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Strickland Metals turns key on diamond rig to chase Marwari gold

Updated: Apr 18

Strickland Metals reverse circulation drill rig and sampling crew Credit: File

Gold explorer Strickland Metals says it will begin diamond drilling this weekend to home in on its tantalising new Marwari gold target defined only last month in maiden aircore (AC) reconnaissance drilling at the company’s Horse Well prospect.

The target looks like it was just clipped in the oxide zone by the solitary September discovery AC hole which intersected 31m running a grade of 5.6 grams per tonne gold from 72m to bottom-of-hole, including an 8m interval at an eye-catching 17.7g/t gold which virtually screams to be followed up.

Strickland says the hit, which at this stage remains open-ended, could indicate a new high-grade gold trend at Horse Well.

The two planned 180m and 260m deep diamond drillholes have been designed to pass through the geophysically modelled shells and potentially mineralised core of a magnetic anomaly. The company believes the anomaly may be associated with magnetite alteration and gold mineralisation in a coherent body that could possibly extend over 700m.

The priority for the diamond rig will be to test the main structure at Marwari. Subsequent drilling and modelling have defined a +700m long strike, with the primary target yet to have been drill tested. In addition to anticipated mineralisation, the geological and structural information obtained from this initial drilling will assist to refine subsequent drilling. Upon receipt of the heritage survey report, line clearances will immediately begin at Great Western and Rabbit Well. Once the RC rig arrives and clearances are complete, the Company will begin testing the large-scale Great Western gold target. Strickland Metals chief executive officer Andrew Bray

Strickland is clearly turning up the exploration heat at its Horse Well prospect and now has one aircore, one RC and one diamond rig all working overtime as it hunts down multiple targets across the Yandal Greenstone belt.

Encouragingly, the company adds that initial field observations and drill logging indicate the mineralised zone indicated by the big hit may not be an isolated occurrence.

It appears the same structure has been intersected in two other AC holes in the same campaign, at 100m and a further 250m further south of the discovery hole, for a total of 350m of north-south strike drilled to date.

The discovery sits in a geological setting analogous to the company’s former Millrose gold deposit and is similarly associated with a distinct banded iron formation (BIF) marker horizon easily traceable in geophysical datasets over about 1.5km of strike.

With this association in mind, Strickland collected magnetic susceptibility readings across all the Horse Well drill sample piles. It noted, based on the gold results received to date, there appears to be a strong correlation existing between magnetite alteration and gold mineralisation.

Strickland says this magnetite alteration is potentially marking the alteration zone associated with the gold mineralising event and concludes that petro-geophysical drill chip analysis may help clarify how the gold is hosted.

This conclusion prompted Strickland to commission geophysical exploration consultants Terra Resources to undertake a 3D inversion model of high-resolution airborne magnetic data to assist with target definition.

At first glance the results from this inversion model appear extremely encouraging. Firstly, they highlight a coherent, steeply east-dipping magnetic body over 700m long that is gently plunging to the south.

Secondly, the model confirms Strickland’s original thinking that the discovery hole is the only intercept in any part of the magnetic body in fresh rock and it only intersected the outermost margin of the outer shell of the inversion model.

The planned two upcoming diamond drill holes are planned to vector in on a westerly azimuth, against the easterly dip of the modelled magnetic – and hopefully mineralised – zone.

The first hole, planned to a depth of 180m deep has been designed to pass through the upper oxide zone before intersecting the outermost modelled shells and to transect the entire potentially mineralised zone above the central core.

The second hole is a 50m eastwards step-back behind the first and is designed to pass through all the modelled shells and the inferred primary gold-bearing BIF core, before terminating at a downhole depth of 260m.

Strickland says the arrival of its reverse circulation rig arrival is expected later next week, and upon arrival and completion of heritage approvals, the company will commence initial testing of its big Great Western gold target, before moving to Marwari and Chetak.

Notably there are a number of assay results that remain outstanding from its aggressive 40,000m AC program, where the initial phase of drilling focused on mapping the Horse Well shear structures, from which the Marwari target has been the most recent success.

Strickland’s Horse Well gold project is in the northernmost part of the Yandal-Millrose greenstone belt in WA’s Warburton mineral field and lies about 85km north-east of the town of Wiluna.

The company’s 100 per cent-owned project is well-mineralised and has several additional prospects within the 45km strike of greenstone belt that hosts several multi-million-ounce gold projects such as Jundee, Bronzewing and the Darlot-Centenary gold mine complex.

With three rigs on the go and some enticing targets in its sites, Strickland will be looking to extend its golden run on the Yandal-Millrose terrain.

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