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Approval puts Marmota in drill mode for SA gold hunt

Marmota is set to launch into drilling for additional gold at its Campfire Bore deposit in SA’s Gawler Craton region.

Gold and uranium explorer Marmota (ASX: MEU) has received a key environmental approval that will allow it to begin drilling at its 90 per cent-owned Campfire Bore project in South Australia’s renowned Gawler Craton.

Management is now priming the reverse-circulation (RC) drill rig so it can plunge more than 120 holes into its Campfire Bore deposit on the back of securing a program for environmental protection and rehabilitation approval (PERP). The campaign is set to kick off in a fortnight and will be the first at the site in eight years.

The deposit forms part of Marmota’s Golden Moon joint venture (JV), where private company Coombedown Resources holds the remaining 10 per cent. It hosts four open deposits comprising 7.82 million tonnes at 1.14 grams per tonne gold for 286,000 ounces.

Campfire Bore has a mineral resource of 2.78 million tonnes at 1.2g/t gold for 109,000 ounces, all within 100m from surface, making it potentially suitable for low-cost open-pit mining. The three other deposits within the Golden Moon JV are Golf Bore, which has 3.79 million tonnes going 1g/t gold for 119,000 ounces, the Greenewood lode that hosts 46,000 ounces and Mainwood with a further 12,000 ounces.

Campfire Bore has seen only a limited amount of RC drilling of about 10,000m, compared to the company’s flagship gold project Aurora Tank, where 54,000m has taken place. And management believes Campfire Bore is mineralised through a greater area than Aurora.

The upcoming drill campaign will provide the company with an opportunity to grow the Campfire resource. All deposits within the JV sit less than 30km from Aurora Tank, adding potential ounces for a future resource and providing economies of scale for a mining operation.

Aurora Tank has revealed four spectacular 1m intersections in separate zones, with assays greater than 100g/t and a best result of 217g/t.

Golden Moon complements Aurora Tank brilliantly. We are delighted to get drilling.
Marmota Chairman Dr Colin Rose

The company’s fully-owned subsidiary Half Moon is the manager of the Golden Moon JV that was formed after it reached agreement with Coombedown over two tenements in the Gawler Craton region. The JV does not own the rights to any of the opals, palygorskite or iron ore that were previously dealt out to other third parties, however, Coombedown’s 10 per cent share will be free-carried up until a decision to mine.

As part of the drill program, several further holes will be drilled at Aurora Tank to assist with finalising the open pit design. Metallurgical testing is continuing on the deposit’s gold in a bid to optimise heap-leach recoveries.

The beauty of heap-leaching is that it may mean Marmota would not need to construct a processing mill or share revenue for having the ore toll-treated at a nearby facility – a great outcome for the company if achieved.

Marmota will also undertake its first follow-up program at its recently-discovered Goolagong prospect, where a hit of 2m at 0.64g/t gold from 36m was recorded. The air-core (AC) drill rig only reached 38m in that hole, with the drill bit unable to push through further … so what lies beneath could be interesting.

The company also owns 100 per cent of the Western Gawler Craton project containing two gold deposits – Typhoon and Monsoon – that feature total JORC resources of 33,000 gold ounces.

After the considerable effort expended by Marmota to form the JV for the promising Golden Moon deposits, it plans to leave no stone unturned in a mission to expand its gold inventory.

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