Entree Gold (TSX:ETG) reported results from the final 20 holes of its 40 hole pre-feasibility infill drilling program. Highlights of drill results included 409 meters of 0.35 percent copper, 466 meters of 0.31 percent copper and 377 meters of 0.32 percent copper.
As quoted in the press release:
The infill drill program commenced in August 2014 and was completed in late January 2015. The program comprised 40 holes and a total of approximately 19,265 metres combined reverse circulation (“RC”) pre-collars and core. Reported holes, with the exception of EG-AM-14-077, are all located in the eastern half of the Ann Mason deposit.
Results for the final 20 holes of the 40 hole program are reported in Table 1 below and, together with previous results, mark the completion of pre-feasibility infill drilling of the Ann Mason deposit within the Phase 5 pit discussed in the 2012 Preliminary Economic Assessment (“2012 PEA”). Twelve of the twenty holes reported in this press release ended in mineralization (copper values greater than the 0.15% copper cut-off). All of the reported holes intersected significant copper mineralization and lower grade holes tend to be located toward the northern-most border of the Phase 5 pit, in areas where strong mineralization was not expected.
Further explaining the latest drill results, the company stated:
Approximately half of the reported drill hole intervals include sections with higher than average copper grades, many in the 0.40% to 0.50% copper range. In addition, several holes returned intervals with higher than average gold (0.08 to 0.13 grams per tonne (“g/t”)) and silver grades (1.35 to 2.58 g/t), including holes EG-AM-14-043, 059, 067, 070, 071 and 073. Several of the reported holes also intersected significantly higher than average molybdenum grades (0.010 to 0.033% Mo).
RC pre-collars were generally restricted to barren, overlying volcanics. Drilling changed to HQ diameter core, which was continually sampled over 2 metre intervals once mineralized rocks of the Yerington batholith were encountered or hole conditions dictated the change to core. Depths of current holes ranged from 324.9 metres to 771.0 metres, depending on each relative position within the Phase 5 pit, and hole angles varied from -60 to -90 degrees.
The 2012 PEA envisions a 24 year conventional open pit mine and sulphide flotation mill operating at a throughput rate of 100,000 tonnes per day and is based on mineralization contained within the Phase 5 pit. Over the life-of-mine, the 2012 PEA estimates average copper recovery of approximately 93%, producing a clean, 30% copper concentrate with average annual production of 214 million pounds of copper. There is potential to increase the mine life of Ann Mason through additional drilling and engineering studies.
The 2012 PEA is preliminary in nature and includes Inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the 2012 PEA will be realized. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Entree president and CEO, Greg Crowe, said:
Completion of the infill drill program marks an important milestone for Entrée. Our technical team and external consultants are now preparing an upgraded resource estimate and updating the 2012 Preliminary Economic Assessment for Q2 2015. We expect much of the current Inferred and Indicated resource to be upgraded to Measured and Indicated categories, providing a greater degree of confidence to the within-pit mineralization. Measured and Indicated resources form the basis for estimating reserves as the project advances farther along the development timeline. Previous metallurgical work has also indicated that the Ann Mason deposit has recoveries greater than 90% and produces a high quality copper concentrate, with no penalty elements. Ann Mason’s clean, 30% concentrate, could serve as a vital source of feed for smelters looking for superior blend material. We also expect to start a PFS metallurgical program before the end of March 2015.