Within months of its reinstatement to official quotation, Challenger Exploration (ASX: CEL) has confirmed high-grade historical mineralisation at the Hualilan gold project with bulk sampling exceeding the previous foreign estimate’s grades.
The average grade for gold out of 70 bulk samples was 15 grams per tonne gold, while silver averaged 75g/t and zinc 6.8%.
This compares to previous owner La Mancha Resources’ foreign 2003 estimate which yielded an average grade of 13.7g/t gold for 627,000 ounces of contained gold.
Additionally, a bulk sample within the project’s Muchilera zone returned 38.8g/t gold, 242g/t silver and 2.3% zinc, with the Sentazon target revealing 20.8g/t gold, 99g/t silver and 0.9% zinc.
Meanwhile, underground sampling was undertaken at Cerro Norte and identified a potential high-grade zone beneath the deepest known mineralisation.
These samples assayed at 110g/t and 77g/t gold, plus 44g/t and 125g/t silver.
Challenger managing director Kris Knauer said the sampling program had “successfully validated” the historically reported mineralisation.
“The average grades we are seeing have been consistently above the reported historical grades.”
Challenger also rea-assayed three zinc samples from the Cerro Sur prospect which revealed zinc grading 42.5%, 37.7% and 34.1%.
A maiden drilling program at Hualilan is imminent with a rig due on-site within the next two weeks.
The program will initially comprise 2,000m and be carried out over three months.
Mr Knauer said he anticipated the program would show the project is underexplored with mineralisation remaining open in both directions along strike and open in both directions along strike, as well as at depth.
He added a number of exciting new high-grade zones will be tested in the upcoming drilling program.
As well as the high-grade zones, the program will have a small twinning holes to include historical results in a JORC resource.
Challenger is earning a 75% interest Hualilan, which is located in Argentina’s San Juan region.