Barton eyes scoping study as Tunkillia bolstered for third time

Barton Gold (ASX:BGD) has bolstered the JORC Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of its Tunkillia Project in South Australia to 1.5 million ounces.

Managing Director and CEO Alex Scanlon tells Mining.com.au that Barton is now charging ahead into Scoping Studies and high-grade drilling amid what has been the third Tunkillia resource increase in the past 12 months. 

“There is also a large halo of continuous mineralisation surrounding this resource, so there is room for future growth with additional drilling or improvements in the future gold price. This is a very exciting milestone for the Tunkillia Gold Project and for Barton Gold, as we now move to Scoping Studies to model the baseline economic analyses for a bulk open pit operation, while also pursuing neighbouring higher grade targets like the historical high-grade Tarcoola Goldfield and Tunkillia’s own Area 191.

This is where we recently announced visible gold in an intersection of 3.83m @ 68 grams per tonne gold. These have significant potential to enhance overall project economics and support stage one development, leveraging our existing mill, so we will eagerly follow these up throughout the course of the year. As promised, we are starting 2024 as busily as we ended 2023.

We still have several thousand metres of drilling results yet to deliver from Tarcoola and Tunkillia and we are charging ahead on multiple fronts toward our objective to develop a 150,000 ounce per annum gold producer.”

Further to the new MRE, Barton’s total global attributable JORC (2012) mineral resource endowment has grown by some 8% to almost 1.6 million ounces of gold (52.2Mt @ 0.94g/t Au). 

The $49.14 million market capitalisation company says 8,663m of drilling has delivered 115,216 new ounces of gold resource at the Area 51 deposit, to the northwest of 223. 

The total Tunkillia JORC (2012) mineral resources are now estimated to be 1.493Moz (51.3Mt @ 0.91 g/t Au) with 55% classified in the indicated category. 

Scanlon says the bolstered gold resource provides a critical mass for the modelling of baseline economic analyses.  

“Barton has now grown Tunkillia’s JORC mineral resources 3 times during the past 12 months, with around 530,000 ounces of gold added through the systematic, cost-efficient identification and conversion of new zones.

The Area 51 deposit MRE has been informed by a total of 72 drillholes, including 6,058m of reverse circulation (RC) drilling and 2,605.4m of diamond drilling. 

Continued efficient Tunkillia growth currently sits at an estimated $2.05 million ‘all in’ cost at Area 51, averaging $18 per new ounce. 

Over the past year, 530,000 ounces of gold has been added for an average all in cost of $15 per ounce. 

In 2022 Barton completed 1,926m of RC drilling at Area 51, announcing a new 500m long gold zone in September 2022 with results including 17m @ 3.2g/t Au from 77m and 25m @ 1.51g/t Au from 81m.

In early 2023 Barton completed a further 2,118m RC and 856.9m DD drilling, announcing the extension of Area 51 to 700m length in April 2023 with key results including 28.55m @ 1.32g/t Au from 91.45m.

Late last year Barton completed another 1,700m RC and 1,748.5m DD drilling, intersecting broad mineralisation with results including 44.6m @ 1.81g/t Au from 64m and 22m @ 1.33g/t Au from 158m.

Barton Gold is an ASX, OTCQB, and Frankfurt Stock Exchange-listed gold developer targeting future gold production of 150,000oz annually, with nearly 1.6Moz of JORC mineral resources, multiple exploration projects and brownfield mines, and 100% ownership of the only regional gold mill in the renowned central Gawler Craton. 

As of December 2023, Barton Gold had $4.617 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Barton Gold
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.