Aton Resources Inc. (TSX-V:AAN) is pleased to update investors on the latest assay results from the Phase 2 diamond drilling programme at its advanced Rodruin gold exploration project, located in the Company’s 100% owned Abu Marawat Concession, in the Eastern Desert of Egypt.
“This latest tranche of drill results continues to show the potential of the Rodruin deposit, as we work towards establishing the maiden mineral resource estimate” said Tonno Vahk, Interim CEO. “Aton’s focus is now very much on moving towards the new mineral resource estimates at both Rodruin and Hamama West, with the diamond drilling continuing at Rodruin, and the RC resource infill programme virtually complete at Hamama. We continue to work hand in hand with our partners at the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority towards the issuance of the long term mining licence covering both deposit areas, which will give the Company the flexibility to initially mine the oxide resources before moving on to the longer term big prize of developing the deep sulphide resources.
We are also continuing to hold fruitful discussions with a number of parties as we look to move this long term strategy forwards, including drilling some of our other exciting regional exploration prospects, and the ongoing identification of excellent grades and thicknesses of mineralisation at surface at Rodruin is just another important step along this road towards the full development of the exploration potential of the Abu Marawat Concession.”
Rodruin diamond drilling programme
The Rodruin prospect was discovered in December 2017 by Aton geologists (see news release dated December 14, 2017), and is located approximately 18km east of the Company’s Hamama West mineral deposit (Figure 1). During 2018, Aton constructed a c. 4.5km access road to the prospect, and undertook a highly successful 50 hole Phase 1 reverse circulation percussion drilling programme, which returned numerous mineralised intercepts and intersected gold mineralisation in virtually every hole (see news release dated January 29, 2019).
The ongoing Phase 2 diamond drilling programme at Rodruin commenced in late November 2021, and oxide zone results reported to date include 88.25m grading 1.74 g/t Au and 9.7 g/t Ag, from 25.75m (hole ROD-055, see news release dated March 1, 2022), and 129.5m grading 1.00 g/t Au and 8.8 g/t Ag, over the entire length of hole ROD-056 from its collar (see news release dated March 7, 2022). Recent drill testing of deeper sulphide mineralisation has returned intersections including 88.6m grading 5.76 g/t Au, 42.0 g/t Ag, 0.31% Cu and 2.40% Zn (hole ROD-071, see news release dated May 10, 2022), and 36.9m grading 7.04 g/t Au, 47.2 g/t Ag, 0.63% Cu and 7.18% Zn (ROD-075, see news release dated June 1, 2022).
Discussion of results
The current diamond drilling programme has been designed with the specific objective of delineating and establishing a maiden mineral resource estimate (“MRE”) at Rodruin. Holes ROD-080 and ROD-081 (Figure 2) were drilled to follow up on the previously reported high grade sulphide mineralisation discovered northeast of Aladdin’s Hill (see news releases dated May 10, 2022 and June 1, 2022). Holes ROD-082 to ROD-085 were all drilled to test outcropping surface mineralisation at the Aladdin’s Hill zone (Figure 2), with 2 of the holes, ROD-082 and ROD-083, designed as twin holes to test the results from the 2018 RC programme. Holes ROD-086 to ROD-089 were drilled from a single pad on the difficult to access eastern flank of the gossanous carbonate hosted mineralisation at the Central Buttress Zone (“CBZ”), with hole ROD-090 also designed to test this zone (Figure 3). Collar co-ordinates of all holes are provided in Table 1.
|Hole ID||Collar co-ordinates 1||Dip 2||Grid
|ROD-080||552542.7||2913096.0||733.0||-49.7||277.9||231.10||Aladdin’s Hill NE|
|ROD-081||552504.8||2913101.0||736.3||-48.9||273.6||155.50||Aladdin’s Hill NE|
|ROD-086||552691.4||2912907.1||765.3||-60.0||329.3||75.30||Central Buttress Zone|
|ROD-087||552693.9||2912903.8||765.3||-54.8||007.5||102.30||Central Buttress Zone|
|ROD-088||552690.6||2912908.5||765.3||-84.4||112.2||59.90||Central Buttress Zone|
|ROD-089||552693.2||2912900.1||765.2||-50.0||163.3||56.10||Central Buttress Zone|
|ROD-090||552696.2||2912792.4||776.2||-49.9||013.3||26.50||CBZ / SPZ|
1) Collar co-ordinates surveyed by Leica TCRA1203+ R1000 Robotic total station
2) Collar surveys of drill holes undertaken at c. 5-6m depth, using Reflex EZ-Trac survey tool
3) All co-ordinates are UTM (WGS84) Zone 36R
Table 1: Collar details of diamond drill holes ROD-080 to ROD-090
ROD-080 and ROD-081
Holes ROD-080 and ROD-081 were drilled on a westerly azimuth (Figure 2) to provide further information on the potential orientation of the high grade blind mineralisation previously intersected in holes ROD-071 and ROD-075 (see news releases dated May 10, 2022 and June 1, 2022).
