Assay results are presented here for grade control drilling completed in the Zone 2 area of Tuvatu, focusing primarily on the URW1, URA1 and Murau lode systems. Mining of the URA1 lode and the URW1 lode system is ongoing and grade control drilling is being conducted in advance of future mining in these areas. The results reported here represent material that is scheduled to be mined in Q4 2023 and throughout 2024.
Walter Berukoff, Chairman and CEO, commented: “The results from our grade control drill program continue to exceed expectations. The program is continuously returning very high-grade material with excellent mining widths. As we increase our drill density at Tuvatu we continue to identify very high-grade zones upon which to focus and prioritize our mining plan, and which will help us to add additional tonnage to our growing stockpile of high-grade material as we ramp up to our first gold production in Q4 2023.”
Highlights of new Zone 2 grade control drilling (3 g/t Au cutoff): 19.78 g/t gold over 6.0 mtres (including 31.52 g/t gold over 3.0 m) (TGC-0071, from 114.0 metres depth); 14.83 g/t Au over 6.0 m (including 25.16 g/t Au over 2.4 m) (TGC-0055, from 90.9 m depth); 18.08 g/t Au over 3.6 m (including 32.74 g/t Au over 1.5 m) (TGC-0073, from 90.0 m depth); 25.25 g/t Au over 2.4 m (including 149.63 g/t Au over 0.3 m) (TGC-0078, from 95.2 m depth); 45.89 g/t Au over 0.9 m (TGC-0080, from 23.4 m depth); 8.00 g/t Au over 4.8 m (including 21.05 g/t Au over 0.9 m) (TGC-0080, from 47.4 m depth); 8.52 g/t Au over 3.3 m (including 11.16 g/t Au over 1.8 m) (TGC-0053, from 13.8 m depth); 17.73 g/t Au over 1.5 m (including 20.98 g/t Au over 0.9 m) (TGC-0053, from 56.4 m depth) and 14.13 g/t Au over 1.8 m (including 18.64 g/t Au over 1.2 m) (TGC-0062, from 67.5 m depth).
The Zone 2 area of Tuvatu is located in the northwest part of the system along the western decline. It is the first part of the deposit scheduled for mining and encompasses a number of distinct lode systems, including the URW1, URA1, and Murau lode systems.
The URW1 lode system was the primary target for the current round of drilling. The Murau lode system consists of a series of stacked relatively flat lying lodes that strike approximately east-west and dip moderately to the south. Mining is scheduled to begin on the upper part of the Murau lode system in Q4 2023. The portion of the Murau lode system that is currently targeted for mining consists of a 110 metres strike length in the east-west direction, a vertical extent of 55 metres, and a down-dip extension of 100 metres.
Grade control drilling is being conducted from underground as well as from near the mine portal and is targeting near surface mineralization scheduled for mining in the next four to 16 months. It is targeting 5-10 metre centres and is designed to provide a detailed understanding of the geometry and mineralization of lode arrays in advance of underground development. Results from the grade control drill program will be used to help optimize mine development and mineral extraction in these areas. The Zone 2 grade control drill program is ongoing. Examples of mineralization observed in the Zone 2 drillholes reported here are shown in Figure 5.
A total of 83 grade control drillholes have been completed to date in the Zone 2 and Zone 5 areas at Tuvatu, including 24 grade control drillholes included in this news release.
The Tuvatu Alkaline Gold Project is located on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji. The January 2018 mineral resource for Tuvatu as disclosed in the technical report “Technical Report and Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Tuvatu Gold Project, Republic of Fiji”, dated September 25, 2020, and prepared by Mining Associates Pty Ltd of Brisbane Qld, comprises 1,007,000 tonnes indicated at 8.50 g/t gold (274,600 oz. Au) and 1,325,000 tonnes inferred at 9.0 g/t gold (384,000 oz. Au) at a cut-off grade of 3.0 g/t Au.
Lion One’s flagship asset is the fully permitted high-grade Tuvatu Alkaline Gold Project. Lion One envisions a low-cost high-grade underground gold mining operation at Tuvatu coupled with exploration upside inside its tenements covering the entire Navilawa Caldera, an underexplored yet highly prospective 7km diameter alkaline gold system.