Latest results from an aggressive drilling campaign by Echo Resources (ASX: EAR) at the Yandal gold project, near Leinster in Western Australia, have shown significant and consistent gold mineralisation at shallow levels.
Reverse circulation activity was confined to the Mt Joel district in which Echo owns a 70% interest, and forms part of a strategy to add near-surface oxide ounces to support a planned restart this year of the Bronzewing processing facility.
Drilling was also designed to increase confidence in high-grade mineralisation defined from aircore activities in late 2018.
Mt Joel has long been recognised for its potential to add oxide resources to enhance and strengthen the Yandal project mine plan.
It is located in the heart of the world-class Yandal gold belt, approximately 12 kilometres northeast of Bronzewing, with discontinuous gold mineralisation extending over 8km.
Historical work completed across the Bronzewing district was limited to the top 100m, with near-surface mineralisation found to be spread over numerous prospects.
Preliminary drilling in the June 2018 quarter aimed to validate the historical database, with results confirming the existence of significant mineralisation contained within the oxide zone and the potential to add significant ounces to Echo’s resource inventory.
Echo confirmed the current round of RC drilling had delineated five areas containing near-surface mineralisation with the potential to add open-pittable (within 50m of surface) ounces to the resource inventory.
Consistent, high-grade assays included 16m at 24.10 grams per tonne gold from 26m; 27m at 11.43g/t gold from 45m; and 11m at 5.92g/t gold from 29m.
The results have proven the potential to define significant resources over several satellite pits in the Mt Joel district.
Echo managing director Victor Rajasooriar said the company’s short-term vision is to build a mineral inventory which supports a “robust and highly economic transition into production” via the Bronzewing processing facility.
He said the focus would now be on the completion of a new resource estimate, with a significant portion expected to be in the indicated category.
“The Mt Joel district continues to deliver consistent results and provides [us] with the opportunity to add quality, incremental oxide ounces to our resource base,” said.
“The large amount of work completed recently highlights how serious we are in continuing to strengthen and enhance the initial four-year mine plan for Yandal as we push towards targeted production later this year.”
At midday, shares in Echo Resources were trading 5.88% higher at $0.18.