16/08/2021 - 18:08

Askari winds up maiden Wheatbelt drill program

16/08/2021 - 18:08

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ASX-listed junior explorer Askari Metals has completed its inaugural reverse circulation drilling program as it seeks to determine the prospectivity of its Burracoppin gold project in historically worked fields about 20km east of Merredin in Western Australia’s eastern Wheatbelt. The company is now waiting with anticipation on the assay results due in four to six weeks.

Askari Metals drill rigs in action at Burracoppin. Credit: File

ASX-listed junior explorer Askari Metals has completed its inaugural reverse circulation, or “RC” drilling program as it seeks to determine the prospectivity of its Burracoppin gold prospect, about 20km east of Merredin in Western Australia’s eastern Wheatbelt. The company is now keenly waiting on the assay results due in four to six weeks.

Perth-based Askari has completed 17 RC drill holes with a total of 1,424m drilled. The holes were designed to target a slew of historical high-grade drill results that focus on gold mineralisation beneath a line of old artisanal mining shafts. The drilling followed boots on the ground field work that examined the shallow artisanal gold workings.

The area has been known as a gold province since the 1930s and grades of up to 49 g/t gold were reported in the Daily News in June 1933, however despite this, the area has seen very little modern drilling with only a handful of shallow holes drilled during the 1970s and 1980s.

The Burracoppin workings occur across an interpreted strike length of about 1.6km, with shallow shafts mined into high-grade gold veins during the 1930s gold boom in the area. Given the relatively shallow depths of the previous drilling the company says the mineralisation remains open in all directions. Askari’s maiden drill program tested for potential extensions of mineralisation both along strike and below the mining shafts that dot the project area.

Burracoppin was a minor gold production centre for about 40 years between 1930 and 1974. The four key shallow shafts – known as Christmas Gift, North Benbur, Benbur and Easter Gift – follow the interpreted 1.6km-long north-south trend. Benbur ore weighed in at a spectacular average grade of 37.44 g/t gold, according to Askari. Total historical production of the workings was more than 2000 tonnes.

The company has highlighted historical drill hits from Burracoppin that include 18m at an average grade of 5.64 g/t gold from surface, 14m at 13.7 g/t from 32m and 2m at 9.1 g/t from 18m.

Burracoppin is about 25km south-west of ASX-listed major gold producer, Ramelius Resources’ Edna May gold mine, which has racked up more than one million ounces in recorded production and produced 26,632 ounces in the June quarter this year alone.

The area is underlain by poorly exposed Archaean granite-greenstone terrain that contains isolated occurrences of banded iron formation and was also the site of a small heap leach operation in the early 1990s. Gold mineralisation occurs within quartz veins and quartz-rich granitic stringers hosted by pelitic sediments, mafic-to-felsic granulites and gabbroic rocks.  Laterites that cover the Archaean rock sequence also carry gold mineralisation.

On completion of the exploration program, Askari hopes to publish a maiden JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate that will underpin a scoping study into the viability of mining operations at the Burracoppin gold project. The results of the scoping study will provide guidance for future exploration and development.

Assay results from Askari’s initial drilling campaign are expected back from the lab in four to six weeks and the company will focus on exploration at its Kimberley and Ashburton region projects in the meantime.  The company will also review geophysical data from Burracoppin which will be used for further field work programs.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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