PNX Metals Ltd (ASX:PNX) is on schedule with heap leach studies and development plans at the proposed Fountain Head gold heap leach development within Hayes Creek Project in the Northern Territory's Pine Creek region.
The assay results received from around 2,500 metres of RC drilling last year have resulted in further high-grade intersections, including 2 metres at 14.57 g/t from 11 metres.
Assays are pending for drilling completed this year while diamond drilling and technical studies are underway to assess the feasibility of a heap leach operation.
PNX managing director James Fox said: “The company’s assessment of the Fountain Head heap leach operation has to date not been hindered by the NT wet season, with excellent drilling progress being made.
“We look forward to proving the viability of the project over the coming months and targeting development from the end of the year.
“This will pave the way for the generation of early cashflow and should aid the development of the broader Hayes Creek Project.”
Assay results to date
Other assays from the RC drilling completed last year including 1-metre at 14.24 g/t from 53 metres and 3 metres at 8.54 g/t from 34 metres.
In 27 of the 30 RC holes gold mineralisation was intersected above the anticipated 0.5 g/t gold mining cut-off grade, which the company believes demonstrates good geological continuity and increasing confidence in the mineral resource model.
An additional 3,048 metres of RC drilling was completed at the start of this year to support metallurgical test work, increase mineral resource confidence and mine development planning.
Numerous structural zones that typically host gold mineralisation were intersected as predicted by the geological model and assay results are expected next month.
Technical studies and mine design
Diamond drilling as part of a geotechnical study and open pit mine design is also underway to better understand the characteristics of the coarse, nuggetty gold mineralisation in addition to gold deportment and screen-size analysis.
Once all assays have been received, assessed and reported in March, an update to the Fountain Head mineral resource will be completed, which is anticipated in April.
Preliminary results from the materials testing have been used to establish the design criteria for crushing, heap leaching and gold recovery from the leachate.
The company is assessing the feasibility of a heap leach operation as a low-cost, scalable option for generating early cashflow from existing gold resources.
Draft capital and operating costs are expected during March and will be incorporated into the economic study.
A mine management plan for the pit dewatering is expected to be submitted during March and studies to inform the environmental impact statement should be completed by April.