Continued drilling success at the Altan Nar and Bayan Khundii gold projects in southern Mongolia has prompted Erdene Resource Development Corp to significantly increase its 2017 drilling program. The company now plans 33,000 metres of drilling, up from the original 24,000 metres.
The additional drilling will take place at both projects as well as other new targets identified on the Bayan Khundii licence. Expansion and definition drilling will take place at the flagship Bayan Khundii project, regional scout drilling at the new targets and follow-up drilling at Altan Nar, which is 16km from Bayan Khundii.
At Altan Nar recent drilling at the new, high-grade core of the Discovery Zone has returned 20 metres from 97 metres @ 10.3 g/t gold, including 5 metres @ 29.7 g/t. A shallow, gold-bearing structure identified to the west of Discovery returned results of up to 14.6 g/t within zones of greater than 15 metres of more than 1 g/t.
The northeast extension of Discovery has been traced over 150 metres with three holes intersecting individual 1-metre samples with up to 7.6 g/t gold, 37 g/t silver, 8.8% zinc and 3.6% lead.
Deep drilling intersected multiple mineralised zones with high-grade veins as deep as 382 metres returning up to 2.7 g/t gold, 49 g/t silver, 6.5% lead and 2.2% zinc while scout drilling at the Maggie prospect, which is 800 metres north of Discovery Zone returned 5 metres @ 4.8 g/t gold from 31 metres.
At Union North step-out drilling significantly extended mineralisation, with 14.5 metres @ 1.5 g/t gold equivalent (0.9 g/t gold, 7 g/t silver, 0.89% lead-zinc) in a 200 metre step-out hole, and 5 metres @ 3.2 g/t gold equivalent (1.1 g/t gold, 29 g/t silver, 3.3% lead-zinc) in a 340 metre step-out hole. High-grade veins discovered 200 metres southeast of Union North returned up to 7% zinc, 2.6% lead, 23 g/t silver and 1.4 g/t gold over 1 metre.
As well as the ongoing drilling, Erdene will complete surface exploration at its newly acquired Ulaan exploration licence, immediately west of Bayan Khundii.
Based on upcoming 2017 drill results, and drilling completed subsequent to the March 2015 resource estimate, the company anticipates generating a revised resource estimate for Altan Nar in 2018, in conjunction with a maiden resource estimate for Bayan Khundii.
“These results from Altan Nar are a further testament to the exceptional fertility of this emerging gold district,” said Erdene’s president and CEO Peter Akerley. “The results demonstrate significant expansion potential for the existing deposit areas and provide exciting new discovery opportunities within the greater 5.6km Altan Nar trend.
“Our continued exploration success at both the Bayan Khundii and now the Altan Nar gold projects has led to a decision to significantly increase our 2017 drill program. When considered in the broader district-scale context, we believe the success rate experienced by our company at the grassroots drilling stage is a good indication of the region's potential for additional discoveries.”