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Panther Metals PLC Obonga:VMS Camp Discovery; High Grades Intersected

02/02/2023 7:05am

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RNS Number : 6638O

Panther Metals PLC

02 February 2023





("Panther" or the "Company")

(Incorporated in the Isle of Man with company number 009753V)

02 February 2023

Obonga: New VMS Camp Discovered & High Grades Intersected

Panther Metals PLC (LSE:PALM) the company focused on mineral exploration in Canada, is pleased to report the results from the latest round of diamond drilling (1) has confirmed the discovery of an additional volcanogenic massive sulphide (2) ("VMS") mineral system at the Obonga Project ("Obonga" or the "Project"). The Survey Prospect is confirmed as a new VMS. In addition, at the Wishbone VMS System(3) , drilling has given further wide massive sulphide intersections and high-grade zinc ("Zn") intersections of up to 11.65% Zn.

The Survey VMS discovery, together with the Wishbone VMS System, located 6.8km to the east, confirms the Obonga Greenstone belt as a new emerging VMS Camp, located advantageously close to national railroad transport links and the industrial port city of Thunder Bay, also approximately 75km east of the former Mattabi/Sturgeon Lake Mining Camp on the Wabigoon Greenstone Belt, where five past producing mines were operated by Noranda Minerals between 1972 to 1991.

Darren Hazelwood, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"Confirmation that the Obonga Greenstone Belt contains high-grade zinc grades at potentially commercial intervals is a defining moment for Panther Metals and its shareholders. We took control of nearly 90% of this greenstone belt, located just a 2.5 hour drive from the major port of Thunder Bay, due to the scale and exploration opportunity rarely witnessed, or available, in a tier one mining jurisdiction today.

Confirmation Obonga is an emerging new VMS camp will be noted by the industry globally. The multiple targets and newly discovered mineralisation has greatly enhanced the prospectivity of Obonga for significant base metal discoveries.

I would like to take the opportunity at this exciting time to thank the local indigenous communities for their support to date, as we continue to build our relationships and plan the next work steps. I look forward to updating the market further in due course."

Obonga 2022 Drilling Technical Summary

See also Tables and Figures below.

Survey VMS Discovery

-- Drilling at Survey Prospect intersected wide zones of cyclical semi-massive and disseminated sulphide from 166m downhole depth, including a highly anomalous zone of zinc mineralisation:

Hole BBR22 SV-P1-1

   --    29m of semi-massive and disseminated sulphide from 166m downhole, including: 

o Anomalous zone of zinc mineralisation 15m @ 0.11 % Zn from 168m including 4m @ 0.17% Zn from 168m, with

o Coincident levels of anomalous silver over same interval.

-- Geochemical signature of Survey Prospect assay data consistent with VMS style mineralisation and zonation.

-- Copper in lake sediment data in the vicinity and downstream of the Wishbone VMS system is amongst the highest levels in the entire Province of Ontario, with up to 827 ppm Cu against a background level of less than 25 ppm Cu.

-- Anomalous zinc drill intersections may provide physical vectors towards higher grade base metals.

-- Both coincident magnetic and electromagnetic geophysics targets are adjacent to the geological contact between intrusive mafic rocks and extrusive mafic rocks.

-- In light of anomalous levels of zinc mineralisation, further footwall assay samples will be submitted for analysis.

-- An historical (1968) shallow drill hole located 1.3km due east along strike of BBR22 SV-P1-1 intersected several meters of massive sulphide, but assay results were not documented.

Wishbone VMS System Growing

   --    Potentially commercial grades of zinc mineralisation intersected at Wishbone: 

Hole BBR22 WB-P1-2

   --    3.6m @ 3.9% Zn from 120m, including 

o 2m @ 6.8% Zn, 4.3 g/t Ag and anomalous 0.19% Cu from 120m, with

-- 0.5m @ 11.65% Zn, 4.1 g/t Ag and anomalous 0.14% Cu from 120.2m.

-- Further wide zones of massive and semi-massive sulphide mineralisation intersected, interpreted to be related to the high temperature pyrrhotite dominant core of the VMS system:

Hole BBR22 WB-P2-1

   --    22.4m of massive and semi-massive sulphide from 127m downhole. 

Hole BBR22 WB-P3-1

   --    3.8m of semi-massive sulphide from 163.2m downhole. 

Technical Observations

-- Preliminary trace-element geochemical investigations suggests the 'FII' type metavolcanic host rocks at the Wishbone VMS are similar to the felsic host rocks at the Sturgeon Lake mines. Alteration and REE ratio markers correlate well with established VMS exploration models.

