Precious metals explorer Emu NL has commenced its exploratory field program at the Vidalita project in northern Chile with a comprehensive campaign of shallow aircore drilling planned for its Peon 4, Vidalota D and Jotahues areas. The campaign will also target higher grade gold mineralisation at its main Vidalita project, vectoring towards a prospective fault zone it has interpreted from existing drilling data.
ASX listed precious metals explorer Emu NL is back on the ground in Chile and keen to finish what it started last exploration season at its Vidalita project in the highly endowed Maricunga Belt in north of the country.
The company has poured over its existing drilling data and a new geological interpretation has outlined that gold grades and thicknesses may increase markedly eastwards, vectoring towards a major fault zone recognised at Vidalita.
There is subjective evidence of this trend, with gold grades nearly doubling to an average of 0.64g/t gold from an existing drill hole near the fault, although Emu’s model postulates that much higher grades of gold may be present in the broader epithermal system.
The strike length of the mineralised zone associated with the fault is about 1.4km, so there is plenty of blue sky potential for the company if its model checks out on site.
Emu management said that a new drilling program has been planned to specifically probe and evaluate the prospectivity of the fault zone for its gold endowment at Vidalita.
The company said it was typical for this style of mineral deposit to locate higher grade gold zones beneath the vuggy silica cap it has already delineated at the project.
Similar examples exist elsewhere within the Maricunga Belt, with Gold Fields’ Salares Norte located about 200km north of Vidalita, holding nearly 3.7 million gold ounces and 49.6 million silver ounces.
Barrick’s 2015 world-class Alturas discovery is also located nearby and contains a gold resource of 6.8 million ounces in an analogous geological setting to Emu’s tenement holdings.
The company also said that it would be utilising a portable XRF analysis unit in the field this season, which will allow it to more quickly assess large areas of ground for follow-up gold exploration.
Surface and drill sampling last season showed that the pathfinder elements silver, arsenic, antinomy and mercury consistently acted as proxies for the presence of gold mineralisation and hence, were likely to define corridors prospective for the precious metal where coherent anomalies of those elements occur.
This method of ground reconnaissance gives cheap, instantaneous feedback on the presence of the pathfinder elements and will permit Emu to evaluate the latent prospectivity of its large ground holdings in Chile.
In addition, geological mapping is underway to quickly optimise drill hole collar placements ahead of this season’s exploration drilling campaigns.
Emu is looking to undertake both shallow and deeper testing at the Vidalita project with maiden drilling programs over the Peon 4, Vidalota D and Jotahues prospects to get underway this season.
The company has proposed 10,000 metres of aircore drilling and 3,000 metres of diamond coring this season, with Emu confident that it has the right mix of drill methods in place now to deliver high quality samples at low costs, based on last year’s maiden programs.
On-site, two crews are in place and preparatory work is underway for setting up the exploratory field camp to support the upcoming drill programs and recondition access roads into the project area.