ASX junior explorer Emu NL is planning to search for silver mineralisation at the Vidalita prospect in northern Chile after drilling indicated it is similar to other deposits in the Maricunga Belt that have large gold resources and significant silver credits. Follow-up drilling will also target the large zones of low grade base metal mineralisation – particularly zinc – that was outlined in the previous campaign.
ASX listed junior explorer Emu NL has cast its eyes over the potential for substantial silver credits at its Vidalita prospect in northern Chile following recent exploration that returned significant intercepts.
Data from Emu’s 2017-18 drilling programs indicate that there are at least two phases of mineralisation at the Vidalita epithermal system, one dominated by gold and the other by silver and base metals.
Whilst gold remains Emu’s priority, it is now looking for commercial silver resources in a second zone where drilling has returned 6 metres grading 211 grams per tonne silver from 215 metres down-hole including an outstanding 1m section grading 1,049g/t silver, 3.7% zinc and 2.2% lead from 216m down-hole.
Another impressive intercept from the second zone was 16m @ 88g/t silver, 0.94% zinc and 0.22% lead from 44m down-hole.
Drilling in the gold zone returned 162m @ 0.13g/t gold, 48m @ 0.64g/t gold and 21m @ 0.54g/t gold.
These grades mirror other gold deposits in the Maricunga Belt, which are typically high tonnage, low grade deposits that are often interspersed with supergene or bonanza grade pockets and have resources in excess of 5 million ounces of gold.
Another feature of these deposits is the importance of silver credits.
Emu plans to follow up on both gold and silver-gold targets at Vidalita and surrounding prospects to map out the mineralised system and maximise exploration success.
It will also follow up on the large zones of low grade base metal intercepts, particularly zinc at the prospect that could point the way to the epithermal deposits.
Emu said that whilst intersections of high grade copper in one hole, which returned 1m at 5.37% copper, suggests a high sulphidation epithermal system, the lead-zinc mineralisation intersected elsewhere pointed to a more intermediate sulphidation system.
These observations appear to support the interpretation that there were multiple mineralising events on the Vidalita prospect.
Currently, Emu has defined gold and silver mineralisation over 1.4km on a north-south axis and 300m to the east-west. This remains open in all directions, including at depth.
The company is assessing all drilling and assay data generated by the recently completed drill campaign to identify new drill targets based on the gold, silver and base metal results received.