Intensive exploration work undertaken last year by Adelaide-based Southern Gold (ASX: SAU) in South Korea is beginning to pay off with drilling to begin soon after regulatory approvals have been given.
These are expected by late April.
The company spent the northern autumn in South Korea carrying out preliminary exploration to identify future drill targets, particularly for action in 2021.
The new drilling program will be at the Nettle prospect, part of the larger Deokon project, which is located in the central-southwest part of South Korea in Jeolia-buk province.
Soil sampling over the northern Golden Surprise trend at Nettle has identified the gold-silver mineralised zone extends over at least 1km and remains open.
Deokon is the site of historic gold-silver mines which operated between 1958 and 1980.
The soil program has identified gold-silver-arsenic anomalies and potential intersecting structural trends at the Nettle zone, with a peak result of 1.77m at 0.99 grams per tonne gold and 73g/t silver.
Will persevere only with high-quality targets
Southern Gold has eight 100%-owned projects in South Korea and is aiming to revive gold production in the country.
Managing director Simon Mitchell says the company has a policy of backing high-quality, effective drilling programs.
“If the initial scout drilling does not reveal the right textures or potential for epithermal mineralisation, then the focus and energy will move on to other areas or projects,” he added.
“We have persevered with the Golden Surprise trend at Deokon as we are uncovering widespread gold and silver mineralisation on surface, both in rocks and soils, on kilometre scale.”
“Our greenfields play in South Korea remains a very exciting one.”
The company describes as its strategy to become an “internationally recognised” high-grade gold and silver project generator in South Korea.
In its December quarterly report, Southern Gold reported two new prospects at Deokon — Nettle and Thistle.
At Nettle, a peak outcrop sample back then returned 8.56g/t gold and 9,260g/t silver.
High level of field activity has produced targets
Southern Gold said the recent high level of field activity had advanced Deokon.
The initial Deokon tenements were granted in 2018.
Southern Gold was drawn to the area based on historical mine workings, high silver grades and the prospective geological location.
The Korean peninsula has a long history of gold production although very little activity for the past 50 years.
Gold production grew after the peninsula was annexed by Japan in 1910, with the Japanese operating mines until the 1945 surrender.
There was also mining in the 1960s.