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Paddy’s Lode looms as gold game-changer for Venus, Rox

Updated: Apr 16

Drilling in progress at the Youanmi gold project. Credit: File

Venus Metals has revealed what it believes could be “game-changing” high-grade drill results in its joint venture (JV) with Rox Resources after uncovering the faulted extension – now known as Paddy’s Lode –of the 4-million-ounce Youanmi gold deposit.

The initial JV discovery hole returned a bonanza 28m at 34.81 grams per tonne gold and further diamond drilling has now intersected a high-grade lode 200m further south. New results include 5.7m at 8.26g/t gold from 233.3m, 5.08m grading 9.56g/t from 225.8m and 3.32m going 8.29g/t gold from 200.05m.

Paddy’s Lode sits 250m south of the hulking Youanmi resource and the JV says its prospect is a faulted offset. Paddy’s Lode had been previously known as Youanmi South.

Venus expects to conclude a deal with Rox in July that will see 100 per cent of gold rights at Youanmi handed over to the latter. In return, Venus will receive 110 million Rox shares and a relinquishment of debt.

The Paddy’s Lode discovery hole appears to have been drilled down-dip, giving a smaller true width. New drilling has been orientated in the opposite direction and is giving widths, strike and dip similar to Youanmi and is believed to be the lode’s unexplored faulted offset.

The JV says additional holes, while not yet assayed, are confirming the new lode structure is a well-developed shear of similar mineralised widths to Youanmi. Rox says completed assays show that gold grades from Paddy’s Lode are generally of a higher tenor than at Youanmi.

As part of the JV deal revealed in March, Venues will distribute 55 million Rox shares to its shareholders, while retaining the remaining 55 million, in addition to the 5 million it already owns. It will leave Venus with about 18 per cent ownership of Rox.

The shares were issued assuming a Rox share price of $0.25, giving Venus a healthy bonus with its partner’s shares trading up to 40 cents today. The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory consent.

The Youanmi gold project, near the Western Australian town of Mount Magnet, has a project-wide resource of 27.9 million tonnes at 3.57g/t gold for 3.2 million ounces of contained gold. The JV describes its Paddy’s Lode discovery as an important new find within the Youanmi goldfields.

North of the fault, the lode produced more than 100,000 ounces of gold between 1937 and 1942 and 667,000 ounces of gold grading 5.42g/t from open-pit and underground operations between 1987 and 1997. The Youanmi mine closed in 1997 when the gold price was at about $400 per ounce, with the last parcel of ore mined underground returning a grade of 14.6g/t gold. There is an existing decline to 600m depth below surface.

Rox says Paddy’s Lode is a new, unmined mineralised system with “huge growth potential”. It says it is emerging as a likely game-changing discovery, which has now been defined through a strike length of 200m and has the potential to extend significantly further to the south.

The JV is following up immediately with a 3000m RC drilling program in a bid to extend the known strike and to test the up and down-dip extents of its new discovery.

Drilling at Paddy’s Lode has also identified several thinner sulphide-rich parallel shear zones, indicating the potential for more than one gold lode. The mineralised shear zones are all with clear contacts to a package of mafic rock, generally basalt. The level of shearing is described as moderate to intense, with pyrite and arsenopyrite sulphides varying from one to two per cent, but up to five per cent in some zones.

The JV says an objective of its next drilling program is to identify any possible supergene enrichment to the mineralised lode in the oxide zone. After the recognition of a significant east-west fault offset to the mineralised Youanmi lode, consideration of similar offsets will be important in future exploration targeting.

The naming of Paddy’s Lode has also been revealed as a nostalgic nod. It has been given the moniker in honour of Youanmi’s former director of operations, Patrick “Paddy” Fitzgerald, who led the operation through the prosperous 1937-42 period.

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