Stardust hosts one of the most significant, recent high‐grade copper‐gold discoveries in Canada. Stardust is located in northcentral British Columbia, a region that hosts a large geological endowment and supports numerous operating mines. Sun Metals believes B.C. is a reliable jurisdiction with excellent exposure to capital markets, a deep pool of exploration professionals, a wealth of supporting services, and exceptional infrastructure with direct access to Pacific markets.
Carbonate Replacement Deposits (CRD) are bodies of metallic minerals formed by the reaction of hot magmatic fluids with carbonate rocks, such as limestone or dolomite. The hot, metal-bearing fluids are driven upward from the heat source, an igneous intrusion (Glover Mo-Cu Porphyry), and dissolves the reactive carbonate rocks when they encounter them. That reaction changes the chemistry of the fluid, causing it to precipitate metallic sulphide minerals that often contain lead, zinc, copper and precious metals such as gold and silver. The metallic sulphide minerals effectively “replace” the carbonate host as the reactive fluids dissolve a pathway through it.
Nearer to the source of the fluids, mineralization is often in the form of copper - gold skarn (Canyon Creek Skarn Deposit), transitioning to zinc - lead - silver mantos (4b Manto Zone; No.3 Manto Zone; No.2 Manto Zone) and chimneys. In the periphery of the system, the cooler fluids drop out precious metals silver and gold veins (No.1 Vein Zone Ag-Au ±Zn±Cu) form in the edges of the system.
The fluid path is always continuous, and therefore the metallic bodies are too. The Sun Metals team is using this knowledge to develop the Stardust exploration plans.
Stardust, formerly known as Lustdust, is a project with a rich exploration history dating back to 1941. This is our sweet spot. We’re attracted to data rich projects because we are able to identify opportunity where others have not. The previous exploration work at Stardust heavily de-risks the project and maximizes our potential for success.
We have 100% ownership of Stardust, with no royalties of other underlying encumbrances. Approximately $25 million has been invested in exploration at Stardust previous to Sun Metals. Activities undertaken include 80,000 metres of drilling over 390 holes, 5,800 soil samples, two airborne magnetic and extensive mapping and prospecting.
Stardust is a large mineralized system with true district potential. It features a 2.2-kilometre corridor of mineralization including four mineralization styles typical of a CRD system: porphyry, skarn, manto and epithermal vein. Stardust is one of the few CRD systems in the world with all CRD components fully intact. Having the ability to view the overall structure of the system provides us the opportunity to better predict how to most efficiently and successfully explore it.
In just two years, Sun Metals has realized significant discovery success at Stardust. In our first full season, in 2018, our technical team intersected one of that year's strongest discovery holes. In 2019, we delineated what is now known as the 421 zone, on its own one of the most significant recent high‐grade copper‐gold discoveries in Canada.
We know from the strength of mineralization encountered in drilling that Stardust is a robust mineralized system with a high number of pulses of mineralizing fluids. Long-lived and multi-phased systems are synonymous with large, high-grade deposits. We feel we have only scratched the surface of Stardust's potential.
Our 2020 exploration program will focus on growing the high-grade 421 zone and exploring for similar thick high-grade, massive sulphide zones within this Carbonate Replacement Deposit (CRD) system. A $3.8 million program is planned, which will include approximately 12,000 metres of diamond drilling expected to begin in late spring with up to three drill rigs on site, as well as borehole electromagnetic geophysical surveys (BHEM) and continued geological studies.