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Smokebush showing familiar gold hallmarks: Terrain Minerals

Updated: Apr 30

Terrain Minerals' reverse-circulation drilling at the Monza IP target at its Smokebush project. Credit: File

Terrain Minerals believes its latest drilling campaign has revealed hallmarks of the typical gold-bearing systems in Western Australia’s Mid West region that is home to its Smokebush gold and pegmatite project.

The company says six holes from a second round of reverse-circulation (RC) drilling through 1383m confirmed sulphides relating to IP anomalies, while another five intercepted pegmatites and the resulting samples will be analysed for lithium.

The latest results come at a time when it has also launched follow-up mobile metal ion (MMI) sampling at its Larin’s Lane prospect, about 7km south-east of the drilling program.

The campaign follows Terrain’s first round of drilling last month, which was comprised of 11 drillholes that intersected multiple pegmatite zones. All but one intercepted pegmatites, including logged respective intercepts of 22m and 11m downhole.

The program employed six holes to target multiple geophysical induced-polarisation (IP) chargeability anomalies at depths of between 20m and 100m. The anomalies were defined during the first half of this year at the company’s Mirja, Monza, Hurley and Paradise City prospects for their gold and base metal potential.

A further six holes were drilled to test the lithium mineralisation potential of outcropping pegmatites seen at the northern Monza and Hurley prospects. They successfully intersected sulphides that were interpreted as being related to the anomalies and which the company believes show the typical hallmarks of other base metal and gold-bearing systems of the region, such as Golden Grove, Rothsay and Scuddles.

While Terrain pointed out that a direct relationship was yet to be established with the area’s sulphide abundance and gold mineralisation, it says it is encouraged by the fact that the IP anomalies are not related to rocks known in the locality to be non-prospective for gold. It also stressed that gold intercepts in historic drilling all lie within 50m to 300m of all of its IP targets.

The solid past hits on Terrain’s ground include 4m at 4.46 grams per tonne gold at Monza, 10m going 1.4g/t gold at Hurley and 2m at 3.61g/t gold at Paradise City. The company will now wait to see if the analysis of its latest samples stack up.

Management says five holes intercepted pegmatites ranging in widths from 10m to 20m and samples will be analysed for lithium. A sixth hole unexpectedly intersected pyritic sulphides in mafic rocks.

The company says none of the common lithium-bearing mineral spodumene could be identified visually in pegmatite drill chips. But visual indications are not always a reliable guide to mineral or elemental content in rocks – especially in pallid, bleached near-surface zones of pegmatites.

Terrain says all samples from the completed drilling campaign are being analysed for gold, base metals and lithium, with results expected to be received late next month or in early September.

Drill sample results from the first phase also remain outstanding.

The company started its MMI geochemical sampling campaign at Larin’s Lane late last month to test for a possible south-easterly extension of a soil gold and copper anomalism interpreted from its previous samples in an area measuring 600m by 350m. Its initial MMI soil sampling at the northern part of the interpreted Archean greenstone unit at the Larin’s Lane prospect successfully identified a large, low-level soil gold geochemical anomaly measuring about 700m by 250m, in addition to a soil copper-nickel geochemical anomaly measuring about 600m by 350m.

They are about 2km south-east of the gold anomaly and on the same south-easterly trend.

Terrain believes Larin’s Lane may be part of the same geology as the Archaean greenstones at the southern end of the Yalgoo-Singleton greenstone belt that hosts 29Metals’ world-class Golden Grove copper-gold-silver-zinc-lead mine.

The company says that its two completed drilling programs form part of a three-stage exploration campaign aimed at making a company-defining mineral discovery this year.

Its gold-lithium-base metal exploration plans are buoyed by currently positive markets for each of its target commodities, so it may be said that it has three irons in the fire to potentially satisfy that objective.

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