Millrock Resources (CVE:MRO) provided Thursday an update on its exploration activities in Alaska and Arizona, securing "substantial" funding for exploration on new and existing projects.
In 2012, partner-funded drilling has occurred on, or is planned for,
six different projects - three in Alaska and three in Arizona.
Earlier-stage exploration work will also be completed on five other
projects in anticipation of drilling in 2013, the copper and gold
Millrock's business model is to identify and package large-scale
projects for joint venture. This year, its exploration expenditures are
on track to exceed US$11 million, with 90 per cent of the funding being
provided by partner companies that are earning-in through option
As the exploration operator for the projects generated, Millrock
receives management fees, as well as option agreement payments during
the earn-in phase.
These revenues offset a major portion of the company's overhead
expenses, allowing it to remain active in exploration, despite weak
In Alaska, the company's alliance with Altius (TSE:ALS) has allowed
it to generate six projects, three of which are under earn-in agreements
with other companies. Roughly $500,000 will be spent using strategic
alliance funds in 2012 to generate more projects, Millrock said.
With its Vale (NYSE:VALE)
partnership for copper-gold porphyry targets in Alaska, the project is
budgeted at US$1 million in 2012. Reconnaissance geochemical exploration
and airborne geophysical surveys are in progress and exploration crews
are currently in the field.
Millrock said the first "designated project" proposed to Vale
was accepted, and recently announced as a stand-alone project named
AUDN earlier this month. Surface surveys will be carried out in July and
August under a separate budget of US$830,000, the company added.
The property is located roughly 100 kilometres to the southeast of
the Pebble deposit, a large porphyry copper-gold deposit being advanced
by Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) and Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd (TSE:NDM).
Millrock also holds the Estelle project in Alaska in joint venture
with Teck (NYSE:TCK), where a US$1.8 million drilling program is set to
start in July, and the Humble project with Kinross Gold (TSE:K), where a follow-up drill program is contemplated for later this year.
At the Council project in Seward Peninsula, Alaska, Millrock and
partner Kinross plan to drill six shallow holes to test surface gold
geochemical anomalies and gold-bearing veins. The project is budgeted at
$1 million and is expected to start next month.
Meanwhile, in Arizona, surface geochemical and geological surveys are
planned to follow up on an airborne survey at the Monsoon project,
which is under an earn-in agreement with Inmet Mining (TSE:IMN). Drilling may follow later in 2012 or early 2013, Millrock said.
Also with funding from partner Inmet, Millrock plans to drill four
rotary holes to test geochemical and geological targets on the San Jose
and Dry Mountain projects in the Safford Trend of southeast Arizona.
Drilling operations are also expected to start in July.