Golden Predator Mining Corp. [GPY-TSXV; NTGSF-OTCQX] has released a progress update on a bulk sampling program that was launched last year at its 3 Aces gold project in the Canadian Yukon.
The 3 Aces property hosts an orogenic gold project and is located northeast of Watson Lake. Golden Predator has so far focused on the 13.5 km2 Central Core Area, a broad gold-in-soil anomaly, where numerous gold-bearing quartz veins have been discovered.
The company made an early decision to bulk sample at its 3 Aces Project when it realized that much of the gold contained in its veins is high-grade and nuggety. The ‘nugget effect’ occurs when the gold is not distributed evenly throughout the deposit but rather is accumulated in clumps within the veins with visible gold often sitting loosely in open spaces and along fractures.
To eliminate the cost of shipping bulk sample materials outside of Yukon, and to effectively manage the processing costs, Golden Predator built its own closed system processing plant.
In a February 11, 2018 press release, the company said approximately 6% of the 9,800-tonne bulk sample from the Spades Zone was successfully processed at the company’s own test processing plant during the fourth quarter of 2018.
Two concentrates were produced. The first was poured into a 13,216.5-gram doré bar and shipped to Asahi Refinery in Ontario. It yielded 365 troy ounces of gold (86.28% gold) and 34 troy ounces of silver (7.36% silver), providing a return of US$471,386.
A second batch of concentrate weighing 658.1 kilograms was recovered and remains in inventory at the plant for subsequent processing.
“The bulk sample was designed to help de-risk the 3 Aces Project. We have been impressed by the extent of the mineralization we have been seeing in the bulk sample that was not found even by very close-spaced drilling,” said Golden Predator Executive Chairman William Sheriff.
“Drilling very high-grade material such as we see in the Spades Zone is likely to result in true grades being understated and we expect this bulk sample to demonstrate this point once we have reconciled the sample to drilling,” he said.
“Bulk sampling literally allows you to walk through a portion of the mineralized area as opposed to looking at pin pricks through various parts of it,” Sheriff added. “Drilling takes small samples based on a geological model from which you predict the distribution of gold. Bulk sampling permits you to physically touch the geological model and shows you the gold distribution.”
Approximately 20% of the excavated material was transported to the processing facility before year-end, with the remainder to be transported in the coming months. It is expected the plant will process the 2018 material into the third quarter of 2019 with results and progress reports expected on a monthly basis beginning in April 2019.
On Tuesday, Golden Predator shares rose 5.36% or $0.015 to 29.5 cents. The 52-week range is 77 cents and 20 cents.
An additional bulk sample of up to 10,000 tonnes is expected to be extracted this year.