Barton Gold (ASX: BGD) has completed its diamond drilling program at the historic Tunkillia project in South Australia’s central Gawler Craton.
The program commenced in September and comprised a total 2201 metres of diamond drilling plus 602m of reverse circulation and mud rotary pre-collar work at the cornerstone 223 Deposit and the newly-identified Area 51 gold zone.
Drilling aimed to target depth extensions at 223 Deposit (which contains a reported 965,000 ounces gold) and explore Area 51, which was discovered in September.
Executed to plan
Managing director Alex Scanlon was pleased the program had been executed to plan.
“With three new gold zones [identified] in 12 months, we have shown the local gold endowment to be broader than previously known [and] we believe this is just the start for this system, where we have more than 20km of untested shear zone strike,” he said.
“We expect the results of this drilling program to provide key insights into the regional structural model, and to strengthen our future resource modelling.”
Mr Scanlon said core samples had been dispatched for cutting and assaying, with results expected within the next three months.
The information will be used for an updated mineral resource at 223 Deposit, scheduled for release in April.
Barton will also evaluate the potential to establish a new resource estimate at Area 51.
Barton is the first company to invest significantly in the Tunkillia project area since before 2008, when the gold price was below US$800 (and as low as US$300 for much of the preceding decade).
The project’s total mineralised footprint has grown considerably over the past 24 months through the discovery of the 223 North, Area 191 and Area 51 gold zones.
Area 51 represents a 4km step out of Tunkillia’s mineral footprint.
Over the past 20 years, there has been limited drilling completed outside 223 Deposit.
Approximately 90% of the existing mineral 965,000oz resource resulted from drilling between 1996 and 2008, with most of that period seeing a gold price below US$500/oz.