As Orinoco Gold (ASX: OGX) moves to commercial gold production at Cascavel, it has kicked-off a drilling program at its Antena and Xupé deposits about 8km from Cascavel in Brazil.
Troy Resources (ASX: TRY) historically mined the deposits, leaving behind five shallow open pits, which Orinoco plans to reopen.
According to Orinoco, Antena and Xupé could potentially provide an added gold source to its Cascavel operations.
The company undertook preliminary exploration late last year comprising soil and rock chip sampling as well as mapping and data reviews.
Sampling returned up to 54.9 grams per tonne gold. Additionally, Orinoco extracted a 70kg sample from the Antena south pit which assayed an average 13.97g/t gold.
“The work our team developed during the last year over the target unlocked its enormous potential,” Orinoco chief geologist Dr Marcel de Carvalho said.
“The combination of the historical drilling, the new field mapping, chip sampling and the IP survey showed that the ore horizon is folded, thick, plunges gently and lies very close to the surface,” he said.
He added these revealed the deposits’ potential for an open pit operation in the near-term.
“It is also important to say that they are inside mining leases, which makes full licensing much easier,” he noted.
Historical drilling results revealed a thick shallow intersection of 44m grading 1.48g/t gold, with a 23m interval grading 2.4g/t gold and a smaller interval of 6m grading 4.48g/t gold.
Other significant historical drill results were 5m grading 13.96g/t from surface, with a 1.68 section containing 22.96g/t, and 16m grading 8.67g/t including 3m grading 20.47g/t and 2m grading 17.64g/t.
Orinoco claims the style of gold mineralisation is “very similar” to Anglo Gold Ashanti’s Serra Grande mine which has produce more than 5 million ounces of gold.
The current drilling campaign involves 11 holes and is due to finish by the end of the month. The first drill core is scheduled to be sent off for analysis by the end of the week with first assays due next month.
If drilling confirms Orinoco’s mineralisation model, a second campaign will aim to trace the mineralisation shape and calculate a resource.
Cascavel and its bonanza gold grades
Orinoco has a ‘back to basics’ approach for its Cascavel operation after initial mining failed to produce economic gold grades, despite the amount of visible gold in the ore.
As part of the approach, Orinoco has been processing the ore via a hammer mill trial which has produced consistently high grades since.
In its latest assay batch from the hammer mill pilot, up to 212g/t gold was produced, with a 265g/t gold assays reported in mid-January.
Assays from another batch are due mid-month.
Shares in Orinoco remained steady at A$0.125 in early morning trade.