Newly-listed explorer QMines (ASX: QML) has confirmed a second mineral resource estimate for its flagship Mt Chalmers copper-gold project, located 17 kilometres northeast of Rockhampton in Queensland.
The resource has grown by 38% to sit at a new high of 5.8 million tonnes grading 1.7% copper equivalent for 101,000 tonnes of contained copper equivalent.
It includes a maiden measured and indicated resource which accounts for 78% of the total estimate.
The estimate incorporates base and precious metals contained within the Mt Chalmers deposit including copper, gold, silver, lead and zinc.
A team from Hyland Geological and Mining Consultants updated the wireframes and bulk density estimates for the project’s mineralised zones based on the digitisation of historic drill holes as well as recent drilling completed by QMines since acquiring the project.
It used a default 0.5% copper as the cut-off for reporting resources from the final block model.
The three-dimensional wireframe models of mineralisation were based on 0.5% copper cut-off grades for gold, silver, lead and zinc.
QMines executive chairman Andrew Sparke said the new estimate further strengthens the company’s belief in Mt Chalmers’ development potential.
“It is a fantastic achievement for us to be delivering a resource upgrade just seven months after listing [on the ASX],” he said.
“The resource has substantially grown in size and confidence level and we have identified several volcanogenic-hosted massive sulphide prospects which bode well for further upgrades and future development.”
He said the company would continue with a 30,000m drilling program in preparation for a further resource upgrade in the first half of next year.
Mt Chalmers is a brownfields project which was mined sporadically up to 1982 and has been held by several companies since then including Federation Resources NL in 1993 and Echo Resources around 2006.
The geology of the area has been identified as a well-preserved, VHMS mineralised system formed contemporaneously on, or close to, the sea floor during the deposition of the host-rock units.
Mt Chalmers’ mineralisation is believed to have been deposited from hydrothermal fumaroles, direct chemical sediments or sub-seafloor massive sulphide replacement zones and layers, together with footwall disseminated and stringer zones within the host volcanic and sedimentary rocks.
QMines commenced a program of diamond and reverse circulation drilling at Mt Chalmers in March to validate historic work and extend the resource wireframes.
Step-out drilling earlier this month hit wide zones of high-grade copper, gold and zinc and returned assays of 35.3m at 2.75 grams per tonne gold, 1.4% copper and 4g/t silver from 96.4m, including 5.5m at 9.91g/t gold, 4% copper and 13g/t silver from 96.4m.
Also returned was 15.5m at 0.47g/t gold, 0.4% copper, 42g/t silver, 2.3% lead and 3.9% zinc from 50m, including 5m at 1.14g/t gold, 1.1% copper, 119g/t silver, 6.9% lead and 11.3% zinc from 50m.