Argent Minerals Limited (ASX:ARD) (Argent, or the Company) is pleased to report the successful completion of the first hole of the Loch Lilly diamond drilling programme.
The Netley target drill hole has been completed, and drill core logging at the local facility in Broken Hill is nearing completion.
Core sampling for assaying is scheduled to commence this week.
- Netley target diamond hole completed at the Loch Lilly project, for which core logging nearing completion, and sampling commenced.
- More than 50% of the Netley drill core to be assayed based on visual observations.
- Eaglehawk target drilling commenced.
- Argent will earn an initial 51% of up to a 90% interest in the Loch Lilly project on completion of the two-hole drilling programme.
- Loch Lilly drilling expenditure cofunded by the NSW Government.
- West Wyalong project - Argent interest has increased to 76.7% as drill core petrography and other advanced lab analysis continues for 3D modelling of the recent drilling.
- Kempfield resource update - 3D modelling and metallurgical work in progress.
About the drilling progress
Drilling has commenced at the Eaglehawk target in conditions expected to be similar to those seen during drilling of the Netley target where incompetent overburden extends to 120 metres depth. Several attempts at collaring were made at Netley to reach hardrock basement and drill fluid specialists were employed to maintain the integrity of the drillhole.
Core sampling and assays
ALN001 (Netley) drill core is currently being processed at a facility in Broken Hill and samples are expected to be dispatched within the next few weeks.
Maiden test of the Netley and Eaglehawk targets
The Netley and Eaglehawk holes have been designed by Argent with the benefit of geophysics survey work and analysis performed by Dr. Anthony Crawford and Anglo American Exploration (Australia) Pty Ltd (AngloAmerican) during 2014/15.
The 2014/15 analysis yielded three key outcomes for the Loch Lilly project:
- Western Tasmania Mount Read Volcanics analogy confirmed - with the added unexpected bonus of rock dating information that further enhances prospectivity;
- Prospectivity - new geochemical data obtained from historic drill core during the 2014/15 work indicates that the Loch Lilly - Kars Belt geology is prospective for porphyry copper-gold and volcanic-hosted massive sulphides (VHMS), with further prospectivity of Sedex silver-lead-zinc, nickel sulphide and sedimentary copper; and
- Targeting information - new, higher resolution data for enhanced drill targeting.
The specific analysis of the Netley target revealed near-coincident magnetic high and gravity low anomalies reminiscent of the scale and detail of the Northparkes copper-gold finger porphyries rising from a basal monzodiorite pluton. Further, the historic drilling was too shallow and consequently failed to intersect the magnetic source body.
At Eaglehawk, AngloAmerican's new proprietary magnetic induced polarisation (MIP) survey technology yielded immediate results that re-rated the project to high priority. The MIP chargeability anomaly coincided with magnetic and gravity anomalies and alteration vectors to generate a compelling porphyry copper target for drilling.
Argent continues on from where AngloAmerican ceased work on the project after being instructed by its head office to abort Australian operations. In the new Loch Lilly joint venture with Dr. Crawford, Argent utilised the fresh data produced by the 2014/15 analysis to design diamond holes ALN001 and ALE001 - to test the Netley and Eaglehawk targets as set out in Figures 1 and 2 in link below.
Figures 2a, b and c in link below illustrate the design of the Eaglehawk hole currently underway (ALE001) in relation to three coincident geophysical anomalies identified within the target area.
Argent's right to earn up to a 90% interest and the NSW Government 75% co-funding funding.
Argent will earn an initial 51%, of up to a 90%, interest of the Loch Lilly project on completion of the two hole drilling programme. Direct drilling costs up to $150,000 are funded by the NSW Government through the Cooperative Drilling Programme Round 2. This highly sought after funding was awarded on the basis of project prospectivity and technical merit, as assessed by an independent expert panel in a competitive environment.
The NSW Government investment decision was underpinned by the significant potential of the Loch Lilly project, the success of which could open up the possibility of a new major mineralisation province of world class scale.
WEST WYALONG INTEREST INCREASED TO 76.72%
Argent's interest in the West Wyalong project has been increased to 76.72% following exploration expenditure subsequent to Argent attaining 70% (announced 27 April 2017), when the cash call/dilution phase of the joint venture commenced.
The expenditure included assays and analysis of the results of the recent drilling programme.
Petrographic analysis by Dr. Crawford on selected West Wyalong drill core samples is nearing completion, and the Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits (CODES) at the University of Tasmania is continuing to perform Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) analysis.
The results of these analyses will yield detailed specifics on the intersected rock types and mineralisation vectors for generation of a 3D model of the drilling results. The 3D model will aid drill planning and targeting for the next phase of the West Wyalong project.
KEMPFIELD RESOURCE UPDATE
Argent is currently completing a substantial update of the Kempfield deposit Micromine model, incorporating the refined lithostratigraphic and host horizon model developed through the 2016/17 extensional drilling programmes, as well as the detailed 36 element geochemical database provided by the assays.
A resource infill reverse circulation (RC) drilling programme, designed from the updated Micromine model, will focus on establishing the maximum possible continuity of mineralisation within a hypothetical open cut mining area covering the potential lateral and depth extensions indicated by the 2016/17 diamond drilling programmes.
Preliminary results of the metallurgical testing programme currently underway are expected to be available during the infill drilling programme, which may be extended to include further metallurgical samples if required. The metallurgical testing programme has been designed to test potential silver, lead and zinc recoveries in a standard flotation processing environment, based on initial testing of existing diamond drill core.
Together with the results of a metallurgical testing programme, the resource update will provide additional data for a concept-level reassessment of Kempfield economics.
The Company notes that the market valuation of Argent as at market close on 15 August 2017 - prior to the planned resource update - was $0.39 per contained silver ounce, and $0.25 per in-situ contained silver equivalent ounce (which takes into account the contained zinc and lead metal as AgEq in Table 1 of Appendix A).
To view all tables and figures, please visit:
David Busch Chief Executive Officer Argent Minerals Limited M: 0415 613 800 E: email@example.com
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