Marmota (ASX:MEU) today reported its highest ever gold intersections from its Aurora Tank project in South Australia after carrying out detailed 1m assays on samples from its June drilling program.
The new intersection of 1m at 120 grams per tonne (g/t) gold just 21m from surface surpasses the company’s previous top 1m intersection of 105g/t gold from 38m located about 120m to the north.
In July, Marmota said that assays of composite samples from the same hole had returned a top hit of 4m at 30g/t gold in the same hole at Aurora Tank.
Detailed assays of the new northwest zone, which the company said is over 100m long and is open in a number of directions, has also returned improved grades of up to 1m at 47g/t gold and 1m at 39g/t gold.
However, it is the result from the Two Fingers zone located about 450m north of the Aurora Tank mineralised zone that may prove to be the most exciting.
Two Fingers was discovered after Marmota sank a hole outside the known mineralised zone at Aurora Tank to test a biogeochemical target from sampling of Senna shrub leaves.
While initial assays of 6m at 3.4g/t gold had lent further credence to the CSIRO’s theory that elevated gold in tree leaves could point the way to gold mineralisation, fresh 1m samples have not only verified the results but have also returned a significantly better result of 4m at 7.2g/t gold along with anomalous pathfinder elements that suggest associated primary mineralisation.
Should follow up exploration provide further verification that this technique works, the company could open up a whole new swath of biogeochemical targets that were not apparent from previous calcrete sampling.
“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,” chairman Colin Rose said.
“That result has now been verified and validated with fresh samples, and the sample grade has increased to 4m at 7.2g/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.”
Marmota plans to start its phase two drilling program in October and is exploring options to bring Aurora Tank into production.
Results from metallurgical test work to assess the project’s suitability for low-cost heap leaching are also expected next month.