Gold miner Empire Resources (ASX: ERL) has reinforced the promise of its new Penny’s Find mine with the release of some good grades at the bottom of the existing open pit.
As part of a second reverse circulation (RC) shallow drilling campaign to provide grade control information, grades as high as 52.62 g/t gold have been recorded.
While that is a high number, many of the other 48 holes produced double figures, confirming the high grade nature of the remaining open pit.
The campaign is continuing with 13 holes left to drill.
The higher grades add plenty of interest and impetus to a new campaign of deeper diamond core drilling to check the viability of the mine moving to become an underground operation in the future.
The Penny’s Find deposit remains open at depth and results from the diamond core drilling will be key to greatly extending the mine life.
As it stands, the shallower drilling has left the Penny’s Find open pit with probable reserves of 146,000 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 4.62 g/t gold, representing an anticipated 21,700 ounce of gold from the mill.
That is a solid achievement at the current elevated gold price, particularly when expressed in Australian dollars.
Ore from Penny Find, 50 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie, is currently being treated at two WA toll treatment plants with a third being checked out under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Poseidon Nickel.
The latest numbers are well above the economic cut-off grade of 1.3 g/t gold for transporting the ore to mills.
“The second round of grade control drilling has provided further strong confidence in the geological model being used for Penny’s Find,’’ said Empire’s managing director, David Sargeant.
As expected, the open-pit mining operations will shortly be accessing the higher grade part of the ore body.
“With a total average open-pit grade of 4.62g/t Au to a depth of 80m, this project is providing an excellent production opportunity for Empire, given the current sustained high gold price”, Mr Sargeant said.
Empire Resources holds a 60 per cent direct interest in the Penny’s Find gold project with the remaining 40 per cent held by unlisted Brimstone Resources Ltd.
Importantly, free milling recoveries from the ore look very solid, rating as high as 99 per cent.
There is also a high gravity recoverable gold component of 53 per cent of oxide and 85 per cent for oxide and fresh mineralisation.