Aton Resources Inc. (TSX-V:AAN) is pleased to update investors on the latest 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.
“We are very pleased to be able to release these latest excellent drilling results from Rodruin while we are back here in Canada for the PDAC conference. We welcome the opportunity to discuss our progress at Rodruin while we are here with any interested parties, as well as the ongoing work at Hamama West, and our plans for the development of the Abu Marawat Concession, which surely remains one of the most attractive as well as certainly the most advanced gold exploration project in Egypt. We are also highly encouraged that the Ministry of Petroleum and EMRA are hosting a conference in July to further advance the process of mining reform in Egypt, as it looks to incentivise and encourage foreign investment into the country,” said Tonno Vahk, Interim CEO. “These latest drill results again continue to show the presence of quite substantial volumes of gold mineralisation at very respectable grades outcropping at surface at Rodruin, and we are very focused on drilling out the near surface mineralisation in the current programme, as we look to move forwards as quickly as possible to the establishment of the maiden mineral resource. We continue to be excited about the early oxide potential at Rodruin, as well as the longer term development of the sulphide mineralisation, and at the same time we continue to push ahead at Hamama. Exciting and busy times for Aton!”
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 intersections including 36m grading 12.47 g/t Au and 9.3 g/t Ag, from 5m down hole depth (hole ROP-003, see news release dated October 1, 2018).
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-076 and ROD-077 (Table 1 and Figure 2) were drilled specifically on the request of Cube Consulting, who Aton have engaged to estimate the maiden MRE, as part of a programme of twinning holes from the Phase 1 RC drilling programme. The drilling programme has been designed with the objective of including as much of the near surface oxide material within the maiden MRE at as early a stage as possible, and both holes ROD-078 and ROD-079 were drilled from a position on the eastern side of the Central Buttress Zone (“CBZ”) to test mineralisation in this area (Table 1, and Figures 2 and 3). Collar details of the holes are provided in Table 1.
|Hole ID||Collar co-ordinates 1||Dip 2||Grid azimuth 2\||EOH depth (m)||Comments|
|ROD-076||552620.3||2912919.1||802.6||-89.5||177.4||65.90||CBZ (RC twin hole)|
|ROD-077||552794.5||2912782.8||742.4||-89.8||170.1||41.10||GFZ (RC twin hole)|
1) Collar co-ordinates surveyed by 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-076 to ROD-079
|Hole ID||Intersection (m) 1||Au (g/t)||Ag (g/t)||Cu (%)||Pb (%)||Zn (%)||Comments|
|ROD-076||18.30||57.55||39.25||0.50||3.8||0.01||0.01||0.28||CBZ – twin of RC hole ROP-031 (includes 2.4m of voids/cavities)|
|ROD-077||0.00||30.60||30.60||1.79||3.7||0.00||0.00||0.11||GFZ – twin of RC holes ROP-036/037|
|ROD-078||0.00||46.20||46.20||1.28||6.9||0.03||0.03||0.36||CBZ – includes 3.3m of voids/cavities|
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-076 to ROD-079
Hole ROD-076 was drilled vertically on the CBZ and twinned RC hole ROP-031, which returned an intersection of 40m grading 0.64 g/t Au and 3.6 g/t Ag from 11m downhole depth, as well as intersecting voids and cavities between 17-22m. The new hole ROD-076 returned an intersection of 39.25m grading 0.50 g/t Au and 3.8 g/t Ag from 18.3m downhole depth (Table 2), as well as intersecting voids and cavities between 19.4-21.4m, interpreted as being ancient mine workings.
The results confirm the mineralisation in the RC hole ROP-031, but the gold grade in the twin diamond hole is slightly lower. The differing depth of the intersections is due to the proximity of the collars of the 2 holes to a steep contact between unmineralised oxidised slates and sediments, and the gossanous carbonate unit which hosts the mineralisation in these holes. The mineralisation in hole ROD-076 was terminated by the underlying South Ridge Thrust.
Hole ROD-077 was drilled vertically on the GF Zone (“GFZ”) and twinned RC holes ROP-036 and ROP-037, which returned a composite intersection of 29m grading 1.59 g/t Au and 4.4 g/t Ag from surface. Hole ROP-036 was abandoned at 15m, and was then re-drilled as hole ROP-037. The new twin diamond hole ROD-077 returned an intersection of 30.6m grading 1.79 g/t Au and 3.7 g/t Ag from surface (Table 2).
The results again confirm the mineralisation in the RC holes ROD-036 and ROP-037, but in this case the gold grade in the twin diamond hole was approximately 13% higher, compared to the RC hole(s). In both holes ROD-076 and ROD-077 the intersections were of virtually the same length, and of broadly similar grades, which would suggest that there is no downhole contamination issue with the RC holes.
ROD-078 and ROD-079
Holes ROD-078 and ROD-079 were drilled from the eastern margin of the CBZ carbonate to fill in gaps in the drilling pattern, and to follow up on broad zones of oxide mineralisation in the area identified from surface channel sampling (sample profile ROC-031, which returned a mineralised interval of 127m grading 1.33 g/t Au and 7.3 g/t Ag, see news release dated November 3, 2021), and at shallow depth (drill hole ROD-056, which returned an intersection of 129.5m grading 1.00 g/t Au and 8.8 g/t Ag, see news release dated March 7, 2022). Hole ROD-078 was drilled at a sub-vertical angle, and ROD-079 was shallower (Table 1).
Both holes were mineralised from surface, all the way down to their basal contact with the South Ridge Thrust which truncates the oxide mineralisation at depth, returning intersections of 1.72 g/t Au and 11.5 g/t Ag over 75.2m (hole ROD-079), and 1.28 g/t Au and 6.9 g/t Ag over 46.2m (hole ROD-078). These 2 holes indicate the presence of a block of consistently mineralised rock, approximately 45-50m thick extending all the way to surface in this area.
The first 2 twin holes (ROD-076 and ROD-077) are encouraging in that they broadly confirm the results from the holes they were designed to twin from the 2018 RC drill programme. The results will be assessed by Cube Consulting, Aton’s independent mineral resource consultants, but these initial RC/diamond twin holes do suggest that the RC drilling results will be acceptable for inclusion within the maiden MRE.
3 of these new drill holes (ROD-077 to ROD-079) again indicated the presence of consistent mineralisation starting at surface at both the CBZ and the GFZ. The drilling continues to indicate the presence of very significant blocks of gold-silver mineralisation that outcrop at surface over large areas of the South Ridge at Rodruin, at the CBZ and GFZ zones, as well as at the Aladdin’s Hill area (see news releases dated January 25, 2022 and March 1, 2022). These wide zones of consistent mineralisation, which outcrop at surface are expected to be amenable to non-selective open pit mining techniques, with very low stripping ratios. The Company continues to focus on drilling out this near-surface mineralisation in the current diamond programme, as it looks to move forwards as quickly as possible to the establishment of the maiden MRE at Rodruin.
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 (“Abu Marawat”), 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.
The technical information contained in this News Release was prepared by Javier Orduña BSc (hons), MSc, MCSM, DIC, MAIG, SEG(M), Exploration Manager of Aton Resources Inc. Mr. Orduña is a qualified person under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
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