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Mapping Program Connects Mineral Systems at BC Project

Source: Streetwise Reports

August 23, 2023 (Investorideas.com Newswire) A graduate student mapping program has confirmed an important structural connection between two mineral systems at this company's British Columbia project.


A student-conducted mapping and sampling program has confirmed an important structural connection between two mineral systems on its Deer Horn property in British Columbia, First Tellurium Corp. (FTEL:CSE; FSTTF:OTCQB) announced.

In preliminary results, graduate students from the University of British Columbia and the University of St. Andrews found the connection between the project's Pond copper porphyry and gold-silver-tellurium systems.

The data confirm that "the primary structure within the Deer Horn property is a large, east-west trending thrust fault," First Tellurium consultant and Qualified Person Dr. Lee Groat noted in a release from the company. "Historically, mineral exploration has focused on the southeastern part of the property, where high-grade gold-silver-tellurium (Au-Ag-Te) mineralization is predominantly located in quartz veins associated with this thrusting event."

Due to retreating glaciers, new sites on the northwestern part of Deer Horn have been uncovered, with significant copper mineralization observed at the Pond and adjacent areas.

"This is thought to be part of a new porphyry copper system, potentially similar to the nearby Huckleberry Mine," the release said.

The Catalyst: Looking Toward Drilling Targets

The company is conducting geophysics work at Deer Horn this summer to help develop targets for a drilling campaign.

The mapping and sampling program will be added to the exploration conducted by Deer Horn in 2012, which discovered several significant mineralized zones. Students are working this summer under Groat's direction.

The company said it also had engaged Dias Geophysical of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to conduct induced polarization (IP) geophysical testing, which is following up on rock sampling, channel sampling, and prospecting done in 2022 that identified a possible 1.1-kilometer extension of a 2.4-kilometer gold-silver-tellurium vein system.

"There is obvious porphyry and abundant associated sulfide mineralization on surface at Deer Horn," Groat said. "The geophysical data from IP is needed to obtain subsurface information, such as the location of bodies of sulfide mineralization. This will help us direct the summer drill campaign and determine locations, directions, angles, and depths of drill holes."

Green Energy Needs These Minerals

Both tellurium and copper are needed for the switch to green energy.

Deer Horn is known to have the only positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for a tellurium project in North America and was named a world-class project by solar panel maker First Solar Inc. (FSLR:NYSE).

Tellurium is one of the least common elements on Earth, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Most rocks contain an average of about three parts per billion, making them eight times less abundant than gold.

Its use as a semiconductor in solar photovoltaic (solar PV) panels has increased. It is also used in thermoelectric applications, lithium batteries, vulcanizing rubber, tinting glass, and manufacturing rewritable CDs and DVDs.

Electric vehicles (EVs) use more than three times as much copper as gas-burning cars. New copper production - and investment in exploration - will be needed to fuel the supply of those vehicles, analysts say.

"Based on industry-wide capital intensity data, we calculate that some US$196 billion of investment will be required," a market analysis issued by RFC Ambrian said. "Of this, US$80 billion is for greenfield projects, and US$116 billion is for brownfield projects, of which US$71 billion is simply for replacement capacity. A further US$35 billion of investment will be required to close the supply gap."

An S&P report called copper "one of the most underappreciated critical minerals."

"Deeper electrification requires wires, and wires are primarily made from copper," the report said.

Billionaire Robert Friedland, founder and executive co-chairman of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., recently told Bloomberg that he fears copper prices could jump tenfold.

"We're heading for a train wreck here," he said.

A Larger Ore-Forming Process

First Tellurium said about 200 additional structural measurements have been taken of primarily sulfide-bearing veins across Deer Horn. Those veins' main groupings intersect at 60 degrees along the thrust plane.

"These orientations appear to be consistent throughout the property across several lithological units," the company noted. "This suggests that these spatially separate mineralized veins on either side of the property formed as a result of the same structural regime and are likely a part of a larger ore-forming process that generated both the Deer Horn Au-Ag-Te and Pond copper porphyry mineralization."

Deer Horn's PEA was calculated on 450 meters of the original 2.4-kilometer gold-silver-tellurium vein system.

In addition, the company's Klondike tellurium project in Colorado is considered America's top tellurium exploration project and was previously owned by First Solar as a potential source of raw tellurium for its solar panels.

Ownership and Share Structure

According to the company, 11% of First Tellurium is owned by management and insiders.

Docherty owns 10.6% or 7.7 million shares, Director Josef Anthony Steve Fogarassy has 1.38% or 1 million shares, and Director Lyle Allen Schwabe has 0.73% or 0.53 million shares. There are no institutional investors, and the rest is retail.

The company has a market cap of CA$10.4 million, with about 73 million shares outstanding and 63.4 million free-floating. It trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.25 and CA$0.10.

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