Marmota reports highest ever 1m intersection at Aurora Tank

by Leena Thomas
Image: Marmota

Marmota (ASX: MEU) announced that it has received highly encouraging detailed 1m assay results from the June drilling program at Aurora Tank gold mine in South Australia.

The company reported that the new detailed 1m results from the June 2019 drilling have yielded Marmota’s highest ever 1m intersection of 120 g/t gold just 21m from surface.

MEU announced that the new assays include further excellent 1m intersections including 47 g/t gold; 39 g/t gold; and 22 g/t gold, all located within the new NW zone, as well as multiple intersections exceeding 10g/t.

The company said that the new NW zone appears to be over 100m long, and is open in a number of directions.

Marmota said that the assays also strengthened, verified, and validated the reconnaissance discovery hole (Two Fingers) located about 450m north of the Aurora Tank mineralised zone.

The company reported that the fresh 1m samples collected and assayed also returned significantly higher grades of 4m @ 7.2 g/t. The company noted that the samples are accompanied by anomalous pathfinder elements suggesting associated primary mineralisation.

Aurora Tank

Aurora Tank is situated 50km NE of the Challenger gold mine. Marmota had its first drilling program at Aurora Tank in September 2016.

The June drilling program (extensional + reconnaissance) had recently commenced at Aurora Tank. Initial 4m composite results were reported to the ASX on 31 July 2019.

The company reported that it has now received the detailed 1m assay results from the program.

Significant intersections from AC drilling

The company reported that the new detailed 1m results from the June drilling have yielded Marmota’s highest ever 1m intersection of 120 g/t gold just 21m from surface in Hole 19ATAC049.

This result surpasses Marmota’s previous best 1m intersections of 105 g/t gold 1 (located 120m to the North; 38m from surface) and 93 g/t gold (located 200m to the NE; 32m from surface).

Drilling highlights include 2m at 67 g/t gold from 32m incl 1m @ 93 g/t gold from 32m (17AT021); 3m at 41 g/t gold from 21m incl 1m @ 120 g/t gold from 21m (19AT049); 5m at 27 g/t gold from 38m incl 1m @ 105 g/t gold from 38m (18AT104); 3m at 24 g/t gold from 34m incl 1m @ 51 g/t gold from 35m (18AT065); 6m at 11 g/t gold from 40m incl 1m @ 58 g/t gold from 44m (18AT074); 5m at 13 g/t gold from 41m incl 1m @ 44 g/t gold from 45m (17AT022); 4m at 14 g/t gold from 32m incl 1m @ 42 g/t gold from 33m (17AT011); and 4m at 10 g/t gold from 25m incl 1m @ 39 g/t gold from 27m (16AT043).

It also includes 2m at 20 g/t gold from 46m incl 1m @ 39 g/t gold from 47m (19AT065); 3m at 10 g/t gold from 28m incl 1m @ 24 g/t gold from 29m (18AT070); 3m at 12 g/t gold from 29m incl 1m @ 20 g/t gold from 30m (17AT045); 3m at 11 g/t gold from 22m incl 1m @ 23 g/t gold from 22m (16AT019); 3m at 11 g/t gold from 22m incl 1m @ 23 g/t gold from 22m (16AT019); 3m at 10 g/t gold from 58m incl 1m @ 26 g/t gold from 59m (18AT120); 3m at 10 g/t gold from 22m incl 1m @ 19 g/t gold from 23m (17AT035); 10m at 6 g/t gold from 17m incl 1m @ 42 g/t gold from 18m (17AT042); 4m at 9 g/t gold from 28m incl 1m @ 26 g/t gold from 31m (17AT026); 2m at 13 g/t gold from 37m incl 1m @ 22 g/t gold from 37m (19AT063); 1m at 47 g/t gold from 35m (19AT051); 1m at 30 g/t gold from 17m (17AT029); 1m at 23 g/t gold from 35m (16AT061); 1m at 20 g/t gold from 17m (17AT024); and 1m at 22 g/t gold from 20m (17AT044).

The company announced significant gold mineralisation over 500m strike length. MEU reported that more than 200 intersections had greater than 1 g/t gold.

The company said that the mineralisation is close to surface (consistently within 50m of surface). It may be noted that the bottle-roll metallurgical testwork at Aurora Tank had returned 94% to 97% gold recoveries in 2017.

Reconnaissance drilling validates discovery hole

The company’s drilling also had a reconnaissance component to see if new gold mineralisation can be found outside the known mineralisation area at Aurora Tank.

The company’s innovative R&D program had measured anomalous gold in tree leaves. The tree leaves had yielded a new discovery hole 19ATAC098 (Two Fingers) 450m NE of known mineralised zone.

The company announced that the new 1m assays have strengthened, verified and validated new discovery hole 98 (Two Fingers).

MEU said that the Sample Grade has substantially increased, with the detailed 1m assays in Hole 98 reporting 45 to 46m: 10.0 g/t gold; 46 to 47m: 9.3 g/t gold; 47 to 48m: 6.0 g/t gold; and 48 to 49m: 3.5 g/t gold.

This is averaging 4m @ 7.2 g/t gold, when compared to 6m @ 3.4 g/t in the composites.

Possible source of primary mineralisation

MEU reported that The Two Fingers Hole 98 intersection is accompanied by anomalous pathfinder elements for primary mineralisation , such as Ag, As, Bi, Cu, and Sb.

The company said that this is typical of Archaean gold mineralisation and indicates a potential primary source of mineralisation associated with sulphides that has depth potential.

MEU also noted that the geological examination of the drill chips from the mineralised interval suggests similar minerals and textures to those seen in the main Aurora Tank mineralised zone.

The company said that the follow up drilling to determine the strike and dip of the new zone will be carried out in the planned Phase 2 drilling program.

Next steps

Marmota announced that the Phase 2 drilling is already fully funded and is planned for October due to defence testing in the Woomera Prohibited Defence Area during September.

Marmota said that it is exploring options to bring Aurora Tank into production by low-cost low-capex open-pittable mining, including heap leach methods.

The company announced that column leach gold tests have recently been carried out to assess the project’s suitability to recover gold by low-cost heap leaching. Results are anticipated in the next month.

Management statements

Marmota Chairman, Dr. Colin Rose, said: “In our 31 July 2019 release, I commented that it was both exciting and remarkable that we had identified a new discovery hole 450m from known mineralisation, at 44m below surface, based entirely on tree leaves from a senna shrub.

That result has now been verified and validated with fresh samples, and the sample grade has increased to 4m @ 7.2 g/t. I find this more remarkable when one considers that this is the result of a first-pass recon test hole.

We are very pleased to see all the ingredients at Aurora Tank coming together: High-grade mineralisation close to surface, excellent gold recoveries from metallurgical testwork, and potential low-cost low-capex open-pittable production methods.

I further note that Marmota has commissioned column leach tests to assess the project’s suitability for low-cost heap leach production, and recently appointed Shane Barker as new Executive Director: Production.”