Bardoc Gold (ASX: BDC) has kicked off a major new drilling program at the Zoroastrian deposit within its Western Australian namesake project, targeting a “substantial” increase to its 3.07-million-ounce gold resource.
The campaign aims to grow and upgrade the existing indicated and inferred resource at Zoroastrian, which currently stands at 7.5 million tonnes at 2.2 grams per tonne gold for 530,000 ounces.
As part of this plan, the company has announced an updated exploration target of between 2.05-2.59Mt at a grade range of 3.4-4.18g/t for 225,000-336,000oz gold.
Bardoc chief executive officer Robert Ryan said the drilling program has the potential to generate significant growth in the Bardoc gold project’s inventory and mine life.
“Zoroastrian is without a doubt one of the best assets in our portfolio, with drilling at the project consistently exceeding expectations.”
“Zoroastrian underground is a key component of our operating plan which, when in full production, generates over $50 million free cash flow per year. Extending the mine life at Zoroastrian has immense economic benefits for the operation,” he added.
The Zoroastrian deposit is a multi-lode system that is open along strike and down-plunge. Historical underground mining during the early 1900s produced an estimated 56,000oz gold then open pit mining in the 1980s produced 203,855t at 2.44g/t for 16,000oz gold.
More recently, Excelsior Gold (one half of the merger that formed Bardoc in 2018) mined a large open pit at the Central deposit in 2016-2017, producing 807,000t at 2g/t for 52,600oz gold.
Zoroastrian’s new exploration target is divided into a northern and southern target, each aiming for 112,000-168,000oz of additional gold resources.
North Kanowna Star drill results
In today’s announcement, the company also reported the latest drilling results from recent wide-spaced exploration drilling and initial follow-up reverse circulation drilling at the North Kanowna Star project, located 29km southeast of Bardoc.
It said drilling has intersected significant gold mineralisation, confirming the project as a significant mineralised zone with 13 identified prospects spread over several strike kilometres.
Assay highlights include: 9m at 2.45g/t gold from 61m; 1m at 18g/t from 47m; 3m at 5.63g/t from 69m; and 1.2m at 13.6g/t gold from 35.8m.
Bardoc said North Kanowna Star, which already contains a 32,000oz mineral resource at the Perseverance-Wedge deposit, has the potential to emerge as a significant additional source of satellite ore to the broader Bardoc gold project development.
“From our very first drill campaign at North Kanowna Star, we have been excited by the scale of the alteration and mineralisation at the project. The corridor now extends to over 3km in length and can be likened to the +1Moz Zoroastrian/Excelsior corridor,” Mr Ryan said.
He said the company plans to utilise its collected geological, geophysical and geochemical data to rank the 13 targets and develop an “aggressive” follow-up exploration program.
Diggers and Dealers tour
The Bardoc gold project runs contiguously north for 40km in WA’s eastern goldfields near the state’s gold mining epicentre of Kalgoorlie.
The company is also presenting at the Diggers and Dealers forum in Kalgoorlie this week and is inviting investors for a site visit to its flagship project on Wednesday.