Dundee Precious Metals announced the discovery of a new zone of high grade copper and gold mineralization at its Chelopech mine in Bulgaria. The new zone, called Zone 153, is located near existing infrastructure in the upper levels of the mine’s Western Area. This zone was discovered as part of the ongoing ‘Upper Levels’ resource development drill program.
Assays from the first two drill holes in Zone 153 include the following significant intercepts:
84.0 metres at 13.58 g/t Au and 2.87% Cu from drill hole EXT150_440_06, including 46.5m at 22.09 g/t Au and 4.26% Cu.
16.8 metres at 6.60 g/t Au and 1.86% Cu from drill hole EXT150_440_02, including 6.7m at 13.50 g/t Au and 3.73 % Cu.
True widths are interpreted to be 70% to 85% of intercept lengths. Details are shown in Table 1. Assay results from two other drill holes, EXT150_440_07 and EXT150_440_08, drilled along strike and down dip of hole EXT150_440_06, respectively, are expected during the first week of January 2017.
“We are pleased to announce the discovery of a new high grade zone at Chelopech. This is significant because of the potential to add high grade resources accessible near our existing development,” said Rick Howes, President and CEO. “Further work will be required to determine the full extent of this new zone and to assess the impact it will have on the Chelopech life of mine plan. This discovery illustrates the continued success of our in-mine exploration program and the potential that still exists to enhance and extend the life of the Chelopech mine.”
Zone 153 is located approximately 150m east of Block 150, 170m north of Block 103 and 250m above Block 152. The zone is open to the northeast, above and for approximately 100m below the 440 level. It is hosted within a broad silica-envelope alteration zone, defined between the 230 and 560 levels which is considered to have high potential for hosting further mineralization.
Zone 153 represents a Cu-Au±Ag high sulphidation type of epithermal mineralization, comprising semi-massive to massive stockwork vein and hydrothermal breccia zones of chalcopyrite, Cu-As-Sb sulfosalts and gold-rich pyrite that is typical of mineralization in the upper levels at Chelopech. The mineralization in Zone 153 is hosted by a breccia which is interpreted to be diatreme-related and may be the upper continuation of the gold-rich Block 152.
DPM initiated the ‘Upper Levels’ resource development drilling program in mid-2015, to delineate and upgrade resources in proximity to the historically mined areas within the Chelopech mine, above the 390 level. The grades from material in this section of the mine are typically higher grade and are relatively more copper-rich than the average resource grade and were identified as an attractive target for drilling.
The discovery of Zone 153 is the result of drilling on the 440 level that is targeting mineralization outside of the current Chelopech Mineral Resource inventory. Zone 153 was missed by historical exploration drill holes that were mostly vertical and drilled on a 100m x 100m grid. In addition sampling data from a historic development, located 40m below the Zone 153 intercepts, has never been located. As a consequence, Zone 153 trend remains largely untested.
Currently, an initial drilling program has been completed in the Zone 153 area on a 40m x 40m spacing and with limited closer spaced holes, on the eastern flank at a 25m x 25m spacing. Mineralization was observed in drill hole EXT150_440_08 between 162.0m and 183.0m while drill hole EXT150_440_07 is currently in progress and has not reached the interpreted outline of Zone 153. Assays are pending for these two holes.
The Company has immediate plans to continue in-fill drilling from the same drilling location during Q1 2017 and starting in Q2 2017, to test higher elevations of Zone 153 using a second drill rig located on the 505 level. In total, 6000m of drilling has been budgeted to achieve this goal.
All diamond drill core in holes EXT150_440_02 and EXT150_440_06 is NQ size and was logged and photographed prior to cutting and sampling. All core was sampled at intervals of 1.3 to 1.9 metres with the exception of one sample that was 3.1 metres in length. All core is cut in half along the long axis using a diamond saw: one half of the core is sampled and submitted for assaying; the other half is stored in core trays for reference. The weight of a core sample is three to seven kilograms. Each core sample is placed into a bag with a numbered ticket, which is used to match samples with assay results in the acQuire database. Certified reference materials, blanks and field duplicates are submitted to the laboratory with each batch of samples. The overall quality control sample rate is approximately 5% for reference materials, 2% for blanks, and 5% for field duplicates.
Drill core samples are prepared and assayed at the Chelopech mine laboratory in Bulgaria, which is managed by SGS. All samples are routinely assayed for copper, gold, silver, sulphur and arsenic. The laboratory uses its own quality control samples, which include certified reference materials. There is no evidence of a relationship between core recovery and copper and gold assays.
The technical information in this press release has been prepared in accordance with Canadian regulatory requirements set out in National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects of the Canadian Securities Administrators and has been reviewed and approved by Richard Gosse, M.Sc., Senior Vice President, Exploration of DPM who is a Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101, and not independent of the Company. Mr. Gosse has verified the data disclosed in this press release, including the exploration, analytical and testing data underlying the information. His verification included a detailed review of the applicable assays for individual samples represented in summary from herein as well as oversight of the management of applicable drill hole databases and original source data including assay certificates. No limitations were imposed on Mr. Gosse’s verification process.
DPM maintains comprehensive Quality Assurance/Quality Control programs for all of its exploration and development projects. Key elements of DPM’s QA/QC program include chain of custody of samples, regular insertion of certified reference standards and blanks, and duplicate check assays. At Chelopech, drill core is sampled at regular 1.5m intervals, halved and shipped in sealed bags to the independent, SGS managed laboratory in Chelopech where it is analyzed for copper, gold, silver, sulphur and arsenic. Check analyses are completed by ALS Global, Rosia Montana, Romania. Additional information regarding the Company’s quality assurance processes is set out in the NI 43-101 Technical Report entitled “Mineral Reserve Update, Chelopech Project, Chelopech, Bulgaria” filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com on March 28, 2016. For additional technical information on DPM’s material properties, including a detailed breakdown of Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources by category, as well as key assumptions, parameters and risks, refer to DPM’s Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2015.