Silver City Minerals has uncovered gold mineralisation higher than 1100 grams per tonne in assays of rock chip samples at its to-be-acquired Austin project.

Samples taken from three priority targets at Austin were sent to the lab, with the standout assay a stunning 1109g/t taken from outcropping northwest trending veins at the Brians prospect. That’s the equivalent of 35 ounces per tonne.

The project is located in WA’s Murchison region and significantly, the mineralisation was detected on veins that occur in a similar orientation to the mineralisation detected by Musgrave Minerals (ASX:MGV) at the nearby Starlight, White Light and White Heat discoveries.

It’s a remarkable start for Silver City (ASX:SCI), which announced just last week its plan to acquire an 80% interest in the project from a private vendor.

In addition to the headline hit mineralisation of up to 57.1g/t gold was detected at the Austin project’s Ted prospect, from a small costean where abundant and spectacular coarse gold has previously been seen associated with weathered quartz veins.

At the Mt Sandy prospect, rock chip samples returned assays as high as 10.2g/t from a quartz vein exposed near a historic mine adit. The veins at Mt Sandy have never previously been drilled.

Interpreted geology map of the Mt Magnet and Tuckabianna Greenstone Belts showing the location of the Austin Gold Project tenement outlines with respect to the licenses held by Musgrave. Pic: Supplied.

The assays were detected using the LeachWELL gold assay technique, chosen because of the course nature of mineralisation detected in the field.

This technique proved to be a success, with assays showing an increase in grade of between 4.6% and 53.4% measured against conventional fire assay techniques.

The LeachWELL process is designed to test a much larger split of pulverised rock samples than conventional methods – designed to give a better representative assay sample on projects with more course or nuggety gold.

A further 13 reverse circulation samples from a drill program carried out last year by the project vendor were also sent for testing via the same technique.

Results are expected shortly.

Pathfinder minerals were detected at the Mt Brunswick, Buccaneer, Old Granites and Shadow prospects, while rock samples taken from Lady Zena returned assays of 1.1g/t by conventional assaying methods.

“The high-grade assay results at Brians, Teds and Mt Sandy are extremely encouraging for the Austin project and indicate that all three prospects are high priority drill targets for Silver City,” the company said in an announcement to the ASX.

“In particular at Brians, the assays confirm that bonanza gold mineralisation occurs associated with narrow northwest-trending veins exposed in the pit in a similar orientation to the high-grade controlling structures to the exciting Starlight, White Light and White Head discoveres by Musgrave Minerals on the adjoining licence.”

An RC hole drilled by the project vendor at Brians last year returned 2m at 4.9g/t gold from 32m to the end of hole. It was never followed up.

A recently polished gossanous quartz vein showing abundant visible gold recently sampled by Silver City from outcrop exposures in the north face of the Brians historic pit. Pic: Supplied.

What next?

A number of work programs are currently underway at Austin to assist SCI in drill targeting.

These include:

  • LeachWELL testing of 13 RC samples drilled by the project vendor last year. These results are expected in the coming weeks;
  • Regolith mapping using high resolution satellite Sentinel imagery to incorporate into the reprocessing, relevelling and interpretation of historic soil geochemistry data from the 15km trend from Lady Zena to Mt Brunswick to identify subtle gold-in soil anomalies;
  • Reprocessing of airborne magnetic data specifically to target and interpret cross structures, particularly those on a northeast orientation known to host high grade gold in the district;
  • Digitisation of all historic drill data into a comprehensive database, and;
  • Comprehensive fine fraction multi-element soil sampling programs along the Teds trend and the Shadow target adjacent to Musgrave’s Break of Day group of deposits, designed to help identify further drill targets in areas with no historic soil geochemistry coverage.

Other work programs planned for the coming months include a gradient array IP survey to cover the area from Mt Brunswick to Brians, the completion of a targeting matrix across the project to rank targets, and a preliminary maiden drill program at the Brunswick Hill and Brians prospects where highly mineralised gold intersections have never been followed up at depth.

In addition to RC drilling, Silver City also plans to drill strategic diamond holes to accurately define the orientation of gold bearing veins and sulphide alteration.



This article was developed in collaboration with Silver City Minerals, 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.