Santana Minerals expands RAS deposit within Bendigo-Ophir Gold Project, New Zealand

Junior explorer Santana Minerals (ASX:SMI) has expanded the Rise and Shine (RAS) Shear Zone within its Bendigo-Ophir Project on the South Island of New Zealand through new ‘high-grade’ drill results.

The company reports an update to the deposit’s Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) is expected to begin in the coming weeks as samples are prioritised for analysis. This includes samples to SGS Townsville to help clear the backlog to laboratories in New Zealand.

Infill drilling at RAS is focused on the southern areas at RAS Ridge and RAS Valley to ensure a ‘sizeable’ conversion of inferred resources to indicated resources in the upcoming MRE update, while RC infill drilling continues at the Come In Time (CIT) area.

Santana reports the final stages of phase five metallurgical testing are underway, with mineralogical analyses of gravity concentrates to identify the residual free gold component. An initial review of the available data has been completed as part of a Scoping Study. Further work will commence once the updated MRE is completed.

The latest assays from 3 drillholes at RAS include MDD117R 15.6m @ 7.6g/t Au from 262.4m; MDD120 with 5.3m @ 2g/t Au from 145.7m, 17m @ 4.2g/t Au from 177m, 15m @ 1.4g/t Au from 198m, and 4m @ 3.8g/t Au from 214m; and MDD140 with 6m @ 5.5g/t Au from 207m.

Santana reports the 3 holes were drilled 650m apart along the north-northeast central core of the RAS deposit and reinforce the consistency of the ‘high-grade’ zones.

Commenting on the results, Santana Minerals General Manager NZ Damian Spring says: “MDD120 has expanded in the high-grade zones to the west in the southern part of the RAS deposit, whilst MDD117R has combined with an earlier result from MDD031 to establish a new high-grade contour towards the north. These are exciting results that underscore the work currently underway for the Scoping Study.”

These are exciting results that underscore the work currently underway for the Scoping Study”

In February 2023, Santana reported an indicated MRE of 300,000 tonnes @ 4.3g/t Au of gold at RAS at a 0.5g/t Au cut-off grade. Drilling is continuing to expand resource potential, with 19,647m drilled since the MRE was completed.

The Bendigo-Ophir Project coves 292km-square within the Central Otago Goldfields on the South Island of New Zealand. The project has a total indicated and inferred MRE of 39.7 million tonnes 2.3g/t Au. Santana Minerals is a precious metals explorer focused on developing the Bendigo-Ophir Project in New Zealand.

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Images: Santana Minerals Ltd
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.