VANCOUVER – Lundin Gold Inc. [LUG-TSX, NASDAQ Stockholm; LUGDF-OTCQX] reported its initial drill results from the 2022 near-mine exploration program at its 100%-owned Fruta del Norte (FDN) gold mine in southeast Ecuador. Results from the drill program identified new mineralized zones to the south and at depth of FDN’s currently defined mineral resources. Highlights and detailed results are shown below (not true width).
Highlights from holes drilled to the south of FDN include drill hole FDN2022-009 that intersected 5.11 g/t gold over 30.3 metres from a depth of 267.7 metres, including 9.79 g/t gold over 14.0 metres from 284.0 metres.
Drill hole FDN2022-006 intersected 3.99 g/t gold over 4.8 metres from 181.7 metres, and 4.40 g/t gold over 8.1 metres from 213.9 metres.
Highlights from holes drilled under the southern portion of the FDN mineral resource envelope: Drill hole UGE-DD-22-008 intersected 4.11 g/t gold over 23.0 metres from 197.7 metres, including 6.03 g/t gold over 10.0 metres from 202.7 metres.
Drill hole UGE-DD-22-005 intersected 3.53 g/t gold over 44.9 metres from 134.8 metres, including 5.25 g/t gold over 12.9 metres from 134.8 metres; 4.32 g/t gold over 15.0 metres from 164.7 metres.
Ron Hochstein, president and CEO, commented: “These early drill results highlight the significant potential of the largely unexplored area surrounding the FDN mineral resource envelope. Results demonstrate the significant potential of the epithermal system beyond the known limits of the FDN deposit and support our belief that the near-mine program will enable expansion of current mineral resources. To advance this objective, we are increasing our near-mine exploration efforts with a minimum of 15,500 metres of drilling in 2023 compared to 8,600 metres drilled in 2022.”
The near-mine exploration program was initiated in the third quarter of 2022, and focuses on expanding the FDN mineral resource envelope and testing several unexplored opportunities near the mine site. To date approximately 8,600 metres have been drilled across 16 holes, from surface and underground.
To the south of the current FDN mineral resource envelope, a surface drilling program continues to explore sectors along the two main controlling structures of the FDN deposit, the East and West faults. Along the southern extension of the East fault a new mineralized zone has been intercepted. Initial promising results suggest continuity of the epithermal system in this southern direction.
This surface drilling program completed nine drill holes in 2022, most of them located between 200 and 900 metres south of the FDN mineral resource envelope boundary. Assay results received to date are set out in the attached table. Results for several drill holes are pending.
In addition to the surface drilling, the near-mine program’s underground drilling focuses on the continuity of the FDN deposit and west structure at depth. A total of seven drill holes were completed under the southern portion of the FDN mineral resource envelope. Initial results indicate new zones where the deposit remains open at depth. Assay results received to date are set out in the attached table. Results for several drill holes are pending.
Underground drilling is being expanded in 2023 to continue to explore at depth. The initial focus will be the north-central sector below the highest-grade portion of the mineral deposit, where the mine is currently operating.
The 2023 near-mine program will include underground and surface drilling at or near FDN. Indications from drilling in 2022 suggest potential for the extension of FDN mineral resources at depth as well as to the east, west and south of the current mineral resource envelope. The 2023 near-mine program is targeting at least 15,500 metres of drilling at an estimated cost of $9.4-million.
In 2022, Lundin Gold completed approximately 17,600 metres of drilling across several targets in the southern basin as part of its regional exploration program. The program has successfully advanced in the identification of important indicators that point toward the presence of buried epithermal deposits in the southern basin. Through a detailed geological interpretation of exploration data and additional surface works, several targets of interest have been identified, tested and resulted in locating new potentially mineralized structures.
Drilling under the regional program will focus on several exploration targets located in the 16-kilometre-long Suarez basin, with the objective of identifying another FDN. The 2023 regional program is estimated to cost $11.7-million for planned drilling of 12,500 metres. This program is anticipated to begin within the next few weeks.