Barton Gold is planning a rapid return to drilling at Tarcoola in South Australia with recent exploration delivering a bounty of high-grade intercepts begging to be followed up. The company’s ongoing drilling program has begun to delineate the western extensions of the Perseverance orebody, whilst drilling below the open pit has been returning intervals grading at more than an ounce per tonne gold.
Barton Gold is planning a rapid return to drilling at Tarcoola in South Australia with recent exploration delivering a bounty of high-grade intercepts begging to be followed up. The ongoing drilling program has begun to delineate the western extensions of the Perseverance orebody, whilst drilling below the open pit has been returning intervals grading at more than an ounce per tonne gold.
The company’s Phase 2 drilling program at Tarcoola is being designed to further test the results from the previous drilling, building on the knowledge gained from both the program and the detailed geophysical surveys completed in recent months. This wealth of geological data is guiding Barton as it builds a more detail model of the ore system and a greater understanding of the gold mineralisation within this fertile district.
Previous drilling at Tarcoola has concentrated on extending the mineralisation at Perseverance, in addition to testing for deeper-seated lodes below the existing pit. The program has proven highly successful with exploration identifying two potential ore positions - the Perseverance West and Perseverance Deeps - and the extensions of the gold lode at depth, now coined the Deliverance target.
“Barton Gold is focused on building the foundations for future value as we pursue the broader potential of the Tarcoola Project. We are very pleased that the recent Phase 1 drilling has further validated the prospectivity of the Deliverance Target and generated clear priority follow-up targets, including the newly discovered Perseverance West zone. Follow up programmes will be focused upon building our geological understanding of these near-pit extensions through a combination of infill and extensional drilling.”
The Tarcoola gold project is located 600km north-west of Adelaide and consists of 1,200 square kilometres of highly prospective gold tenure in the venerated Gawler Craton. The logistical hub for the project is the company’s mothballed Challenger gold mill located 120km to the north-west of Tarcoola.
Gold was originally discovered at Tarcoola in the early 1900s, with the field estimated to have produced more than 75,000 ounces of gold, from over 600 small artisanal workings, through to 1954. The goldfield gained a new lease of life more recently with the discovery of the Perseverance gold deposit, mined from late 2016 to 2018, with the ore being trucked to Challenger for processing.
Barton’s recent exploration surrounding the Perseverance pit has outlined two zones of mineralisation for potential development, the western extensions and a sizeable ore position below the pit floor. The company is modelling this deeper ore position to facilitate a deepening of the existing pit and exploit its untapped potential.
The company said the mined grades at Perseverance were increasing with depth and exceeded an average grade of more than 4 g/t gold prior to the pit being placed on care and maintenance in 2018. Drill results within this remnant ore include 2m at 33.8 g/t gold and 2m at a whooping 56.7 g/t gold just below the current pit floor.
Currently, the resource below the Perseverance pit floor is estimated at more than 60,000 tonnes grading at over 2.5 g/t gold. The company has recently converted the in-pit resource and ‘at surface’ low-grade stockpiles into a JORC-compliant resource of 370,000 tonnes at 1.3 g/t gold, although this figure looks likely to grow as drilling continues within the pit area.
A potential redesign and deepening of the existing Perseverance pit might be further bolstered by the Perseverance West discovery. This new ore zone is located immediately along the western strike extents of the open pit, with drilling returning an array of shallow intercepts littered over more than 200m of strike including 3m at 8.99 g/t gold, 5m at 6.06 g/t gold and 4m at 6.85 g/t from only 28m down-hole. This new position is quickly shaping up as a sizable resource with the upcoming Phase 2 drilling program aimed at moving the discovery from a target to a JORC resource.
Interestingly, Barton is also having considerable success with the drilling of its Deliverance target below the Perseverance pit. Its wide-spaced drilling indicates that the high-grade gold lodes extend along more than 600m of strike and to a depth of more than 250m below surface.
Drilling has returned a collection of stunning intercepts from the Deliverance target producing assays of more than an ounce per tonne gold, including 6m at 43.6 g/t gold, 2m at 66.8 g/t gold, 2m @ 49.1 g/t gold and more recently 3m at 33.7 g/t gold from 220m down-hole.
These deeper results hint at the possibility for a high-grade, underground operation within the Tarcoola ore system and present a tantalising target for ongoing exploration. The Perseverance-Deliverance ore system remains open in all directions and is unconstrained by drilling.
On a regional scale, Barton’s ongoing work program across the company’s comprehensive tenure at Tarcoola is also outlining an abundance of new targets.
Modelling of both the geophysical and geochemical datasets has begun to define the regional architecture of the emergent goldfield, uncovering both the feeder system into the Perseverance deposit and three potential repetitions along strike. The company is now set to test these new targets, all of which are less than 4km from the existing open pit, with a view to quickly building its resource inventory across the project area.
With the Phase 2 drilling set to kick-off at Perseverance in the coming weeks and the company building a wealth of resources across the Gawler Craton, Barton now looks well placed to successfully complete its listing on the ASX.
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