Argent Minerals (ASX: ARD) has secured a larger rig and is expecting better weather to enable ongoing and deeper drilling at its Kempfield project in NSW’s Lachlan Fold Belt.
In the current stage one drilling program, 1,725m have been completed out of the planned 3,500m.
Earlier this year the company announced that, after a four-year hiatus, it was back on the ground at the copper-gold-silver project.
Located 41 km 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.
Assays due in next few weeks
In the next two-to-three weeks, Argent expects to receive assay results from the first of the 400 rock chip and drill hole samples sent for assay.
A further 1,300 sample assays will be available in late October.
“Favourable weather conditions are forecast in September and October that will assist our safety management plan and improved ground conditions,” the company stated.
Managing director and chief executive officer George Karageorge said that, while the drilling program has been frustrated by rain since early June, it is expected that good progress will be made with a larger drilling rig arriving at Kempfield in late October that will allow the company to drill deeper holes.
“Three to five existing holes were drilled short due to the use of a smaller rig and the larger rig will allow us to define deeper mineralisation,” he added.
Argent will also improve its assay results turnaround time by using a local laboratory.
Rock chip samples show multiple minerals
Argent has been conducting rock sampling outside the Kempfield resource area, with those samples containing gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc and barite.
The rock chip program is being used to define extensions to the Kempfield resource.
This program has been targeting gold-copper footwall areas, barite test pits, historic barite production quarries, along with old gold, silver and copper prospects to the south and north of the existing resource area.
Those assays showed one sample at 85.1 grams per tonne silver and 62.8% barite oxide.
Another returned 4.96% copper, 0.96g/t gold, 40g/t silver and 1.56% lead, while a third assayed at 359g/t silver, 0.93% lead, 0.68% zinc and 53.8% barite.
Barite is used mostly in drilling mud by oil explorers.