First modern drilling at historic New England Fold mine delivers shallow, high-grade copper-zinc for Lode
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Lode Resources has uncovered shallow, high-grade copper and zinc in the first ever modern drilling campaign undertaken at the historic Trough Gully copper mine in NSW.
Lode Resources (ASX:LDR) is having early success at its Trough Gully deposit in the highly prospective but underexplored New England Fold Belt with the first drill results revealing shallow, high-grade copper and zinc.
Phase-one drilling delivered hits of 7.3m at 1.37% copper, 4.93% zinc, 0.36 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 10.1g/t silver, including 1.9m at 1.99% copper, 3.91% zinc, 0.34g/t gold and 12.1g/t silver, from 92.1m.
Further notable hits included 6.9m at 1.3% copper, 4.49% zinc, 0.5g/t gold and 17.4g/t silver from 50.9m, including 1m at 3.05% copper, 12.25% zinc, 1.15g/t gold and 43.2g/t silver from 51.5m, and 2.8m at 0.5% copper, 0.83% zinc, 0.16g/t gold and 3.3g/t silver from 67.6m.
Mineralisation was intersected up to 30m below old workings in the seven-hole program.
Prior to this initial drilling program by Lode, the Trough Gully copper mine had never been drilled despite a history of copper production that occurred periodically in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
“Intersecting such significant copper and zinc mineralisation at shallow depths in a first pass drill program is highly encouraging as our Fender copper project contains numerous copper occurrences and copper drainage anomalism over large areas, none of which has been previously subjected to a modern drill program,” managing director Ted Leschke said.
“These grades look pretty good to us and in copper equivalent terms we suspect that they will look pretty attractive – pending receipt of metallurgy analysis of course, and we have cores on the way to the lab already.
“Intercepting copper and zinc 30m below the deepest previous workings, as we did in hole TGY007 which returned >1% copper, speaks to the potential size of the target here. The results of the downhole EM are keenly anticipated and will guide us in planning phase-two drilling at Trough Gully.”
The Trough Gully deposit, which is part of Lode’s 100%-owned Fender copper project, is a volcanogenic massive sulphide-style (VMS) deposit, with around 21 copper occurrences identified over 30km of strike.
VMS deposits are rich in base and precious metals like copper, zinc, lead, gold and silver. Because these deposits tend to ‘cluster’ together, VMS camps can often be mined for a very, very long time.
There are four historic copper mines – Trough Gully, Mulla Creek, Fishers and Mt Pleasant –at the Fender project, with walk up targets that have never been drilled.
Lode has also identified two large drainage anomaly targets, which suggest the potential for a sizeable occurrence. The ‘Kasey’ anomaly spans 7km x 3km while the ‘Fold’ anomaly measures 4km x 2km.
The junior explorer has a large foothold in the New England Fold Belt, which is estimated to have an in-situ resource value of just 2 per cent of the entire state due to a lack of exploration.
Lode has built a dominant position in the belt with exploration licences covering 1,700sqkm.
Despite historical production of gold, silver and base metals, the belt has seen very modest drilling compared to the well picked-over Lachlan Fold Belt to the south. The New England Fold Belt has just one exploration hole for every 13 holes drilled in the Lachlan Fold Belt.
Lode is now planning to undertake a down-hole electrometrical survey to test for extensions at depth and along strike followed by a phase-two drilling program.
With respect to Lode’s other New England Fold Belt projects, interim phase-one drill results from the Uralla gold project are due shortly.
This article was developed in collaboration with Lode Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.