Dundee Precious Metals Inc. (TSX: DPM) reported new assay results from its ongoing drilling program at the Čoka Rakita prospect in eastern Serbia, which extends the deposit to the east and also confirms and extends the high-grade zone. The Company also provided an update on its planned drilling activities for 2023.
“Results from our ongoing drilling activities at Čoka Rakita extend the mineralization to the east and confirm the continuity of the high-grade zone. With seven drill rigs currently active on-site and over 40,000 metres of drilling planned for 2023, we are targeting an initial resource estimate by year-end and accelerating our evaluation of this prospect,” said David Rae, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dundee Precious Metals.
“We are also expanding our exploration activities to include 10,000 metres of scout drilling at the Umka prospect, and we are following up on other targets which share a similar geological environment to Čoka Rakita.”
Čoka Rakita Drilling Program Results
Subsequent to its January 2023 news release announcing the high-grade discovery at Čoka Rakita, drilling activities have been accelerated with seven drill rigs currently in operation. DPM has drilled an additional 9,000 metres, completing nine holes with another seven drill holes currently in progress (see Table 1).
The results from five new holes (RIDD005 to RIDD009), as well as deeper sections of RID001 and RIDD002 for which completed assays have been received, are disclosed in the following table.
Table 1: Significant new drill intercepts from the Čoka Rakita prospect
1) Coordinates are in UTM Zone 34 North WGS84 datum.
2) Intervals are reported at a cut-off grade of 1 g/t AuEq using 5 metres minimum length and 5 metres maximum internal dilution. Higher grade ‘Including’ intervals are reported at a cut-off grade of 5 g/t AuEq using 5 metres minimum length and 3 metres dilution.
3) The AuEq calculation is based on the following formula: Au g/t + 1.35 x Cu %, based on a gold price of $1,400/oz and a copper price of $2.75/lb; and assumes metallurgical recoveries of 90% for gold and 90% for copper within the equivalency calculation.
4) No upper cuts have been applied.
5) Based on the current understanding of the geometry of the mineralized body, true widths are considered to be 90% or more of the reported downhole interval.
The new results confirm the tenor of the high-grade gold mineralization and, based on initial interpretation, show a core zone of higher-grade mineralization over an area of approximately 160 metres by 130 metres. This area is presented as a zone of strong retrograde skarn alteration, often with visible gold.
RIDD006 confirmed the higher grades seen in RIDD004, which is approximately 60 metres to the south. This intercept, when viewed on section with RADD020 and RIDD001, suggests that mineralization may follow an approximate north-south axis, controlled by the proximity of the monzonite contact and potentially by sub-parallel trending feeder structures. Future infill drilling will be used to test these assumptions.
RIDD007 returned a wide and well-developed zone of mineralization comprised of semi-massive skarn bearing magnetite, pyrrhotite and pyrite and extends the previously outlined limits of the mineralization by approximately 120 metres east from RIDD008 (see Figures 1 and 3). Several follow-up holes are ongoing in order to determine the extents of mineralization on this flank.
RIDD008 intercepted the target 60 metres south the previously reported RADDMET01 (see Figure 1 and 2) and returned a series of significant intercepts of sandstone-hosted gold skarn mineralization over a wider interval, which is greater than 100 metres in total thickness. This intercept increases the thickness of the target zone in this area and demonstrates that the S1 Sandstone can host skarn mineralization at considerable distance away from the syn-mineral diorite intrusives.
RIDD009 returned weakly developed sandstone hosted gold mineralization, but at greater depth (on the footwall of the syn-mineral diorite) intercepted significant skarn alteration within conglomerates and marbles (see Figures 1 and 2). The mineralization style in this area differs from that found at higher elevations, showing a stratabound iron-oxide (magnetite-hematite) copper (gold) skarn assemblage, with notable intercepts of 14 metres at 0.69% Cu and 1.28 g/t Au from 885 metres and 12.5 metres at 0.9% Cu and 0.89 g/t Au from 972.5 metres downhole. The presence of this deeper copper-dominated target is also supported by the newly reported deeper intercepts from RIDD001 (7 metres at 0.71% Cu and 1.07 g/t Au from 885 metres depth downhole), RIDD002 (12 metres at 0.65% Cu and 2.67 g/t Au from 907 metres depth downhole) and RIDD008 (11 metres at 0.32 g/t Au and 0.65% Cu from 639 metres depth downhole).
The Company is continuing its intensive 40,000-metre infill, extensional and target delineation drill program at Čoka Rakita, with the objective of further assessing the overall deposit geometry, grade continuity and mineral resource potential. This includes infilling the current footprint on a 60-metre by 60-metre drilling grid over the high-grade gold-rich skarn target zone, as well as closer spaced drilling (down to 20-metre x 20-metre) to assess the short-range continuity of the mineralization. Based on interpretation of drilling assay results, the strategy will also incorporate deeper drilling to delineate the extents of strata-bound conglomerate and marble-hosted copper-gold mineralization located at depth. DPM is targeting an initial mineral resource estimate for the project by the end of 2023.
In light of the Čoka Rakita discovery and based on the results of a recent ground gravity survey, as well as a re-interpretation of available geological and geochemical data, DPM completed a targeting exercise during the first quarter of 2023 which identified a series of additional exploration targets. The Company has outlined a scout drilling program, targeting both the extensions of Čoka Rakita-like sandstone-hosted gold-skarn targets, as well as deeper conglomerate and marble-hosted strata-bound copper (gold) targets, recently detected at depth. This includes an additional 10,000 metres of scout drilling on the adjacent Umka exploration licence, which is located approximately five kilometres to the south of Čoka Rakita. Drilling at Umka is expected to start later in April with drilling on additional targets potentially later in 2023 (see Figure 5).
