Royal Oak Mines (TSE) is encouraged by drill results from its Copperstone gold project in western Arizona.
The company has calculated a drill-indicated mineral resource of 420,000 oz. gold.
The drilling was designed to investigate the underground potential of the former open-pit operation. The property was mined by Cyprus between 1987 and 1992, during which time more than 500,000 oz. gold were recovered.
Consistent with its strategy of acquiring overlooked projects in proven mineral districts, Royal Oak is testing the downdip extension of the high-grade oreshoots in the belief that they may be suitable for underground mining.
Royal Oak acquired the property in June 1995 when it leased from the property owner 284 unpatented mining claims covering 5,680 acres and two state leases (1,300 acres).
The first phase of drilling, consisting of 13 holes totalling 10,600 ft., carried a cost of US$225,000. The results indicated continuity of the Main zone.
Results included a 10-ft. interval grading an impressive 21 oz. gold per ton from a quartz vein in the Main zone. Several other values were intersected, ranging from 0.1 to 0.5 oz. gold.
Using a cutoff grade of 0.1 oz. per ton, Royal Oak generated a drill-indicated mineral resource of 2.4 million tons at 0.17 oz. per ton.
Gold mineralization is controlled along a series of north-plunging oreshoots related to the Copperstone fault, and is hosted within a porphyritic quartz latite tuff and limestone. The shoots can be traced up to 1,000 ft., and mineralization remains open in all directions.
In 1996, the company will carry out a second phase of drilling, at a cost of US$250,000.