Drill Down

The Drill Down: Best Gold Assays Sept. 22-29

The Northern Miner‘s Blair McBride highlighted the top gold assays of the past week. Drill holes are ranked by gold grade x width, as identified by Costmine Intelligence.

Drill Down

Heliostar Metals

Alaska and Mexico-focused Heliostar Metals’ (TSX-V: HSTR) leads the week’s top drill assays, reporting on Sept. 25 that hole AP-23-306 returned 83.6 metres grading 8.57 grams gold per tonne from 82.5 metres depth for a width x grade value of 716.45 at its Ana Paula project in Guerrero state of southwest Mexico. That hole and AP-23-307 were part of infill drilling inside the High Grade Panel at Ana Paula, where high-grade mineralization remains open below hole AP-23-306.

Ana Paula hosts proven and probable reserves of just over 1 million oz. of gold at 2.38 grams gold, according to a February 2023 preliminary feasibility study update.

Heliostar Ana Paula

“Ana Paula continues to outperform our expectations and is growing more quickly than we expected when we acquired the project,” said CEO Charles Funk, referring to the company’s purchase of Ana Paula from Argonaut Gold (TSX: AR) in December 2022. “The current two holes are 26% and 225% higher than predicted in the resource model and, in total, twelve of the thirteen holes targeting the High Grade Panel delivered intercepts with better grades or widths than the existing resource model.”

Holes 306 and 307 complete the results to be included in the resource update planned for November.

Santana Minerals

The week’s second-best assay came from New Zealand, where Santana Minerals (ASX: SMI) reported on Sept. 28 that hole MDD192 drilled into its Bendigo-Ophir property returned 2 metres grading 263 grams gold from 170 metres depth for a width x grade value of 526. The hole pierced the Rise and Shine (RAS) deposit at Bendigo-Ophir, located in the Central Otago Goldfields, just east of Queenstown, on the South Island.

Other intercepts in MDD192 between 26 and 56 metres downhole extended shallow mineralization south into the RAS valley, suggesting a potential high- grade subvertical structure, Santana said.

“Another suite of excellent results are adding to our confidence of a high rate of conversion from inferred to indicated resources in the upcoming [resource estimate],” said CEO Damian Spring. According to Santana’s February 2023 resource update, the Bendigo-Ophir deposits total 2 million indicated tonnes grading 4.3 grams gold per tonne for 279,000 ounces, and 37.7 million inferred tonnes grading 1.57 grams gold per tonne for 2,627,000 oz. at a 0.5 gram gold per tonne cut off grade.

Infill drilling at RAS is aimed at supporting a prefeasibility study which Santana expects to start in 2024, following a scoping study planned for early next year.

Magnetic Resources

The third-best assay of the week came from Magnetic Resources’ (ASX: MAU) Lady Julie project, located within 15 km of Dacian Gold‘s (ASX: DCN) producing Mt Morgans mine in Western Australia.

The company reported on Sept. 26 that hole MLJRC789 returned 138 metres grading 2.25 grams gold from 91 metres depth for a width x grade value of 310.5. The intercept, at Magnetic’s Lady Julie North 4 (LJN4) deposit, is adjacent to its Lady Julie Central deposit.

Magnetic’s February 2023 resource estimate outlined 1.9 million indicated tonnes grading 1.52 grams gold per tonne for 97,100 oz. (at a 0.5 gram gold per tonne cutoff) and 3.8 million inferred tonnes at 1.76 grams gold for 220,800 oz. for the combined Lady Julie deposits.

“With the Australian gold price at record levels of A$2,996 (per ounce), the Laverton project resources encompassing Lady Julie Central, Lady Julie North 4, HN9, Mt Jumbo and Homeward Bound South, are shaping up and have potential for large-scale shallow open-cuttable deposits,” said managing director George Sakalidis.

The zones that hole MLJRC789 cut are being extended by new drilling at depth and to the northeast, providing potential to grow the LJN4 resource. A 1,750-metre drilling program is underway and is scoping out extensions to the east.

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