Echo Resources Ltd (ASX:EAR) has intersected broad and high-grade gold mineralisation in aircore (AC) drilling at its 70%-owned Mt Joel prospect within its wider Yandal Gold Project.
Results from the recently completed 148-hole program show further shallow and consistent mineralisation, indicating Mt Joel will yield further open pit oxide ounces.
Drilling at Mt Joel is part of Echo’s strategy to add incremental near-surface ounces to further enhance a planned restart of the Bronzewing processing facility in 2019.
The company has begun reverse circulation (RC) definition drilling to infill gaps in the data and ultimately define indicated-category resources within Mt Joel’s resource inventory.
RC results will be released early in 2019 and the updated resource estimate is expected in the March quarter.
Opportunity to add quality oxide ounces
Echo chief executive officer Victor Rajasooriar said the Mt Joel gold district continued to deliver excellent results and provided the company with an opportunity to add incremental, quality oxide ounces to its resource base.
Featured results include: 20 metres at 5.56 g/t gold from 33 metres; 4 metres at 4.74 g/t from 10 metres; 10 metres at 3.86 g/t from 20 metres; and 11 metres at 2.61 from 34 metres.
Drilling also intersected 15 metres at 2.42 g/t from 26 metres and 12 metres at 2.62 g/t from 16 metres.
Deep exploration potential
Rajasooriar continued: “The largest amount of work that has been already completed recently at Mt Joel highlights how serious we are at Echo to continue to strengthen the already robust initial four-year mine plan as we push towards production in 2019.
“We are following up the initial AC work with an extensive RC program in preparation for an updated Mt Joel JORC 2012 resource estimate.
“Additionally, we are gathering a huge amount of geological data which will help us when we explore this extensively mineralised system at depth.
“The Yandal Gold Belt is a world-class mining and exploration jurisdiction and the historical work at Mt Joel as only been conducted in the top 100 metres.
“With an exploration budget to be funded by production, we are excited about the deep exploration potential of the area.”
Potentially open-pittable resources
Initial results have provided confidence there exists potential to define substantial, open-pittable resources over several satellite pits around Mt Joel.
Echo is also undertaking hydrogeological studies and geotechnical drilling to provide the option of bringing Mt Joel into the life-of-mine plan as soon as possible.
Mt Joel has more than 8 kilometres of discontinuous gold mineralisation just 12 kilometres northeast of the Bronzewing processing hub.
Gold occurs in quartz veins and vein selvedges associated with pyrite plus-minus chalcopyrite.
Mineralisation occurs predominantly in the oxide-transition zone extending from the base of transported material to the base of weathering, a zone more than 100 metres deep in places.