Challenger gold

Challenger reports new high-grade mineralisation zone at Hualilan

Challenger Exploration (ASX: CEL) has announced high-grade intercepts including 130.8 metres at 2.5 g/t AuEq from the 5 rig 45,000 metre drilling program at its flagship Hualilan Gold Project in San Juan Province, Argentina. The company said that the intercept confirms the discovery of a significant new high-grade gold zone in intrusives south of the Magnata Fault.

CEL also reported the discovery of gossanous outcrop with skarn alteration and visible gold at surface up-dip from this intercept, suggesting mineralisation extends to surface. The company said that the new zone correlates with earlier intercepts in GNDD-079, GNDD-032, and GNDD-089 north of the Magnata Fault.

CEL said that the new block of mineralised intrusives cover 500 metres of strike, a vertical extent of 400 metres from surface, and true width of 50 to 100 metres which is open in all directions.

CEL said that the drill plan has been adjusted with two rigs to focus on infilling and extending this significant new zone of mineralisation in intrusives and the high-grade mineralisation in the Magnata Fault. The company said that the amended drill plan will incorporate a number of holes to extend the recent high-grade discovery in GNDD-142.

Drill program at Hualilan project

Challenger had commenced a high-impact 45,000 metre drill program with 5 drill rigs on site, drilling approximately 6,500 metres per month at its flagship Hualilan Gold Project.

Encouraging intercepts were previously reported from GNDD-079 (61m at 1.2 g/t AuEq), GNDD-032 (116m at 1.2 g/t AuEq), and GNDD-089 (102m at 0.6 g/t AuEq) north of the Magnata Fault.

CEL said that the drill hole GNDD-157 was aimed at targeting the high-grade Magnata Fault mineralisation and to test the potential for mineralised intrusives south of the Magnata Fault following the results of drill hole GNDD-134 (117 metres at 0.7 g/t AuEq).

The Company has previously reported results for 200 to 303 metres downhole for which assays were fast tracked, with this previously announced section returning 12.0m at 20.9 g/t AuEq including 4.10m at 56.8 g/t AuEq.

Challenger has now announced that the complete results for GNDD-157.

High-grade intercepts

CEL reported that the results from GND-157 have confirmed the discovery of a significant new zone of high grade mineralisation in intrusives south of the Magnata fault.

The hole returned 130.8m at 2.5 g/t AuEq (2.3g/t gold, 1.6 g/t silver, 0.5% zinc) from 237.2m including previously announced 12.0m at 20.9 g/t AuEq (20.4 g/t gold, 4.8 g/t silver, 1.0% zinc) from 289m. The hole also intersected additional lower grade mineralisation in the same intrusives in the 60 metres below this intercept. Using a 0.1 g/t AuEq cut-off this broader zone returned 171 metres at 1.9 g/t AuEq demonstrating the significant scale of this new zone of mineralisation in intrusives.

All significant intercepts from GNDD-157 are as shown below.

Prior to GNDD-134 and GNDD-157, mineralised intrusives were not intersected south of the Magnata fault. North of the Magnata Fault, the mineralised zone in the intrusives covers 100 metres of strike, and is 50 to 100 metres true width, dipping at 60-70 degrees to the west and striking north-south.

The Company now interprets these zones of mineralised intrusives north and south of the Magnata Fault as one large zone, which extends north-south over 500 metres of strike and remains open in both directions along strike. Mineralisation has been defined over 400 metres vertical extent from surface and remains open at depth.

Modifications to drill program

The company said that following the discovery of new zones of mineralisation in drill holes GNDD-134 and GNDD-157, and GNDD-142 (40.5m at 6.2 g/t AuEq) in addition to the number of holes recently completed (assays pending), a series of new holes and extensions to existing holes have been planned.

The Company said that the amended drill plan will incorporate a number of holes to extend the recent high-grade discovery in GNDD-142 which returned 40.5m at 6.2 g/t AuEq below the Sentazon Manto.

CEL is currently waiting on assays for drillholes GNDD-174, and GNDD-189 with GNDD-195 currently being drilled.

The company said that deeper holes to test downdip of GNDD-157 are planned which may involve new holes or extending GNDD-020 and GMDD-041.

Further work

CEL announced that it plans to undertake the following over the next 12 months – additional data precision validation and drilling as required; detailed interpretation of known mineralized zones; geophysical tests for undercover areas; structural interpretation and alteration mapping using high resolution satellite data and geophysics to better target extensions of known mineralisation; and field mapping program targeting extensions of known mineralisation.

The company said that it is also planning to investigate further drilling requirements to upgrade both the unclassified mineralisation and mineralisation in the existing historical resources to meet JORC 2012 requirements; initial drill program comprising verification (twin holes) and targeting extensions of the historically defined mineralisation; and metallurgical test work.

Management comments

CEL Managing Director, Kris Knauer, said: “This is yet another transformational result from our flagship Hualilan Gold project. This intercept of 131 metres at 2.5 g/t gold equivalent has confirmed that a known zone of 100 metres length covers at least 500 metres of strike, 400 metres of vertical extent, and remains open in all directions. Additionally, this result demonstrates the potential for some serious grade, particularly when coupled with the discovery of visible gold at surface 300 metres up-dip.

We are waiting on assays for six more drill holes which were designed to expand this new discovery. Further, we are currently drilling two more holes designed to test the limits of this new zone with a number of follow up holes programmed. Our Hualilan Gold Project continues to deliver new and exciting results.”

Written By Jonathan Norris
Jonathan is a founder of and has been covering the resources industry since 2018. With over 17 years experience in print, broadcast and online media, Jonathan has seen first hand the transformative effect of online niche media.