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Alto Metals cranks drillbit to revive Bulls Oak gold mine

Alto Metals’ RC drilling rig at the historic Bull Oak mine at Sandstone. Credit: File

Alto Metals has blasted the first dirt aside with a reverse-circulation (RC) drilling program consisting of 18 holes for 2400m as it aims to revive the historic Bull Oak mine by extending the known limits of gold mineralisation.

The company’s extensional drilling of other regional targets, including Vanguard and Hacks North, will entail a further 2600m of drilling.

The recent historical data assessment at Bull Oak showed the style of gold mineralisation is one of multiple stacked quartz reef lodes within the host granodiorite and the surrounding mafic rocks and remains open both up and down dip, in addition to both along strike and at depth. The lack of recent exploration and the significant gold intercepts noted in historic drilling testifies to Alto’s contention that much of the precious yellow stuff is still to be revealed in the maiden drilling program.

The plan is to sink four 300m holes to delineate the dip extensions of the multiple stacked gold lodes, while the remaining 14 holes will range in depth from 70m to 100m to test strike extensions within and outside the boundaries of the granodiorite.

We see considerable near-term growth potential at Bull Oak and with the historically reported high-grades, are excited to be drilling this outstanding target. This high-impact program is initially testing extensions of the stacked lodes below the open-pit at Bull Oak, and includes four x 300 metre deep step-out holes. The overall program also includes drilling at priority regional targets. Alto Metals managing director Matthew Bowles

The Bull Oak mine was originally mined underground for its gold-bearing quartz reefs and yielded 10,617 ounces at a grade of 27 grams per tonne but was worked by open-pit to 60m by Herald Resources in 1997 to offer 9701 ounces at 1.87g/t. Currently, the mineral resource estimate for Bull Oak is 65,000 ounces grading 1.9g/t.

Alto’s Sandstone project gold resources stand at an indicated and inferred status of 832,000 ounces at 1.5g/t from 17.6 million tonnes, with 90 per cent recoverable within the top 150m in an open-pit scenario. The unconstrained mineral resource estimate is a credible 23.5 million tonnes at 1.4g/t for 1.05 million ounces.

While all the commotion is happening at the rig, regional reconnaissance soil sampling is continuing, with the grid at Sandstone North having been completed and awaiting multi-element analyses.

Gold watchers will be craning their necks down the old mine shafts to see if Alto can revive the old Bull Oak mine once again. They will be peering into the depths to see if the company’s drillbit can sniff out some sparkling assays at its regional targets.

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