Westcore Energy Ltd.

March 22, 2010 13:47 ET

Westcore Intersects 41-, 42- and 46-Metre Coal Intercepts on Three Different Targets at Black Diamond Property, Manitoba, and a 5.5-Metre Coal Intercept on Hudson Bay North Property, Saskatchewan

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 22, 2010) - Westcore Energy Ltd. ("Westcore" or the "Corporation") (TSX VENTURE:WTR) is pleased to announce that it has completed its winter 2009/2010 drilling program on the Black Diamond and Hudson Bay North Properties. A total of 2,429 metres was drilled in 30 holes, resulting in the discovery of 4 new coal deposits.

Highlights of the winter program are as follows:

- 3 new deposits were discovered on the Black Diamond Property in Manitoba, and 1 new deposit on the Hudson Bay Property in Saskatchewan (see Figure 1).

- Total number of coal deposits discovered to date on Westcore properties is 5.

- Coal intercepts on the new discoveries range in thickness between 5 and 46 metres.

- 76 samples have been shipped to Birtley labs in Calgary for proximate analysis.

- The coal's appearance is black, dull to bright, and visually similar to high-quality thermal coals previously identified by Goldsource Mines Inc. ("Goldsource") on their Border Property, near Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan.

Both of Westcore's winter drilling programs in Saskatchewan and Manitoba were terminated nearly a month early due to record-breaking warm temperatures. This caused winter roads and ice bridges to deteriorate beyond the point of safe use. As a consequence, only 30 holes of a planned 48-hole program were drilled, leaving some of the high-priority targets untested.


The plan for the 2010 winter drilling program at Black Diamond was to test the top 4 targets supplied to Westcore by Goldsource, utilizing their proprietary geophysical matrix as per the agreement made between the two companies (see Westcore's press release dated December 11, 2009). Roads and sites were built to all four targets, but soon after drilling began on March 3, it became apparent that spring-like conditions were going to persist. The decision was made to quickly move to as many targets as possible before deterioration of winter roads and ice bridges forced closure of the program. As a result, only 4 holes out of a planned 16-hole program were drilled: 2 holes on one target (Cyclops), and one hole each on two more targets (Ambit and Athena, see Figures 1 & 2). All three targets successfully returned very thick intercepts of coal, as summarized in Table 1. All together, 414 metres of HQ core was drilled.

Table 1: Black Diamond 2010 coal and carbonaceous intervals.

Coal Coal Coal
Target From To Interval Carbonaceous Zone
Hole # Name (m) (m) (m) (m)
BD10-02 Cyclops 43.50 85.50 42.00 42.07 - 95.70 = 53.63 m
BD10-03 Ambit 34.25 75.85 41.60 32.60 - 75.85 = 43.25 m
BD10-04 Athena 64.50 111.00 46.50 64.50 - 122.40 = 57.90 m

The coal intercepts are made up of nearly 100% coal from top to bottom, with very minor partings, as can be seen in the photo below. The coal generally occurs sandwiched between other carbon-bearing units, such as high-ash coal and carbonaceous sandstone, siltstone and mudstone. The coal and carbonaceous units together fall within what is termed a 'carbonaceous zone'. The overall width of the carbonaceous zone from each hole is detailed in Table 1. Due to various drilling and geological circumstances, all three coal-bearing holes were terminated before reaching the underlying Jurassic/Devonian units, typically used as the termination point for coal exploration. Therefore, the possibility exists that more coal could still occur at depth, as has been witnessed in some drill holes on Goldsource's Border Property (see multiple coal seams in Hole BD09-107, Goldsource news release dated August 24, 2009).

Hole BD10-01, located 281 metres north of Hole BD10-02 in the Cyclops area, did not intersect coal, having intersected shallow Jurassic/Devonian units at 27 m depth. The relationship between Holes 01 & 02 is typical of many coal basins discovered to date along the Durango Trend, in the Hudson Bay area. Based upon previous results reported by Westcore and Goldsource, it appears that drill holes that intersect 30+ metres of coal within basins whose bottoms are well over 100 metres below surface can encounter near-surface ( less than 30 metres) Jurassic-Devonian units in step-out holes that are located only 10's of metres away. This type of spatial relationship between nearby holes suggests that some coal basins are bounded by steep-angled walls that may, in some instances, turn out to be near-vertical, limestone 'cliffs'.

