- Infrastructure in immediate vicinity includes CN Railway mainline and siding, power, water, natural gas, and access to mining expertise in nearby Timmins, Ontario
- Mining friendly jurisdiction
- Substantial historic work including 140 drill holes and full concentration and metallurgical testing
- 10,500 meter drill program completed
- Unexplored 12 km iron formation with strong geophysical signature
- No underlying NSRs, 85% of ground was staked by the Company
The Radio Hill Iron Ore property comprises a 12,000 hectare land package located 85 km southwest of Timmins, Ontario. Unlike many bulk-tonnage iron ore projects, Radio Hill is located in close proximity to infrastructure being transected by a heavy gauge portion of CN Railway's mainline and includes an active rail siding. There is power onsite, water in the immediate vicinity and highway 101 to Timmins is located 8 km to the north, by way of a well-travelled CN Railway service road.
On the western side of the property is the 4 km long Radio Hill Iron Formation which hosts the historic resource. The name 'Radio Hill' is a result of the iron formation forming a hill above the surrounding relief, in which a radio tower was located in the 1960s. This hill makes the formation more amenable to open pit mining methods.
An estimated $10 million (2011 dollars) of work was undertaken at Radio Hill between 1959 and 1965 with no iron exploration having occurred since. This work was done on a 2600 meter long section of the formation. This work included 140 diamond drill holes, 3000 tonnes in bulk samples and full metallurgical test work. The result of this work culminated in a reserve and feasibility study.
On the opposite side of the property, near the eastern boundary, is a relatively untested 12 km long geological and geophysical feature known as the Nat River Iron Formation. The Nat River formation has never been explored for its iron potential aside from 6 drill holes conducted in a concentrated area of the structure in 1960. The limited drilling that took place at Nat River did intersect grades as high as 39% acid-soluble iron. The Company's airborne surveys indicate the thickest portions of the formation have not been tested.
In 2011 Rogue initiated the first iron exploration campaign at Radio Hill since 1965. A 10,000 meter drill program started in August and as of January, 2012, 24 holes had been completed.
Objectives of 2011/2012 exploration campaign:
- Verify historic work through the twinning 15 holes along the southern portion of the formation;
- Test for extensions on the Radio Hill formation where historic drilling was insufficient;
- Complete necessary drilling to compile a NI 43-101 compliant resource
- Conduct concentration and other metallurgical test work to gain an understanding of the characteristics of the iron formation
- Identify targets at Nat River and to the immediate west of historic drilling for further exploration
An airborne VTEM and magnetic survey was conducted on the entire 12,000 hectare property, including Nat River, in 2008 by Geotech Ltd. Both the Radio Hill and Nat River formations are clearly defined by geophysics.
The formation outcrops at 1,440 feet (440 m) above sea level, along the crest of Radio Hill, which protrudes approximately 200 feet (60 m) above the surrounding area. Historical resource estimates are calculated to varying depths ranging from 680 feet (210 m) to 200 feet (60 m) above sea level, depending on the pit shell. Historic drilling and geophysics suggest mineralization continues well beyond these open pit constraints. The Radio Hill deposit has been economically enhanced and thickened by folding. The banded iron formation (BIF) strikes east-west and is open down-plunge to the northwest.
Historic resource estimates (non NI 43-101 compliant) were calculated on the Radio Hill portion only using various pit shells and depths:
|90 mT @ 27.3%||0.99||FENCO, 1965|
|158 mT @ 27.8%||1.14||Behre Dolbear, 1961|
|427 mT @ 27.3%||0.77||Gerson, 1961|
|326 mT @ 25.7%||0.69||Pesonen, 1960|
A feasibility study was conducted by FENCO Ltd. in 1965 with reserve limitations and optimization based on the market for a 1.2 million long tons per annum pellet operation and calculated assuming 14.5% magnetic iron cut off, hence the smaller pit.
The historical estimates and feasibility values mentioned are not in accordance with the mineral resources or mineral reserves classifications contained in the CIM Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, as required by National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"). Accordingly, the Company is not treating these historical estimates as current mineral resources or mineral reserves as defined in NI 43-101 and such historical estimates should not be relied upon. A qualified person has not done sufficient work to date to classify the historical estimates as current mineral resources or mineral reserves. The term "ore" is being used in a descriptive sense for historical accuracy, and is not to be misconstrued as representing current economic viability.
Rogue completed a 10,500 meter drill program in May, 2012. The first phase, which consisted of twinning approximately 3,000 meters of historic holes, was completed in November 2011. This phase tested the southern extent of the deposit and drilling is now focused on the thicker, central portion. Results for the final holes were announced on August 2, 2012. For a summary of the results of the program the reader is directed to the News section.
