Emmerson Resources (ASX:ERM) is onto something at its Tennant Creek gold mine.

The company updated the market this morning with results from December drilling operations at its fully-owned Mauretania Project.

The results yielded four high-grade “bonanza” ore deposits with the potential for commercialisation.

Shares in the company jumped more than 10 per cent in early trade to 7.5 cents following the announcement.

There are levels to this bonanza business

There is no agreed-upon, official definition for ‘bonanza’ grade – but 5 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold and above is considered high-grade.

In view of that, Emmerson’s four discoveries all meet the criteria, but two deposits look particularly exciting.

There’s an 11 metre section at 54g/t, with six metres at 98.5g/t. And the cream of the crop — a 22m deposit at a healthy 36g/t, with a mineral-rich 6m section revealing 122g/t.

“These exceptionally high-grade results have increased our confidence in the potential for economic mineralisation,” Emmerson said.

Hard to get to

Despite the promising discovery, Emmerson said drilling at Mauretania is a complex process and a number of holes had to be abandoned or re-drilled.

It’s a “green fields” project — new land that hasn’t been drilled before — and early testing revealed high levels of oxidised, hematite fluids.

“These styles of deposits are characterised by very high grades of gold, strongly controlled by structure and thus represent difficult targets to intersect from surface drilling,” the company said.

For example, the 22m hole which returned grades of up to 122g/t was relatively close to the surface.

Emmerson drilled a separate, deeper hole and found copper instead. Based on geometric patterns in the surrounding area, copper is more concentrated closer to the surface while the gold is buried further underground.

However, “due to challenging drilling conditions, the program was halted early and will require a more powerful RC rig before proceeding,” Emmerson said.

The company may also sign up a commercial partner “to undertake the deeper drilling during development and mining”.