Vancouver - A deep drilling program at the Rovina Valley project in Romania has returned the longest and highest-grade intercept to date from the Ciresata porphyry, one of three deposits on the Carpathian Gold (CPN-T) project.
Six months ago a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of Rovina Valley returned reasonable numbers but Carpathian was certain the project's resources were still growing. In particular, the defined resource at Ciresata was based on just 15 drill holes, many of which ended in mineralization.
To test for expansion at depth, the company planned a three hole, deep drilling program for Ciresata. In May the first hole, hole 16, returned 668 metres grading 0.7 gram gold per tonne and 0.15% copper. Now hole 17, which was collared 100 metres to the north and drilled vertically, seems to have tapped into a higher-grade portion of the zone.
Hole 17 hit mineralization 135 metres below surface, returning 716 metres grading 1.14 grams gold and 0.16% copper. The hit included 244 metres averaging 1.7 grams gold and 0.22% copper. The result extends the zone of known gold-copper mineralization 280 metres below previous drilling and 200 metres below the resource block model used in the PEA.
Carpathian says hole 17 is the longest and best mineralized hole at Ciresata to date. The third hole in the program is currently underway.
"We are very pleased with the results of this second hole of the deep drilling program as it intersected a high-grade part of the Ciresata porphyry deposit not previously known," said Dino Titaro, president and CEO of Carpathian, in a statement. "In addition, the extension of the mineralization to a depth significantly below our previous drilling supports our belief that the Ciresata deposit...has significant upside for resource expansion."
At present the resource at Ciresata stands at 101.3 million inferred tonnes grading 0.9 gram gold and 0.17% copper. The deposit was a blind discovery, as it is covered by overburden that ranges from 40 to 140 metres in depth.
And extending the Ciresata deposit at depth fits well with Carpathian's development plans, as the company already plans to mine Ciresata from underground. The other two deposits at Rovina Valley sit closer to surface and will be mined via open pits. The three mines would feed a central processing facility capable of churning through 40,000 tonnes of ore daily, with half of the mill feed coming from Ciresata.
The flotation facility would recover 68% of the rock's gold and 91% of its copper to produce a gold-rich copper concentrate. Over a 19-year mine life annual production would average 196,000 oz. gold and 49.4 million lbs. copper.
The PEA estimated capital costs at US$509.4 million, part of which is needed to build a 6-km long inclined conveyor tunnel to bring ore from the underground mine at Ciresata to the plant. Once the mine is built, Carpathian should be able to produce an ounce of gold for US$379, net of copper credits.
While working through the deep drilling program Carpathian is also advancing its mining license application studies. The company plans to submit all necessary documentation to the government by the end of the year.
Carpathian's share price gained 2¢ on news of the deep hit at Ciresata to close at 46¢. The company has a 52-week trading range of 24¢ to 52¢ and has 287 million shares outstanding.
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