Alicanto Minerals Ltd (ASX:AQI) has recently restructured with an experienced team set to pursue new discoveries at its Greater Falun Copper-Gold Project, which covers 300 square kilometres in Sweden’s Tier-1 mining region of Bergslagen.
The company has welcomed a new non-executive chairman in Ray Shorrocks, who said he joined the company because the project is “world-class”.
Shorrocks said: “I’ve worked with Pete [MD Peter George] before, so I knew he was very capable in this area and this looked like a very exciting project with respect to its size.
“I’m only interested in big, world-class projects and this had all the hallmarks of that.”
The company’s chief geologist Erik Lundstam has over 15 years of experience with Bergslagen geological systems and, along with managing director Peter George, was responsible for the recent breakthrough where the company established that the dominant mineralisation in the region is copper-gold skarn, not a Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) system as long believed.
“Most mineralised place on earth”
The Bergslagen region hosts world-class base and precious metals projects such as the Garpenberg mine operated by Boliden and the Zinkgruvan mine operated by Lundin.
The now-closed Falun mine, which has a long-established mining history dating back over the best part of 1,000 years, has produced 28 million tonnes of high-grade copper-gold-rich polymetallic ore with silver, zinc and lead (28 million tonnes at 4.0% copper, 4 g/t gold, 5% zinc, 2% lead and 35 g/t silver).
George said: “The Bergslagen region is famous among geologists for being one of the most mineralised places on earth.
“[Greater Falun] had all the hallmarks for what we wanted – the big historical production, the high grade, and the high exploration upside.”
Greater Falun Project target locations
After spending extensive time on site, George and Lundstam concluded that the Greater Falun Project had been previously misunderstood.
George said: “When we were walking through the bush up there in Sweden, we actually came across an 11.9% copper rock left behind at some historical workings but the style of mineralisation with very red garnets is not understood to be VMS-style deposits.
“We started to think, hang on, maybe we’re dealing with something else here.
“So, we did an inverse polarisation (IP) survey over the top of Wolf Mountain.”
The company drilled at the Wolf Mountain target earlier this year with six holes for 964.65 metres defining widespread broad and strongly altered skarn mineralisation.
This could represent the margins of a potentially large mineralised system with grades of up to 2.1% copper, 69 g/t silver and 1.3% zinc .
George said: “When we went out and actually looked, we started to see copper-gold skarns all over the place.
“We now believe that Falun is a copper-gold skarn as well with polymetallic zinc-lead-silver very high-grade credits that go with it.
“We’ve seen about 15 copper-gold skarns situated within the mineralised zone which has completely turned the whole area on its head.”
A 4,000-metre diamond drilling program is underway and will test the seven copper-gold skarns at surface as well as aiming to establish extensions to known mineralisation in the vicinity of major copper gold systems.
George said: “Keep in mind the Vikings have been scratching around there for 1,000 years, but it’s really only now that we’re starting to understand what’s happening and why this area has been completely misunderstood.
“We are now standing at the precipice of hopefully some really nice discoveries.
“We’re spoilt for choice because each one of our targets could be company makers in their own right.”
Alicanto aims to establish a mineral inventory capable of supporting a central processing hub.
George said: “My aim is to build up an inventory of 15-20 million tonnes at least within the top 100 metres or so at surface.”
Location of the Heden and Wolf Mountain prospect areas relative to pluton proximal, high grade, high tonnage copper mineralisation
Unique understanding of the region
Shorrocks said the team George had put together meant they had a unique understanding of the Greater Falun region.
He said: “Pete knows this area and this project; he’s not alien to Sweden, he speaks the language, he’s worked there.
“And Erik (I call him Mr Sweden), has got five or six discoveries under his belt and he knows the rocks here like no one else.”
“Recipe for a discovery”
Shorrocks said the company had the combination of a project with extensive known mineralisation in a world-class geological region and in a Tier-1 mining location which had not been exposed to a major, modern exploration program.
He said: “This is the recipe which has created immense wealth for shareholders at so many projects in recent years.
“It’s extremely exciting that we’ve got size, multiple options, a great team and we’ve got enough money in the bank to fulfill the initial part of our drilling campaign.”
In August, the company raised around A$1.425 million (before costs) through the issue of up to 25,909,090 fully paid ordinary shares in the company at an issue price of A$0.055 each to primarily fund exploration activities in Sweden.