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Alto Metals strikes golden option on prized WA mining lease

Alto Metals has snatched up an option over the Lightning mining lease. Credit: File

Alto Metals (ASX: AME) has seized an option on the prized Lightning mining lease that sits within its 100 per cent-owned Sandstone gold project, some 600km north-east of Perth in Western Australia’s East Murchison region.

The Lightning gold prospect is 3km west of another one of the company’s own mining leases that hosts its 150,000-ounce Vanguard gold camp. Management says the prospect has been subject to only limited shallow rotary air-blast (RAB) drilling and remains untested at depth.

Limited past RAB drilling intersected 12m at 13.5 grams per tonne gold from 25m including a 1m hit at a whopping 147g/t from 25m and a further 1m at 7.9g/t from 36m. Results of 6m going 1.2g/t gold from 26m including 1m at 4.5g/t and 1m going 3.5g/t within a 5m slice at 1.2g/t from 46m indicates the level of prospectivity within the mining lease area.

The company says the mineralisation at Lightning appears to be associated with quartz veining within a banded-iron formation. It says a 1km long gold-in-soil anomaly up to 242 parts per billion extends into its exploration licence ground and remains open, with no drill-testing undertaken on the anomaly.

Limited shallow RAB drilling in the area has returned some significant gold intercepts of up to 147g/t gold, yet the area has not been tested with deeper RC drilling. There are extensive shallow alluvial gold workings throughout the Lightning area, however the primary source of mineralisation has not yet been identified.
Alto Metals managing director and chief executive officer Matthew Bowles

The company signed a binding option and tenement sale agreement with a private vendor, to acquire its 100 per cent interest in the Lightning granted mining lease, with a $20,000 cash payment as an option fee. Alto can exercise the option any time within two years from signing the agreement by giving notice to the vendor, in addition to a $100,000 payment. An added benefit is that there is no royalty payable to the vendor.

Management also says it has completed its first air-core (AC) drill program at its promising Sandstone North prospect, following up on infill soils results that highlighted a coherent gold anomaly through 1km of strike, featuring values many times greater than average background levels. Anomalous arsenic values within the results are also potentially indicative of the mineralisation present.

Previous exploration by Western Mining Corporation at the project demonstrated that arsenic is closely correlated with gold-in-lag surface samples. Of even greater significance, it found arsenic is associated with gold mineralisation within the drilling completed below historical workings.

The company says low-cost regional targeting work is ongoing, including at its Hacks West area that is known for hosting many old workings and historic shafts. It has been subject to limited modern exploration and the work will be completed in parallel with a resource growth targeting strategy.

Alto’s gold project covers about 740 square kilometres of WA’s Sandstone greenstone belt and has an open pit resource of 17.6 million tonnes at 1.5g/t per tonne gold for 832,000 ounces. Importantly, the mineral resources are shallow, with more than 90 per cent within 150m of the surface.

After hitting a low of 2.2c per share in February, Alto’s shares have climbed recently and now sit at 4.3c – a good indication that the market likes what it has been hearing of late from the growing gold company.

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