Emerson Resources (ASX: ERM) has commenced a drilling programme to follow up “bonanza” grades discovered at the Mauretania prospect located within the Northern Project Area (NPA) of the company’s Tennant Creek project in the Northern Territory.
The first diamond drill hole of the approximate 1,300m programme is aimed at testing the grade and continuity of the bonanza gold oxide zone including a new geological interpretation that suggests untested potential within a larger hematite ironstone.
Managing Director, Rob Bills, said that along with confirming the grade and continuity, this drill programme will also provide geotechnical information and start establishing baseline studies on the water table ahead of scoping and feasibility studies next year.
The diamond drilling is using PQ3 with triple tube and unlike previous programs, is anticipated to successfully recover the majority of the drill core which consists of vuggy, clay rich oxidised hematite ironstone.
Mauretania is a greenfields discovery identified from recognising that high-grade gold and copper are associated with hematite ironstones that have largely gone undetected up until Emmerson’s entry in the Tennant Creek Mineral Field in 2008.
Mr Bill said the hallmarks of the discoveries at Edna Beryl, Goanna, Monitor and now Mauretania include the exceptional grade of both copper and gold and their association with hematite dominant ironstones. Previous drilling at Mauretania has returned intersections including 22m at 35.9g/t Au and 11m at 54.1g/t Au, demonstrating the bonanza grades which exist in the oxide zone.
“It’s really pleasing to be commencing this next drill program at Tennant Creek just two weeks after entering into the Joint Venture with TCMG. We think this shows real intent by our new partner to build the future mining pipeline under its $5.5m earn-in over the Northern Project Area at Tennant Creek.
“This high impact drill programme at Mauretania has the twofold purpose of better establishing the grade and scale of the bonanza gold zone plus providing baseline geotechnical data to support the design of a future open pit mine. Preliminary favourable economics suggest Mauretania will be prioritised in the project pipeline for development studies that will include detailed predevelopment drilling and baseline studies in early 2021.
“In addition, a number of similar ‘Mauretania look alike’ targets in the NPA will be assessed during the wet season, for further exploration and drilling in early 2021.”
Following the completion of the programme at Mauretania, a decision will be made as to whether the rig moves to the Sunrise project, 200m north of Mauretania, to complete two planned holes. The drilling will be dependent on prevailing weather conditions, given the start of the northern Australia wet season will close access until early 2021.
Sunrise is a similar, hematite ironstone target to Mauretania and represents one of many such targets that Emmerson will test in 2021.
In mid-November 2020, Emmerson entered a new Strategic Alliance at Tennant Creek with Tennant Consolidated Mining Group (TCMG), a subsidiary of TA Private Capital Security Agent Ltd advised by TransAsia Private Capital (TA).
The agreement is covered by a binding Heads of Agreement (HOA) with TCMG which includes the following:
- $5.5m Exploration Earn-in and JV (EEJV) in the Northern Project Area (NPA)
- A Small Mines JV (SMJV) with a free carried 6% gold gross revenue royalty for production from Small Mines (<250,000oz)
- A Major Mines interest whereby Emmerson retains up to a 40% interest in any Major Discovery (>250,000oz gold equivalent)
Mr Bills said this Strategic Alliance establishes a funded pathway for the development of Emmerson’s high-grade gold projects and provides substantial new funding for exploration to continue to build the resource pipeline.
TransAsia is a Hong Kong-based asset management firm which was the lender to Territory Resources Limited (Territory). TCMG has been established specifically for the purposes of making this investment and is managed by a number of senior mining industry executives who are well known to Emmerson.