Meteoric Resources (ASX: MEI) has set the wheels in motion for a maiden drilling campaign on its newly acquired Juruena gold project in Brazil, inking a contract with the country’s largest driller GEOSOL.
In an announcement today, the gold explorer said drill rig equipment was expected to arrive on site shortly with drilling to commence in July.
The program will comprise 26 holes for 4,700m, following up on some bonanza intercepts (grading up to 1,992 grams per tonne of gold) at the Dona Maria and Querosene prospects as well as testing nearby targets Mauro, Tomate and Uilliam.
Speaking with Small Caps, Meteoric managing director Andrew Tunks said the campaign was about “building confidence in the current resource and extending it a little bit”.
“Meteoric has some of the highest-grade drilling intercepts I’ve ever seen in 25 years in the business, and we’re confident that we can repeat some of those in this resource extension confidence program,” he said.
“We very carefully planned these holes and we’re confident that there’s going to be some spectacular results,” Mr Tunks added.
Mr Tunks said of the near 5,000m of drilling, about 3,500m will follow up on significant intercepts from previous exploration.
“We’re closing in the spacing of some bonanza results,” he said.
Some of these results include: a 10m intercept at Dona Maria grading at 101.1g/t gold including 2.4m at 389g/t gold; 3.6m at 554.3g/t gold from Querosene including 1m at a whopping 1,992g/t gold; and 2.9m at 76.7g/t gold from Querosene including 0.5m at 346g/t gold.
While limited drilling has been undertaken at Tomate, Uilliam and Mauro, these targets have also previously yielded high-grade intercepts. Highlights include: 37m at 3.7g/t gold from Tomate including 2m at 48g/t gold; and 9m at 15.4g/t gold from Uilliam including 1m at 80g/t gold.
Mr Tunks said the remaining 1,500m of drilling will be planned around the results from the first part of the campaign.
In addition to being Brazil’s largest drilling company, Mr Tunks said one of the most important reasons Meteoric chose GEOSOL was because it was looking for a contractor that was local to the region.
“GEOSOL have a base in the Alta Floresta region. Our project is very remote – it’s hard to get support and that’s one of the reasons we chose these guys,” he said.
Under the drilling contract signed last Friday, GEOSOL agreed to a 20-day mobilisation period. According to Mr Tunks, the backhoe and dozer are already on site with the remaining equipment anticipated in early.
He said drilling would commence in July but was unsure of the timeline for completion, estimating that depth of drilling could take six to eight weeks in Australia but due to Junuera’s remote location and Brazil’s different work schedules, it may take longer.
Meteoric completed the acquisition of its 100% interest in Juruena, along with the Novo Astro project, at the end of May.
The assets were acquired from Crusader Resources (ASX: CAS) for a total of $3 million, comprised of cash and share milestone payments.
The projects make up 24 contiguous tenements covering a combined 770sq km over the Alta Floresta Belt, which hosts more than 40 known gold deposits in central Brazil’s Mato Grosso state.
Juruena has a JORC 2012 mineral resource estimate of 1.3 million tonnes at 6.3 g/t gold for 261,000 ounces of gold.
The estimate is comprised of the high-grade Dona Maria and Querosene resources totalling 436,000oz at 14.7g/t for 205,000oz gold and the large-tonnage, lower grade Crentes resource with 846,000t at 2g/t for 55,000oz gold.
Juruena has been the site of extensive artisanal mining with historical production exceeding 500,000oz gold, mostly produced during the 1980s.
In contrast, the large soil anomaly (estimated at more than 15sq km) at Novo Astro has never been drilled although rock chip sampling of the area has returned gold grades as high as 264g/t gold.
According to Meteoric, this undrilled Novo Astro anomaly “leaves potential for a multimillion-ounce resource to be discovered within the large tenement holding”.
Meteoric also holds cobalt assets in Ontario, Canada, although gold exploration has been the company’s primary focus since acquiring its Brazilian projects.