A DEFINITION and expansion diamond drilling program at Erdene Resource Development Corp’s Altan Nar Gold-Polymetallic Project aims to increase confidence in high-grade, near-surface zones. The program of about 1500 metres started on August 7 and results are expected before the end of the year.
Infill drilling is being carried out at Union North (UN) and Discovery Zone (DZ) prospects and Erdene also plans to test several new targets outside the initial resource area.
UN and the northern part of DZ (DZN) are the most advanced targets in regards to initial development with wide zones of high-grade mineralization identified in trenching and drilling. The drilling has also been designed to provide higher confidence in the initial pit location and design.
On March 31 Erdene announced an initial NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate for DZ and UN, two of 18 targets 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 Altan Nar development 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 focus is 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 in British Columbia for initial test work.
This includes preliminary level 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. A key element of the program will be 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 re-opening Erdene has secured two exploration licences. This regional exploration is funded through private placements by Teck.