Recent follow-up drilling by partners Rio Tinto (RTP-N) and Anatolia Minerals Development (ANOu-V) has cut gold mineralization north of the Main zone at the Copler gold prospect in Turkey.
Hole 54A, collared some 300 metres north of the Main zone, returned 85 metres grading 1.5 grams gold per tonne.
Holes 65 and 66 tested the southern portion of the Manganese Mine zone and returned 47.3 meters (from 165 metres below surface) running 4.2 grams gold and 99 meters (from 60 m) of 3 grams, respectively. The partners say the holes extend the zone to the south and at depth.
Hole 67, a single wildcat hole, sunk around 300 metres southwest of the Main zone failed to cut any significant gold values.
The latest holes followed up on a 29-hole drill campaign completed in April. Those holes confirmed and delineated new shallow gold mineralization in the Main and Marble zones. The drilling also extended mineralization along the intrusive-marble contact and to northwest of the Main zone.
Highlights from that round include:
- Hole 39 – 59.9 metres (from 13 m) averaging 4.6 grams gold;
- Hole 41 — 65 metres (from surface) running 2.5 grams gold;
- Hole 45 – 93.8 metres (from surface) grading 3.3 grams gold; and
- Hole 53 – 13.8 metres (from surface) of 3.2 grams gold.
In all, the partners report that 24 of the holes returned grades in excess of 1 gram gold over plus-1-metre intervals.
In March, Watts Griffis & McOuat updated the Main zone’s inferred resource to 33 million tonnes grading 2.1 grams gold per tonne, based on a cutoff grade of 0.5 gram gold. The new figure represents 2.2 million contained ounces of gold, a 35% increase from an April 2002 estimate.
Overall, Copler is home to an inferred resource of 47.7 million tonnes grading around 2.7 grams gold. The Marble Zone accounts for 7 million tonnes running 4.1 grams gold; the Maganese Mine zone contains 4 million inferred tonnes averaging 7.7 grams.
Initial testing of the refractory portion of Copler’s ore indicated up to 80% of the gold could be recovered to concentrate. Preliminary bioleach testing on the concentrates yielded gold recovery rates of up to 92%. An update on metallurgical work is expected shortly.