Manuka strikes over an ounce a tonne gold in early drilling at Mt Boppy
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Special Report: Precious metals producer Manuka Resources has reported its first drilling results since listing on the ASX in July – and they are impressive, to say the least.
Manuka (ASX:MKR) recently began drilling beneath the existing pit at its Mt Boppy gold project in New South Wales as part of a resource extension program being conducted in conjunction with grade control and void management drilling.
Assays from the first two holes – 10m at 34.48 g/t gold from 57m and 14m at 14.51 g/t gold from 59m – were announced on Monday afternoon, driving the Manuka share price up sharply.
Coming from approximately seven to 29m beneath the current planned pit floor at Mt Boppy, the results bode well for adding to the project’s resource, which at the time of listing was 44,000 ounces grading 3.13 g/t gold (31,000 ounces are in the reserve category).
Manuka said further drilling would occur at Mt Boppy before the end of August as it sought to firm up the depth extension beneath the planned pit floor.
The company has been treating stockpiled and freshly mined Mt Boppy ore through processing facilities it owns at the Wonawinta silver project, 150km to the east, since April.
It anticipates producing 22,000-24,000 ounces in the 12 months to next April and intends to use the proceeds from gold sold to repay debt.
Mt Boppy has produced around 500,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 15 g/t since 1895 but very little drilling has been done below a depth of 120 metres.
Manuka has also recently begun infill drilling at Wonawinta as it seeks to grow the shallow oxide resource and convert it into a higher confidence category ahead of mining beginning next year.
The total resource at Wonawinta stands at 38.8 million tonnes at 42 g/t silver for 52.4 million ounces including the shallow oxide material and existing stockpiles.
It features a higher grade component of 4.5 million tonnes at 97 g/t silver for 14 million ounces.
Like Mt Boppy, the Wonawinta project area has been subject to very little drilling below a depth of 100m.
Manuka plans to resume silver production at Wonawinta mid-next year, following the completion of the initial phase of mining at Mt Boppy.
The company raised $7 million through its initial public offering earlier this year, with the bulk of the funds earmarked for exploration at Mt Boppy, Wonawinta and on its broader tenement package, which covers more than 1,126km2 in the Cobar Basin.