Challenger Exploration

Step out drilling delivers 4.3m @ 31.8 g/t gold at Challenger Exploration’s Hualilan

Challenger Exploration (ASX: CEL) announced that significant gold intersections including 4.3m at 36.6 g/t AuEq – 31.8 g/t Au, 97 g/t Ag, 8.1% Zn from 149m including 3.5m at 45.5 g/t AuEq – 39.6 g/t Au, 118 g/t Ag, 10.0% Zn from 149m were reported drillhole GNDD-182 at the Company’s flagship Hualilan Gold project in San Juan province, Argentina.

The hole is located west of the intrusive-hosted mineralisation in the Gap Zone almost 200 metres from the nearest intersection of high-grade sulphide skarn mineralisation.

CEL said that the intersection is the first evidence that the high-grade mineralisation extends west and south of the mineralised intrusive in the Gap Zone.

The company noted that the result adds significant scope to expand the high-grade skarn mineralisation to the west at Cerro Norte and a follow up hole to test down dip from GND-182 will be fast tracked.

Drilling at Hualilan

The company had recently completed the drillhole GNDD-182 at the Company’s flagship Hualilan Gold project.

CEL said that the hole was designed to confirm that drill hole GNDD-128 (20.0m at 0.5 g/t AuEq), collared 50 metres to the west of GNDD-139 (207.5m at 0.8 g/t AuEq) had defined the western limit of the zone of intrusion-hosted mineralisation in the Gap Zone.

The company reported that GNDD-182 was collared 200 metres south-west of the nearest hole to intersect high-grade skarn mineralisation (GNDD-035). GNDD-035 had intersected 5.75 metres at 11.5 g/t AuEq (9.5 g/t gold, 29 g/t silver, 3.5 % zinc) from 89 metres including a higher grade zone of 3.15 metres at 19.9 g/t AuEq (17.1 g/t gold, 29 g/t silver 5.6 % zinc).

High-grade intersections from GNDD-182

CEL announced that drillhole GNDD-182 recorded an intersection of 19 metres at 0.4 g/t AuEq (0.4 g/t gold, 1.0 g/t silver, 0.1% zinc) from 92m, hosted in shales which is consistent with marker mineralisation in the shale which overlies blind mineralisation in the intrusive.

The company said that from 126.0 metres to the end of the hole limestone was intersected as expected. However, within the limestone, unexpected massive sulphide in skarn which returned 4.3 metres at 36.6 g/t AuEq (31.8 g/t gold, 97 g/t silver, 8.1% zinc) from 148.7 metres, including 3.45 metres at 45.5 g/t AuEq (39.6 g/t gold, 118 g/t silver, 10.0% zinc) from 148.7 metres was intercepted.

Significant Intercepts from GNDD-182 are as shown below.

Challenger noted that the intersection occurs on the projected extension of the main high-grade Cerro Norte gold mineralisation.

Latest updates

Challenger noted that it was the first time the high-grade Main Manto skarn mineralisation was intersected to the west of the intrusives in the Gap Zone. CEL said that it opens significant scope to expand the high-grade skarn to the west. The mineralisation remains open down dip.

The Company announced that it intends to fast track a drill hole to test for extensions to this mineralisation 40-50 metres down dip.

Next steps

CEL reported that further work over the next 12 months would include 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 also plans to investigate further drilling requirements to upgrade both the unclassified mineralisation and mineralisation in the existing historical resources to meet JORC 2012 requirements; commence an initial drill program comprising verification (twin holes) and targeting extensions of the historically defined mineralisation; and perform further metallurgical test work on lower grade mineralisation in the intrusions and oxidised mineralisation

Management statements

CEL Managing Director, Kris Knauer, said: “Our Flagship Hualilan project continues to deliver great results. This intersection was a little different from most of our recent drilling in that it was a complete surprise.

The hole was designed to confirm the edge of the intrusion-hosted mineralisation in the Gap Zone. The last thing we were expecting that far west was high grade skarn mineralisation that looks, and assays, exactly like the Main Manto at Cerro Norte.

This is the first time we have seen skarn on the western side of the intrusives and it opens a whole new area to explore for high-grade extensions across the entire project. We will collar a hole to test immediately down dip in the coming days and I, for one, can’t wait to see what we find. I have spoken at length to our team on the ground and they are extremely encouraged by this new discovery.”

*Image Source: Challenger Exploration

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.