Photo: 46-metre, continuous coal intercept from Hole BD10-04, Black Diamond Property, MB.



The purpose of the winter drilling program on the Hudson Bay North Property was to test four priority targets as selected by Goldsource. The program was shut down early for the same reasons as the Black Diamond project, and only 26 holes out of a planned 32-hole program were drilled, for a total of 2016.5 metres. Following is a summary of the four targets drill-tested this winter (refer to Figure 3).

Niska 2

This target is the highest priority target on the Hudson Bay Property and had been identified by Westcore as a potential target prior to receiving confirmation from Goldsource that it was also their highest priority target. Westcore made the decision to drill the target with a helicopter ahead of building a winter road to the area. Two holes were drilled (CO-01 & 02) but neither hit coal, having intersected Devonian limestone units at a shallow depth instead. Once the proprietary geophysical information was received from Goldsource, however, it became apparent that the two helicopter holes could have been drilled along the outer edges of a basin. As mentioned above, the coal basins in this general area can be bounded by steep, limestone cliffs, and it is entirely possible that a large basin exists between these two holes, which are separated by a distance of approximately 0.9 kilometres. Construction of a winter road into the area was started in mid-February; however, prolonged warm temperatures prevented adequate completion of the road. At this point, Westcore management feels the most economic approach to take before more drilling is conducted on their top priority target is to research different ground geophysical methods and select the one best suited to define the edges of the coal basin. Once ground surveys are completed, a far more efficient drilling program can be implemented.

Waskwei West

The first hole drilled into this target (HBN-11) intersected 8.1 metres of black, carbonaceous material before entering Jurassic units at 49.7 metres depth (Table 2). Hole HBN-12 stepped out 170 m to the south and was successful in intersecting a coal basin. The hole intersected a carbonaceous zone spanning 95.7 metres in width, within which a 25.5 metre higher density coal unit occurs, which in turn contains a 5.5 m lower-density coal unit. The hole was terminated in Jurassic units beginning at 143.4 metres below surface. Several step-out holes from the basin were drilled on existing roads (Holes HBN-13 through 17), but all five holes intersected narrow carbonaceous zones before entering Jurassic units at shallow depths, with nearly identical geology to Hole HBN-11. The seven holes drilled in this area once again illustrate that steep walls can bound the coal basins, especially evidenced by Holes HBN-12 and HBN-17, which are only 74 metres apart from each other. Westcore was preparing to build new winter roads to test the southerly extension of the basin when active logging operations began in the immediate area. It was decided to wait until logging operations terminated before returning to the area, but by then unseasonably warm temperatures precluded adequate winter road construction. As one of Goldsource's priority targets, Waskwei West warrants further investigation. It's steep and abrupt basin edges, as demonstrated by Holes HBN-12 & 17, makes this target a prime candidate for a ground-geophysical survey ahead of further drilling.

Table 2: Waskwei West coal and carbonaceous zone intervals.

Carbonaceous Zone
Hole # From (m) To (m) Interval (m)
HBN-11 39.0 47.1 8.1
HBN-12 41.2 136.9 95.7
Includes Coal Zone (1) 108.7 133.9 25.2
Includes Coal 117.8 123.3 5.5
HBN-13 35.7 36.4 0.7
HBN-14 41.8 42.1 0.3
HBN-15 45.1 47.8 2.7
HBN-16 36.2 43.2 7.0
HBN-17 43.7 45.0 1.3
(1) Coal Zone refers to a composite of lower and higher density coal

Stony Creek

Hole HBN-18, spotted on top of a priority target, failed to intersect coal, intersecting Jurassic units at shallow depths instead (45.8 metres below surface). To test the theory that we were once again dealing with steep-walled basins - and that Hole HBN-18 was situated on the outer edge of the basin - several step-out holes were drilled (Holes HBN-19 through HBN-22). All holes encountered shallow Jurassic units without intersecting any coal or carbonaceous material. It appears as though this target failed to represent a coal basin, however Hole HBN-20 intersected a 23.4 metre interval of dark grey mudstone/siltstone of unknown age (directly above Jurassic units) that displays very steep, consistent bedding angles (near vertical in dip). The steep bedding angles suggest this hole may have been located very near to the edge of a basin, the centre of which could still be located within the area of the Goldsource target, but the decision was made to cease drilling until ground geophysical surveys could be conducted.

