Emu discovers large gold system in Chile
ASX listed junior explorer Emu NL has announced the discovery of a major mineralised epithermal gold system at its Vidalita prospect in the lucrative Maricunga precious metals belt in northern Chile.
Assays from the first deep diamond tail show a modest grade but large mineralised zone, prompting the tantalising question, what’s feeding it?
Drilling intercepted 3 separate mineralised zones with elevated levels of gold, silver, copper, lead, antimony, mercury and zinc, all of which are typical of high sulphidation epithermal systems in this region of Chile.
Notable intersections include 26 metres grading 0.32 grams per tonne gold from 181m down-hole, including 1m @ 0.68g/t gold and 6m @ 0.3% copper from 183m down-hole.
The other mineralised zones included a 10m intersection @ 0.33g/t gold from 217m down-hole.
That same hole included a one metre pass at 0.83g/t gold and a very significant 1,049g/t silver, 5.4% copper, 2.2% lead and 3.7% zinc from 218m down-hole.
The latest drill program also produced a 6-metre intersection at 93g/t silver from 253m, just before the hole was terminated at 265.5m
Emu has clearly clipped the top of something pretty interesting at Vidalita based on the thickness and tenor of its precious and base metal assay results.
Higher up epithermal zones are sometimes fed by lower down, high grade deeper mineralisation and this will be the real prize for Emu if it can be located.
Back in March, Emu’s Managing Director Greg Steemson said: “At the beginning of this field season, I was concerned about the current level of erosion at Vidalita with respect to the level at which an ore deposit may have been formed.”
“All the evidence gathered last field season and this field season convinces the entire Emu team that we are above the source of the geochemistry we have encountered in the surface sampling and drilling. Drilling is needed and lots of it.”
After seeing the recent results from the discovery hole, Mr Steemson added: “These results validate Emu’s persistence with this project. The geology and surface geochemistry told us there had to be significant mineralisation on our ground. The assays confirm the earlier geological observations and suggest that Emu is now well and truly in the hunt.”
Importantly, over 50% of the assays from the 2017-18 drilling season are still pending and the company will report on these as they become available.
The diamond tail was added to an RC pre-collar to test the sub-surface zone beneath spectacular alteration and silica-rich rocks that were noted at surface which also coincided with highly anomalous gold and silver geochemistry in soil sampling.
The new results appear to add weight to Emu’s theory of an epithermal gold ore system at Vidalita.
In fact, the entire diamond tail drilled contained anomalous gold mineralisation, returning 162m @ 0.13g/t gold.
The company reported that silver mineralisation is present as the red salt pyrargyrite, which is important ore mineral of silver that is mined in a number of places around the world.
The high-grade nature of the silver mineralisation, with single metre assays up to an amazing 33.6 ounces to the tonne, indicate that the drilling program might have intercepted a portion of a tiered epithermal mineralised system, characterised by stockwork veining or stringer ore zones.
There are many examples of this style of mineralisation elsewhere in the Maricunga belt that already boasts a total mineral endowment of over 90 million ounces of gold equivalent.
Emu is in good company in the Maricunga belt too, with the nearby Refugio gold project holding a pre-mining resource of 146.2 million tonnes grading 0.57g/t gold for 2.65 million gold ounces.
The Salares Norte ore system, 200km to the north is a very similar ore system to that now identified by Emu at Vidalita and has a resource of 26.8 million tonnes grading 3.9g/t gold and 49g/t silver containing 3.3 million ounces of gold and 42 million ounces of silver.
Emu will now await the assays from the RC pre-collar of the diamond tail and the surrounding aircore drill holes before formulating a follow-up campaign to continue evaluating this exciting new discovery at Vidalita.
Drilling has only tested one high priority area at Vidalita to date and the number of highly prospective zones already defined by Emu at the broader Vidalita-Jotahues project area, show there is still plenty of gas left in the tank for this emerging gold-silver play.
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