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Three into one: Strickland joins dots for WA gold deposits

Updated: Apr 18

Strickland Resources’ air-core drilling is continuing to lead to new gold discoveries. Credit: File

Strickland Metals (ASX: STK) says ongoing re-evaluation work at its Horse Well project in the Western Australian desert shows its Palomino and Clydesdale prospects could be part of the same system and could even extend into its Marwari deposit – just 250m east of Palomino.

The company says Palomino and Clydesdale exhibit shallow, high-oxide grades in initial drilling, but are untested along strike, down-dip and down-plunge. If Marwari can also be brought into the stable out in the Warburton Mineral Field, it is then likely to have a significant combined resource on its hands.

The prospects began to reveal their secrets after Strickland began its intensive 40,000m reconnaissance air-core (AC) drilling last year and drew attention to Palomino’s 700m mineralised envelope. The initial phase of the program focussed on mapping the Horse Well shear structures, while previous exploration through the area had focused more on drilling areas of outcropping mineralisation identified from historic surface geochemistry techniques.

The new program by Strickland ultimately led to the current Horse Well inferred mineral resource of 2.23 million tonnes at a grade of 2.07 grams per tonne gold for 148,000 ounces.

Our ongoing work collating, reviewing and modelling data from the 2023 drilling programs is continuing to highlight fantastic resource expansion opportunities for our planned 2024 programs, while also showing the potential for major discoveries at depth. In particular, the work we have undertaken at the Palomino and Clydesdale prospects show the likelihood both prospects are part of the same mineralised system. This offers substantially more scale than previously thought.
Strickland Metals chief executive officer Andrew Bray

Two solid AC hits in two holes at Palomino yielded 39m at 6.1g/t gold from 25m including 7m going a spicy 22.2g/t gold and 5m running 2.8g/t gold from 59m. Drilling west of Palomino confirmed Clydesdale as a target worthy of further investigation, with one hole intercepting 4m going 7.8g/t gold from 52m and a second hole yielding 8m at 1.3g/t gold from 72m half-way between Clydesdale and Palomino.

Follow up reverse-circulation (RC) drilling was designed to probe below the high-grade, shallower zones of Palomino. The deepest down-plunge hole drilled to date scored a 17m intercept going 4.6g/t gold from 89m including 7m running 10.2g/t gold, while a second hole bored through 25m going 3.8g/t gold from 140m including 6m at 13.6g/t gold.

Both holes contain higher-grade zones that point to the possibility of higher-grade underground mining. That possibility is also supported by five other holes further down-plunge to the north-west that include a hit of 8m at 3.7g/t gold from 344m including 3m going 8.2g/t gold from 347m – the deepest down-plunge intercept to date.

A second hole drilled 11m at a grade of 3g/t gold from 165m including 4m going 6.8g/t from 168m.

Management says the main mineralised shear structure hosting Palomino is interpreted to continue for about 400m to the north – outside the existing mineral resource – and is yet to be tested.

Two RC holes in Clydesdale pierced the near-surface environment to just below the transition zone into fresh mafic volcanics, with one hole jagging 7m at 1.1g/t gold from 16m and 14m at 1.7g/t from 36m. The following hole put in on the same section line at Clydesdale threw up an intercept of 9m at 0.7g/t gold from 50m and 15m at 1.4g/t gold from 76m including 5m going 2.3g/t.

Both holes passed clean through the Clydesdale shear structure and show the mineralised shear dips east towards Palomino, plunges north-west and then remains open at depth.

The new revelation that Clydesdale is believed to be a splay off the Palomino structure and that the two mineralised zones may coalesce at depth with a common north-westerly plunge appears to echo Strickland’s recent finding at its nearby Bronco and Konik discoveries that are linked via a gentle plunge. The gentle plunges seem to be a common style in the complexity of multiple smaller-scale tensional structures in the Horse Well area.

The company believes it now has a clear path towards not only substantially growing its existing mineral resource in the area, but also for significant new discoveries beneath the current level of drilling. And while scale is still unclear, the likelihood that Palomino and Clydesdale are linked at depth and that more drilling may pull out a combined resource seems almost certain.

On current mapping, Marwari is slightly displaced to the south-east from the Palomino-Clydesdale association and separated from the pair by a second major shear parallel to the main shear. So, some careful structural work will be necessary, including oriented diamond drilling, to unravel what is going on.

But there seems to be little doubt that Strickland is operating in a zone that is highly fertile for gold and it is likely that good structural interpretation, combined with drilling, will resolve the questions as they arise.

It is a good thing that Strickland is sufficiently well-funded to give the project area the attention it deserves.

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