Pope's Hill

  • Introduction

    The Pope's Hill rare earth element (REE) trend extends along the Trans-Labrador Highway approximately 100 km west from Goose Bay.  The Pope's Hill (PH) rare earth element (REE) occurrence is a syenite-hosted highly enriched unit where whole-rock geochemical analyses indicate REE contents ranging from 1 to 22 weight percent.  The high REE values are found in a massive, dark grey to black, sub-metallic to glassy allanite with another reddish-brown mineral identified as Ce-titanite.

    The PH trend extends in a generally E-W to NE-SW direction from the Pope's Hill area, approximately 100 km from Happy Valley/Goose Bay on the Trans Labrador Highway (TLH), along and parallel to the Churchill River.  The property now totals 10 claims (250 ha) after regional properties, with limited potential, were dropped and additional claims (52) were allowed to expire to maintain the core areas.  The claims cover REE showings, and structural features defined by government mapping. REE mineralization, discovered by SSE, is associated with syenitic intrusive units in the gneisses at the MP trend and with pegmatites to the south of the MP trend on the original PH property.  No previous REE or other exploration is documented for the area.

    Silver Spruce is seeking partners through option or sale to advance the exploration potential.

    Terms of Agreement

    The claims are wholly owned by the Company.  Silver Spruce has retained only the core claims from the Property described below.

    Geological History

    Uranium, thorium and REE mineralization was located in 2006 while prospecting for uranium.  The property was not staked until spring 2010, when interest in REE's peaked.  Airborne magnetic/radiometric/VLF-EM surveys, stream sediment geochemical sampling and concurrent prospecting were completed over prospective areas to the north and west of the Churchill River over the former 100% owned SSE properties (NR Aug. 30/11). A number of radioactive zones were noted in the scintillometer prospecting surveys and areas of anomalous stream sediments some with contiguous anomalous rock samples were located. No follow up has been carried out.

    A prospecting / sampling program (31 samples) using scintillometers to locate radioactive mineralization in the fall of 2010 gave anomalous total rare earth element plus yttrium (TREE) values with 16 > 5%, and 5 > 10% with a high value of 24.1% (NR Oct. 28, 2010).  TREE values varied from a low of 0.07% to a high of 24.07% averaging 5.73%, which included 7 "host rock" samples, with values 0.4% or lower.  Samples are rich in light rare earth elements (LREE), but the more anomalous values give higher values in HREE up to 7.5% percent of the REE.  Significant values in Nb, Zr, Th and U were also noted.  The anomalous trend was traced over a 7 km strike length extending to the east, approximately 4 km, and to the west, approximately 3 km, from the MP showing in the bedrock pit by the TLH.  The highest REE values were in a dark grey to black sub-metallic to glassy mineral, in segregations which are variably non-magnetic to moderately magnetic.  All of the REE-bearing samples are weakly to moderately radioactive with significant Th content (up to 0.7%) but generally 0.1-0.3 % and minor uranium values (up to 461 ppm but generally < 100 ppm).  The rock unit hosting the REE mineralization is a peralkaline, syenitic unit of late Paleoproterozoic age which hosts green pyroxene crystals.  Magnetic, VLF-EM and radiometric (spectrometer) surveys were carried out with lithological/alteration trends noted striking in a 070 degree (ENE) direction and magnetics indicating crosscutting, probable fault or shear structures, trending at approximately 150/330 degrees.

    A total of 1120 m in 10 holes (PH-11-1-10) tested the MP showing in the bedrock pit and another close by target on the Trans Labrador Highway (TLH) (NR March 3, 2011) in February 2011.  The drilling was designed to test TREE mineralized bedrock and float samples from the pit, VLF-EM anomalies thought to represent shear systems, and magnetic anomalies which could reflect the variably magnetic TREE mineralization.  The drilling tested an approximate 700 m long zone of the known 7 km mineralized trend, mainly in the MP pit area.  All drill holes were at least partially sampled using radioactivity (Th content) as a guide, visual identification of prospective zones and magnetically anomalous areas. Wide zones, up to 140 m of > 0.1 % REE mineralization, were intersected with 4 holes giving widths in the 50 m range.  Narrow (0.1-0.3 m) zones of higher grade TREE values in the 1 to 6 % range are also found throughout most of the drill holes.  Strong Zr values generally >1,000 ppm (0.1%) were noted over wide intervals associated with the REE mineralization (NR March 29, 2011).  The diamond drilling defined an area of anomalous REE mineralization hosted in syenitic units in the granitic gneisses, however the high grade REE segregations noted on surface in the pit were not intersected.  Geological mapping indicates that the area is cut by numerous faults making structural control more difficult than expected and possibly disrupting the REE-bearing units.  High grade REE mineralization was located in exploration in 2011 along trend further to the east, however no drilling has tested these showings.

