Godolphin Resources has unveiled a revised mineral resource estimate for its historic Lewis Ponds polymetallic project in NSW’s Lachlan Fold Belt region and kicked off a major drilling campaign in and around the resource area. The resource now stands at 6.2 million tonnes of ore grading 2.0 g/t gold, 80 g/t silver, 2.7 per cent zinc, 1.6 per cent lead and 0.2 per cent copper.
ASX-listed precious and base metals explorer, Godolphin Resources has jumped out of the gates in 2021 having simultaneously unveiled a revised mineral resource estimate for its historic Lewis Ponds polymetallic project in NSW’s coveted Lachlan Fold Belt region and kicked off a major drilling campaign in and around the resource area.
Following an exhaustive reassessment of historical drilling undertaken at Lewis Ponds across various periods over the past half a century, Orange-based Godolphin calculated a new mineral resource that, significantly, incorporates higher-grade precious and base metals mineralised zones.
The Lewis Ponds inferred resource now stands at 6.2 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 2.0 grams per tonne gold, 80 g/t silver, 2.7 per cent zinc, 1.6 per cent lead and 0.2 per cent copper.
Its contained metal content comes to 398,000 ounces of gold, 15.9 million ounces of silver, 170,000 tonnes of zinc, 99,000 tonnes of lead and 11,000 tonnes of copper. The resource estimate is based on a 3.5 g/t gold equivalent cut-off grade.
Prior to Godolphin’s revised resource estimation, there was an old inferred and indicated resource estimate ascribed to Lewis Ponds, 15 kilometres east of Orange, of 20.24 million tonnes of ore going 0.5 g/t gold, 33.3 g/t silver, 1.5 per cent zinc and 0.7 per cent lead.
Lewis Ponds was previously modelled largely as a base metals proposition. However, according to the company, its extensive review of historical drilling data last year highlighted the gold and silver potential of the project.
Godolphin pored over previous owners’ drilling results generated from more than 210 drill holes totalling approximately 63,300 metres, with diamond drilling making up 58,425m of that aggregate and RC speaking for 4,909m.
As a result, it was able to remodel the Spicers Lode (Main Zone) and Tom’s Lode and the geology at Lewis Ponds.
The new strategy was to zero in on the higher-grade sulphide lenses identified by surface mapping and underground drilling data. These encompass the higher-grade gold and silver mineralised portions with accompanying high zinc and lead values.
Godolphin says historical drilling at Lewis Ponds included several high-grade gold and silver hits such as an impressively wide intersection of 91 metres grading 2.3 g/t gold, 79 g/t silver, 3.3 per cent zinc and 2.2 per cent lead.
The 148 square-kilometre project area is interpreted to be a splay of the Godolphin Fault, which is the same geological structure that hosts Regis Resources’ two-million-ounce McPhillamys gold project, approximately 20km to the south-east.
Godolphin has decided to crank up its drilling intensity at Lewis Ponds courtesy of concurrent diamond and RC drill programs for total aggregates of 3,300 metres and 1,000m, respectively. The drilling campaigns began in earnest last month.
The three objectives of the drilling drive are resource definition drilling in and around the updated mineral resource area, drilling targets outside the newly estimated mineral resource for possible resource additions or extensions and the gathering of mineralised drill core composites with high precious metals content for bench-scale metallurgical test work.
Test work done more than a couple of years ago showed a relatively simple flotation process producing two concentrates – a zinc concentrate and a lead-copper concentrate containing most of the precious metals.
Forecast metal recoveries from the concentrates based on the previous test work were 60 per cent gold, 79 per cent silver, 92 per cent zinc, 75 per cent lead and 69 per cent copper.
Godolphin says once the drilling and further metallurgical test work has been completed, it envisages undertaking a scoping study on Lewis Ponds to evaluate potential mining and processing parameters ahead of a possible pre-feasibility study.
With historical mining and exploration at Lewis Ponds focused mainly on base metals with associated gold and silver looked upon as mere credits, Godolphin may yet unlock the potential precious metals-bearing riches that previous owners left in the ground at its NSW project holdings.
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