Argent Minerals (ASX: ARD) has resumed drilling at its Kempfield project located on NSW’s Lachlan Fold Belt where it is targeting copper, silver, gold and lead.
Drilling is back underway at Kempfield after a 10-day halt, with Argent managing director and chief executive officer George Karageorge claiming the company was “excited” to be on the ground with a planned 11,000m program covering four key projects to be completed over the next year.
Located 41km south of the Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) operation at Cadia, Kempfield is Argent’s flagship project, owned 100% and a NSW-designated state significant development.
The Kempfield polymetallic project has, from previous exploration, a JORC resource of 52 million ounces of silver equivalent.
This program coincides with a sudden upsurge in the silver price, rising past US$22/oz in New York overnight.
Previous drilling also intersected combined lead-zinc grades up to 17.9% to the west of the existing mineral resource, as well as numerous gold intersections including 1m at 1,065 grams per tonne hit at 87m downhole.
The company began this latest exploration push with planned drilling of 3,000m targeting the highly prospective gold-copper footwall 400m to the west, and along strike from, the main Kempfield ore body.
Rock chip samples from the footwall produced best assays of 4.95% copper, 0.96g/t gold, 40.02g/t silver and 1.56% lead.
The current program also includes reconnaissance drilling to the north and east of the existing silver-lead-zinc resource.
Plans to become a leading polymetallic producer
Mr Karageorge said Argent has its entire team now at Kempfield, both on the drill rig along with sampling and mapping to the south of the main ore body.
The team is chasing the copper-gold potential after rock chip sampling in April returned “outstanding” assays of 1g/t, 5% copper and 6oz silver results.
“Everyone is delighted to be on the ground at Kempfield and it is so pleasing to see a drill rig at Kempfield after more than four years of no drilling,” Mr Karageorge added.
The new drilling program began in late June but, due to heavy rain, was suspended in early July as Argent sought a more suitable track rig and track-mounted auxiliary compressor.
“Progress is continuing in trying and wet conditions which has hampered the work to date,” the company explained.
However, the long-term forecast is for cold and dry weather from late July to mid-August, which will allow solid progress to be made.
The first delivery of samples has been sent to a laboratory in Western Australia and assay results are expected from mid to late August.
Argent’s strategy is to become a leading Australian polymetallic producer, mining 1.5Mt per annum with a mine life of around 20 years.
The company now has a new budget to finance five drilling programs over the next 12 months.