    Results indicate that the REE from the MP trend of the Pope's Hill prospect are primarily hosted in allanite, titanite, monazite and britholite, with trace amounts hosted in fergusonite, REE-carbonates and apatite.  The total average rare earth oxide (REO) composition of the sample was 17.5 wt %, with the percentage contributed by each mineral: allanite - 47.6 %; high-REE titanite - 24.1 %; monazite - 16.7 %; both varieties of britholite (high-REE and low-REE) - 11.1 %; and the rest in fergusonite, REE carbonate and apatite.  Disseminated allanite and monazite were also noted in the adjacent host rock units by thin section analysis.

    A trenching program along the MP trend carried out in 2011 to exposed the favorable, REE anomalous, syenitic unit which carries the high grade segregations.  A series of 14 trenches from 100 to 500 m apart were dug to give grade / width information on the zone over a 2.5 km long trend.  The mineralized unit, a syenitic unit, conformable with the granitic gneisses, a minimum of 10 m wide, carries green pyroxene crystals, as phenocrysts or porphyroblasts, up to 5 cm long, and is open along strike to both the east and west.  The massive, high grade, segregations, up to 30 cm wide, which typically run 10-25% TREE, are characterized by pinch and swell structures with at least two parallel massive segregations, separated by 5-6 m of host rock, noted in the T2, T5 and T6 exposures, with other parallel zones carrying narrow veins and disseminations in the host unit.  Radioactivity, representing Th bearing minerals associated with the REE mineralization, was used to guide the trenching and sampling.

    Narrow high grade zones, related to the massive segregations, "carry" the mineralized zones in most instances; however, significant background values in the 0.1 to 0.5 % range are noted through the syenite that hosts the mineralization.  The host syenite units strike at approximately 70 degrees and dip to the south (toward the TLH) at approximately 30-40 degrees, parallel to the gneissosity of the geological units.  True width of the zones is estimated at 70-90%, depending upon the steepness of the hill where the mineralization occurs.

    Exploration Plan

    The Company is actively seeking partners for option or sale to advance the exploration potential of the Pope's Hill area.  Several high grade samples (7-24% TREO) are available for review upon request.

    Quality Control

    Samples (rock, trench, stream sediment, heavy mineral concentrates) were delivered to Actlabs, a commercial facility based in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada, is certified as ISO 9001:2015 and accredited to ISO 17025 from the Standards Council of Canada.

    The samples were crushed, split and pulverized for multi-element analysis.  Pulps were submitted for Au+Ag+33 element analysis by neutron activation analysis (Code 1D Enh INAA) and/or AuAg+11 Major Oxides+45 elements including traces and REE by ICP/WRA/Fusion ICP-MS (Code 8 REE and Major Element Fusion).

    In-house quality control samples (blanks, standards, duplicates) were inserted into the sample set.  Actlabs conducts its own internal QA/QC program of blanks, standards and duplicates, and the results were provided with the Company sample certificates.  The results of the Actlabs control samples were reviewed by the Company's QP and evaluated for acceptable tolerances.  All sample and pulp rejects are in storage.

    Qualified Person

    Greg Davison, MSc, PGeo and Silver Spruce Director, is the Company's internal Qualified Person for the Pope's Hill Project and is responsible for approval of the technical content of this press release within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101"), under TSX guidelines.

  • October 31, 2015
    Thesis: Direct Dating and Characterization of Pope's Hill...

    March 23, 2012
    First Year (2011) Assessment Report

    December 31, 2011
    Pope's Hill Summary Report