Alba Mineral Resources plc (AIM: ALBA) is pleased to announce that the first phase of the Company’s underground drilling programme at the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine (“Clogau” or the “Mine”).
Which was completed in October 2020, has intersected what Alba believes to be the westerly extension to the Clogau Main Lode, representing a potential 550-metre extension to the Main Lode. The Main Lode is the source of most of the historic gold production at the Mine.
· The first phase of an underground drilling programme was successfully completed on 30 October 2020, with seven drillholes completed for a total of 559.5 metres.
· All seven drillholes intersected quartz veining, the known geological setting of all historic gold production at the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine, validating Alba’s geological model.
· Drillhole L002 returning significant gold assays of 1.16 metres at 0.653 grammes/tonne (“g/t”), including 0.25 metres at 1.79 g/t.
· Drillholes L002 and L003 have intersected what Alba believes to be the westerly extension of the Clogau Main Lode, representing a 550-metre extension to the Main Lode, the source of most historic production at the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine.
· Infill surface and underground drilling is now planned to confirm the continuity of the Main Lode extension.
Alba’s Executive Chairman, George Frangeskides, commented:
“The intersection of quartz veins along strike from the Main Lode is a potentially significant discovery. The Main Lode has provided most of the gold production at the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine historically, so finding a continuation of the Main Lode which has never previously been exploited would constitute the most significant discovery at the Mine in many decades.”
“What is more, intersecting representative gold grades at Clogau solely from drilling is always going to be a challenge given the nature of the deposit, which is why our methodology has always involved drilling and bulk sampling working hand-in-hand. So, for our drill team to hit a really solid gold intercept in our very first underground drilling campaign of just seven holes is a very positive outcome indeed.”
“We intend to undertake infill drilling from surface early in the new year, followed by phase 2 of our underground drilling programme in Q2 of 2021, both being aimed at confirming the continuity of this Main Lode extension. Subject to that confirmation, this will become a primary zone for underground development and extraction.”
The first phase of the underground drilling programme at the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine consisted of seven drillholes drilled with a Kempe U3-9 BQ pneumatic underground drill rig in the period from 1 September to 30 October 2020.
The objective of the drilling was, firstly, to locate any parallel structures to the historically mined quartz veins (or lodes), and, secondly, to probe for deeper extensions to known mined veins. The information to be obtained from the drilling was also expected to contribute greatly to an understanding of the general geology of the Mine.
The aim of drilling at a gold deposit such as Clogau is to confirm favourable geological structures rather than to drill for grade, as the narrow-veined, nuggety-effect setting of the deposit is such that drilling alone cannot achieve a representative idea of the gold grade. As such, for this first phase of underground drilling not only to confirm significant quartz vein intercepts, but also to return material gold values, is regarded by the Company as a great success.
Drillholes L001, L002, L003 and L004 were drilled north and south from the Llechfraith Level (see Figure 1 in the PDF version of this RNS). Drillholes L002 and L003 were drilled for 121.5m and 129.6m respectively, with L002 returning significant gold assays of 1.16m at 0.653 g/t including 0.25m at 1.79 g/t (see Figure 1 and the drill core at Figure 2 in the PDF version of this RNS). See Table 1 for all significant gold values returned.
Table 1: Gold values returned in selected significant assays from Sep-Oct 2020 Underground Drilling Programme
Drillholes L002 and L003 both intersected what is believed to be the westerly extension of the Clogau Main Lode – see red dotted line in Figure 1 (in the PDF version of this RNS). This conclusion has been reached due to the position, strike and morphology of the veins. The Main Lode is the source of most historic gold production at Clogau-St David’s and comprises a network of anastomosing veins over a width of up to two metres. The geological observations of the mined Main Lode and the morphology of the vein quartz in the borehole intercept suggest a correlation between the two bodies. Further drill intercepts will either prove this relationship or indicate that another, separate vein system has been intersected. In either case, the Company believes this to be a potentially very significant new discovery.
Drillholes L009 and L010 were drilled to the north, in order to evaluate any Main Lode extensions at depth. Both drillholes intersected what are believed to be lode extensions, albeit at low gold grades (<0.01 g/t). Drillhole L011 was drilled to the south and was aimed at the depth extension of the 7-10 Lode. The 7-10 Lode is a parallel vein structure to the Main Lode, lying some 30-40m to the south of the Main Lode. Drillhole L011 intersected the 7-10 Lode as projected, at a depth of 5.9 metres below the stoped-out reef, albeit that low gold grades were returned here (<0.01 g/t).
Infill Drilling Programme
Subject to regulatory approvals, the next phase of drilling will consist of an 8-10 hole programme for around 2,000 metres which will be undertaken from surface in Q1 2021. This phase of drilling will target the Main Lode extension indicated by the underground drilling (see drillholes JW006-009 in Figure 3 in the PDF version of this RNS) and will also seek to intersect the projected depth extensions of certain historically worked lodes, namely Grandfathers Lode and the 7-10 Lode (drillholes JW001-005 in Figure 3 in the PDF version of this RNS), thereby testing the continuation of mineralisation at depth and identifying currently undeveloped resource potential.
Figure 4 (in the PDF version of this RNS) shows, by way of illustration, a section view of the indicative trajectory of planned surface drillhole JW002, which will seek to intersect mineralisation in both the Main Lode and the 7-10/Grandfathers Lode extensions.
Note that this surface drilling programme is separate to the surface drilling which is currently in progress, focused on the Llechfraith mine area, close to the Llechfraith Adit entrance.
Once this further phase of surface drilling targeting the Main Lode extension has been completed, infill drilling will be undertaken from underground, commencing in Q2 2021.
All activities and timelines in this announcement are subject to the timely receipt of regulatory and other third-party consents and to the timely availability of contractors, plant and equipment.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.
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