Gold Mountain set to write new chapter on its emerging Mt Wipi story as maiden drilling begins
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Gold Mountain’s bid to make a big discovery at its Mt Wipi target in Papua New Guinea has gone up a notch after the company launched the maiden diamond drilling campaign at the highly prospective copper and gold prospect.
The first hole to be drilled by Gold Mountain (ASX:GMN) at Mt Wipi was collared on Monday, testing target 2 of a northwest copper anomaly that included multiple soil assays above 1000ppm and as high as 2900ppm and a spot gold high of up to 0.52 grams per tonne.
It will be drilled to a depth of between 250-350m depending on what the geology shows.
The maiden six-hole, 2000m campaign, which will run until December, comes after 12 months of hard exploration graft in the form of soil sampling, geochemical analysis and trenching.
That work has outlined an enviable array of targets and improved the likelihood Gold Mountain could be sitting on a big porphyry system at Mt Wipi.
Back in September last year the Mt Wipi prospect started to emerge as a priority target with rock chip samples from outcrops grading 9.64% copper and 1.96 g/t of gold.
At the time copper and gold bearing rocks were collected from an area as broad as 2km long by 1km wide.
Those were results that energised exploration consultant and porphyry expert Phil Jones, known for his work with copper major Sandfire Resources and on the Northparkes mine in New South Wales.
“It is not often that exploration of a new area in a highly prospective sequence identifies outcropping strongly altered, copper, gold and silver mineralised rocks, over significant areal extent,” he said.
“Mt Wipi is showing immediate indications of possible porphyry and associated mineralisation that warrants immediate assessment.”
Jones’ confidence has evolved over time, with rock chip and channel sampling highlighting the rich prospectivity of the Mt Wipi turf.
“In under twelve months the Mt Wipi Project has gone from a single copper rich sample to a highly anomalous area comprising of multiple exciting drill targets that will be tested for porphyry copper-gold and associated skarn style mineralisation,” Jones said earlier this month.
“The soil programme, which tested for minerals in the weathered bedrock, has significantly increased our understanding of the underlying geology and built on the results from our prior high-grade rock chip sampling programmes.”
It is not just anomalous copper and gold that have lit up as well.
According to Jones, the soil data showed ‘highly anomalous’ copper-molybdenum mineralisation associated with diorites and quartz feldspar porphyry in the North-West and highly significant porphyry pathfinder element anomalies straddling a non-mineralised interpreted intrusive in the South-East of Mt Wipi.
“These anomalous zones have now been shown to be part of a large, complex and anomalous geochemical system within which six major targets have been identified which require immediate drilling,” he said.
“Additional work at Mt Nemai has identified serious potential for the definition of further porphyry style mineralisation with outcropping malachite, chalcopyrite and molybdenum. Significant alluvial gold has also been identified in Laraket Creek and a rock chip sample, MWR076, collected close to Mt Nemai has returned an assay of 12.5g/t gold”.
While the company has steadily built the case for a major discovery, its share price is currently around 2c, around half of the levels seen late last year despite the identification of a host of new targets across Mt Wipi.
That comes as a bit of a surprise when you consider the mountain of data building around the Mt Wipi prospect and the growing prospectivity and number of targets uncovered there over the past 12 months.
Investors have continued to throw their support behind Gold Mountain as well with a heavily oversubscribed $5.4 million rights issue which has provided the company with plenty of capital enabling it to get on with the targeted exploration programs at Mt Wipi and across its broader Wabag Project.
Gold Mountain executive director Tim Cameron is confident the platform is there for “at least one significant discovery”.
“I am very excited that drilling has commenced at Mt Wipi and is the culmination of 12 months of systematic and staged exploration work that has got us to this point,” he said.
“This is the first of at least six holes which have been designed to test the 6 geochemical and geophysical targets which have been identified by our porphyry expert Phil Jones. We believe we have the right ingredients for at least one significant discovery.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Gold Mountain Limited, 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.