Field Work Results Indicate Additional Gold Targets at Clogau Gold Project, North Wales
Alba Mineral Resources plc (AIM: ALBA), the diversified mineral exploration and development company, is pleased to report the results from the recent soil sampling and geophysical surveying completed at the Clogau-St David’s gold project in North Wales by the Company’s retained consultants, SRK Exploration Services. The exploration programme is, to Alba’s knowledge, the first of its kind, utilising modern day exploration techniques, that has been undertaken on the 107 km2 licence area since the first discovery of gold in the Dolgellau Gold Belt in 1853.
· Geochemical soil sampling has confirmed that gold anomalies occur across the full strike length of the existing mine area, confirming the validity of the exploration technique used.
· A detailed analysis of the geochemical results is being undertaken to assess potential pathfinder elements to assist in future gold discoveries.
· Anomalous values have been detected away from the main mine area indicating additional gold targets for follow-up exploration.
· Further and more extensive soil sampling programmes of the regional gold targets are now in the planning phase.
Alba’s Executive Chairman, George Frangeskides, commented:
“The data that we are collecting at Clogau, using methods which we have tested over the mine area and that we now intend to roll out across the regional gold targets within our extensive licence area, are a major leap forward for the Dolgellau gold belt. Previous exploration simply involved following and mining the visible gold veins, and systematic, technical exploratory studies to understand the potential of the entire gold belt have never previously been carried out.”
“We have already found potential extensions of mineralisation close to the existing mine workings, specifically in the western portion of the mine area but also away from the mine workings, at the contact between the different geological formations. We are excited about the work that lies ahead and the potential that exists in this known high-grade gold system.”
The Clogau Gold Project is located within the Dolgellau Gold Belt in North Wales and consists of three separate permits that encompass a total area of 107 km2.
Geochemical soil sampling was completed across the Clogau-St David’s mine area with samples collected at 20 m intervals on lines 200 m apart. At each sample location, one sample was taken from the B soil horizon (Subsoil) by hand auger and a second sample taken at a 10 to 20 cm depth for ionic leach assaying, which can detect anomalous grades at lower detection limits. A total of 130 soil samples and 87 ionic leach samples were submitted for assay at the accredited ALS laboratory in Ireland.
The results show that gold in soil grades, being above the detection limit, predominantly lie on the north-western side of the historic workings and are present across the full strike length.
Higher gold values are noted in areas with fewer identified mine workings, specifically in the western portion of the mine area which represents an area warranting further exploration to assess the potential for mineralised extensions or new zones of mineralisation.
The highest-grade soil sample, being 0.279 ppm Au, lies in the south-west, away from the mine workings and isolated from the dominant northern anomaly, an area being considered for follow-up exploration.
The results also indicate subtle and localised elevated gold values where the Clogau Formation is in contact with the Gamlan and Maentwrog Formations. Whilst the significance of these are not yet understood, lithological contacts can represent favourable locations for gold deposition in this type of mineralisation. This is particularly evident for a sampling grading 0.279 ppm Au which lies along the Clogau/ Maentwrog boundary with elevated sample grades on adjoining sections.
The assaying included a full suite of 51 elements. Given the limited historical data available for the area, a detailed assessment of all elements will be undertaken to determine if any suitable pathfinder elements can be used to assist in the identification of potential gold-bearing regions within the licence.
Given the reported localised and nuggety nature of the free gold within the quartz veins, and the limited weathering profile that is traditionally more a feature of deposits located in more tropical climates, a project-specific geochemical model is being developed for the Dolgellau Gold Belt. The data collected in the current campaign will greatly assist in this and enhance Alba’s understanding of the controls on gold distribution.
Further assessment of the appropriateness of the lower detection limit ionic leach assaying method will also be undertaken, although early observations suggest similar zones of identified anomalies to those discovered in the soil sampling programme. Traditional soil sampling has clearly identified anomalous gold values at the higher detection limits that can be directly correlated to a known underlying gold-bearing mineralisation, and this method is therefore deemed suitable to be used in the wider licence area.
Going forward, Alba intends to develop a soil sampling programme across the other identified targets, where favourable geological, mineralisation and historical mining characteristics occur.
SRK Exploration Services has also completed resistivity and magnetic surveys over the Clogau Mine area at 100 m and 50 m line spacing respectively. The resistivity survey measures the electrical properties of rock to approximately 6 m depth.
The results of the surveys show that geophysical methods can be used to delineate the underlaying lithological units with relatively high confidence. Whilst supporting the validity of the regional British Geological Survey (BGS) 1:50,000 scale geological map, the surveys have also shown that additional localised detail could be added to the historic mapping in the area.
The high apparent resistivity anomalies correlate well with the mapped intrusive units and are generally hosted within the conductive Clogau Formation, which is found between the moderately resistive Gamlan and Maentwrog Formations. This is significant as the contact between the Clogau Formation and the resistive intrusives is believed to be one of the main ore-controlling features of the project. The identification of similar features will therefore be one of the key indicators from future surveys over the regional targets.
The magnetic response delineates the extents of the Clogau Formation, particularly the contact with the larger intrusive unit. It also provides information regarding the underlying structural architecture, which will help in determining potential gold bearing formations controlled by fluid pathways or late stage faults, offsetting veins. For example, the magnetics show the North-South fault that offsets the Clogau and St David’s mines.
Alba now plan to utilise these same geophysical methods over regional targets identified by future geochemical sampling.
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