Mandrake Resources (ASX:MAN) reports that initial reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the Berinka Pine Creek Gold-Copper Project in the Northern Territory has returned ‘high-grade’ gold results and nickel-PGE potential.
The company drilled a total of 11 holes for 1,131m comprising 1,047m of RC drilling plus an 84m diamond tail.
Individual metre samples over anomalous intervals have been identified and submitted to the laboratory for analysis with results to be released in the coming weeks.
These results will provide further information on mineralisation style and distribution of the grade.
Drillhole FBRC013 was drilled at Terry’s Gap to test along strike from mineralisation intersected during the 2020 RC drilling campaign, and Mandrake reports several zones of strong alteration and veining were intersected, particularly from 152m to 168m which the company describes as rafts of sheared gabbro within the Ti-tree Granophyre host rock.
The interval from 164m to 168m assayed 3.29g/t Au.
Strong oxide gold-copper mineralisation was intersected near the top of the hole from 4m to 12m, returning 8m @ 1.91g/t Au and 0.32% Cu including 4m @ 3.2g/t Au and 0.32% Cu from 8m, associated with weathered quartz veining and silica alteration.
Mandrake reports drilling to date has defined gold mineralisation over a strike length of greater than 2km between Vegetation Anomaly and Terry’s Prospect.
They also say most of this area is undercover and there is insufficient drilling to enable a complete understanding of the extent of ‘higher grade’ zones or their controlling structures.
Mandrake states drillholes FBRC015 and FBRC016 at Vegetation Anomaly encountered strong sericite-carbonate sulphide alteration with anomalism up to 0.2g/t Au and 0.14% Cu.
Drillhole FBRD014 intersected an intense zone of carbonate crackle veining and brecciation from 88m to 110m in the diamond tail, and ‘patchy’ disseminated chalcopyrite (1% to 5%) was observed between 94m and 110m, mostly associated with zones of intense brecciation and carbonate-sericite-silica-sulphide alteration.
The company also reports a zone of oxide mineralisation was intersected in the RC pre-collar between 12m and 16m which assayed 0.78g/t Au.
Following the receipt of results for the individual RC metre samples and diamond core, Mandrake will design an exploration program to better define gold mineralisation along Terry’s trend.
Also reported by the company, drillholes FBRC014, FBRC015 and FBRC016 were drilled at the Vegetation Anomaly to follow up gold-copper mineralisation identified during Mandrake’s drilling campaign in 2020.
In holes FBRC014, and FBRC015 broad zones of platinum and palladium anomalism were intersected for the first time in the Sandy Creek Complex gabbro host rock.
These zones assayed up to 4m @ 42ppb Pt and 29ppb Pd, and the ‘highly’ anomalous PGE interval of gabbro was associated with distinctly elevated magnesium-copper geochemistry.
Mandrake believes this indicates the Sandy Creek Complex is more fractionated than previously thought, which has increased the nickel-PGE prospectivity of the mafic body.
The company is now waiting on additional individual metre assay results before formulating a program to examine the nickel-PGE potential of the Sandy Creek Complex.
Mandrake also collected 21 rock chip samples during geological traversing throughout the tenement, focusing on areas with anomalous stream, soil and rock chip geochemistry as well as areas with geological potential for a range of mineralisation types that had not been adequately followed up by previous explorers.
Several of the samples returned anomalous assays for gold, however Mandrake says none have resulted in immediate targets for follow up work.
The Berinka Pine Creek Gold Project is located 180km south of Darwin, and in 2020 Mandrake undertook frontier drilling targeting the prospects Vegetation Anomaly and Terry’s Gap identified from aeromagnetics and historic gold results from costeans.
The project was first explored in 1975 when Carpentaria Exploration found quartz veining at what is now known as Terry’s Gap, with assays at the time returning 5.5g/t Au.
Carpentaria then conducted soil sampling, mapping, gridding, rock chip sampling and ground magnetics over the next 6 years mostly focused in the Terry’s Gap area.
Mandrake Resources is a junior exploration company with an aim to explore and develop gold, nickel, copper and PGE opportunities.
It recently entered into an agreement to earn-in to an exploration tenure prospective for nickel, copper and PGEs in the Jimperding Metamorphic Belt, located 70km northeast of Perth.
Mandrake also owns a mineral exploration project in the Pine Creek Orogen of the Northern Territory prospective for gold, silver and base metals.