TSX-V-listed gold explorer Aton Resources started reverse circulation drilling at its Hamama West gold/silver project on May 25 as part of a programme expected to take between two to three months to complete.
Located in the company’s fully-owned Abu Marawat concession, in the Eastern Desert of Egypt, the Hamama West project has an indicated resource of 137 000 oz of gold-equivalent (gold and silver), and an inferred resource of 341 000 oz of gold-equivalent.
The 5 000 m drilling programme – undertaken by Capital, using its new Epiroc Explorac 100 rig – is partly designed to upgrade the inferred mineral resource at Hamama West, ahead of the final starter pit mine design.
Samples will be sent to ALS Minerals in Rosia Montana, Romania, for geochemical analysis, with results to be periodically updated.
Aton plans to initially develop the outcropping oxide gold cap of the deposit, which is mineralised directly from surface, as a low capital expenditure and operating expenditure starter openpit mining operation, with a heap leach processing facility, and which will provide early cash flow.
Aton interim CEO Tonno Vahk says the new drilling programme forms an important part of the company’s plans for Hamama West, as Aton pushes the project forwards to its development in what the company expects to be the second operating gold mine in Egypt.
“We are still drilling at Rodruin, and are continuing to return some really pleasing results. We intend to advance Rodruin and Hamama together in tandem as we work towards a phased development plan for the entire Abu Marawat Concession, with our partners at the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority.”
Meanwhile, Aton plans to conduct sterilisation drilling for planned mine infrastructure facilities, as well as to drill the West Garida prospect, which is located 3 km to the east of Hamama West, and which has returned assays of up to 99.6 g/t of gold from surface sampling, for the first time.