Captain Cook Halite Project
Location & Logistics
Vulcan Minerals Inc. owns approximately 65% of Red Moon Potash Inc. (Red Moon). Red Moon owns 100% interest in the Captain Cook Salt Project, which covers 922 claims over 23,050 hectares in the Bay St. George Basin of Western Newfoundland, a sub-basin within the regional Maritimes Basin. On August 17, 2012, Vulcan spun-out Red Moon as a new public company to its shareholders.
The Project is accessible by multiple paved roads including the nearby TransCanada Highway. It is nearby to two deep water ports, including Turf Point, just over 5 km away from the salt deposit and is accessible via a gravel road that transects the property. High voltage power lines, a legacy from a past-producing gypsum quarry on the property, are nearby to the salt deposit.
Geology, Mining & Exploration
The Bay St. George Sub-Basin represents the north eastern extension of the Carboniferous-aged Maritimes Basin. The Maritimes Basin is a large scale, post-orogenic, successor-type basin represented by a series of sub-basin and highland structures extending from south eastern New Brunswick, northern mainland and Cape Breton Island areas of Nova Scotia, underlying most of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and extending onto southwestern Newfoundland as the Bay St. George Sub-basin.
The basin accumulated a sequence of non-marine, marine, and non-marine sediments from late Devonian through early Permian time. In the Bay St. George Sub-basin, the Carboniferous sedimentary rocks are represented by the basal, non-marine Anguille Group (mainland Horton Group equivalent), the medial, marine, evaporate-bearing, Codroy Group (Windsor Group equivalent) and upper, non-marine Barrachois Group (Mabou Group equivalent).
The mainland equivalent of the Codroy Group, the Windsor Group, is the host for several evaporate developments including in New Brunswick, since the 1980’s, past potash producers Penobsquis and Cassidy Lake and current potash producer Piccadilly; and in Nova Scotia, since 1918, past salt producer Malagash, and current salt producers Nappan and Pugwash; and in Quebec, current salt producer Seleine, on the Magdalene Islands. Penobsquis, owned and operated by PotashCorp produces primarily potash with by-product salt by room and pillar methods; Nappan, owned and operated by Compass Minerals (formerly Sifto Canada Corp.) produces mainly refined salt products via solution mining and Morton Salt (formerly Canadian Salt Company) produces salt via room and pillar at Pugwash.
Previous work by other explorers for salt and potash in the Bay St. George Basin in the 1970’s and 1980’s tested a series of geophysical gravity lows related to salt domes. The Captain Cook salt/potash zone does not occur in a gravity low, but rather appears to be part of a relatively undeformed section of the basin. The Bay St. George potash exploration model is based on the geology and structure of the Moncton basin of Sussex, New Brunswick, which hosts all past and current potash production in New Brunswick.
During petroleum exploration programs, Vulcan conducted numerous seismic surveys and combined with its drilling efforts it amassed a significant database of geological information, which was made available to Red Moon in support of evaporite exploration in the Bay St. George area. Vulcan and subsequently Red Moon have enjoyed three successful exploration programs, beginning in 2002 when Captain Cook #1 (CC1) was drilled, intersecting approximately 150 m of nearly continuous, high-grade salt with minor, locally high-grade potash. In 2013, Red Moon drilled CC2 and CC3, which intersected just under 150 m of salt and minor potash, and 70 m of salt with minor potash respectively. In 2014 Red Moon drilled CC4 and CC5, with CC4 intersecting 320 m of nearly continuous salt and minor potash and CC5 intersecting just over 220 m of salt. Recently, in support of the Captain Cook 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate, Red Moon announced new results from additional sampling of these drillholes, which have given Red Moon a more detailed assessment of salt grades at Captain Cook.
In the autumn of 2015, Red Moon commissioned a 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate to determine the scope of the salt resource on the Captain Cook project; ultimately this and subsequent evaluation will allow Red Moon to determine the economic feasibility of developing this property into a salt mine. The Red Moon claims in western Newfoundland are split into two non-contiguous blocks. The claims further south contain historical potash exploration holes, which Red Moon will use as a basis for future potash exploration in the Bay St. George basin.