Egypt-focussed gold explorer Aton Resources’ Phase 2 drilling of the previously untested North Ridge site of the Rodruin prospect, which started in November 2021, has to date resulted in gold mineralisation of 8.74 g/t and 29.4 g/t being discovered over 12 m.
In 2018, Aton undertook a 50-hole Phase 1 reverse circulation (RC) percussion drilling programme at Rodruin – about 18 km east of the company’s Hamama West mineral deposit – returning numerous mineralised intersections, including 36 m at a grade of 12.47 g/t of gold and 9.3 g/t of silver at a depth of 5 m.
The Phase 2 diamond drilling programme at Rodruin – totalling 38 holes and a combined depth of 4 125 m – has, thus far, returned significant results, including at hole ROD-055 which revealed 88.25 m of oxide mineralisation grading 1.74 g/t of gold and 9.7 g/t silver, at a depth of 25.75 m.
Hole ROD-056 returned mineralisation of 129.5 m of oxide grading at 1 g/t of gold and 8.8 g/t of silver, over its entire length.
Aton has now started drilling the deeper sulphide mineralisation and has recently found mineralisation of 88.6 m interval grading at 5.76 g/t gold, 42 g/t silver, 0.31% copper and 2.4% zinc at a depth of 117.2 m. This includes a 9.9 m very-high grade interval from 138.1 m, grading 39.4 g/t gold, 261.7 g/t silver, 0.84% copper and 3.55% zinc.
Surface sampling of the ancient “Death Slots” underground workings in 2017/18 returned several high-grade assays, including gold mineralisation of 321 g/t, 18.6 g/t, 12.75 g/t and 10.1 g/t, as well as 2.98 g/t from the nearby collapsed Summit Veins workings.
These ancient workings are located in an area of steep terrain on the North Ridge, requiring Aton to spend several months developing a drill road there to provide drill access to the area.
In addition, a second road has been pushed along the southern flank of the North Ridge and a pad has been built to provide a site from which the Summit Veins and the Death Slots can also be drilled horizontally from below.
Aton has completed two holes as part of the current diamond drilling programme to test under the Death Slots workings.
Both holes intersected deeply weathered and strongly carbonate and phyllic altered sediments with hole ROD-073 returning a mineralised intersection of 8.74 g/t gold, 29.4 g/t silver, 0.87% copper, 1.04% lead and 2.35% zinc over 12 m at a depth of 53 m.
Aton reports that this was clearly a down-dip extension of the mineralisation exploited in the ancient near-surface Death Slots workings, with this interval including a 3.2 m high-grade zone grading 25.23 g/t gold and 66.7 g/t silver.
Aton interim CEO Tonno Vahk says these latest results from the previously undrilled Death Slots area again show the “fantastic potential” of the entire Rodruin deposit area. “We are sure there is a lot more to come.”
He adds that the extended diamond drilling programme is continuing apace.
“We are also about to kick off the planned infill RC drilling programme at Hamama West very shortly, as we push this project forward. Hamama West will be only the second modern gold mine developed in Egypt, and will be the first phase of the development of the overall Abu Marawat Concession area.”