“We have too much geology for our geologists,” Francois Perron, CEO of Lucky Minerals (LKY.V) told me in a telephone interview. It is a problem many junior exploration companies would like to have. Having 12 contiguous exploration concessions covering 550 Km2 means there is a lot of ground to cover. So much ground that Lucky Minerals has only been able to focus on a few “hot spots” on its Fortuna property in Ecuador.
In a 2018 NI-43-101 Technical Report, the Fortuna property was characterized as having potential for multiple mineralization styles, including high and low sulfidation epithermal veins, placers and paleo-placers, porphyry-style stockworks, and skarn replacements. A geologist’s dream to explore!
“The Fortuna property is so big and so prospective that other companies have taken a look at sections of the property other than the ones Lucky is focusing on. One company focused on exploring for copper and did not find a copper deposit to the scale or size it was looking for, however, all of the mapping and geophysics data from that company’s exploration effort became available to Lucky to guide our targets of exploration which is in the area we are currently focused on Wayka”, said Perron.
“We started exploring for gold ourselves about 18 months ago,” said Perron. “There are gold mines within 80 kilometres of our property but there has not been a lot of exploration on our 12 concessions.”
The lack of previous exploration is partially explained by the somewhat complicated recent history of mining and exploration in Ecuador. A decade ago, the government of Ecuador made several hundred mining concessions available for exploration but since then, there has been a moratorium on the granting of new concessions. A private company successfully secured the concessions prior to the moratorium which makes up the 550 Km2 Fortuna property but ran out of funding and “horsepower” – opening up this tremendous opportunity for Lucky.
Exploration at the property was further complicated by the arrival of COVID last year. “I am extremely anxious to get down there,” said Perron. “I have not been able to meet our Ecuadorean team and I am very much an “in-person” team guy. The vaccination rate in Ecuador is rising and I am hopeful that I will be able to get down there soon.
“At the moment, our entire exploration team and the program is run out of Vancouver,” said Perron. “Our field teams are 100% Ecuadorean. We have all COVID protocols in place and the teams have all had their first vaccination shots.”
“Our field teams work in rotation and they have managed to accomplish a great deal under the circumstances,” said Perron. In one zone, Wayka, the company took an outcrop sample which averaged 3.06 g/t gold over 4.0 meters. In the press release reporting this Perron is quoted, “It is very encouraging to find the system goes up to more than 5.0 g/t gold and that every meter sampled near this feeder has a grade that is greater than 1.0 g/t gold including the rhyolite host rock. It is still early days, and our work is also focused on understanding the scale of the surface expression.”
Lucky’s results have continued to improve. The most recent results from another trench reported an average of 17.63 g/t gold over 3.0 meters. One of these samples returned 26.50 g/t gold. “Finding an additional brecciated feeder zone is a strong confirmation as to the scale of the system. This trench is approximately 700 meters north of the first trench. The potential for additional feeder zones is clearly evident as we have defined the high temperature alteration zone to cover an area 1.5 Km x 1.0 Km and this area is still open.”
Since the beginning of April, there have been five positive releases on the Wayka zone alone. “This is a large system,” said Perron. “It has a large “hot” area. The land itself is fairly flat and we are able to cut a trench. There are only about 30 centimetres of topsoil so we can trench where we have already found mineralization. We can use trenching to track the alteration.
“Trenching can be done quickly,” said Perron. “We use the trenches to better understand the system. Then we can identify the targets we want to drill for depth.”
Trenching and sampling, as well as geological mapping, allow Lucky to work on several areas on the property. For example, at the Macuche area, a 20 meter hand dug trench yielded samples bearing 0.33 g/t gold mineralization and the company also took samples from artisanal workings 250 meters away from the trench for which assays are pending.
As more geological information is compiled and more samples are analyzed, Lucky plans to undertake some drilling. The company is looking at 2,500 meters – 3,000 meters of drilling split roughly 75% at Wayka and 25% at Macuche as well as at another site where there is no outcrop.
“At Macuche there are trenches dating back to Spanish days,” said Perron. “We want to get to the bottom of those.”
Lucky is engaged in classic, grassroots, exploration of a potentially very prospective set of concessions. Typically, the stock market tends to undervalue trenching and sampling, preferring drill results. Lucky should have drill results later this year.
Currently, Lucky is trading around $0.10 and has a market cap of $7.72 million. It is anticipated that with one good drill intercept that the share price and market cap could possibly triple in a short period of time.