Named Tonka, the new significant zone of flat lying sulphide mineralisation has been identified 8 kilometres southeast of the joint venture’s Chinook discovery and is believed to share similar geological characteristics.
The zinc-lead-silver mineralisation at Tonka is defined on three broad lines spaced 500m and 750m apart with a first round of assays returning a 22m intersection grading at 4.27% zinc-plus-lead and 5.4 grams per tonne silver from 110m, including 11m at 5.82% zinc-plus-lead and 4.35g/t silver from 121m.
Other assay highlights include 10m at 3.93% zinc-plus-lead and 4.34g/t silver from 84m; 5m at 5.03% zinc-plus-lead and 9.74g/t silver from 101m; and 5m at 4.47% zinc-plus-lead and 13g/t silver from 66m.
Zenith chief executive officer Michael Clifford said he is pleased to report the ongoing exploration drilling success at Earaheedy.
“A new zinc-lead-silver discovery at Tonka, in regional exploration drilling, confirms the highly prospective nature of the Earaheedy joint venture ground,” he added.
Zenith holds a 25% free carried interest in the Earaheedy project with partner Rumble holding the 75% operating stake.
Similarities with Chinook
Both the Tonka and Chinook deposits are hosted within an extensive and flat dipping sedimentary sequence within a regionally significant unconformity.
At this stage, the Tonka discovery is believed to have an initial footprint of 1.7km strike and 1km down dip length and remains open in all directions. This means there is potential to significantly increase its dimensions.
By comparison, Chinook has a footprint of 4.1km strike and 1.9km down dip length and remains open in all directions. This dimension is the result of a 44% expansion of the mineralised footprint following recent drilling.
Potential for large-scale deposits below Chinook and Tonka mineralisation
Another significant outcome from the recent drilling is the intersection of wide zones of lower grade zinc-lead mineralisation in a fractured and faulted purple shale zone below the unconformity unit mineralisation – that is, below the mineralised zones that host Chinook and Tonka – at the southwestern end of Tonka.
Results include 102m at 0.5% zinc-plus-lead from 77m and 121m at 0.54% zinc-plus-lead from 8m.
Rumble said these results provide further evidence of the potential for large-scale deposits in the Purple Shale and Iroquois Cabonate Units below the unconformity, which remains untested at Earaheedy.
Drilling program expanded to over 50,000m
The 2021 drilling program has now been expanded to more than 50,000m, including further scoping of the new Tonka discovery.
“The ongoing regional scoping drilling success has emphasised the potential for more discoveries in multiple host units throughout the 45km of strike, highlighting we have only started to scratch the surface of unlocking the world-class potential of the Earaheedy project,” Rumble managing director Shane Sikora said.