-- Metal zonation: VMS deposits typically display a zonation of metals within the massive sulphide body from Fe+Cu at the base to Zn+Fe+/-Pb+/-Ba at the top and margins, related to differing temperature and chemical conditions at mineral deposition. The major observed mineral component of the Wishbone massive sulphide mineralisation is pyrrhotite with less common pyrite and minor sphalerite and chalcopyrite (5) in distinct zones.

-- Zn+Pb and Cu ratios of the Wishbone massive sulphide layers continue to indicate the mineralisation is most likely a bi-modal type VMS deposit. The deposits of the Sturgeon Lake/Mattabi VMS Mining Camp 75km west of Wishbone, have also been classified as a bimodal type deposits as have Canada's Kidd Creek (Ontario) and Noranda (Quebec) VMS deposits.

-- Another important characteristic of VMS type deposits is that they typically occur in clusters. The Company considers that the discovery of the Wishbone and the Survey VMS systems bodes very well for the existence of further, as yet undiscovered VMS bodies in the vicinity, and it confirms the Obonga Greenstone belt as an emerging VMS Camp.

-- Both the Wishbone and Survey prospects are situated in a similar geological environment to the nearby Mattabi/Sturgeon Lake Mining Camp on the Wabigoon Greenstone Belt, approximately 75km due west of Wishbone. The Sturgeon Lake / Mattabi area hosted five commercially viable VMS mining operations that produced from the early 1970s into the 1990s. The Mattabi mine being the most prolific, reportedly produced 13.5 Mt of ore with an average grade 7.5% Zn, 0.88% Cu, 0.77% Pb and 3.10 oz/t (96.42g/t) Ag in the period 1970-1983. It was reportedly discovered through the drilling airborne geophysics anomalies. Total combined production from the Mattabi/Sturgeon Lake Mining Camp has been reported at 19.8Mt @ 8.5% Zn, 1.06% Cu, 0.91% Pb & 119.7g/t Ag (4) .

-- The Obonga 2022 Drilling Programme results, with the discovery of a second VMS system on the Obonga Greenstone Belt, provide further validation of the exploration targeting and modelling undertaken by Broken Rock Resources, Panther's exploration partner on Obonga.

Obonga 2022 Drilling Programme Details

During Panther's autumn 2022 diamond core drilling programme a total of 1,500m were drilled across nine holes, in addition future drilling pads were prepared, as summarised in Table 1 and Table 2 below. Figure 1 below provides regional location context. Figures 1 to 4 below provide additional context.

Table 1: Obonga 2022 Diamond Drill Hole Details

   Prospect        Drill Hole       Hole    Easting   Northing       Targeting 
                       ID           Depth      *          * 
                 (BBR22 series)      (m) 
                                                                  VMS hosted Base 
 Wishbone       WB22-P1-1           200     300407    5529018          Metals 
               -----------------  -------  --------  ---------  ------------------ 
  WB22-P1-2                         200 
 -------------------------------  -------  --------  ---------  ------------------ 
  WB22-P2-1                         201     300664    5529054 
 -------------------------------  -------  --------  --------- 
  WB22-P2-2                         201 
 -------------------------------  -------  --------  --------- 
  WB22-P3-1                         200     300918    5529444 
 -------------------------------  -------  --------  ---------  ------------------ 
                                                                 Intrusive related 
                                                                      Ni / PGE 
 Awkward        AW-P1-1              92     315485    5534407         Graphite 
               -----------------  -------  --------  ---------  ------------------ 
  AW-P2-1                            71     315470    5534530 
 -------------------------------  -------  --------  ---------  ------------------ 
  AW-P4-1                            80     314307    5535070 
 -------------------------------  -------  --------  ---------  ------------------ 
                                                                  VMS hosted Base 
 Survey Lake    SV-P1-1             255     308313    5530371          Metals 
               -----------------  -------  --------  ---------  ------------------ 
  Total Drilled                    1,500 
 -------------------------------  -------  --------  ---------  ------------------ 

*Projection: UTM Zone 16N NAD83

Table 2: Obonga 2022 Drill Pad Preparations

   Prospect        Drill Pads Prepared                Targeting 
 Awkward                                     Intrusive related Ni / PGE 
                 AW Pad 3                              Graphite 
                ------------------------  -------------------------------- 
                 AW Pad 7 
                ------------------------  -------------------------------- 
 Ottertooth      OT Pad 1                      VMS hosted Base Metals 
                ------------------------  -------------------------------- 
 Associated waterline trails and helicopter landing zones also cleared 

Figure 1: Location of Obonga Project and select Drill Holes with reference infrastructure and port city of Thunder Bay

