Ardea Resources Limited (ASX: ARL) has announced a highly encouraging update from the RC drilling program at Big Four gold mine within the footprint of its flagship asset, Goongarrie Nickel-Cobalt Project (GNCP) in WA.
Ardea reported that the drilling at Big Four gold prospect has defined strong, near-surface gold intercepts.
Significant results include 18 m at 3.38 g/t gold from 18 m including 6 m at 6.03 g/t gold from 20 m; 14 m at 2.40 g/t gold from 6 m including 4 m at 5.73 g/t gold from 6 m; and 20 m at 2.91 g/t gold from 76 m including 2 m at 13.60 g/t gold from 76 m and 2 m at 5.29 g/t gold from 82 m and 2 m at 5.01 g/t gold from 92 m.
The company said that the drilling confirms historic results from adjacent drill holes, boosting confidence in historic drilling data.
Goongarrie Nickel-Cobalt Project (GNCP)
The Goongarrie Nickel-Cobalt Project is Ardea’s flagship project. GNCP is part of the largest Nickel Cobalt Resource in the developed world, with resource of 773 million tonnes at 0.71% Ni and 0.05% Co.
Goongarrie is located in the tier-one mining jurisdiction of Kalgoorlie, which offers world-class infrastructure in an established mining hub.
Since acquiring the GNCP in 2017, Ardea has included systematic gold assays in its analytical suite, on the basis of project location within the Bardoc Tectonic Zone. Big Four Gold mine is one of the important prospects of GNCP.
Ardea is positioning Goongarrie to be a supplier of high-purity nickel and cobalt sulphate to the lithium ion battery market as the automotive electrification revolution continues to rapidly grow.
Drilling at GNCP
The company had recently commenced drilling at GNCP. A total of 11 drill holes were completed in late January 2020, for a total of 738 m. A total of 304 assays were taken from the 11 drill holes completed.
Ardea reported that the drill program at Big Four Gold has confirmed significant shallow gold mineralisation hosted predominantly within an alkaline, porphyritic intrusive and surrounding Siberia Komatiite that had previously been intercepted in historic drill programs.
ARL said that in doing so, some of the best gold mineralisation intercepts historically recorded at the deposit were encountered.
Shallow gold mineralisation
ARL said that the recent drill program at Big Four Gold has confirmed significant shallow gold mineralisation hosted predominantly within an alkaline, porphyritic intrusive and surrounding Siberia Komatiite that had previously been intercepted in historic drill programs.
In doing so, some of the best gold mineralisation intercepts historically recorded at the deposit were encountered.
ARL reported that the gold tenor at Big Four Gold appears to be high, with very low to below detection levels of silver, arsenic, and antimony.
ARL said that significant gold mineralisation has been confirmed at Big Four Gold at shallow levels. Intercept calculation parameters were 0.5 g/t cutoff, minimum intercept thickness of 1 m, and maximum internal waste of 2 m.
The shallow high-grade intercepts include 8 m at 2.28 g/t gold from 18 m including 2 m at 4.94 g/t gold from 22 m (ABFR0267); 6 m at 2.32 g/t gold from 32 m (ABFR0269); 18 m at 3.38 g/t gold from 18 m including 6 m at 6.03 g/t gold from 20 m (ABFR0270); 14 m at 2.4 g/t gold from 6 m including 4 m at 5.73 g/t gold from 6 m (ABFR0272); 4 m at 5.78 g/t gold from 38 m including 2 m at 10.90 g/t gold from 38 m (ABFR0273); 20 m at 2.91 g/t gold from 76 m including 2 m at 13.60 g/t gold from 76 m and 2 m at 5.29 g/t gold from 82 m and 2 m at 5.01 g/t gold from 92 m (ABFR0274); and 6 m at 1.64 g/t gold from 30 m including 2 m at 4.01 g/t gold from 30 m (ABFR0276).
Opportunity to enhance project economics
The company reported that the systematic gold exploration across the GNCP represents another opportunity to enhance overall project economics.
ARL said that presently, strong, coherent, and extensive gold anomalism is associated with surface lateritic nickel-cobalt mineralisation and could be indicative of underlying primary bedrock orogenic gold mineralisation.
Historic intercepts confirmation
Ardea said that the results of this program provide confidence in the existing archival drill results and should assist in defining a new resource to JORC Code (2012) guidelines.
The company said that historic data can now be incorporated into any modelling with increased certainty.
Encouraging results from Mulga Plum, Lady Isobel
ARL reported that results were also received from the Mulga Plum and Lady Isobel first pass drill programs.
The company said that these results are still being assessed with a peak intersection from Mulga Plum of 2 m at 8.84 g/t Au from 14 m, from drill hole AJAR0009. Several sub-grade mineralisation occurrences were also noted.
Ardea said that it will continue to assess these projects to define forward exploration strategies.
The company announced that further drilling is required at Big Four Gold but has not yet been defined. Further drilling could include infill drilling, and extension of programs to the north and south along strike, and or down-plunge to the north.
ARL said that the metallurgical assessment of all metals of interest at Big Four Gold will be undertaken prior to progression to a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) should such a study be warranted.
Ardea’s Managing Director, Andrew Penkethman, said: “Ardea is highly encouraged by these first-pass drill results from Big Four. The fact that all planned holes intersected significant gold mineralisation confirms the geological model.
Mineralisation is still open at depth and a possible fault off-set structural repetition has been modeled along strike to the north and will now be tested to define the extent of this mineralised system.
Ardea will continue to test the prospectivity of its large Eastern Goldfields land holding for gold and nickel sulphides, in parallel to de-risking the nickel-cobalt resources within the broader Kalgoorlie Nickel Project.”