As previously disclosed, preliminary metallurgical test results indicate that the mineralized material at Čoka Rakita is amenable to conventional flotation and produces a clean gold concentrate, achieving a total combined (flotation and tails leach) gold recoveries greater than 93%. In the second quarter of 2023, the Company plans to commence additional metallurgical test work to improve overall gold recovery using a combined gravity and flotation circuit, as well as to assess the geometallurgical variability and test additional copper (gold) skarns identified at depth.
About Čoka Rakita
The Čoka Rakita prospect is located three kilometres southeast of the Bigar Hill sediment-hosted gold deposit and forms part of the of the Timok Magmatic Complex (TMC) in eastern Serbia. The surface footprint of the target was delineated by a combination of soil geochemistry, alteration mapping and geophysical signatures. The drilling to date has defined a manto-like zone of shallow-dipping gold-rich skarn mineralization located on the contact zone of a carbonaceous sedimentary package and fertile diorite intrusives.
Figure 1. Updated tilted slice along high-grade skarn mineralization displaying new drilling intercepts and the ongoing infill drilling at Čoka Rakita
Figure 2. Updated long-section through Čoka Rakita displaying new drilling intercepts, geology and exploration targets
Figure 3. Cross-section through Čoka Rakita along RIDD007 and RIDD008 looking north displaying drilling intercepts, geology and exploration targets
The subsequent Figures 4 and 5 (below) outline the updated camp-wide scout drilling targeting strategy and integrates various geological, geophysical, and geochemical constraints that have been used to define exploration targets.
Factors considered for target generation include:
Figure 4. Overview map of Čoka Rakita exploration licence outlining the exploration targets subject of the scout drilling campaign
Figure 5. Overview map of Umka exploration licence outlining the exploration targets subject of the scout drilling campaign
Sampling, Analysis and QAQC of Exploration Drill Core Samples
Given the presence of coarse gold at Čoka Rakita, a rigorous sampling and QAQC procedure has been selected which includes the use of laboratory screen metallic assaying.
Most exploration diamond drill holes are collared with PQ size, continued with HQ, and are sometimes finished with NQ. Triple tube core barrels and short runs are used whenever possible to improve recovery. All drill core is cut lengthwise into two halves using a diamond saw; one half is sampled for assaying and the other half is retained in core trays. The common length for sample intervals within mineralized zones is one metre. Weights of drill core samples range from three to eight kilograms (“kg”), depending on the size of core, rock type, and recovery. A numbered tag is placed into each sample bag, and the samples are grouped into batches for laboratory submissions.
Drill core samples are shipped to the Company’s own exploration laboratory in Bor, Serbia, which is independently managed by SGS. Quality control samples, comprising certified reference materials, blanks, and field duplicates, are inserted into each batch of samples and locations for crushed duplicates and pulp replicates are specified. All drill core and quality control samples are tabulated on sample submission forms that specify sample preparation procedures and codes for analytical methods. For internal quality control, the laboratory includes its own quality control samples comprising certified reference materials, blanks and pulp duplicates. All QAQC monitoring data are reviewed and signed off by an independent QAQC geologist. Chain of custody records are maintained from sample shipments to the laboratory until analyses are completed and remaining sample materials are returned to the Company. The chain of custody is transferred from the Company to SGS at the laboratory door.
At the SGS Bor laboratory, the submitted drill core samples are dried at 105°C for a minimum of 12 hours, and then jaw crushed to about 80% passing 4 millimetres. Sample preparation duplicates are created by riffle splitting crushed samples on a 1 in 20 basis. Larger samples are riffle split prior to pulverizing, whereas smaller samples are pulverized entirely. Pulverizing specifications are 90% passing 75 microns. Gold analyses are done using a conventional 50-gram fire assay and AAS finish. Multi-element analyses for 49 elements, including Ag, Cu, Mo, As, Bi, Pb, Sb, and Zn, are done using a four-acid digestion and an ICP-MS finish. Samples returning over 10 ppm for Ag and 1% for Cu, Pb and Zn are re-analyzed using high grade methods with AAS. Sulphur is analyzed using an Eltra Analyzer equipped with an induction furnace.
All fire assay results received from SGS Bor with results exceeding 1 g/t gold grade are re-assayed by means of a specifically designed gold screen fire assay program at the ALS Global laboratory located in Romania. For re-analyses, 1 kg of 2 mm sized coarse reject material split, which is pulverized and screened at 106 microns to separate the sample into a coarse fraction (>106μm) and a fine fraction (<106μm). After screening, two 50-gram aliquots of the fine fraction are analyzed using the traditional fire assay method and AAS finish. The entire coarse fraction is assayed to determine the contribution of the coarse gold using fire assay and gravimetric finish. A “total” gold calculation for the 1kg sample is based on the weighted average of the coarse and fine fractions.
Ross Overall, Corporate Mineral Resource Manager of the Company, who is a Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101, and Paul Ivascanu, Director Exploration of the Company, have reviewed, and approved the scientific and technical content of this news release.
About Dundee Precious Metals
Dundee Precious Metals Inc. is a Canadian-based international gold mining company with operations and projects located in Bulgaria, Namibia, Ecuador and Serbia. The Company’s purpose is to unlock resources and generate value to thrive and grow together. This overall purpose is supported by a foundation of core values, which guides how the Company conducts its business and informs a set of complementary strategic pillars and objectives related to ESG, innovation, optimizing our existing portfolio, and growth. The Company’s resources are allocated in-line with its strategy to ensure that DPM delivers value for all of its stakeholders.
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