Okapi Resources has completed due diligence on the historic Enmore gold project 30 kilometres south-east of Armidale nearby the recently revived Hillgrove gold-antimony mine in north-eastern NSW and decided to press ahead with the staged acquisition of the asset. Enmore boasts a pair of advanced walk-up drill targets that have returned high-grade gold values from rock chip sampling work and drilling undertaken by previous owners.
ASX-listed gold explorer, Okapi Resources has completed due diligence on the historic Enmore gold project 30 kilometres south-east of Armidale nearby the recently revived Hillgrove gold-antimony mine in north-eastern NSW and decided to press ahead with the staged acquisition of the asset.
The Perth-based company will take control of the Enmore exploration licence for an initial consideration of $100,000 cash and $200,000 worth of its shares to be paid to vendor, Providence Gold and Minerals, with the stock issuance subject to shareholder approval.
Under the terms of the deal, Okapi will be required to make further cash or share payments of $300,000 and $400,000 once it has met various exploration milestones in relation to the project. A two per cent net smelter royalty is also tied to the acquisition agreement.
The exploration milestones include a minimum exploration expenditure of $200,000, a minimum of 1,000 metres of RC drilling and Okapi progressing to a JORC Code 2012-compliant indicated or measured mineral resource estimate of no less than 100,000 ounces of gold equivalent at an average grade of greater than 1.5 grams per tonne gold.
Enmore boasts a pair of advanced walk-up drill targets called Sunnyside and Bora that have returned high-grade gold values from rock chip sampling work and drilling undertaken by previous owners.
Widespread occurrences of high-grade gold were unmasked in the historic rock chip samples. Stand-out assays included 74.1 g/t gold, 56 g/t, 41 g/t and 26 g/t, while historic sampling of underground workings and trenches returned up to 0.45m at 234 g/t gold, 0.91m at 21 g/t, 0.76m at 23 g/t, 0.45m at 33 g/t, 1.52m at 16 g/t and 3m at 15g/t Au.
Okapi says Enmore, located in the New England Fold Belt, remains under-explored and prospective for identifying potentially economic high-grade gold deposits on known prospects as well as new mineralised areas.
Historic exploration at Enmore largely focused on shallower gold mineralisation, with limited deeper drilling despite a number of high-grade drill intercepts.
Across the Enmore project area, previous operators drilled a combined 213 diamond, RC and percussion holes totalling 11,323m at several prospects between 1974 and 2016.
Notable historic drill intersections from the old Sunnyside mine environs were 4m grading 11.94 g/t gold from surface, 2m at 14.6 g/t from 46m, 8m at 3.0 g/t from surface, 20m at 1.7 g/t from 18m including 4m at 4.4 g/t, and 10m at 2.8 g/t from surface including 2m at 6.2 g/t.
Okapi hopes to kick off drilling at the Sunnyside prospect early in the June quarter this year. Plans are under way for an initial RC six holes aimed at testing beneath shallower historic mineralised drill holes and soil sampling that turned up gold anomalies over 400m of strike and up to 100m width.
The main prospects on the Enmore goldfield – the small but high-grade historic Sunnyside, Bora and Sherwood mines – have been delineated by the presence of continuous lode-style mineralisation over strike extents of up to 600m.
Okapi points out there are 39 known historic mines and mineral occurrences on the Enmore-Melrose goldfield, most of which straddle or lie near the three identified main north-west-trending auriferous structures. The company says the collective prospective length of these broader structures has been estimated at 22km.
In addition to the proposed drilling, Okapi has flagged electrical geophysics as a possible exploration tool at Enmore. It says the lode and vein mineralisation styles identified at Enmore potentially lend themselves to being sniffed out via systematic 3D electrical geophysics techniques.
Okapi Resources Executive Director, Andrew Shearer said: “The drill-ready and high-grade nature of these exciting gold projects has justified Okapi in taking the next step forward with the Enmore project. Planning is well under way now to complete the 1,000m drilling and $200,000 exploration program as part of milestone one, allowing Okapi to make a decision to continue with the staged acquisition of the project.”
According to Okapi, gold mineralisation at the Enmore project area occurs in an analogous geological setting to the historic Hillgrove gold-antimony mine approximately 35km away as the crow flies.
Melbourne-based Red River Resources recently resuscitated mining and processing production operations at Hillgrove.
Previous production at Hillgrove reached more than 730,000 ounces of gold in bullion and concentrates and more than 50,000 tonnes of antimony as metal and in concentrates.
Hillgrove’s JORC-compliant measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate currently stands at 5.03 million tonnes of ore going an impressive 4.3 g/t gold and 1.5 per cent antimony for 692,000 ounces of contained gold and 75,000 tonnes of contained antimony.
Okapi says the structural and geological similarities between the mineralisation at Hillgrove and Enmore are being investigated and will form part of the exploration model for its new project.
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