Lode Resources is getting what every explorer dreams of for Christmas – substantial widths of extremely high-grade silver, zinc and lead hits and evidence it can economically deliver very high recoveries from that mineralisation.    

Lode Resources (ASX:LDR) is ticking the right boxes at the Webbs Consol project in NSW, today reporting ‘bonanza’ grades of up to 800 grams per tonne (g/t) silver equivalent, or 16.24% zinc equivalent.

On top of that, the company also revealed that the project could deliver high recoveries of up to 97.3% for silver, up to 98.7% for zinc and up to 94.7% for lead.

The news edged shares up 7.5% on Tuesday morning to an intra-day high of 21.5c.

Lode Resources (ASX:LDR) share price chart


The 100% owned Webbs Consol project is in the highly prospective but underexplored New England Fold Belt, where the current in situ resource value is estimated to be just 2 per cent of the entire state due to a lack of exploration.

Despite historical production of gold, silver and base metals, it has seen very modest drilling compared to the well picked-over Lachlan Fold Belt to the south. The New England Fold Belt has just one exploration hole for every 13 holes drilled in the Lachlan Fold Belt.

Webbs Consol is an interesting project in that while silver was the main target of historical mining of the Main Shaft prospect and other adjacent mines, zinc was the dominant metal encountered in just two drill holes into the same prospect by Lode.

Webbs Consol was discovered in 1890 with intermittent mining undertaken up to the mid-1950s. The project contains several small, but high grade, silver-lead-zinc-gold deposits.

Now, first-phase diamond drilling by Lode at Webbs Consol has returned a top intercept of 27.5m at 467g/t silver equivalent or 9.44% zinc equivalent (118g/t silver, 6.52% zinc and 0.77% lead) from 104.60m from hole WCS006.

This broader intercept included 23.8m at 526g/t silver equivalent or 10.62% zinc equivalent (135g/t silver, 7.32% zinc and 0.82% lead), and 4.4m at 800g/t silver equivalent or 16.24% zinc equivalent (287g/t silver, 9.39% zinc and 1.47% lead) from 105.6m.

“Intersecting high-grade mineralisation over substantial widths is the main hallmark of a quality mineral project,” managing director Ted Leschke said.

“Whilst there is still a significant amount of work to be done, these excellent drill results from the first two drill holes into the Main Shaft prospect provides confidence in further planned drilling.”

The first-phase diamond drilling program was designed to test for extensions of mineralisation historically mapped in underground workings at the Main Shaft prospect.

The results from the two holes drilled give Lode the confidence that mineralisation continues down dip below the Webbs Consol Main Shaft and other adjacent historical workings.

Lode Resources
Webbs Consol Main Shaft oblique view

Meanwhile, the high recoveries achieved from preliminary testwork indicate the potential for the Webbs Consol project to utilise a low-cost, industry standard flotation beneficiation process to produce a high-quality silver-zinc-lead product.

“Having recently reported solid assay results from drill hole WCS006 at the Webb Consol Main Shaft prospect we are now further encouraged by this preliminary metallurgical test work on drill hole WCS007,” Leschke said.

Hole WCS007 returned intersections of 24.15m at 374g/t silver equivalent or 7.57% zinc equivalent (63g/t silver, 5.96% zinc and 0.49% lead) from 122.9m.

This included sections of 19m at 461g/t silver equivalent or 9.35% zinc equivalent (78g/t silver, 7.43% zinc and 0.49% lead) from 126m and 10.3m at 675g/t silver equivalent or 13.71% zinc equivalent (123g/t silver, 10.82% zinc and 0.56% lead) from 129.7m

Leschke said early evidence that metals of value could be recovered through an economically viable industry standard processing route was as important a step as encountering high-grade mineralisation in drill core samples.

“Whilst there is still a significant amount of work to be done, the excellent recovery rates and grades using standard flotation practices provides confidence that in time an in-demand high-grade concentrate with excellent payabilities can be produced,” he explained.

Further drilling testing the down dip extensions of the Main Shaft prospect is planned for the Webbs Consol project once drilling has been completed at the Uralla gold and Fender (Trough Gully) copper projects.


This article was developed in collaboration with Lode Resources, 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.