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Antilles Gold drills down on more Cuban copper-gold

Antilles Gold is conducting diamond drilling at its El Pilar oxide deposit in Cuba. Credit: File

Antilles Gold has recorded positive new gold and copper hits from diamond drilling at its El Pilar oxide deposit in central Cuba, in addition to a whopping 49.3 grams per tonne gold at its nearby Gaspar prospect.

The company recently completed five diamond holes at El Pilar and three at the adjacent Gaspar deposit, with management saying the results reinforce the development of its proposed Nueva Sabana mine.

Gold results from El Pilar show 5m at 3.35g/t gold from surface, 2m going 3.61g/t gold from 7m and 5m grading 1.55g/t gold from 13m in the same hole. A second hole also recorded positive results, with 4m reading 2.3g/t gold from surface, 3m at 8.53g/t gold from 13m and 1m going 9.65g/t gold from 27m.

Diamond drilling for copper returned peak figures of 3m at 1.98 per cent copper from 38m, with a second hole showing 13m going 1.5 per cent copper from 42m and 3m grading 0.98 per cent copper from 88m. However, Gaspar returned the best gold grades, with 2.5m at 11.39g/t gold from 21m and 2m at the peak result of 49.3g/t gold from just 22m.

The ongoing 7000m drill campaign at El Pilar is expected to be completed by next month, with a mineral resource estimate for the proposed Nueva Sabana mine scheduled for January next year.

Antilles and joint venture (JV) partner Geominera SA, the Cuban Government’s mining company, have been encouraged by metallurgical testing for both gold and copper, with simple flotation producing 85 per cent recoveries for the gold.

Just last month, the company revealed assays from the five previous diamond holes at El Pilar, quoting “outstanding” results from the shallow gold-bearing zone and “robust” grades from the underlying copper-rich domain.

Gold results went as high as 3m at 37.54g/t from 20m, 6m at 9.99g/t from surface, 3m at 6.05g/t from 26m and 2m at 4g/t from 18m. The copper domain assayed as high as 25m at 3.35 per cent from 53m, including 9m at 7.86 per cent, 32m at 0.89 per cent from 30m and 5m at 1.14 per cent from 97m.

Antilles says it expects to achieve a mining rate of between 500,000 and 650,000 tonnes of ore per year at Nueva Sabana, with a capital cost estimate of about $31.4 million reflecting the availability of developed infrastructure – including high-tension power, rail and highway links to the container port, a water supply and access to skilled labour.

Earlier this year, additional assaying of high-grade gold hits from an 1800m drill campaign at El Pilar returned a string of stellar shallow gold intercepts peaking at 194g/t gold. The eye-watering 3m hit was in a 13m run that returned an impressive 45.17g/t tonne gold from surface.

Management says additional drilling at Gaspar will begin once it has started the Nueva Sabana mine and it also plans to test several nearby prospects with the aim of increasing the mine life of the operation.

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