In the 1960's, prior to the use of X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis used to calculate total iron percent, assay labs determined iron content using more traditional chemical methods which calculated soluble iron percent. Preliminary geological modeling by Rogue indicates the past work had outlined the geology reasonably accurately; however, the assay results from historical, acid-soluble analysis, are not sufficiently consistent with recent results analyzed for total iron content using XRF followed by Davis Tube tests (Figure 2). XRF results in new assays return higher values for iron than the acid soluble iron methods and for this reason the historical assay values will be of limited value in calculating a resource estimate. It is anticipated that completion of the 10,000 meter diamond drill program will be required to compete the resource estimate.
*Hole RH-08-01 was drilled in 2008, for property assessment purposes, on non-iron targets and was not analyzed for iron content until Sept, 2011.
Nat River Iron Formation
The Nat River Iron Formation is a 12 km long magnetic, geological unit on the eastern half of Rogue's property, approximately 8 km east of Radio Hill. In 1959, six diamond core holes were started at Nat River with five being completed for a total of 1,235 m. Drilling was concentrated in the vicinity of the middle target zone on Nat River as seen in Figure 1 above. The amount of information collected was not enough to report a mineral resource, however, Gerson reports a 'potential' of 30 million long tons per 100 feet of depth in reference to this 2,500 foot section along the formation. That estimate uses the five drill holes along with the magnetometer work completed on the property during 1959. During this time the company did not own all the ground and was therefore unable to test the iron potential of the nose fold of the formation to the southwest.
An airborne VTEM and mag survey was conducted on the entire 12,000 hectare property in 2008 by Geotech Ltd. The survey defines the formation rather definitively. The thicker parts of the formation have not been drill tested and are an exploration priority for as the Company assembles its Nat River exploration program. Aside from the airborne survey the Nat River Formation has not seen any iron exploration work since 1959.
Because of its strike length the Nat River Iron Formation has potential for additional tonnage and could augment future resources and mill feed at Radio Hill.
During 1963, grinding and concentrating tests were conducted by Lakefield Labs at its pilot plant on 190 long tons taken from four trenches cut within the Radio Hill resource area. Laboratory grinding and flotation testing continued into 1964.
A summary of the chemistries of the concentrate feed and pellets is presented in the below table.
Figure 3. Chemical Analysis for Concentrate, FENCO 1965
Concentrates of this grade receive a considerable premium. Iron concentrates are priced at 62% (http://www.platts.com/DailyIronOreBenchmark) with each additional 1% of iron receiving a premium of $3.50 - $5.00.
No documentation of specific metallurgical testing on the Nat River Iron Formation was found during the property review conducted by Micon International Ltd. in 2010. All historic metallurgical work focused on the primary Radio Hill iron resource and as it was done prior to National Instrument 43-101 standards should not be relied upon and will have to be redone.
The portion of the project containing the Radio Hill Iron Formation, approximately 15% of the total land package, was acquired in 2008 under an option agreement which was completed in February of 2011. I in lieu of an NSR or other royalty payments, Rogue has the option to purchase 100% of the iron rights, outright upon commencement of commercial production. The remaining 85% of the land package, that includes the 12km Nat River Iron Formation, was staked by the Company and therefore has no underlying royalties.
Significant unexplored potential remains on Rogue's property, as exemplified in the Nat River Formation as well as untested targets on strike to the west and down-plunge to the northwest of the Radio Hill deposit. Various historic reports discuss the exploration potential of the Radio Hill group. Using new geophysical and geological data the company will continue to build on its known targets as it advances the project.Rogue completed (10,500 m) diamond drilling in May 2012 and received all its assays back in July. Prior to the completion of the drilling the Company initiated a grindability study as part of the first phase of the metallurgical work required to enable the company to market the product from Radio Hill. The second phase of metallurgical work is now underway. The feasibility study from 1965 indicated fine grinding and reverse flotation for silica was required in order to produce a 68%+ Fe concentrate with 4.1% silica, a good product for creating iron ore pellets. Once the metallurgical work is complete the company will likely produce a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate (inferred).
In August Rogue completed ground magnetics survey over the most prospective portion of the Nat River Iron Formation and established drill targets. Also in August the Company conducted some mapping and sampling in the area of the magnetic anomaly believed to be the Nat River Iron Formation. Several of the banded iron formation samples returned total iron close to 40%.
Near term exploration plans:
- Completion of metallurgical tests on Radio Hill material,
- Completion of a NI 43-10 compliant resource on the main portion of the Radio Hill deposit,
- Exploration drilling along the 12km Nat River Iron Formation,
As the work program advances management will continue to review strategic options for the asset.
*The geological model shown in Figure 2 has been prepared by SGS Geostat using data from historic and recent drilling. The model is a geological envelope containing all material within the iron formation and has not had economic constraints applied to it and therefore includes material which will be later classified as waste due to uneconomic grades and/or pit shell limitations.