoveries. Samples of 64% Fe have been produced.
  • Drilling across a representative section of the deposit yielded core samples, which assayed from 11 percent to over 45 percent total iron. A large sample of core composited to represent the drilled portion of the deposit assayed 18.9 percent Fe, 2.6 percent Ti02, and 0.29 percent S, 0.32 percent P, and 0.05 percent V.
  • Direct magnetic separation of ore ground to minus-150-mesh or staged magnetic separation of 35-mesh ore with concentrates retreated at minus-150-mesh resulted in the recovery of 61 to 64 percent of the total iron in a concentrate assaying about 64 percent iron, 3.5 percent Ti02, 0.3 percent V, 0.4 percent S, and less than 0.01 percent P.

In 1969, the state of Alaska Division of Mines and Geology published in the Mines and Petroleum Bulletin that Frank H. Murkowski announced the Tokyo newspaper, Nihon Keizai, stated that Marubeni Company and Marcona Corporation agreed to a joint development project of iron deposits near Snettisham. Plans called for pelletizing two to four million tonnes of iron ore annually.

The project remained relatively unexplored until 2013, when Arrowstar Resources successfully completed beneficiation testing from 105 grab samples, with an average Fe grade of 21%.  The 105 samples were crushed and then tested for magnetic attraction to simulate going over a high-speed magnetic drum in production.

In 2019, Resolution Minerals collected 12 surface samples and completed DTR% recovery and Davis Tube Mag assays. A 63% Fe and 0.64% V2O5 concentrate (DTR) was produced from surface samples.  Additionally, an aeromag survey was completed over the project, which identified a near-surface, >60% magnetite body interpreted to be 2.5 km long, 600 m wide and at least 2 km deep.

Project Location

The project is located 50 km southeast of the city of Juneau, the capital of Alaska, with approximately 32,000 year-round residents and an experienced mining workforce. The claims are located near Sentinel Point, with the Stephens Passage deep water shipping channel adjacent to the claims. The Snettisham Hydroelectric Facility (78 MW) is within 20 km of the project, with an underwater high voltage cable within 2 km of the claims.

Land Status

The claim block encompasses 48 unpatented federal mining claims (401 hectares, 4 km2) located on United States Forest Service Lands. The claims are 100% owned by Alaska Energy Metals.

Geology and Mineralization

Fe-Ti-V mineralization is associated with Alaska-type ultramafic intrusions.  Alaska-type ultramafic intrusions are generally pipe-like features, containing a dunite core.  The core is rimmed by pyroxenite, which grades into gabbro.  These intrusions are Interpreted to be mantle derived magma, which ascended during continental accretion or along subduction zones. The intrusion at Snettisham is an elliptical intrusion about 2 miles in maximum outcrop that is mainly composed of hornblende-magnetite clinopyroxenite, biotite-magnetite pyroxenite, and hornblende-biotite-magnetite clinopyroxenite. The pyroxenite locally grades into diorite. Magnetite, Ilmenite, vanadium, platinum, and palladium are hosted in clinopyroxenite as disseminations, net-texture, and massive mineralization.

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The Targets

High-grade Magnetite Exploration Targets (500 million tonnes)

The 2019 aeromag survey revealed two magnetic anomalies on the property that may be host of the higher-grade Fe-Ti-V mineralization.  Each of these targets are roughly 500m long, 500m wide and 500m deep.  Assuming a specific gravity of four, this would equate to 500 million tonnes of mineralized material for each target.  Historical surface sampling on the project revealed areas near the magnetic anomalies that contain 40.98% Fe, 5.01% TiO2 and 0.21% V.  The Davis Tube Magnetic Assays results of the above sample were 63.1% Fe, 5.4% TiO2 and 0.64% V2O5.

Target 1

Low-Grade Exploration Target (2.5 Billion Tonnes)

The dimensions of the outcropping magnetite pyroxenite has dimensions of 3200 meters by 800 meters by 300 meters, equaling 2.5 billion tonnes with an estimated specific gravity of 3.3. Using the average composited grade from drilling completed by the Bureau of Mines in the 1950’s, the low-grade exploration target for the entire magnetite pyroxenite is 2.5 Bt @ 18-20% Fe, 2.6% TiO2 and 0.09% V2O5.

Upcoming Exploration Program

Historical data and information compiled on the property confirms the Fe-Ti-V mineral potential is amply sufficient to propose a drill program. AEMC recommends 1,500 meters of drilling to test the two higher-grade targets. If drilling confirms the mineralization, detailed metallurgical studies on the mineralization should be completed.

References

Thorne, R.L. and Wells, R.R. (1956); Studies of the Snettisham Magnetite Deposit, Southeastern Alaska; Bureau of Mines Report of Investigation 5195; United States Department of the Interior, February 1956; 45 pp. (https://dggs.alaska.gov/webpubs/usbm/ri/text/ri5195.pdf)

State of Alaska (1969), Mines and Petroleum Bulletin, June 1969, Vol XVII No. 6, 8pp. (https://dggs.alaska.gov/webpubs/dggs/nl/text/nl1969_006.pdf)

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