Stage two of drilling at the historic Pine Ridge gold mine in central NSW is underway as Argent Minerals (ASX: ARD) explores a large modelled body lying beneath the old pit floor.
Pine Ridge is located 6km south of the company’s Kempfield polymetallic project, which itself is 30km from the town of Blayney.
Pine Ridge includes a series of historic alluvial, eluvial and underground hard rock gold mines which operated between the 1820s and 1940s and, according to NSW government records, produced gold at grades greater than 250 grams per tonne.
Argent, which had acquired Pine Ridge several years ago, drilled four diamond holes in 2019, which returned 19m at 3.2g/t from 98.4m, including 1m at 40.7g/t.
1990s drilling produce high grade hits
The only work recorded since the 1940s was reverse circulation drilling in 1994 by the former listed explorer, Goldrim Mining Australia.
Goldrim’s gold results included 21m at 5.6g/t, 10m at 4.1g/t and 18m at 2.4g/t.
No diamond drilling had been done at the project until Argent’s work two years ago.
Argent’s stage two program will consist of 25 reverse circulation holes aimed at extending the historical resource drilling down plunge and along strike of known mineralisation.
Managing director George Karageorge told Small Caps that drilling will be located at the floor of the old pit and based on modelling of a strike length of 200m with a width of 30m, and down plunge 70m below historical workings.
The holes will be drilled to a depth of around 150m each.
He added that, after issues with localised flooding late last year and in February-March this year, it was “great” to get the Pine Ridge drilling program underway.
“The Pine Ridge project stage two drilling should return encouraging results based on modelling and geophysical work completed to date,” he added.
Gold mine could enhance Kempfield economics
The modelling has been based 40 years of historical data.
Argent will be aiming to upgrade the 1995 historical resource compiled by Goldrim to JORC standard, as well as to test for extensions.
Pine Ridge has been held by Argent since 2013 and the company says “recent developments” have reinforced the company’s commitment to advancing exploration in the area.
“Argent’s strategy to develop higher grade gold projects in close proximity to the Kempfield project will enhance the economics of Kempfield,” Mr Karageorge added.