A second batch of assays from the Steam Engine gold deposit has backed Superior Resources (ASX: SPQ) in its belief that its Queensland project has a deposit style similar to that at the historic Charters Towers goldfield, renowned as possibly the richest of all Australian goldfields.
One hole has returned 14m at 4.9 grams per tonne gold, including 7m at 9.2g/t — plus 1m at 47.5g/t gold. Mineralisation began at surface, and the highest grading section began at 7m down hole.
The Steam Engine deposit is located 210km inland from Townsville, Queensland and includes three lodes: Steam Engine, Eastern Ridge and Southern Zone.
Other results from both Steam Engine and Eastern Ridge lodes reported today include 13m at 2.4g/t, 6m at 3.4g/t and 8m at 3.6g/t gold.
An upcoming revised mineral resource estimate is expected to upgrade the existing estimate of 94,000 ounces at 2.3g/t gold. This will be followed by a scoping study.
The Charters Towers goldfield in Queensland produced an estimated 6.6 million ounces of gold between 1872 and 1917 at an average grade of 34g/t.
High-grade hit not unexpected
Superior managing director Peter Hwang said the company is “pleased, but not surprised” by the 47.5g/t gold hit given that Steam Engine is of a similar deposit style to that found at Charters Towers.
What they were surprised about, however, was that the highest-grade section came from the southern part of the Steam Engine lode as Superior’s resource modelling had drawn attention to a broad high-grade zone at the northern end of the lode.
“The drilling to date, including historical drilling, has demonstrated good potential for the Steam Engine system to deliver a significant and sizeable deposit,” Mr Hwang said.
“Barely 30% of the known 2.5km outcropping strike extent has been drill tested in any detail and only to near surface depths.”
Some historical holes demonstrate the Steam Engine Lode extends down-dip to a “considerable” depth, he added.
Superior is now planning to restart drilling, this time focusing on the mineral resource along strike and down dip at both Steam Engine and Eastern Ridge lodes.
The company will also investigate the potential of a recently announced fourth parallel lode lying 1.2km from Eastern Ridge.
Superior is exploring in northern Queensland for large lead-zinc-silver, copper, gold and nickel-copper-cobalt deposits.