Both holes intersected wide zones of mineralisation, with hole ROD-080 returning 0.83 g/t Au, 7.8 g/t Ag and 1.35% Zn over an interval of 35.85m from 137.65m downhole depth (see Table 2). Aton’s geologists are reviewing these results and the associated structural data from orientated core, and further follow-up drilling is planned in this area.
ROD-082 to ROD-085
ROD-082 to ROD-085 were drilled to test outcropping surface mineralisation at the Aladdin’s Hill zone (Figure 2), with 2 of the holes, ROD-082 and ROD-083, designed as twin holes to test the results from the 2018 RC programme.
The 2 holes ROD-082 and ROD-084 which tested the block of phyllic hosted mineralisation at Aladdin’s Hill both returned wide intersections from surface: 2.99 g/t Au and 5.3 g/t Ag over a 53.4m interval (hole ROD-082), and 2.33 g/t Au and 6.6 g/t Ag over a 53.6m interval (hole ROD-084), see Table 2. Hole ROD-084 intersected a 5m wide underground mining void, which was allocated zero grade, indicating the presence of significant high grade mineralisation at Aladdin’s Hill, which would have been the target of the ancient miners. Holes ROD-083 and ROD-085 also returned lower grade mineralised intersections, associated with gossanous carbonates, including 1.56 g/t Au and 4.2 g/t Ag over a 7.25m interval also from 10.75m (hole ROD-085).
Holes ROD-082 and ROD-083 were specifically designed to twin holes ROP-003 and ROP-011 from the 2018 RC programme at Rodruin (see news releases dated October 1, 2018 and November 12, 2018).
Hole ROD-082 returned a mineralised intercept of 35.5m @ 4.27 g/t Au, 6.8 g/t Ag, 0.20% Cu and 0.14% Zn from 4.5m downhole depth (Table 2), which correlates favourably with the previously reported mineralised intercept of 36m @ 5.38 g/t Au, 9.3 g/t Ag, 0.20% Cu and 0.19% Zn, from 5m (see Table 2 in news release dated October 1, 2018, as reported with a 30 g/t Au top cut). Differences in the gold grades between ROP-003 and ROD-082 are largely attributable to high grade, presumably nuggety coarse gold bearing samples in both ROP-003 and ROD-082. ROD-082 assayed 22.2 g/t Au between 10-11.05m (cf. ROP-003, 221.0 g/t Au between 9-10m), and 12.67 g/t Au over 4.5m from 24.7m (cf. ROP-003, 19.24 g/t Au over 3m from 22m, including a single assay of 94.3 g/t Au), adjacent to an old narrow mining void.
The surface intersection from ROD-083 (28.4m @ 0.61 g/t Au and 4.5 g/t Ag, Table 2) correlated very closely with that from hole ROP-011 (27m @ 0.58 g/t Au and 4.0 g/t Ag, previously reported as 11m @ 0.88 g/t Au and 4.9 g/t Ag, from 16m, see news release dated November 12, 2018).
Furthermore, visible gold was identified at 110m in hole ROD-083, in a mineralised zone grading 1.18 g/t Au over an interval of 8.30m, from 108.8m downhole depth, again associated with phyllic alteration. While the sample containing visible gold returned an assay of only 2.80 g/t Au, this zone indicates the potential for additional zones of high grade coarse gold bearing mineralisation associated with phyllic alteration.
The results from these newly reported diamond holes ROD-082 and ROD-083 very closely correlate with the grade distribution in holes ROP-003 and ROP-011, and tend to confirm the validity of the results from the RC programme.
|Hole ID||Intersection (m) 1||Au
|ROD-080||137.65||173.50||35.85||0.83||7.8||0.12||0.02||1.35||Aladdin’s Hill NE (“AHNE”)|
|ROD-081||117.60||140.00||22.40||0.37||8.1||0.07||0.02||0.55||AHNE, NSA > 0.81 g/t Au|
|ROD-082||0.00||53.40||53.40||2.99||5.3||0.17||0.09||0.17||Aladdin’s Hill (“AH”), includes 1.7m of voids/ cavities (twins RC hole ROP-003).|
|ROD-083||0.00||28.40||28.40||0.61||4.5||0.02||0.00||0.37||AH, includes 1.5m of voids/cavities (twins RC hole ROP-011). Visible gold at 110m|
|ROD-084||0.00||53.60||53.60||2.33||6.6||0.29||0.05||1.13||AH, includes 5.1m ancient mining void between 18.0 – 23.1m|
|ROD-086||0.00||37.20||37.20||0.77||12.3||0.01||0.02||0.11||Central Buttress Zone|
|ROD-087||9.70||58.65||48.95||0.81||13.9||0.01||0.05||0.15||Central Buttress Zone (abundant visible gold at c. 88m)|
|ROD-088||0.00||42.25||42.25||1.07||14.5||0.01||0.02||0.15||Central Buttress Zone|
|ROD-089||0.00||6.00||6.00||1.32||10.4||0.27||0.02||0.60||Central Buttress Zone|
|ROD-090||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||CBZ, NSA > 0.65 g/t Au|
1) Intersections calculated at a nominal cutoff grade of 0.3 g/t Au in runs of continuous mineralisation
2) Zones of poor (or no) recovery through ancient mining voids/workings were not sampled, and allocated zero grade
Table 2: Mineralised intersections from diamond drill holes ROD-080 to ROD-090
ROD-086 to ROD-090
Holes ROD-086 to ROD-090 were drilled to test the eastern margin of the CBZ carbonate-hosted mineralisation (Figure 3).
