The final fortnight of 2023 was marked by the release of notable gold assays from the seldom-highlighted regions of Egypt and Suriname, with results from the well-established Australian mining sector rounding out the ranking.
Abu Marawat in Egypt
Exploring for gold on the prospective Arabian-Nubian Shield, where mining dates back 4,500 years, Aton Resources (TSXV: AAN) on Dec. 18 reported that hole SMP-016 at the Abu Marawat concession in Egypt cut 6 metres at 50.07 grams gold per tonne from 75 metres depth for a width x grade value of 300. This includes an extremely high-grade interval of 222 grams gold over 1 metre from 80 metres depth.
The company drilled the hole on a northern section at the now-exposed eastern end of the 20th-century workings.
The reverse circulation percussion drilling program at Semna included 3,662 meters across 21 holes, inside the Semna gold mine prospect within the Abu Marawat Concession in the Eastern Desert of Egypt.
Aton describes the mineralized zone for SMP-016 as a hanging wall structure that is open at depth, suggesting potential for further mineralization at greater depths.
The results demonstrate the presence of multiple mineralized structures in the area, with the potential for high-grade gold deposits.
The 447.7-sq.-km Abu Marawat Concession hosts an indicated resource of 3.8 million tonnes grading 0.72 grams gold and 27.6 grams silver, or 1.12 grams gold equivalent, for 88,000 oz. gold and 3.4 million oz. silver, or 137 million oz. gold equivalent metal.
Antino in Suriname
Founders Metals (TSXV: FDR) reported the period’s second-best assay result from the Antino project in Suriname.
The company said on Dec. 21 it intersected 14.5 metres at 16.26 grams gold per tonne from 52.7 metres depth in hole 23FRDD041, for a width x grade value of 236.
Founders said hole 23FR044 also intercepted mineralization from surface with four major zones and one interval containing visible gold, including 11.6 metres of 2.59 grams gold downhole from surface and 13 metres of 6.29 grams gold from 42 metres depth.
The company says the new gold zone parallels the main Antino Shear Zone. This discovery has more than doubled the width of the gold mineralized footprint to over 200 metres. The drill-defined gold mineralization at the larger Froyo zone now covers more than 500 x 200 metres and extends to vertical depths of over 150 metres.
The Antino project covers 200 sq. km in southeastern Suriname. Artisanal surface and alluvial mining at the site has historically produced more than 500,000 oz. of gold.
The company conducted over 10,000 metres of diamond drilling in 2023 and plans up to 30,000 metres in 2024.
Mandilla in Western Australia
The period’s third-best assay result came from Perth-based Astral Resources (ASX: AAR) in the northern Widgiemooltha greenstone belt in the western part of the Kalgoorlie geological domain of Western Australia.
On Dec. 21, Astral reported 39 metres grading 5.43 grams gold per tonne from 279 metres depth in hole MDRCD828, for a width x grade value of 212.
The hole was part of a six-hole diamond drill program at the cornerstone Theia deposit at Mandilla. This hole successfully targeted a deep sulphide-rich high-grade shear zone previously intersected in other drill holes, further confirming the cross extent of this feature.
As of July last year, Mandilla hosts a Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant indicated resource of 21 million tonnes at 1.1 grams gold per tonne for 694,000 oz. of metal.
The company said exploration and evaluation work at Mandilla will continue. At the same time, it awaits assay results from three diamond holes drilled at Theia in November.
The company anticipates deploying drilling teams to the early-stage Feysville project shortly. Updates on exploration and further testing near Feysville will inform the company’s regional exploration strategy. Although Feysville is a separate project, its proximity to and operational synergies with the Mandilla project could influence its planning and development.