MetalsTech (ASX: MTC) is gearing up to begin a stage one diamond drilling program at its Sturec gold mine in Slovakia, with the campaign to focus on extending the known high-grade zones.
The program will test the area adjacent to a drill hole (STOR 3.11) that had intercepted 89m at 6.9 grams per tonne gold and 23.6g/t silver from 114m.
This intercept was within a broader intersection of 137.3m at 4.6g/t gold and 16.5g/t silver from 67.7m.
“Chasing the potential for high-grade mineralisation down plunge of drill hole STOR 3.11 is currently our best chance of expanding the existing resource at Sturec,” MetalsTech technical advisor Dr Quinton Hills explained.
“This drill hole demonstrates outstanding exploration potential and has led us to a target zone that has not been previously drilled, nor has it been the subject of historical mining.”
Sturec gold project
Sturec’s former owner ARC Minerals had completed STORE 3.11 in 2011. According to MetalsTech, it was ARC’s last hole to be undertaken at the project even though it had confirmed the high-grade zone within the resource area continued to plunge to the south.
Earlier this month, MetalsTech debuted a JORC resource for the project of 21.2 million tonnes at 1.5g/t gold and 11.6g/t silver for 1.026 million ounces of gold and 7.94Moz silver within an optimised open pit shell.
Outside of the pit shell, there is an underground resource containing 43,000oz gold and 270,000oz silver.
MetalsTech noted the deposit is open along strike to the north and south as well as down dip and plunge, which the company expects provides “significant exploration upside”.
As part of its effort to advance the project, MetalsTech will begin mining the Andrej adit this month, with the ore to undergo thiosulphate processing test work under the company’s arrangement with Clean Earth Technologies.
Slovakia banned cyanide leaching as a potential processing method and MetalsTech is evaluating other methods.
To date, the most encouraging processing results on Sturec ore has been via thiosulphate leaching, which also has comparable economic viability to traditional cyanide leaching.