AN initial NI 43-101-compliant mineral resource has been estimated for Discovery Zone and Union North, two of 18 target areas identified to date at Erdene Resource Development Corp’s Altan Nar Gold-Polymetallic Project in southwest Mongolia. There are indicated resources of 147,000 ounces gold equivalent averaging 2.5 grams/tonne gold equivalent and inferred resources of 102,000 ounces gold equivalent averaging 2.1 grams/tonne.
The estimates were calculated by RungePincockMinarco Limited (RPM) at a 1.0 grams/tonne gold equivalent cut-off grade within 1.8 million tonnes indicated and 1.5 million tonnes inferred.
The indicated resource includes 102,000 ounces of gold, 24.7 million pounds of zinc, 22.1 million pounds of lead and 657,000 ounces of silver, while the inferred resource contains 72,000 ounces of gold, 17.7 million pounds of zinc, 12.8 million pounds of lead and 498,000 ounces of silver.
RPM says 90% of the resources are within 150 metres of surface with all zones open along strike and at depth. Multiple undrilled and scout-drilled prospects along the 5.6 km Altan Nar trend have potential for hosting additional gold-polymetallic resources.
Metallurgical test work is at an early stage, however, samples tested have generally shown a good response to leaching with average gold recoveries of 80% for low arsenic material. Higher arsenic samples, which appear to make up only a relatively small portion of the deposit, returned up to 95% gold recoveries through a more intensive, though nonetheless proven, processing method.
Erdene’s president and CEO Peter Akerley says: “We are very pleased to have reached this major milestone for Altan Nar. Delivering this initial resource on time, under budget and having it exceed our targeted size and grade, is a reflection of the quality of the project and dedication of the discovery team involved.
“Although we feel we are just getting started, the reported, near-surface resource will allow us to begin to explore more fully our mining and processing options within an expedited development plan while continuing to expand the resource throughout the large 5.6km Altan Nar target area. Based on our recent drilling success and this maiden resource, our excitement and confidence about the ultimate size potential of Altan Nar continues to build.”
With the initial resource established, Erdene now aims to complete a preliminary scoping study which will consider options for expedited development including evaluating the concept of producing potentially high value gold, silver, lead and zinc concentrates to be sold into China for final processing.