Waskwei East

A lower-priority target selected by Goldsource occurs at the far southern tip of a roughly N-S, elongated geophysical anomaly. While a winter road was being constructed to this southerly point, two holes were drilled on the northern part of the anomaly (Holes HBN-23 & 24). Both intersected Devonian limestone directly below the glacial till. At this point, drilling operations were moved over to Manitoba while the remainder of the road was being constructed. However, warm temperatures caused the newly constructed road to soften too rapidly before the drill rig could be moved back to test the target. This target also warrants a ground geophysical survey to be conducted prior to any further drilling.

Other Drill Holes

Early in the program, while waiting for priority-target locations from Goldsource and winter road construction to be completed to those targets, Westcore conducted their own exploration drilling to test geophysical anomalies immediately accessible along existing logging roads. One such anomaly was reported in the Westcore news release dated December 22, 2010, where a 7.12-metre carbonaceous unit was intersected in Hole WTRHB09-01. As mentioned in that release, the geophysical data suggested the hole was located on the edge of a potential basin whose centre was 1 kilometre away. Hole HBN-02 was drilled there, but no coal was intersected (see Table 3). Several step-out holes from the initial hole were drilled to test if the carbonaceous zone expanded in any direction to include actual coal layers. Similar carbonaceous zones to Hole WTRHB09-01 were intersected, but a deeper basin with significant coal intercepts was never found. Table 2 summarizes the results of these holes.

Table 3: Carbonaceous intervals in vicinity of Hole HB09-01

Carbonaceous Zone
Hole # From (m) To (m) Interval (m)
WTRHB09-01 (1) 47.5 54.6 7.1
HBN-02 40.4 49.9 9.5
HBN-05 42.2 50.7 8.5
HBN-06 39.9 53.2 13.3
HBN-08 38.8 51.7 12.9
(1) Drill hole number taken from December 22, 2009 Westcore news release.

Drill holes HBN-03, HBN-04, HBN-07, HBN-09 and HBN-10, drilled on various geophysical anomalies, did not intersect any significant coal or carbonaceous units.


As noted in Westcore's news release dated December 11, 2009, Westcore's agreement with Goldsource defined the term, "Success Criteria" as the "successful drilling of at least one intercept consisting of not less than 10 metres of coal on each of two drill targets identified by Goldsource". As the Success Criteria have been satisfied, the following terms of the foregoing agreement will now take effect;

(a) Westcore will issue an additional 1.0 million common shares of Westcore
to Goldsource;
(b) Goldsource will receive a 25% working interest in all of Westcore coal
lands in Saskatchewan and Manitoba;
(c) Westcore will expend an additional $3.0 million on the aforementioned
lands before Goldsource will be required to contribute its 25% of
(d) Westcore and Goldsource will enter into a 75% / 25% joint venture
agreement with terms and conditions standard to mining industry joint
(e) Goldsource will contribute its 100% interest in its 10 sections of
coal permits that are within Westcore's northern block adjacent to
Border in Saskatchewan; and
(f) In the event that Westcore acquires interests from time to time in any
additional prospective coal properties in Saskatchewan or Manitoba,
Goldsource shall have the option to acquire a 25% joint venture
participating interest therein.

Paul Conroy, President and CEO, states, "Our Black Diamond Property continues to dazzle us with spectacular coal intercepts at such shallow depths. It was unfortunate that a record-breaking warm winter dramatically shortened our drilling campaign this winter, as we feel confident that more discoveries will be made on both Westcore properties. To our favour, winter roads are now in place and can easily be opened up next winter for early access to all of our targets. We look forward to selecting the best ground-geophysical method available to accurately pinpoint the location of our basins before commencing any further drilling programs."

Ellen MacNeill, Professional Geoscientist in the Province of Saskatchewan and Qualified Person for this news release, has reviewed and approved its contents.

Forward Looking Statements

Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Corporation, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable securities requirements, the Corporation undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

To view Map 1, click on the link below:


To view Map 2, click on the link below:


To view Map 3, click on the link below:


Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the release.

Contact Information

  • Westcore Energy Ltd.
    Paul Conroy
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (403) 697-4005
    (403) 263-0271 (FAX)