GTI Resources (ASX: GTR) has finished its aircore drilling program at the Niagara Gold Project ahead of schedule.
The Niagara Gold Project is located ~6 km southwest of Kookynie in the central goldfields of WA and comprises one granted exploration licence, E40/ 342 and six contiguous prospecting licence applications including existing applications, P40/1506, P40/1515, P40/1516 and P40/1517 plus the recently acquired P40/1513 and P40/1518.
This region is starting to attract exploration attention and dollars, which has given GTR momentum to drill test its own ground here.
Those who have followed activity in the region will know Genesis Minerals Ltd (ASX: GMD) acquired a 248km2 tenement package at Kookynie that includes 15km of strike length and a JORC Indicated and Inferred Resource of 414,000oz. GMD’s Greater Ulysses Project in this region holds 1.28Moz, and the company is currently capped at $68.5M.
Metalicity Ltd (ASX: MCT) is also located in the region, neighbouring GTI Resources ASX:GTR. Its highly successful drilling campaign earlier this year, saw MCT gain almost 250% after hitting “spectacular” high grade results from first assays at Kookynie in its joint venture (JV) with Nex Metals Exploration Ltd (ASX: NME).
MCT’s success hints at the potential of GTR’s WA ground, which is only circa 2km north of GTR’s project. MCT has a 50% interest in its Kookynie project, while GTR has 100% ownership.
The news comes just a week after the company received encouraging assay results from the recently completed second auger soil sampling program.
The recent Aircore drill campaign targeted six of the eight significant gold in soil anomalies identified within exploration Licence E40/342.
Drilling of the targeted geochemical anomalies has intersected quartz veining in a number of drill holes at predicted positions.
The intersected veins are occasionally associated with pyrite selvages and as fracture fill and silicification.
The relationship between the geochemical anomalies and the intersection of quartz veins
will be established once assay results have been received.
Drilling is also providing guidance on the lithology and structure within the drilled areas including silicified faults, which complements the structural interpretation.
Lithologies intersected included basalt, granitoids, ultramafics and metasediments.
The geological and structural model will be updated and interpreted in the coming weeks and then incorporated with the multielement geochemistry when received.
Drilling was concluded ahead of schedule with 52 holes completed at an average depth of 45 metres for 2,321 metres total.
Initial gold analysis is expected in mid to the third week of October and multi-element geochemistry soon after.
An RC rig is scheduled to start testing bedrock targets during late October following receipt of results from the current round of Aircore drilling.
A fine time to accelerate exploration
It would be highly beneficial for GTI Resources (ASX:GTR) given the current Australian dollar gold price if this accelerated and extensive exploration campaign were to shape the way for a swift move to early-stage production.
While some corners of the investment community are focusing on gold’s retracement from about US$1950 per ounce to US$1860 per ounce over the last month, what appears to have gone unnoticed is the sharp depreciation of the Australian dollar against the US dollar that has occurred in the last week.
If we look at the last few weeks in isolation, the Australian dollar gold price was $2667 per ounce on 17 September when the price was US$1950 per ounce.
As we write, the gold price has rebounded in the last 24 hours to hit US$1890 per ounce, and with the Australian dollar sitting at US$0.707 the Australian dollar gold price is $2673 per ounce, implying a slight premium to the US dollar price that prevailed on 17 September.
The average operating production costs are in the vicinity of about $1350 per ounce, implying a hefty margin of about $1300 per ounce at current spot rates.
Consequently, GTR is very much a right place/right time story, particularly given the region’s history of yielding high-grade mineralisation that can significantly drive down the cost of production.
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