Figure 2: Wishbone VMS System and Survey VMS Discovery drill collars over 2nd Vertical Derivative Magnetic Airbourne Geophysics Survey Data

Figure 3: Wishbone and Survey VMS Systems in Relation to Provincial Cu in Lake Sediment Data (>500 ppm Cu)

Red: Massive Sulphide Intersection

Orange: Semi-Massive Sulphide Intersection

Green: Zinc Intersection (>0.1% Zn)

Figure 4: Preliminary model showing Wishbone VMS drill hole Intersections

 Wishbone Drill Strings over Magnetic Geophysics (above) 
 Wishbone Drill Strings over Electromagnetic Geophysics 

Red: Massive Sulphide Intersection

Orange: Semi-Massive Sulphide Intersection

Green: Zinc Intersection (>0.1% Zn)

Figure 5: Preliminary model showing Wishbone VMS drill hole Intersections over Magnetic and Electromagnetic Geophysics

For the purposes of UK MAR, the person responsible for arranging for the release of this announcement on behalf of Panther is Darren Hazelwood, Chief Executive Officer.

Reference Notes:

1: Panther Metals PLC company announcement, Diamond Drilling Completion - Obonga and Issue of Equity, dated 24 November 2022 ( )

2: Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide ("VMS") also known as a volcanic-host massive sulphide ("VHMS"). Mineralisation related to submarine volcanic processes linked to sea floor spreading at tectonic plate boundaries.

As defined by the United States Geological Survey ("USGS"): VMS are important sources of copper, zinc, lead, gold, and silver (Cu, Zn, Pb, Au, and Ag). These deposits formed at or near the seafloor were circulating hydrothermal fluids driven by magmatic heat are quenched through mixing with bottom waters or porewaters in near-seafloor lithologies. Massive sulphide lenses vary widely in shape and size and may be pod-like or sheetlike. They are generally stratiform and may occur as multiple lenses.

VMS deposits consist of >40% sulphides, characterised by abundant Fe sulphides (pyrite or pyrrhotite) and variable but subordinate amounts of chalcopyrite, sphalerite, and galena; non-sulphide gangue typically consists of quartz, barite, anhydrite, iron (Fe) oxides, chlorite, sericite, talc, and their metamorphosed equivalents.

VMS deposits range in size from small pods of less than a tonne (which are commonly scattered through prospective terrane) to supergiant accumulations like Rio Tinto (Spain), 1.5 Bt (billion tonnes); Kholodrina (Russia), 300 Mt (million tonnes); Windy Craggy (Canada), 300 Mt; Brunswick No. 12 (Canada), 230 Mt; and Ducktown (United States), 163 Mt (Galley and others, 2007).

3: Panther Metals PLC company announcement, VMS Mineral System Discovered on Obonga Project, dated 18 January 2022 ( )

   4:      Source: Xstrata Zinc, Assessment Report dated 2 September 2011 

( )

   5:      Mineral definitions : 

Pyrrhotite is an iron (Fe) sulphide mineral with the formula Fe(1-x) S (x = 0 to 0.2)

Pyrite is an iron sulphide with the chemical formula FeS(2)

Chalcopyrite is a copper (Cu) iron sulphide mineral and the most abundant copper ore mineral; it has the chemical formula CuFeS(2)

Sphalerite the most important ore mineral of zinc, it has the formula (Zn,Fe)S

For further information please contact:

Panther Metals PLC:

   Darren Hazelwood, Chief Executive Officer:            +44(0) 1462 429 743 

+44(0) 7971 957 685

   Mitchell Smith, Chief Operating Officer:         +1(604) 209 6678 


SI Capital Limited

   Nick Emerson                                                  +44(0) 1438 416 500 

Notes to Editors

Panther Metals PLC is an exploration company listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. Panther is focussed on the discovery of commercially viable mineral deposits. The Company's operational focus is on established mining jurisdictions with the capacity for project scalability. Drill targets are assessed rapidly utilising a combination of advanced technologies and extensive geological data to decipher potential commercial viability and act accordingly. Panther's current geological portfolio comprises of three highly prospective properties in Ontario, Canada while the developing investment wing focuses on the targeting of nickel and gold in Australia.

Obonga Project

Panther Metals acquired the Obonga Greenstone Belt in July 2021 and have already identified five prospective primary targets: Wishbone, Awkward, Survey, Ottertooth and Silver Rim. A successful Phase 1 drilling campaign at Wishbone in Autumn 2021 revealed the presence of significant VMS-style mineralised systems on the property - the first such discovery across the entire greenstone belt. Intercepts include 27.3m of massive sulphide in hole one, and 51m of sulphide-dominated mineralisation in hole two. Both drill holes contained multiple lenses. Anomalous high-grade copper in lake sediment close to the target area has also been identified, increasing confidence in the prospectivity of the location.

