Diamond drilling is under way at Southern Gold’s high grade Kochang Gold Project in South Korea. The program commenced within 10 days of the Australian-based company acquiring the Korean assets.
Kochang is one of a number of high grade gold projects and the first of Southern Gold’s projects to secure funding support from the government-backed Korean Resources Corporation (KORES), which has committed to covering up to 70% of the direct drilling costs.
The rapid start follows Southern Gold’s recent acquisition of 17 South Korean gold project areas across 44 tenements with at least six designated as high priority targets. Drilling is planned for at least four of these targets over the next 12 months.
The Kochang project was mined as a small-scale silver deposit to the southwest and a more significant gold deposit to the northeast by Korean prospectors. The mine was closed in 1975 when water ingress could not be managed with the water pumping technology available at the time, however the historical workings are still in place and Southern Gold will be looking to secure underground access in due course.
The project area is covered in 3 ‘graticules’, the standard graticular tenement size in South Korea based on a latitude and longitude system, and is approximately 1.8km north-south and 1.6km east-west.
The drill program is targeting the extension of gold bearing quartz veins that represent extensions of the Kochang Gold Mine. In particular it will target vein extensions to the north and a gap in the current geological knowledge in the middle of the Kochang mine. Future drilling programs will also look to target the gap between the gold and silver mines as well as extensions to the high grade gold sampled in the lowest drive in the mine.
In addition to the Kochang silver and gold targets, more information has recently come to hand on drill collar locations in the northern part of graticule 78088 where drilling in 1984 intersected high grade gold and silver, although Southern Gold has not as yet confirmed the data independently.
As is typical for many of the projects in the company’s new South Korean portfolio, there is significant historical information available. This usually takes the form of detailed underground mine plans and underground face sampling. The plans will also often include historical mine statistics and there is a wealth of information available even before these mines are reopened.