Sunshine Metals flexes its gold-copper muscle as Liontown resource upgrade delivers greater certainty
Special Report: Resource upgrades are always welcome, especially when they include a hefty boost in certainty such as the 116% increase in indicated resources to 1.85Mt @ 10.9% zinc equivalent at Sunshine Metals’ Liontown deposit in Queensland.
The upgrade, which includes substantial boosts to contained gold and copper (more on that later), comes as the company launched a five-hole drill program totalling 1,000m to test the recently identified gold-rich pumice breccia zone where an outstanding intersection of 17m @ 22g/t gold was announced in November last year.
The intersection was one of multiple high-grade zones returned from a high-impact, shallow RC drill program which targeted the gold-copper rich footwall and feeder zones to the Liontown polymetallic resource.
Liontown, near Charters Towers, is part of Sunshine Metals’ (ASX:SHN) broader Ravenswood Consolidated project where it is hunting for large mineral systems in a district which has produced over 20Moz gold and 14Mt of VMS ore (copper-gold, zinc-lead).
VMS deposits are commonly associated with high grades of copper, zinc, lead, gold and silver – and importantly, often form in clusters.
The recent drill success has validated its ‘Main Feeder’ zone concept – a gold-focused geological model that has already identified the Main Feeder within the 2.3Mt zinc-gold-copper-lead-silver VMS resource, the Carrington Feeder adjacent to the historical Carrington Main Shaft and the Gap Zone Feeder in the under-drilled Gap Zone.
SHN has now increased overall resources at the Liontown deposit by 21% to 2.94Mt @ 10.6% zinc equivalent, with higher confidence indicated resources of 1.85Mt @ 10.9% zinc equivalent now making up 63% of the total inventory.
Indicated resources have sufficient information on geology and grade continuity to support mine planning.
Adding further interest, the resource contains a 10% increase in contained gold to 132,000oz and a 60% increase in contained copper to 29,000t, further supporting its recent focus on gold and copper.
The upgrade also takes resources within the Ravenswood Consolidated project up from 4.9Mt @ 12% zinc equivalent to 5.45mMt @ 12% zinc equivalent with indicated resources increasing 10% to make up 47% of this total resource.
SHN managing director Dr Damien Keys said the extended and upgraded resource was a “substantial step forward” for the Liontown deposit.
“The resource is based on drilling since 2020 and includes the high-impact, first-pass drilling campaign completed in late 2023,” Keys said.
“The overall resource has increased 21% and features an impressive 116% increase in the indicated category, now comprising 63% of the Liontown resource.
“All of this has been achieved with an increase in grade. Particularly encouraging is the growth in contained copper and gold which we began focusing on since taking control in September 2023.”
Besides the gold-copper footwall lodes currently being drilled, SHN also has resource growth opportunities in the under-drilled 400m Gap Zone between Liontown and the 1.47Mt @ 11% zinc equivalent Liontown East resource.
This article was developed in collaboration with Sunshine Metals, 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.