Bastion Minerals (ASX:BMO) shareholders have enjoyed small gains this morning as the company announces a new gold intersection on-site its Capote project in Chile, South America.
While today’s results are brief, they reflect ongoing work by the Bastion geotech team.
Worth noting is that Bastion Minerals management says due to high-volume exploration activities currently afoot in Chile, assay laboratories are currently backlogged and leading to delays in turnaround times.
That situation may be familiar to Australian-based investors focusing on mining smallcaps. All year, Australian companies mining everything from rare earths to zinc have complained of long turnaround times for assay results.
No shortage of companies have been hit by the delays, and it appears a similar bottleneck is now emerging in the Chilean sector.
Bastion is today reporting two brief core sections confirmed to prove gold mineralisation is present at Capote, however, further work is needed to meaningfully assess the scope of the deposits.
This further work will later inform Bastion’s maiden JORC resource, however, this is a while off yet.
Before we look at what Bastion has found today, a note on grades.
Investor information provider Undervalued Equity classifies high grade gold as that in concentrations over five grams of gold per tonne of ore (5g/t). Many Australian projects boasting 4g/t grades are also widely accepted as high grade.
Bastion has reported:
04.6m @ 2.59g/t gold from 55m depth
03.6m @ 3.06g/t gold from 55m depth
Last month, the company reported assay results from different drillholes showing:
1.6m @ 9.6g/t at 58.4m depth
1.1m @ 3.9g/t at 80.9m depth
The 3.9g/t result occurred between 80.9m and 82m underground, while the more eye-catching 9.6g/t result occurred between 58.4m and 60m depth.
Lower grades were detected near the surface at 10m depth downhole a third target.
While grades above 9g/t are promising, investors should note that at over 50m depth, the company has quite a task ahead of it in developing a mine to access the gold—and that’s assuming high grade gold occurs over a commercially viable area underground.
Likewise, today’s results show that gold mineralisation (in the small number of drillholes completed to date) starts at around 50m depth. Significant further drilling will need to be undertaken and compared with other data before the company can move toward its maiden JORC.
The company is, however, confident that the northern portion of the Colo Colo prospect, from where today’s results are extracted, contains higher grade gold. Further drilling will now focus on this area.
"These results give us confidence in our progress towards a significant discovery [at Capote] and our longer-term objective to define a mineral resource,” Bastion Minerals executive chairman Ross Landles said.
“We are very happy with the steady progress of our maiden drilling campaign at Capote.”
Of course, delays at the assay laboratory will need to be patiently endured.
“There is a large volume of exploration in Chile currently in progress, which is causing slightly slower than usual turnaround times at the lab,” Landles added.
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