THE CONFERENCE CALLER: From all indications gold explorer Apollo Consolidated (ASX: AOP) will be kept busy during the first half of 2021 as it formalises – and adds to – the impressive one million ounce-plus inventory it has already established at its wholly-owned Lake Rebecca project in Western Australia’s Goldfields. By Mark Fraser
Late last year, while releasing the latest assay results for infill and step-down drilling at the Rebecca deposit, the WA-based junior indicated a re-estimation of mineral resources was planned for the current quarter which, in turn, would guide both exploration priorities and possible commercial studies moving forward.
Continued and sustained activity over 2020, the company said, had led to significant progress at the Rebecca, Duchess and Duke ore bodies, as well as the identification of new mineralisation at Duchess and Rebecca in addition to the discovery of exciting new zones of mineralisation under cover such as Cleo.
Infill and step-down RC drill holes had returned promising intercepts which are now expected to add further mineralisation to the project’s geological interpretation.
These included one hole that yielded three wide gold zones of 30 metres at 1.16 grams per tonne from 143m (the Laura structure), 33m at 1.46g/t from 217m as well as 15m at 1.74g/t from 255m (the Maddy structure).
These results confirmed – and extended -the broad mineralisation in this area. Moreover, these intercepts were interpreted to be close to true width.
Meanwhile, another pre-collar hole intersected 10m at 1.46g/t gold (end of hole) from 350m, which was interpreted to be a mineralised position in the hanging wall of the Laura structure.
This hole will be extended with a diamond “tail” to further test the Laura structure (80m down dip from 4.7m at 19.1g/t) in a previous hole.
Additionally, shallow drilling in up-dip positions identified additional near-surface gold mineralisation, including 10m at 1.22g/t from 30m, 8m at 3.53g/t from 43m and 3m at 8.22g/t (with 1m at a spectacular 22.8g/t) from 85m.
Other intersections included 10m at 0.84g/t from 10m, 8m at 2.58g/t from 48m as well as 5m at 2.55 g/t.
Ongoing drilling along the (approximate) 1.7 km long Rebecca deposit, Apollo said, continued to demonstrate the strength of this mineralised system and it was “pleasing to see mineralisation intercepted as expected in geological modelling as well as in new structural positions”.
In addition, a further eight RC holes and four diamond drill holes were completed at Rebecca.
The major mineralised structures remain open to depth and will drive continued RC and diamond exploration drilling into 2021.
At the Duchess deposit a further 12 infill and step-out RC drill holes were completed, with a best result of 20m at 1.64g/t from 110m returned in a step-down hole which confirmed an extended and widening mineralised structure at this location.
Other holes drilled typically intersected gold mineralisation in expected positions, with results including 10m at 0.88g/t from 115m, and 4m at 1.59g/t (from 94m) as well as 3m at 1.28g/t (from 66m).
This hole is at the southern end of the Duchess drill-out and points to further exploration potential in the area extending toward Duke.
Apollo said ongoing drilling had built a greater understanding of the Duchess mineralised system, which was characterised by more advanced deformation and alteration than seen in other deposits in the project area.
The deposit comprises multiple north-south trending and west-dipping gold structures distributed over an area 900m long and around 400m wide. Reported intercepts are generally interpreted to be close to true width.
Drilling since the announcement of the maiden Duchess mineral resource (180,000 oz inferred) in February 2020 has defined a new mineralised position in the north east part of the deposit as well as local step-out and step-down extensions.
Shallow drilling is expected to continue into 2021, particularly to define near-surface mineralisation up-dip from known structures.
Apollo now expects to re-estimate its mineral resources, the results of which will guide exploration priorities and possible commercial studies some time this year.
The company said drilling would continue in January, with multiple “live” targets available, led by open high grade mineralisation at the Rebecca deposit.
It is expected all these results will be included in an updated mineral resource estimates planned for the current quarter.
Comprising 160 square km of tenure located some 150km east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Apollo’s project area covers the eastern margin of the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt and sits at the southern end of the Laverton Tectonic Zone.
Located in a similar geological setting just 140-150km to the north-west are three world class gold operations – Barrick Gold Corp’s (TSX: ABX) Granny Smith and Wallaby mines as well as AngloGold Ashanti’s (ASX: AGG) Sunrise Dam project.
Apollo also continues to retain a valuable royalty interest over the 1 million oz (plus) Seguela gold project in central Cote d’Ivoire in a joint venture with the Toronto-listed Roxgold (TSX: ROXG).
More on the company’s progress will be provided at this year’s RIU Explorers Conference in Fremantle during February.