Minerals explorer Meteoric Resources (ASX: MEI) has contracted Brazil’s largest drilling company Geosol in preparation for a maiden campaign later this month at its wholly-owned Novo Astro gold project along the highly-prospective Alta Floresta Belt in central Brazil.
Situated 30km east of Meteoric’s flagship Juruena project, Novo Astro will be the subject of an initial 21-hole drilling program for 2,500m designed to test targets where gold has been previously extracted by local artisanal miners.
The project is spread over an area of more than 15sq km – suggestive of a “well-developed and large gold system” – and contains many historic workings, several of which are still being actively mined.
Despite a large soil anomaly and previous grab sampling returning grades of up to 264 grams per tonne gold, Novo Astro has never been drilled.
At the time of the project’s acquisition in March, Meteoric said it had collated multiple high-grade rock chip results constituting a “large, high-grade opportunity of enormous untapped potential”.
Meteoric managing director Andrew Tunks said the maiden campaign will be an “exciting move forward” for the company.
“This will be the first drilling ever conducted at Novo Astro and [we are] targeting the depth extensions of gold mineralisation previously mined by local operations over the last 40 years,” he said.
Last month, the company announced it had firmed up drilling targets for the campaign.
Novo Astro’s activities will be conducted alongside a similar program at Juruena, where two Geosol rigs are presently on-site drilling 26 holes for a total 4,700m.
Meteoric confirmed today that first target drilling at the Dona Maria prospect intersected visible gold within an 8m wide alteration halo up to 155m depth.
All eight holes at Dona Maria have now been completed, and all have intercepted prospective alteration.
The first and second sample batches have been transported to an assay laboratory in Peru, with results expected within the fortnight.
The Alta Floresta Belt is believed to be the most desirable gold exploration destination in Brazil with estimated production to date of over 7 million ounces of gold from 40 known deposits.
Juruena and Novo Astro have been the site of extensive artisanal mining activities with combined recorded production in excess of 500,000oz of gold.
Much of this was produced during a gold rush in the 1980s when over 20,000 miners worked in the Juruena area.
In morning trade, shares in Meteoric Resources remained steady at $0.047.