Awkward is a highly anomalous magnetic target, interpreted to be a layered mafic intrusion and magmatic conduit based on mapped geology and airborne geophysics. Historic sampling in the area returned anomalous platinum and palladium (Pt, Pd) values, while historic drilling on the periphery of the target intersected non-assayed massive sulphide and copper (assumed to be chalcopyrite), non-assayed disseminated pyrite and chalcopyrite in coarse gabbro, and non-assayed 'marble cake' gabbro (matching the description of the Lac des Iles Mine varitexture gabbro ore zone).

Two additional named targets, Survey and Ottertooth, both displays further coincident magnetic and electromagnetic anomalies and are adjacent to the contact between intrusive and extrusive mafic rocks. Historic drilling at Survey intersected several meters of massive sulphides in multiple intersections (main parts of the anomaly remain untested) while Ottertooth remains untested in its entirety.

Dotted Lake Project

Panther Metals acquired the Dotted Lake Project in July 2020, it is situated approximately 16km from Barrick Gold's renowned Hemlo Gold Mine. An extensive soil programme conducted in 2021 identified numerous gold and base metal targets, all within the same geological footprint. Following the installation of a new trail providing direct access to the target location, an initial drilling programme in Autumn 2021 confirmed the presence of gold mineralisation within this system with anomalous gold continuing along strike and present within the surrounding area.

Manitou Lakes Project

The Manitou Lakes gold project is located approximately 300km's east of Thunder Bay, Ontario and covers a total area of around 98sq km's.

There are over 200 known gold occurrences on the Manitou Lakes project area with the wider Eagle/Manitou Lakes greenstone belt hosting numerous historic gold producers and is prospective for Archean age orogenic gold and associated base metal deposits.

Exploration work conducted by Shear Gold on the Project to date has identified numerous gold bearing structures and favourable geological host rocks through early-stage mapping and surface sampling. The work has focussed on two target areas, being the West Limb Gold Property and the Glass Reef Gold Property, both of which host historic gold mines which have never been systematically explored using modern techniques or drill tested

Big Bear Project

The acquisition of various prospects in 2018 and 2019 consolidated previously fragmented areas into the wider Big Bear umbrella project, priming Panther Metals for extensive and comprehensive exploration in the area. A total of 253 geophysical anomalies have been identified, with 39 designated for priority investigation. Gold in soil anomalies in have been identified in five areas, ranging up to 0.71g/t, extending up to 250m wide and open along strike. Gold bearing quartz veins have been outlined within seven separate areas (two with rock and vein samples grading 1 to 5 g/t Au, four with quartz vein sample assays above 5g/t Au, and two quartz samples collected at 50m separation on an E-W trending vein open in both directions returning 105.5g/t Au and 112g/t Au respectively).

The Little Bear Lake and Schreiber prospects are of particular interest to the company: historic work programmes in 2010 and 2011 targeted an intense magnetic response from both. Assays yielded from the 1.6km long gold trend included 6m at 1.5g/t Au, up to 53.7g/t Au and 19.25 g/t Ag in rock chip and 18.2g/t Au and 1.03g/t Ag in soil. Historical bulk sampling reported 150t averaging 17.6g/t Au, while historical drill intersections include 0.55m at 19.2% Zn and 4.6% Cu from 15.2m depth.

Panther Metals Australia

Following the listing of Panther Metals' Australian assets on the Australian Securities Exchange ("ASX") in December 2021, the valuation of the Company's 36.6% holding in the business has risen by over 30% to a valuation of almost GBP3m. The ASX listing has provided the Australian projects with the necessary capital to advance drill-ready targets focused on nickel and gold (within the Tier 1 Mining Districts of Laverton WA and in the NT). Through this spin-out Panther holds an attractive investment prospect, without any disruption to the Company's capital structure and without any financial obligations.


Panther Metals understand that the commercial realities of building an exploration company requires expertise in geology, finance, and the markets within which they operate. The Company's extensive network of industry leaders allows it to meet these objectives. Ultimately however, drilling success is the only route to discovery: the fundamental objective of any exploration company. Once Panther's world-class geological team identify the anomalies, they work hard to get drilling. The drill hole is the only place where substantial and sustained capital growth originates and it's with that operational focus Panther Metals will continue to advance.

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February 02, 2023 02:05 ET (07:05 GMT)

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