Alacer Gold Corp. [ASR-TSX; AQG-ASX] on Monday December 10 announced a maiden mineral resource estimate for the Ardich oxide gold deposit located approximately 6 km northeast of its Copler Gold Mine in east-central Turkey.
Alacer is a low-cost gold producer holding an 80% interest in the Copler Gold Mine, which is operated by Anagold Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., The remaining 20% is owned by Lidya Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. The mine is located approximately 1,100 km southeast of Istanbul.
The total measured and indicated resource at the Ardich oxide deposit stands at 294,000 ounces of gold (6.9 million tonnes at 1.32 g/t gold). On top of that is an inferred resource of 85,000 ounces gold (2.2 million tonnes at 1.2 g/t gold).
Alacer shares were unchanged at $2.14 in early afternoon trading Monday. The 52-week range is $2.97 and $1.97.
The Ardich gold property is a listwanite-dolomite-hosted gold replacement deposit with mineralization occurring along thrust zones between listwanite, ophiolites, hornfels and limestones. The mineralization is predominantly oxide with sulfide mineralization confined to limited pyrite rich jasperoid bodies. Based on the latest drill data, the main mineralization zone appears to be tabular and almost flat lying.
So far, Alacer has averaged 1.16 g/t gold from oxide mined at the Copler and 1.2 g/t gold processed on the leach pad. Alacer said the size of the Ardich deposit is highly prospective, with this maiden mineral resource representing the first estimate of a potentially larger deposit.
The mineral resource is based on only the first 55 diamond core drill holes completed and does not include the drill assays received after October 1, 2018. An additional 42 diamond core holes have been drilled since he cut-off date for the mineral resource.
These additional holes indicate that the current resource estimate will grow.
Opportunities exist to process Ardich oxide ores at the existing and expanded Copler oxide plant facilities or to construct standalone processing facilities at Ardich, the company said.
A feasibility study will be completed in 2019 for a 20 million-tonne incremental expansion of the Copler heap leach pad.
In addition, options for standalone facilities and heap leach pad facilities of varying size (in excess of 50 million tonnes) are being explored should the Ardich deposit grow to the full extent of the 2-km mineralized target.
Forestry drill permit applications have been submitted and are awaiting approval for all further step-out drilling of the highly prospective areas to the south and east of the Ardich resource. Work has started on both the environmental assessment study and permitting process.
Exploration activity around Ardich mineralization is ongoing and will continue into 2019. This includes both exploration drilling used to define mineralization and to obtain samples needed for metallurgical studies as the resource expands.