Initial assays from a maiden drilling campaign at MetalsTech’s (ASX: MTC) advanced Sturec gold mine in central Slovakia have demonstrated “excellent” core recoveries averaging greater than 95%.
The first hole in the campaign was drilled to a depth of 346.05m and yielded 161 samples, which have been sent to the company’s laboratory for gold and multi-element analysis.
The second hole is currently at a depth of approximately 260m, having intersected the interpreted target zone at 120m with strong core recovery averaging more than 90%.
The campaign has been designed to test a previously-unexplored area along strike and down plunge of a southerly-plunging, high-grade gold zone observed at the historic STOR.311 hole within Sturec’s existing mineral resource.
The resource has been estimated at 21.2 million tonnes at 1.5 grams per tonne gold and 11.6g/t silver using a 0.4g/t gold cut-off and within an optimised open pit, for 1.02 million ounces gold and 7.94Moz silver (or 1.086Moz gold equivalent).
An additional 388,000 tonnes at 3.45g/t gold and 21.6g/t silver (3.6g/t gold equivalent) outside the open pit is believed to contain 43,000oz gold and 270,000oz silver (45,000oz gold equivalent).
Exploration target zone
The first two holes of the MetalsTech campaign aimed to intersect and constrain the exploration target zone at approximately 80m and 60m respectively, along plunge from STOR.311, which was drilled by ARC Minerals in 2011.
That hole intersected 89m at 6.9g/t gold and 23.6g/t silver from 114m to 203m downhole using a 3g/t gold cut-off, within a broader intersection of 137.3m at 4.6g/t gold and 16.5g/t silver from 67.7m to 205m downhole using a 0.3g/t cut-off.
STOR.311 was the last hole drilled by ARC on the Sturec project and despite the results confirming the high-grade zone within the mineral resource area continues to plunge towards the south, they were never followed up.
MetalsTech chairman Russell Moran said the current campaign hopes to capitalise on STOR.311’s potential.
“We are confident the first three to four holes of our program will give us a good handle on the target exploration zone which is designed to chase up [this hole’s] tremendous gold mineralisation,” he said.
Mr Moran said there has been increasing interest in Sturec’s development from local communities in Slovakia, as well as Chinese strategic groups.
“Given the advanced nature of this project, we are conscious of appropriately splitting our efforts across exploration activities, which allows us an opportunity to demonstrate project upside, and across key discussions with potential stakeholders that recognise Sturec’s value,” he said.