Lion One Metals Limited (TSX VENTURE:LIO)(FRANKFURT:LY1) reports that it has commenced a First Phase exploration program on its Tuvatu Gold Project on the Island of Viti Levu in the Fijian Islands.
Surface sampling work conducted in December 2010 confirmed the presence of gold-bearing veins and veinlets near the portal of the Tuvatu exploration decline. Initial results include assays of 119 g/t Au across 0.43 meters. The Company has followed up with a 1,000 meter trenching program to test these surface expressions and those in adjoining and adjacent areas.
Current Exploration Focus
The focus area for trenching is the surface area near the portal of the Tuvatu exploration decline, a 1.6 kilometer development tunnel completed by Emperor Gold Mines ("Emperor") in 2000. The decline was originally completed with the objective of test mining historic underground mineral reserves and resources. The Company's principal objectives in this area are to expose and confirm the dimensions of the structures controlling precious metal mineralization related to the Tuvatu Lode, H Lode, and the Core Shed Fault (CSF). The CSF is a 60 meter wide, east-west trending shear zone exposed near the portal of the decline which can be traced for over 5 kilometers along strike. The Tuvatu and H Lodes are 5 to 40 meters wide and are characterized by porphyry-style copper mineralization, with the H Lode being crosscut locally by epithermal gold veins, and the Tuvatu Lode characterized by potassic alteration and hosting, chalcopyrite and biotite. The recent surface sampling program has confirmed the presence of gold bearing veins and veinlets within the CSF and the Tuvatu and H Lodes. The current trenching program will test the extent and grade of the precious metal mineralization across the structure and along strike of the CSF, as well as the Tuvatu and H Lodes.
The 1,000 meter program commenced in January and will also encompass selected targets in the surrounding area. A total of 800 meters of trenching have been completed and assays are pending for the work done to date.
Past operators including Emperor focused on the high grade underground lodes at Tuvatu as a source of feed for the nearby mill at the Vatukoula mine. Previous work at Tuvatu includes over 80,000 meters of surface and underground drilling, metallurgical testing, resource and reserve estimation, completion of a feasibility study (by Emperor and Bateman Engineering) and construction of the exploration decline. While JORC compliant mineral reserves had been previously delineated and disclosed by Emperor, current mineral resources estimated in accordance with CIM definitions include indicated resources of 172,000 ounces (760,000 tonnes grading 7.05 g/t Au) and inferred resources of 480,000 ounces (2.618 million tonnes grading 5.71 g/t Au) at 2.0 g/t Au cut off. While the nuggety nature of the gold mineralization necessitated a 40 g/t Au grade cap for resource estimation purposes, numerous intercepts exceed this cap (i.e. up to 1,620 g/t Au across 0.5 m). This characteristic leads management to believe the contained gold content could prove significantly greater than that currently estimated.
A challenging economic environment for precious metals in the late 1990's and the high grade nature of the gold mineralization within the individual lodes necessitated that the Emperor feasibility study focus on the identification of underground resources for exploitation by underground mining methods. With the advantage of significantly improved commodity prices management looks to expand both the existing underground resource and assess the lower grade, bulk tonnage mineralization that may be amenable to open pit mining.
Numerous High-Grade Targets within and around the Tuvatu Resource Area
Mapping and sampling programs completed during the past three years by the Company's geological team within the Company's tenements have identified 10 additional high grade gold and base metal targets. These discoveries have precipitated a renewed approach to the exploration of the property focusing on both the underground and surface potential of the property. These recently identified occurrences have returned assay results up to 290 g/t Au in selected samples.
Tuvatu is part of a high grade gold system that remains open both at depth and along strike in all directions, well outside the area previously delineated as the "Tuvatu Resource Area". In addition to re-logging and re-sampling the significant intersections from the 80,000 meters of drilling previously completed on the property, management is currently placing renewed attention on the high grade surface outcrops that received limited attention previously. By trenching in many of these areas, the Company expects to quickly and inexpensively identify and refine a number of shallow drill targets.
Samples are analyzed at ALS Chemex, an independent and qualified analytical laboratory in Brisbane, Australia. Samples are first prepared and crushed at the ALS facility on Suva, Fiji. Gold is determined by fire assay and a suite of 30 additional elements by Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry (ICP). Consistent with industry standard practice, sample standards and blanks and other control methods are used to ensure quality control.
Darcy Krohman, P.Geo., a Qualified Person for the Company for purposes of National Instrument 43-101 has reviewed the technical information in this news release.
Selected assay results in excess of 1.0 g/t Au from the surface sampling program include:
Source: Lion One Metals Limited