“So much upside”: Meteoric acquires high-grade gold projects in one of the world’s hottest exploration provinces
Special Report: The Alta Floresta gold belt in Brazil has become one of the hottest copper-gold exploration destinations in recent times and now this ASX-listed player has a piece of it.
In 2017 and 2018, rumours began circulating that major miner Anglo American had discovered a mega, porphyry-style copper-gold deposit in the Alta Floresta Gold Province.
Porphyry copper gold systems can be absolutely enormous.
There was a subsequent pegging frenzy as Anglo American and others including copper major Coldeco – companies that are typically only interested in large, tier one deposits – acquired as much ground as they could.
In late February this year Anglo boss Mark Cutifani confirmed the miner had intersected copper mineralisation, “in some cases above 100m”.
“As a consequence of those intersections, we stopped all drilling after six holes,” Mr Cutifani says.
“We secured 37,000 square kilometres of tenements.
“And during the course of the next 12 months, we’ll work out what we’ve actually got.
“If I could say this, at the moment, it’s interesting.”
Now, Meteoric Resources (ASX: MEI) has acquired two company-making projects in the Alta Floresta Belt –projects that are literally surrounded by the ground recently pegged by Anglo American.
Meteoric will pay Crusader Resources (ASX:CAS) $3 million for the Juruena and Novo Astro gold projects, which cover 770 square kilometres on the western end of Alta Floresta.
Meteoric has been hunting for a project of this quality for the last year, managing director and experienced geologist Andrew Tunks says.
“It was hard work, but as soon as I saw it, I knew this is the one,” Dr Tunks told Stockhead.
“I’ve looked at 50 projects in the last year. This is one of only two in my opinion that really stood out.
“I can’t believe this asset has fallen to us — I can see so much exciting upside here.”
At Juruena, $25 million worth of previous exploration means that it currently hosts a JORC-compliant resource estimate of 261,000 ounces of gold grading at 6.3 grams per tonne.
This resource is from three prospects; Crentes (55,000oz), Querosene (118,000oz) and Dona Maria (88,000oz).
“The indicated part, which is the best-known part – at the Querosene prospect is 28 grams per tonne. There are bonanza grades here,” Dr Tunks says
“Intersections include 10m at 100 grams per tonne, 8 metres at 60 gram per tonne, and 3 metres at 500 grams per tonne.”
Amazing grades, especially when you consider a deposit grading over 5 grams per tonnes is generally accepted as high-grade.
The existing resource is crucial because it underpins Meteoric’s development strategy, Dr Tunks says.
“Our goal is to get out there and conduct a twofold exploration program at the main projects – Dona Maria and Querosene – where the bulk of the high-grade resource is,” he says.
The drilling campaign will focus first on increasing confidence in the current resource by upgrading it from inferred to indicated and then on to drilling outside that current resource to make it larger.
These prospects are open along strike and at depth, which means Meteoric has step up drill targets ready to go.
In May 2017, Crusader Resources actually released a very positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on developing Juruena.
Its Meteoric’s goal to kick off a feasibility study by building on the results from the PEA.
“By converting ounces from inferred to indicated, we will be able to rapidly upgrade the existing scoping study as a feasibility study,” Dr Tunks says.
And all the infrastructure is there, ready to go.
The Juruena campsite includes site offices, housing and catering amenities for a 60-person crew, a core shed, and a 1000m dirt airstrip, as well as a staff of 11 people who have been working on site.
“We are ready to hit the ground running,” Dr Tunks says.
Novo Astro, a separate, standalone prospect on the eastern edge of the land holding, sits on a 15km gold anomaly has been extensively worked by artisanal miners – but never drilled.
Meteoric will also start with complete ground-based geophysical surveys (IP and Magnetics) at Novo Astro to define some targets.
Dr Tunks says there is potential for a multimillion-ounce resource to be discovered within the large tenement holding.
“A potential high-grade gold porphyry with a giant footprint, that has never been drilled, in an area that is going off for porphyry exploration. It’s unbelievable.”