Tempus Resources Ltd (ASX:TMR) is set to begin drilling at its Blackdome-Elizabeth Gold Project in the prolific gold producing area of southern British Columbia, Canada, around 200 kilometres north of Vancouver.
The project includes the permitted historically producing Blackdome Gold Mine, mill and tailings storage facility, and had historic production of over 230,000 ounces of gold between 1986 and 1991 (at over 20 g/t).
It also hosts high-grade historic NI43-101 mineral resources (reported in 2009/2010) of 52,600 ounces of gold at 11.3 g/t indicated and 231,900 ounces of gold at 11.7 g/t inferred.
Major resource infill, expansion and exploration drilling programs are commencing in July 2020 at both Blackdome and Elizabeth Deposits in support of the pre-feasibility study (PFS) and aimed at updating and expanding the historical mineral resources.
At Blackdome, the NI43-101 resource estimate was restricted primarily to two veins.
Historical resources and drill targets with intercepts greater than 5 g/t gold have been delineated over eight zones in six of the veins, which have yet to be re-evaluated.
In 2011, a new mineralised vein was discovered of 1.5 metres at 13.6 g/t, around 300 metres south of previous drilling and 650 metres south of existing underground workings.
Significant gold in soil anomalies were generated in 2018/2019, of up to 0.92 g/t, implying clear extensions to the known high-grade vein systems.
The company expects to begin drilling this month.
Blackdome includes a 300 tonnes/day conventional gravity separation and flotation mill (on care and maintenance) and permitted tailings storage facility.
The project is also significantly de-risked by the previous production history, with demonstrated excellent metallurgical recoveries of around 93% through gravity/flotation.
In addition, key approvals and permits are already in place and the existing infrastructure provides pathway for low-cost fast-track restart.
Visible gold in 2010 drill core from Elizabeth.
The company considers the Elizabeth prospect highly prospective, with high and ‘bonanza’ grade intercepts from the most recent drilling conducted in 2010-2011 of:
- 5.06 metres at 76.5 g/t;
- 2.50 metres at 96.3 g/t;
- 0.91 metre at 134.9 g/t; and
- 1.46 metres at 45.1 g/t.
None of the veins at Elizabeth have been drilled below a vertical depth of 200 metres.
The first drilling since 2011 is set to start shortly and Tempus is confident there is potential for a completely new discovery in this underexplored region.
Mineral resource update
Tempus plans to release a mineral resource update after the resource expansion drilling program and fast-track to PFS.
The resource estimate to date includes only two of the six identified mineralised veins which the company considers an opportunity to significantly expand the resource base.
The strategy is to commence a PFS on expanded resource base by the end of 2020 for a rapid pathway to resume production.
Pathway to production
Tempus has also commenced a feasibility study on the Blackdome Tailings Project, with a review of existing prior PEA.
This project could potentially consist of a three-stage development:
- Blackdome tailings;
- Blackdome and Elizabeth hard rock project utilising existing mill and tailings infrastructure and permits, and;
- Expansion based on increased mineral resources.
The Rio Zarza project is adjacent to Fruta Del Norte.
Tempus has also commenced exploration at its high-quality early-stage gold exploration prospects, Rio Zarza and Valle del Tigre in the Zamora mineral district of Ecuador.
The Rio Zarza project is immediately adjacent to the most valuable greenfields gold discovery of the last 15 years, Lundin Gold Inc’s (TSE:LUG) Fruta del Norte Gold Project, and hosts similar geochemistry, alteration and geological features.
Valle del Tigre is a larger concession area to the north with similar subparallel NNE rift faults to those controlling Fruta del Norte and strong gold showings in stream sediment analysis.
Exploration at Rio Zarza was carried out between 2008 and 2012, and included surface magnetics, IP, gravity surveying, soil/stream sampling, mapping and limited diamond drilling.
At Valle del Tigre, exploration will include magnetotellurics, magnetics, gravity and ionic soil sampling, followed up by stratigraphic drilling of the coincident targets and community consultation in the area commenced ahead of initial field program.
The company has commenced exploration work, with results from recent geochemical sampling program being integrated with project-wide airborne geophysical survey which was completed in December.
Permitting for drilling has completed, with drilling anticipated in quarter four of 2020.