All 4 holes drilled from the single pad (ROD-086 to ROD-089) intersected wide zones of mineralisation, returning intersections including 37.2m grading 0.77 g/t Au and 12.3 g/t Ag from surface (hole ROD-086, Table 2), 48.95m grading 0.81 g/t Au and 13.9 g/t Ag from 9.7m (hole ROD-087), 42.25m grading 1.07 g/t Au and 14.5 g/t Ag from surface (hole ROD-088), and 30.0m grading 1.06 g/t Au and 12.5 g/t Ag from 22.7m (hole ROD-089). These results continue to confirm the potential of the CBZ to host a substantial block of oxide Au-Ag mineralisation, starting from surface.
Hole ROD-087 also intersected a deeper zone of phyllic and carbonate altered meta-sediments which returned a mineralised interval grading of 2.43 g/t Au and 14.2 g/t Ag over 10.75m, from 86.3m depth (Table 2). Abundant visible gold was observed in the core at 87.8m and 88.3m, associated with narrow quartz and quartz-carbonate veinlets in heavily phyllic altered meta-sediments (Figure 4), again indicating the potential for localised high grade coarse gold bearing zones at Rodruin.
Hole ROD-090 was drilled entirely in sediments and failed to intersect significant mineralisation (Table 3), but did intersect a 3.4m wide void, possibly ancient mining workings, on the South Ridge Thrust structure. Gossanous meta-sediments above this void returned a single assay result of 0.65 g/t Au over a single metre.
Sample processing and analytical procedures
Drill core was logged by Aton geologists, and marked up for cutting and sampling at the Rodruin core farm. Samples were typically selected over nominal 1m intervals, but as determined by the logged lithologies. The core was half-cut by Aton staff at the onsite Rodruin sample preparation facility.
The split half-core samples were collected and bagged up in cloth bags, weighed and crushed to -4mm onsite, and split to a nominal c. 250-500g sample size. The coarse crushed reject samples are retained onsite at the Rodruin sample prep facility.
QAQC samples are inserted at a rate of approximately 1 certified reference material (or “standard” sample) every 30 samples, 1 blank sample every 15 samples, and 1 duplicate split sample every 15 samples.
The c. 250-500g dried, crushed and split samples were shipped to ALS Minerals sample preparation laboratory at Marsa Alam, Egypt where they were pulverised to a size fraction of better than 85% passing 75 microns. From this pulverised material a further sub-sample was split off with a nominal c. 50g size, which was shipped on to ALS Minerals at Rosia Montana, Romania for analysis.
Samples were analysed for gold by fire assay with an atomic absorption spectroscopy (“AAS”) finish (analytical code Au-AA23), and for silver, copper, lead and zinc using an aqua regia digest followed by an AAS finish (analytical code AA45). Any high grade gold samples (>10 g/t Au) were re-analysed using analytical code Au-GRA21 (also fire assay, but with a gravimetric finish). Any high grade Ag and base metal samples (Ag >100 g/t, and Cu, Pb and Zn >10,000ppm or >1%) were re-analysed using the ore grade technique AA46 (also an aqua regia digest followed by an AAS finish).
About Aton Resources Inc.
Aton Resources Inc. is focused on its 100% owned Abu Marawat Concession, located in Egypt’s Arabian-Nubian Shield, approximately 200 km north of Centamin’s world-class Sukari gold mine. Aton has identified numerous gold and base metal exploration targets at Abu Marawat, including the Hamama deposit in the west, the Abu Marawat deposit in the northeast, and the advanced Rodruin exploration prospect in the south of the Concession. Two historic British gold mines are also located on the Concession at Sir Bakis and Semna. Aton has identified several distinct geological trends within Abu Marawat, which display potential for the development of a variety of styles of precious and base metal mineralisation. Abu Marawat is 447.7 km2 in size and is located in an area of excellent infrastructure; a four-lane highway, a 220kV power line, and a water pipeline are in close proximity, as are the international airports at Hurghada and Luxor.
Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:
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