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Strickland to wheel in big rigs after extending Pilbara strike

Updated: Apr 18

Strickland Metals is on the hunt for gold at its Horse Well project in the Pilbara. Credit: File

Strickland Metals has increased its prospective strike target to 700m at the Marwari prospect that forms part of its Horse Well project in WA’s Pilbara region, following results from a recent air-core (AC) drilling campaign.

The new results include a 16m intercept grading 2.2 grams per tonne gold from 68m, in addition to 8m at 2.2g/t gold from 84m. Another hole drilled on the farthest edge of the prospect returned a wide 60m hit going 0.5g/t gold from 40m.

The company’s latest drilling program is targeting southern extensions to its Marwari target discovery hole that recorded a 31m intercept grading 5.6g/t gold from 72m, including 8m going 17.7g/t gold from 72m and extended the structure to a 500m strike length.

Management now says 3D magnetic inversion modelling has delineated a large south-plunging magnetic anomaly directly beneath the current AC drilling. However, the main target is yet to be tested as the current rig is not able to penetrate the fresh rock.

So, it has secured a reverse-circulation (RC) rig, which is set to arrive next week for further drilling at the prospect, with a diamond rig expected on-site the following week.

Strickland says a lookalike target, dubbed the Chetak prospect, has also been discovered north of Marwari and it will be tested as part of the upcoming RC campaign. The combined strike of Marwari and Chetak is about 1.3km.

Management says it remains well-funded for its ongoing exploration at Horse Well following its success at the nearby Millrose gold project that Strickland recently sold to neighbouring gold-mining giant Northern Star Resources for about $61 million.

One of the keys to Strickland’s success at Millrose was identifying a banded-iron formation (BIF) that was associated with high-grade primary gold mineralisation. The company recently discovered a similar BIF at Marwari that is traceable through regional geophysical datasets.

The latest drilling appears to have confirmed that gold mineralisation at the prospect is closely associated within a strike-extended BIF.

Drilling at Marwari also intersected lateritic gold mineralisation at surface. The mineralised zone measures approximately 200m x 120m, with thickness between 4m to 8m. This is a promising shallow target that, in a development scenario, will de-risk development of the depletion zone down to the saprolite and transition ore. This laterite gold mineralisation is orders of magnitude larger than anything seen within the wider Horse Well area to date. Strickland Metals chief executive officer Andrew Bray

The ongoing drilling is part of a 50,000m AC campaign aimed at testing Horse Well, which holds a current mineral resource of 5.77 million tonnes at 1.4g/t gold for 257,000 ounces and includes 109,000 gold ounces at the company’s Dusk ‘til Dawn deposit.

The company can certainly afford to spend on its exploration programs after it raked in an initial cash deposit of $2 million from Northern Star for Millrose, before netting an additional $39 million in cash and it was also issued 1.5 million fully-paid ordinary shares from the high-profile buyer.

Millrose sits about 40km east of Northern Star’s more than 10-million-ounce Jundee gold operation in WA’s Northern Goldfields region. The acquisition adds a mineral resource of 6 million tonnes at 1.8g/t gold for 346,000 ounces to the purchaser’s portfolio.

With a swag full of prospective targets at Horse Well and both an RC and diamond rig arriving on site in the next two weeks, in addition to the ongoing AC campaign, Strickland appears primed to deliver some solid gold results from its Pilbara tenements.

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