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Black Dragon Gold spots Hemi-style alteration at Padbury


Black Dragon Gold drilling at its Padbury project in WA’s Mid West region. Credit: File

Black Dragon Gold has wound up the first-ever drill pass at its granite-based Padbury gold project, near Meekatharra in Western Australia’s Mid West region, with early indications pointing to Hemi-style “sericite alteration”.


Sericite alteration has become synonymous with “intrusion-related” gold discoveries in granitoid projects such as De Grey’s 9-million-ounce Hemi discovery in WA and even Kinross Gold’s Fort Knox Gold discovery in Alaska. Sulphides in the drill chips have also strengthened Black Dragon’s hand as it seeks to divine the source of gold nuggets and anomalous soil samples across 8km of strike in the mineral-rich region.


Notably, during the early fieldwork that led to Black Dragon drilling at Padbury, the company deployed a soil-sampling methodology developed by the CSIRO that seeks to weed out the “nugget effect” and focus more on the potential for bedrock accumulations of gold, including “intrusion-related gold” (IRGS).


Our maiden drilling programme at the Padbury Gold Project was designed to test our theory that an IRGS exists sub-surface, which could be the potential source of the surface gold occurrences collected over several years by prospectors. Black Dragon Gold managing director Gabriel Chiappini

Black Dragon picked up Padbury from its former owners, Marlee Minerals, last year. That company provided semi-historical data from independent prospectors who had logged gold nugget discoveries at Padbury, the source of which was always curious given the project is essentially granite-related and not the more traditional greenstone gold setting.

The discovery of Hemi changed market perceptions, however, that gold is hard to find in granite and led to something of a renewed gold rush – particularly in WA – that was spurred on by Hemi’s eventual massive gold endowment.


Black Dragon says drill-chip samples from the maiden campaign are showing zones of up to 20 metres downhole of sericite and silicification, with disseminated sulphides in granitoid structures – a good early box to tick on the hunt for intrusion-related gold accumulations in granite.


The maiden drill program consisted of 10 reverse-circulation (RC) drill holes up to depths of 108m along an 8km trend. Results are still pending and will no doubt be highly anticipated by a market that can become feverish about intrusion-related gold discoveries.


“I’m pleased initial results reported via our geological team confirmed drilling intersected strong and intense zones of Sericite and Silica alteration together with Disseminated Sulphides and Quartz Carbonate Veins,” Mr Chiappini said at the conclusion of the maiden drill campaign. “We’re particularly pleased that numerous drill holes had significant displays of Sericitic Alteration caused by hydrothermal activity ... all RC drill samples have been despatched to ALS laboratory for assaying with results expected in the next five to eight weeks.”


While it awaits the lab results, Black Dragon is looking to undertake geochemical testing in an adjacent tenement extending from Padbury, in addition to conducting some surface mapping at other targets and gearing up for geophysical surveys on-site.


It appears that management has ticked its key early boxes in the company’s search for an intrusion-related gold system and while results are not yet in, the sericite alteration and the presence of disseminated sulphides is encouraging.


Now the wait begins for the numbers to come in from the truth diviner.


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