Ardea Resources Ltd (ASX: ARL) has kicked off a follow-up RC drilling campaign at the new Aphrodite North gold target within the Bardoc Tectonic Zone at the Goongarrie Nickel Cobalt Project in Western Australia.
The company holds some 65km of aggregate strike of the Bardoc Tectonic Zone (BTZ) within its Goongarrie Nickel Cobalt Project (GNCP), from Windanya in the south, to Big Four, Aphrodite North, Goongarrie, Highway-Moriaty, Menzies and finally to Ghost Rocks in the north.
The BTZ is the northern strike continuation of the Boulder Lefroy Tectonic Zone, which hosts Kalgoorlie-Boulder (>80Moz gold), New Celebration (3.2Moz) and St Ives (6.5Moz) gold camps.
Managing Director, Andrew Penkethman, said that despite the obvious gold pedigree of Ardea’s GNCP tenure, since 1997 it has been solely developed as a nickel-cobalt laterite project, successively by Heron Resources and then Vale Inco.
However, Mr Penkethman said that with Ardea’s acquisition of the project in 2017, for the first time in two decades, systematic gold evaluation commenced, through Ardea’s gold and multi-element pathfinder assay suite.
In terms of developing a gold exploration model, the comprehensive new assay data highlighted the presence of intense deformation, iron-rich dolerite and late stage diorite intrusives within the GNCP, all the key elements for significant gold mineralisation within Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Eastern Goldfields gold province.
The Aphrodite North initial aircore program was reported on 25 June 2020, testing 5km NNW along structure from the 1.7Moz Aphrodite gold deposit held by Bardoc Gold (ASX:BDC). This drilling was the first test of Ardea’s GNCP gold model.
Ardea has a 5,100 sq. km strategic and highly prospective tenement holding in the Eastern Goldfields world-class gold-nickel province,” Mr Penkethman said.
“The land holding was originally acquired by Ardea for nickel-cobalt laterite, which occurs on major crustal structures on a specific ultramafic rock unit termed the Walter Williams Formation. Those same structures host some 100Moz of gold to the south along structure from the GNCP.
“Ardea thus controls a significant ‘greenfields’ gold portfolio in which systematic gold drill evaluation is just commencing. Although AGSA0013 with 7m at 2.48g/t gold is an encouraging start, far more significant in the Aphrodite North aircore programme was the confirmation of dolerite host rock, diorite and intensity of alteration over a 2.4km strike length and width up to 320m, all totally hidden beneath transported lake clay cover.”
Deep RC drilling has been planned beneath the three aircore drill sections that showed the strongest gold anomalism and other positive pathfinder elements including intensity of alteration.
The aircore follow-up holes are aimed at determining if primary gold mineralisation is present, and if so, what is the lode orientation and controls on that mineralisation.
The RC programme consists of two holes in “scissor” arrangement, each to 250m, to test fresh bedrock beneath the aircore saprolite gold anomalies. This is required prior to any closer spaced drill out, such as an 80x40m drill hole spacing.
Mr Penkethman said the geometry and specific controls on gold mineralisation at Aphrodite North are still to be determined and the planned RC holes will help advance this understanding.