Preliminary first pass exploration over key target areas at Carnaby Resources’ (ASX: CNB) historic Tick Hill gold project in Queensland has returned high-grade assays of gold and copper and confirmed the region’s prospectivity.
Rock chip sampling activities returned up to 8.6 grams per tonne gold and 23.9% copper this week from the Tick Hill, Mount Birnie, Mount Erle and Grassano target areas, located 110 kilometres south-east of Mount Isa.
Initial field inspections of the old Tick Hill open pit highlighted the presence of a large cross-cutting fault zone in the north-east corner, considered to be critical in understanding the timing of gold mineralisation and potential offset location and repetition of the orebody.
A single composite sample across this structure assayed 1.46g/t gold, indicating that gold mineralisation is associated with the fault heading into the north-east wall of the open pit.
At the Mount Birnie copper workings, located 4km north of the Tick Hill deposit, mullock rock chip results returned up to 19% copper and 6g/t associated gold.
Mount Erle samples graded up to 24% copper and 1.5g/t gold from undrilled historical pits associated with a 4km-long anomaly, while samples from the large Grassano epigenetic iron-oxide-copper-gold target graded 2.8% copper and up to 8.59g/t gold.
The company said follow-up sampling and mapping would be required to verify the significance of all result at Tick Hill and could be “an encouraging proof of concept” for targeting late controls of gold mineralisation.
A sub-audiomagnetic geophysical survey has already commenced at the deposit to delineate key structural pathways for gold mineralisation and will be followed by Carnaby’s maiden drill program in June over the project’s highest-priority targets.
The program will comprise over 10,000m of drilling this year, targeting extensions and repetitions to Tick Hill and the copper-gold targets which exist along the highly-mineralised, 15km long IOCG corridor within the company’s tenure.
Managing director Rob Watkins said the first pass exploration results provide early proof that the Tick Hill region has “untold exploration upside”.
Tick Hill acquisition
Tick Hill was once one of Australia’s highest-grade and most profitable gold mines, operated by MIM Holdings Ltd subsidiary Carpentaria Gold from 1991 to 1995.
During that time, the mine produced 513,333 ounces of gold from 705,000 tonnes of ore at a recovered grade of 22.6g/t gold and to a depth of only 235m.
Carnaby’s acquisition comprised a 100% interest in Tick Hill’s granted mining leases over 4 square kilometres and an 82.5%, and up to 100% interest, in the project’s broader exploration package over 319sq km of the highly-prospective Mt Isla Inlier.
Additional gold exploration assets covering 972sq km in Western Australia’s North Yilgarn Margin were also included in the transaction.
Announcing the acquisition in March, Mr Watkins said the region had remained largely unexplored for the past 20 years.
“Tick Hill has not benefited from any modern exploration techniques and this [acquisition] provides an opportunity to revitalise one of Australia’s highest-grade gold mines in an exceptional mining jurisdiction and location,” he said.
At mid-afternoon, shares in Carnaby were trading 9.68% higher at $0.17.