Emmerson Resources Limited (ASX:ERM) is set to begin diamond drilling and a geophysical survey at its Mauretania gold discovery at Tennant Creek, which will be funded from gold production royalties from Territory Resources' Edna Beryl mine in Queensland.
Following an alliance with Territory to build a central mill at the Tennant Creek project to support ore processing from Emmerson’s small gold mines and other third-party feed, the 12% Edna Beryl production royalty paid by Territory is funding Emmerson's exploration.
A gold pour at Edna Beryl.
Emmerson managing director Rob Bills said: “Diamond drilling in conjunction with new sub-audio magnetic geophysical surveys has the potential to unlock further high-grade gold at both Mauretania and the Black Snake areas.
“Toll treatment of the first 3,000 tonnes of ore from the Edna Beryl mine is nearing completion with the first royalty payments directed to fund ongoing exploration in the Tennant Creek Mineral Field.
“The overall head grade from this first parcel of ore at Edna Beryl confirms the potential of this mine to deliver low risk returns to Emmerson shareholders via the 12% gold production royalty – one of the highest royalties when compared to global benchmarks.
“The proceeds from ongoing royalties will be used to fund the next drilling and geophysical programs in both Emmerson’s Tennant Creek and NSW projects.”
Gold bar produced at Edna Beryl.
The mill head grade from the first parcel of ore at Edna Beryl averaged about 30g/t gold, making it one of Australia’s highest-grade producers.
These grades provide a statistical guide to the production grade, which has been difficult to ascertain from surface drilling due to the coarse nature of the gold.
They also support plans to deepen the existing shaft and establish a western exploration drive to enable further drilling from underground – historically instrumental to realising the full potential of the high-grade gold mines in the Tennant Creek Mineral Field.
Mauretania drilling and geophysics
High-grade reverse circulation drilling results of up to 54 g/t were returned earlier this year, however, due to the nature of the shallow oxide zone, which consists of vuggy, friable brecciated hematite ironstone, primary mineralisation has not been tested.
A diamond drilling program is set to begin in May, consisting of two deep drill holes designed to test the upper oxide and lower, primary gold zones.
In addition, a new geophysical technique to the Tennant Creek Mineral Field, Sub-Audi Magnetics (SAM), will be deployed to map the extent of the host to the mineralisation which consists of sheared hematite and magnetite ironstone.
SAM will also be applied to the Black Snake within the Southern Project area.
The survey will begin this quarter.