Desert Star Resources Ltd. [DSR-TSXV] of Vancouver, in its newly streamlined form, is concentrating all of its exploration ener- gies on three projects in the southwestern United States: two copper porphyry proj- ects in Arizona and the Anchor gold project in Nevada. Having recently amalgamated with Providence Resources Corp. along with successful financing, it’s poised to take advantage of its prospective land positions in historical and current mining districts.
In a recent interview, Vince Sorace, President and CEO of Desert Star, said, “In 2012, we set out to form a technical and business-oriented team that could exploit the opportunity created by the weak- ness in the market. We focused our search efforts on exploration projects within mature mining districts, and recognized that the southwestern US presented sig- nificant opportunity. As we’ve increased our knowledge about the district, we realized that a combination of factors resulted in the district being underexplored, specifically for distal expressions of buried porphyry systems.”
The company’s Copper King and RedTop project areas reside proximal to several active porphyry copper mines and ongoing exploration projects. Sorace noted, “There are hardly any other places on the planet with so much mining and exploration activity going on in such a small area.”
Here Desert Star is in stellar company with some local operating mines held by BHP Billiton (Copper Cities and Old Dominion), Freeport McMoRan (Miami- Inspiration), and Capstone Mining (Pinto Valley), while the huge and developing Resolution Copper deposit lies within walk- ing distance to the nearby town of Superior.
Resolution Copper, a joint project of Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, is next to the site of the historical Magma Copper Mine (1912-1996). In 2012, Resolution Copper reported an inferred resource of 1.624 bil- lion tons at 1.47% copper and 0.037% molybdenum.
The famous historical Silver King Mine and town site were located at the edge of the Copper King block near a recently quar- ried marble formation, in a hydrothermal contact zone attesting to the prospective mineralization in the region. Geologically the area is underlain by folded sedimentary strata intruded by Mesozoic to Cenozoic (Laramide) porphyritic granitoids and dia- base dikes and crosscut by numerous veins. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, silver was mined from sulphurets ore as well as native silver in quartz veins.
Both Red Top and Copper King pros- pects were recognized, at first, from surface alteration (clay minerals suggestive of the top of a porphyry copper altera- tion halo), and followed up by geophysical modelling of IP anomalies at depth, consis- tent with disseminated sulphides typical of porphyry copper deposits. No mod- ern exploration for porphyry copper and molybdenum mineralization has been completed, although it is believed that the deposits are large enough to contain mineable bulk tonnages of both supergene (oxide) and hypogene (sulphide) minerals. The next step is to drill the underground geophysical targets (each more than a square kilometre in size) to define any ore bodies present. The company will be ready to start the exploration season in the com- ing few months, as soon as drilling permits are received.
Guy Davis, Corporate Development for Desert Star, discussed strategy going forward: “If there is anything this downtrend tells us, it is that the business of discovery needs an overhaul. On the technical side, the geologists need to sift through sig- nificant amounts of data, utilize the most advanced technology, and spend extensive time at project and potential project sites. On the business side, it’s critical that the team understands which activities build the most amount of value for the organiza- tion, and manage the resources and costs most efficiently to increase the probability of making a discovery.”
This is really a story about walking over old ground and rediscovering new ways of looking at it, a story repeating itself in many of the traditional mining districts all over the world.