Erdene Resource Development Corp has started a definition and expansion diamond drilling program at Altan Nar Gold-Polymetallic Project in southwest Mongolia. Drilling started on August 7 and results are expected before the end of the year.
The focus of the program of about 1500 metres will be infill drilling at Union North (UN) and Discovery Zone (DZ) prospects to increase confidence in the high-grade, near-surface zones, as well as testing several new targets outside the initial resource area to provide future growth potential.
UN and the northern portion of DZ (DZN) are the most advanced targets in regards to initial development with wide zones of high-grade mineralization, well established in trenching and drilling. The drilling program has been designed to provide higher confidence in the initial pit location and design.
On March 31, 2015, Erdene announced an initial NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate for DZ and UN, the most advanced of 18 target areas identified along the 5.6km long Altan Nar mineralized corridor. The resource consists of 147,000 ounces gold equivalent averaging 2.5 grams/tonne gold equivalent in the indicated category, and 102,000 ounces averaging 2.1 grams/tonne gold equivalent in the inferred category.
Erdene is considering various options for development of the Altan Nar resource and from a processing perspective, exploring the production and export of precious and base metal rich concentrates and/or carbon in leach (CIL) gold recovery on whole ore or concentrate.
The company’s focus is on initial development of DZN and/or the UN portions of the resource which have the highest volume and highest grades. Representative composites of drill core from each zone have been delivered to Blue Coast Research, of Parksville, British Columbia, which was selected to complete the initial test work.
This program includes preliminary level flotation test work focusing on the suitability of flotation to produce separate lead, zinc and sulphide (arsenopyrite/pyrite) concentrates to determine where the precious metals are concentrated, and then tailoring the process to enhance those recoveries.
Amongst other process test work, a key element of the program will be the CIL testing on the whole material and selected flotation streams, which will provide flexibility in considering future process development options.
Erdene continues to be active through its alliance with Teck Resources in assessing regional base and precious metal opportunities in southwest Mongolia’s emerging Tian Shan copper-gold belt.
In 2015 the Mongolian mineral licence staking system re-opened after a five year hiatus with designated areas in the western half of Mongolia available for staking. Since the opening of the licensing system, Erdene has secured two exploration licences.
This regional exploration program is funded through private placements by Teck under the alliance agreement. Erdene executives and officials from Teck are meeting in Mongolia in mid-August to review the regional exploration program.