Silver Mines strikes its highest grade gold
Silver Mines’ 100% owned Bowdens continues to be the project that keeps giving, with the widest and highest grade gold unearthed so far immediately to the south of the planned open cut silver resource.
Only a week after the release of a Maiden Mineral Resource of 42.9 million ounces silver equivalent for the underground project, the gold hits and their location further confirm Bowdens’ huge potential.
The best intercept was 131m at 0.49 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold, 16 g/t silver, 0.25% zinc and 0.16% lead (0.92 g/t gold equivalent) from only 65 metres.
It included 32.6m at 1.37 g/t gold, 31 g/t silver, 0.38% zinc and 0.20% lead (2.09 g/t gold equivalent) from 92.4m, and came from the new Southern Gold Zone, at the southern extent of Silver Mines’ (ASX:SVL) vast open cut resource.
In the final stages of development approvals, the open cut project has a Mineral Resource of 275 million ounces silver equivalent. This makes it the largest undeveloped silver deposit in Australia and one of the largest in the world – and it’s still growing.
The Southern Gold Zone got its name after the yellow metal was discovered at shallow depths in the south of Bowdens in 2021, along with high grades of silver mineralisation.
Gold is associated with a silver-rich electrum (a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver), as well as zinc.
The zone became one of Silver Mines’ priorities for gold and silver exploration this year. Drilling targeted a previously untested area and encountered a large, new quartz-flooded fault between the known Gully and Eastern Faults.
The extent of the gold and silver zone at Bowdens South is still being explored through continued drilling. However it’s looking like there’s a continuation of mineralisation into the deeper Bundarra Zone where gold is common and visible gold was found earlier this year.
Following last week’s release of a maiden underground Mineral Resource, exploration is now focused on testing extensions of mineralisation outside the current planned open-cut pit design and testing for higher grades within it.
Silver Mines has also been encouraged by drilling over the past few months which has uncovered some eye-watering hits, including a bonanza 1,769g/t silver equivalent from 414m.
Silver Mines is continuing a 15,000m program of diamond drilling at the Bowdens Deposit and 3,000m of regional exploration drilling through to the end of calendar 2022. New drill targets below and close to the existing open cut Ore Reserve’s base have been identified in part thanks to the discovery of the ‘Bowdens Caldera’.
The aggressive program includes three diamond drilling rigs at the Bowdens and at the Barabolar Project, also near Mudgee in the Central West of NSW.
Other areas at Bowdens being targeted for extensions include the north at Main, Aegean and Northwest Zones.
The latest results also include exceptional near-surface silver mineralisation which extends the Main Zone 50m north. Another significant result extends the Aegean Zone east of the recent resource estimate by 100m.
Managing Director Anthony McClure said: “As we continue to step out south and east, we’re seeing a much greater presence of gold, copper and zinc.
“I’m comfortable saying from what we’re seeing underground, and knowing that it’s all open, is that this operation will still be operating in 50 years. It’s that sort of ore body that’s going to continue to deliver. We don’t know the full extent of it yet, but the portfolio is vast.”
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.