Manuka Resources Limited (ASX: MKR) has announced further high-grade assays including 14 metres at 7.84g/t gold from the drilling at its Mt Boppy gold deposit in the Cobar Basin, central west New South Wales.
The company said that the extensions to the in-pit RC grade control program have increased confidence in the extent of high-grade gold mineralisation beneath the Mt Boppy design pit shell reported previously in August and September 2020.
MKR said that the assays from three drill holes on two key cross sections have been received and incorporated into 3D modelling. Best intercepts from the three holes included 24 m @ 6.36 g/t Au from 48 m downhole depth; 33 m @ 4.15 g/t Au from 19 m downhole depth; 11 m @ 5.27 g/t Au from 44 m downhole depth; and 6 m @ 7.14 g/t Au from 62 m downhole depth.
The company said that the intercepts are ~10-35m below the current planned pit floor confirming the existence of high-grade mineralisation outside the current pit shell.
MKR said that the grade control drilling is now complete at Mt Boppy and the economic analysis of gold potential below current proposed pit floor will commence when all results are received.
Mt Boppy project
The Mt Boppy gold mine is located 43 km east of Cobar, in the Central West region of New South Wales.
The current Mt Boppy resource is approximately 368,000 tonnes of gold ore contained in a mix of oxidised, transitional/fresh ores, and historic stoping sands. Approximately 60,000 tonnes of gold ore stockpiles are also present on surface at the Mt Boppy ROM.
The Mt Boppy project is currently in production and processing its gold ore through the Company’s processing plant at Wonawinta.
RC drilling at Mt Boppy
The company had recently completed reverse circulation drilled (RC) in pit grade control program at the Mt Boppy project to follow up previously reported high-grade intercepts in the hangingwall (west side) of back filled stopes in the Mount Boppy gold deposit. High-grade zones were encountered in historic drilling and mining higher in the deposit, associated with dip and strike flexures of the Mount Boppy Main Lode.
Since late September 2020, 93 RC grade control drill holes for 3,027 m were completed. The company reported that further high-grade gold mineralisation was uncovered beneath the existing pit at its Mt Boppy mine in NSW’s Cobar Basin, increasing the potential of a resource extension and longer mine life.
High-grade gold intercepts
The company reported that the in-pit grade control drilling returned high-grade gold intercepts from ~10-35m below the current planned pit floor.
Significant hits include MBGC0075 48 m 72 m (24 m) average 6.36 g/t Au (stope fill 62 m 72 m) including 14 m @ 7.84 g/t Au adjusted for stope fill dilution; MBGC0078 19 m 52 m (33 m) average 4.15 g/t Au (stope fill 47 m 5 2 m) including 28 m @ 4.42 g t Au adjusted for stope fill dilution; MBGC0079 44 m 55 m (11 m) average 5.27 g/t Au (stope fill 46 m 50 m) including 2 m @ 2.28 g/t Au and 5 m @ 5.07 g/t Au adjusted for stope fill dilution; and MBGC0079 62 m 68 m (6 m) average 7.14 g/t AU (no stope fill included).
The company said that these intercepts are approximately 10 m to 3 5 m beneath the current planned pit floor. MKR said that following the exceptional extension drilling announced on 24 August 2 020 MBGC0042: 10 m @ 34.48 g/t Au, and MBGC0043: 14 m @ 14.51 g/t and 25 September 2020 MBRC016: 10 m @ 4 05 g/t Au and MBRC017: 18 m @ 6.24 g/t Au this again confirms the existence of exciting grades of ore below the current pit shell.
MKR said that the previously announced 3D model of the Mt Boppy pit and the recently completed reverse circulation drilled (RC) in pit grade control program have all contributed to a better understanding of the controls and likely extent of high-grade mineralisation at and below the current design pit floor.
Updates and next steps
The company said that the results from this programme will be assessed more fully to determine if further drilling is required. MKR said that the work devoted to potential resource extension at the Mt Boppy gold resource is ongoing.
Manuka noted that the pending assays are vital in assisting completion of the resource update at Wonawinta, as well as Reserve reconciliation and resource extension at Mt Boppy.
Manuka’s Executive Chairman Dennis Karp said: “With the grade control drilling now complete we will finalise the reserve reconciliation once all assays have been received. Our initial plan at Mt Boppy was to mine and process the existing JORC Reserve ounces through to Q2 FY21.
However, with the grades we are seeing the potential for resources extension at Mt Boppy is something we are now very focused on understanding further. These are outstanding results and compare very favourably with the current JORC Reserve grade of 3.09g/t. The Company believes it now has sufficient confidence to begin analyzing options for exploiting the clear potential below the proposed pit floor.
Since the Company’s IPO in mid July, we have completed nearly 25,000m of exploration, in fill and grade control drilling. We are eagerly awaiting a vast number of assays from the independent laboratory , which are all vital in assisting completion of our resource update at Wonawinta, as well as Reserve reconciliation and resource ex tension at Mt Boppy. Due to the substantially increased levels of mineral exploration across all regions throughout Australia t he assaying laboratories find themselves operating at peak capacity resulting in material delays in our receipt of analysis and re sults. This together with the strange weather patterns we have endured to date that have impacted performance over previous quarters, are simply factors which need to be worked through Diamond drilling commenced this week on our Mining Lease tenements at Wonawinta, as a precursor to our long awaited deeper drill program (again with diamond drilling) on these tenements (the “Wonawinta Deeps” program) to commence early January 2021.”