By Dr. Michael Green
Great news this morning that Tectonic Gold is about to restart drilling at its Specimen Hill project. At the same time, this specialist Intrusive Related Gold System (IRGS) explorer was able to report some cracking assay results from surface sampling with 72.7g/t gold and 1.14% copper returned from north of Goldsmith’s Reef.
At Specimen Hill, Tectonic is focusing on the Northeast-Southwest mineralised belt. This has a 4km strike length that is open at both ends with multiple confirmed high grade IRGS discoveries. It also sports significant copper grades. At the centre of this 4km strike length sits Goldsmith’s Reef.
The story so far is that the company was temporarily forced to abandon diamond drilling below Goldsmith’s Reef earlier on this year. It all looks good for drilling to recommence, with a drill rig booked for the second week of October to complete the programme as access roads and drill pads have already been prepared.
The team has been itching to get back there to continue drilling SHDD34 at Goldsmiths Reef as this drill hole had already intersected a mineralised interval of 8.17g/t gold over 1m (2m @ 4.36g/t gold) from 110m below Goldsmith’s Reef workings. The interesting thing to note here is that the team weren’t expecting to intersect veins until they reached the target zone as this was planned to be 350m diamond drill hole. However, bad weather halted drilling at 200m before they got anywhere near there.
Tectonic has tremendous expertise in unmasking IRGS systems and used remote geophysical mapping to identify the extension of these structures and the 350m diamond drill hole was planned to test the grade at depth. SHD34 had been targeting the continuance of high-grade veins below the historic Goldsmith’s mine. Apparently, operations at this old mine focused on following a number of parallel veins (2 – 6m wide) down to about 25m, with historic production reports showing grades of something like 40g/t gold.
Mining at Goldsmith’s Reef stopped during the last world war due to the conscription of all the able-bodied to fight. The company has been quick to point out that the project had not been revisited until Tectonic consolidated the ground in the area and began exploration. June 2021 saw the company reporting that face samples taken from this old underground mine returned assays of +5.4g/t gold and +1.3% copper. Fast forward to June 2022 when additional surface samples taken north of the old workings by Tectonic returned exceptional grades up to 72.7g/t gold and 1.14% copper.
It is also worth noting that Tectonic recovered 10m of core from SHDD34 that has not been previously assayed. This sample returned pretty good grades with 2m @ 4.36g/t gold and 8.17g/t gold over 1m from 110m and additional silver and copper. The company’s geologists interpreted this as being a small vein distal to the main target area that lies at 300m downhole.
On recommencing drilling SHDD34 the team is looking for additional veins that not only consolidate at depth but also to prove both gold grade and geological continuity match the 5g/t+ gold that is being seen near surface in the old Goldsmiths Reef mine. The sections below show it all.
SHDD34 geology and gold assays on MVI magnetics. Source: Company
Conductivity over a similar cross section. Source: Company
For those not in the know, Tectonic is making tremendous progress in identifying and delineating large-scale multi-million ounce IRGS in central NE Queensland. The company does not look at greenfield sites but concentrates its attention and exploration dollars on areas that are highly prospective, have been the subject of historical drilling and might even have seen gold production in the past. Previously, many gold deposits were not fully geologically understood and were incorrectly identified and have since been determined to be IRGS deposits. So, the team is looking for such opportunities and examining for the tell-tale signatures of these potentially large and rich mineralisation systems.
The work in Queensland has been going on for many years and it has been a good mix of both top down and bottom-up studies. Firstly, the area with the greatest potential is worked out by mapping the tectonics and so the work becomes increasingly more granular, looking at the individual projects in these “hot” areas. This has led to the analysis of more than 100 projects over a ten-year period. These have been slimmed down to two where all the attention is now being focused.
The real advantage with IRGS is that there are structurally controlled deposits, which means that the gold actually lies in the structure. Such a factor really reduces the risk of drilling. The range of new deep penetrating geophysical tools that are available today allows the structure to be accurately mapped and so IRGS can be discovered at a fraction of the cost of just pattern drilling deposits. In the past, exploration companies misunderstood the mineralisation system, and it has only been as a result of Tectonics’ thorough reinterpretation and analysis that the team has been able to begin to reassess the true gold potential.
Specimen Hill provides an opportunity to potentially unlock multi-million ounces of gold and so represents a potentially high-class asset in a much sought-after gold belt in a world class jurisdiction. The company has a decent exploration acreage in a suitable tectonic setting on the prolific New England Orogen with its well documented mineral endowment. Specimen Hill sits between two major IRGS classified deposits at Kidston Mine (breccia-hosted 4.1Moz gold at 2.08g/t) to the north and the Cadia-Ridgeway Mine (sheeted veins 43.2Moz gold at 2.08g/t) to the south.
The rediscovery of a prolific gold belt at Specimen Hill provides real confidence to us in the company’s tenacity, perseverance, and methodology. The successful drilling results have come after Tectonic’s comprehensive and extensive geophysics and geochemical work which have allowed the delineation of impressive drill targets. All the work has led to respected independent geological consultants Glazo Consulting reckoning that Specimen Hill “..possesses the right structural fluid pathways and thermal and mineralogical ingredients to develop into a significant and potentially world-class deposit..”. High praise indeed. Given the scale of the opportunity that Tectonic is in the process of delineating, it is no surprise that majors have been pegging adjacent leases.
We updated coverage on Tectonic in September 2021 with a Conviction Buy stance and a 6.60p target price. With the stock currently trading at 0.90p we are more than happy to confirm our stance.
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