Bitterroot Resources Ltd.'s Michigan subsidiary has entered into an option/joint venture agreement whereby Below Exploration, Inc., ("Below") a private Michigan corporation, can earn a 49% joint venture interest in Bitterroot's 100%-leased LM nickel-copper-platinum-palladium property in Baraga County, Michigan. Below is required to fund US$285,000 of exploration expenditures prior to the first anniversary of the agreement to earn a 49% joint venture interest. Bitterroot will be the project operator, regardless of its ownership level, and retains a right of first refusal over Below's property interest.
The LM nickel-copper-PGM property comprises 100%-leased, privately-owned mineral rights located approximately 25 km west of Lundin Mining's Eagle Mine, in a similar geologic setting. In 1995, following the discovery of nickel-copper mineralized boulders in a nearby gravel pit, Kennecott Exploration Company drilled one shallow angle hole on the LM target. This hole intersected 190 metres of an olivine gabbro intrusion which is prospective at depth for conduit-hosted, high-grade magmatic nickel-copper-PGM deposits similar to the Eagle and Eagle East deposits. The 1995 Kennecott angle hole tested the Eagle-sized LM intrusion to a depth of only 170 metres below surface. In the mid 2000's, several years after Kennecott had released the LM Property, drilling nearby intersected nickel-copper mineralization in similar, but much smaller, mafic intrusions at approximately 500-600 metres below surface. Bitterroot and Below plan to drill-test the LM intrusion at similar depths. The target at LM is believed to be similar to the high-grade Eagle East deposit, where a relatively small gabbroic intrusion hosts massive, high-grade Ni-Cu-PGM-bearing sulphides. These sulphides are concentrated in conduits within the feeder zone and in sills emanating from the roots of the intrusion. Bore hole EM techniques may also be used to guide subsequent drilling.A ground magnetic survey completed in January 2020 has confirmed the position of the ~200-metre-diameter, pipe-shaped LM intrusion. Bitterroot and Below plan to complete two 650-metre sub-vertical core holes to test the intrusion for nickel-copper-platinum-palladium mineralization near the unconformity between Paleoproterozoic Baraga Group sediments and older Archean gneiss.
Elsewhere in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Bitterroot's wholly-owned subsidiary Trans Superior Resources, Inc. ("Trans Superior") owns a 49.9% interest in mineral titles covering approximately 360 square miles. Altius Minerals Corporation owns the remaining 50.1% of the project and has the option to finance future mineral exploration on the Voyageur Lands and Copper Range Lands. Altius acquired its initial 50.1% interest in the Properties by funding $600,000 of exploration expenditures, primarily on a 4,950 line-km VTEM survey. Analysis of the VTEM survey results has resulted in the identification of nine (9) high priority drill targets. Altius has the right to acquire an additional 19.9% of the Properties by completing $2.5 million in exploration spending by September 29, 2021, plus the right to acquire an additional 10% of the Properties by completing exploration spending of a further $5 million, or completing an NI 43-101 compliant pre-feasibility study on a mineral resource on the Properties, both before September 29, 2025. As of November 1, 2016, Altius is seeking another partner to fund future exploration programs. Altius holds a 2% net smelter returns (NSR) royalty on the Voyageur Lands (covering approximately 250 square miles of mineral rights) and has the right to purchase a 1% NSR on the Copper Range Lands. Bitterroot and and Altius have also jointly acquired State of Michigan metallic minerals leases covering an additional 3,050 contiguous acres within the area of interest.
The primary exploration targets being pursued on Bitterroot's LM Property and the Bitterroot/Altius joint venture are conduit-hosted, high-grade magmatic nickel-copper-PGM deposits similar to Lundin Mining's Eagle and Eagle East deposits and the much larger Voisey's Bay deposits in Labrador. Mafic intrusions associated with early magmatism in the 1.1 billion year-old Mid-Continent Rift in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan have good potential for the discovery of additional deposits of this type.