As Silver Mines counts down to final development approval for its 100% owned Bowdens Silver Project, the company has started updating its overall open-pit Mineral Resource Estimate following the major drilling programs over the last years.

Thanks to drilling testing for extensions to mineralisation outside Silver Mines (ASX:SVL) current planned open-cut pit design the footprint of gold mineralisation in the Southern Gold Zone is now over 450m in strike, ~250m wide and 15 to 85m thick.

The Southern Gold Zone is defined from near surface in the south of the Bowdens Silver Project and is currently outside the planned open-cut pit.

Latest drilling results from this zone include 384m at 62 grams per tonne (g/t) silver equivalent (10g/t silver, 0.61% zinc, 0.39% lead and 0.09g/t gold) from only 77m. That includes 7m at 157g/t silver equivalent (19g/t silver, 1.60% zinc, 0.88% lead and 0.34g/t gold) from 238m.

These results present the possibility for future open-pit design extensions, and the Southern Gold Zone remains open to the southeast and east where exploration drilling will continue to test for extensions.

Significantly, studies have shown that gold is associated with a a silver-rich electrum (a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver) and is the last phase of mineralisation to occur at the Bowdens Silver Project.

Additionally, the assaying of historic drill samples in the Southern Gold Zone included 21m at 0.89g/t gold from 105m, 23m at 0.38g/t gold from 85m and 14m at 0.44g/t gold from 154m.

Next steps

SVL has now completed its latest 15,000m program of diamond drilling at the Bowdens Silver Deposit and all results for the estimate are now returned. Updating of the Open-pit Mineral Resource estimate is underway, which will include gold within the Southern Gold Zone. The updated Mineral Resource estimate is scheduled to be completed in the coming days and will form the basis for the open pit re-optimisation study.

There are currently has two diamond core rigs drilling on site. Exploration targets at Bowdens currently include extensions to the Underground Mineral Resource estimate (below 200m) where it remains open, including the Southern Gold Zone, and regional exploration targets as defined by the 2022 seismic survey.

Extending the pit

Drilling has focused on adding zones where there is potential to increase tonnages of higher-grade mineralisation within the current Ore Reserve envelope and to explore for extensions to mineralisation outside of the planned open-cut pit.

Results from holes drilled in the southwest of Bowdens testing for extensions around the southern planned open-cut pits have returned significant intercepts including 70.3m at 109g/t silver equivalent (73g/t silver, 0.61% zinc & 0.15% lead) from surface, including 13.4m at 175g/t silver equivalent (159g/t silver, 0.19% zinc and 0.11% lead) from just 0.6m, and 15m at 169g/t silver equivalent (105g/t silver,1.09% zinc and 0.28% lead) from 21m.

There was also 19m at 92g/t silver equivalent (81g/t silver, 0.16% zinc and 0.06% lead).

Several holes within the central area of the planned open-cut pit, above the Southern Gold Zone, have returned significant results including 81m at 55g/t silver equivalent (15g/t silver, 0.46% zinc and 0.49% lead) from 2m, 147m 40g/t silver equivalent (11g/t silver, 0.38% zinc and 0.27% lead) from surface, and 91m at 58 g/t silver equivalent (30g/t silver, 0.33% zinc and 0.25% lead) from 1m.

Then there’s the underground resource

In three zones beneath the open pit, there is a maiden underground Mineral Resource estimate totalling 42.9 million ounces silver equivalent, but like the open pit, this also has significant potential to grow.

Intercepts from the Bundarra zone, for example, have included an eye-popping 1,769 grams per tonne (g/t) silver equivalent intercept from 414m.

Meanwhile seismic data returned last year identified the “Bowdens Caldera”. This data clearly defined potential system extensions and confirmed Silver Mines’ belief the Bowdens has the potential to be an operation that’s likely to run for at least 50 years.

SVL is well funded for its growth plans after raising $18 million in an oversubscribed placement in February.






This article was developed in collaboration with Silver Mines, 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.