Alderan Resources (ASX: AL8) has completed two holes of a planned 10-hole drilling program at the Detroit copper-gold project in the US.
The holes were located at the historic Drum oxide gold mine and the Mizpah oxide gold deposit and comprise part of a campaign which kicked off in January.
Drilling at Drum aims to verify historic gold results and test for new mineralisation below the mine’s West Pit into the down-dip extensions.
A zone in the East Pit includes the historic YC-16 hole which intersected 56.4m at 1.8 grams per tonne gold from 44.2m down hole in Tatow unit prime ore horizon.
The recent Drum hole was completed to a depth of 117.95m. Modelling of the YC-16 intersection suggests approximately 20m (which includes grades up to 7.1g/t gold) remained as residual gold mineralisation below the final pit bottom when mining ceased in 1989.
The Mizpah hole, which was completed to a depth of 164.89m, is a 350m step-out to test for down-dip extensions to the west of a hole drilled during Detroit’s maiden program in 2020.
That previous hole intersected 83m at 0.41g/t gold, including 6.9m at 1.98g/t.
Three additional holes are planned at Mizpah for a total of approximately 300m.
First results from Drum and Mizpah are expected in March following the receipt of all Detroit results from last year.
Increasing the size
Alderan managing director Scott Caithness said the company was focused on increasing the size of the two known gold deposits, which have not been explored since the 1980s.
“Historical work on Drum and Mizpah focused on delineating near-surface oxide gold deposits with the average drill hole depth of less than 50m at Drum and 30m at Mizpah,” he said.
“Both oxide deposits are open down dip and along strike and the potential for primary mineralisation below the oxide remains untested … [we believe] Drum and Mizpah have the potential to be significantly larger than what has been delineated in the past.”
Drum mine history
The Drum mine produced a total 125,000 ounces of gold until its closure in 1989, with mineralisation remaining open along strike and down dip.
It has not received any modern exploration since mining ceased.
Best historic high-grade intercepts from Drum were 13.7m at 6.4g/t gold from 13.7m down hole, including 4.6m at 18.1g/t; 24.4m at 2.7g/t gold from 9.1m down hole, including 7.6m at 7.6g/t; 22.9m at 5g/t gold from 19.8m down hole, including 9.1m at 10.8g/t; 35.1m at 4.3g/t gold from 25.9m down hole, including 18.3m at 7.7g/t; and 15.2m at 4.5g/t gold from 73.2m down hole, including 6.1m at 10.3g/t.
Alderan’s in-pit rock samples at Drum have assayed up to 10.7g/t gold with 36 of 76 samples returning more than 0.5g/t and 22 with more than 1g/t.
Drum is reported to have been one of the most productive and economically-important sediment-hosted gold deposits in Utah.
In September, Alderan secured an option over the mine as part of its strategy to consolidate the Detroit mining district.
The Mizpah oxide gold deposit lies 2km north of Drum and is geologically open along strike and down dip.
It was discovered in the 1980s and extensively drilled by Western States Minerals and Nevada Resources in conjunction with their evaluation and mining of Drum.
Best historic results comprise 7.6m at 2.3g/t gold from 19.8m down hole; 10.7m at 1.9g/t gold from surface; 12.2m at 1.7g/t gold from surface; 16.8m at 1.4g/t gold from 3m down hole; 22.8m at 1.1g/t gold from 44.2m down hole.
Detroit is one of four projects owned by Alderan in the state of Utah.
It lies within the Detroit mining district southwest of Salt Lake City, and contains numerous historical copper, gold and manganese mines.
The district has been previously explored for copper and gold by Anaconda Copper, Kennecott Utah Copper (a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, ASX: RIO), Newmont, BHP (ASX: BHP) and Freeport-McMoRan; however, these companies were unsuccessful in building a significant contiguous land position to enable district-wide modern exploration.