Sydney, Australia, Apr 27, 2022 (Newsfile Corp via COMTEX) -- Sydney, Australia--(Newsfile Corp. - April 27, 2022) - Austral Gold Limited (asx:AGD) /zigman2/quotes/205808903/delayed CA:AGLD +12.50% (the "Company" or "Austral" ) is pleased to provide an update on its on-going exploration programs in Argentina and Chile during Q1 2022. Exploration expenditures during Q1 2022 were US$1.3 million (CY21: US$8.4 million).
The Company continued with its exploration strategy that focused on:
The Chilean Paleocene Belt targeting Tier 1 or 2 projects including the Morros Blancos and Cerro Blanco prospective projects to further extend the life of mine of our flagship Guanaco-Amancaya mine complex;
The Argentine mining clusters targeting to re-start the Casposo-Manantiales mine complex and the development of the Sierra Blanca- Pinguino project;
The Argentine Indio Belt targeting Tier 1 or 2 projects as part of the planned strategic alliance with Mexplort Exploraciones Mineras SA ("Mexplort").
Exploration Highlights Chile
Morros Blancos: Completed four of the five drillholes planned for phase 1 of our drilling campaign at the Rosario del Alto target, totaling 1,020 meters. In addition, at the Morro Colorado target, delineation confirmed the high-sulfidation features on the eastern block, where advanced argillic altered phreatomagmatic rocks outcrop.
Pampa Metals Corp. Option Agreement: Expenses incurred on the Morros Blancos and Cerro Blanco projects were US$0.7 million in Q1 2022. The first-year expenditure commitment was met as total expenses incurred were US$1.2 million. An additional US$1.8 million is required to be expended prior to the end of Q3 2023 to obtain an initial 60% interest in the properties.
Exploration Highlights Argentina
Casposo-Manantiales: Launched a second drilling campaign supported by detailed geological mapping and systematic channel sampling over the main mineralized corridors in La Puerta, Awada and Fabiola targets.
The first drill hole was in La Puerta Oeste following the high gold grades identified through surface geochemistry announced in Q4 2021. During Q1 2022, 224 meters were drilled (cy 2021:2)(cy 2021:799 meters).
Sierra Blanca-Pinguino: Activities were focused on the southwestern area of the property following anomalies and indicators of potential mineralisation in the Vetarron area.
Mexplort Option Agreement: Field work and surface mapping commenced on the Jaguelito project as part of the agreement signed in February 2022.
Paleocene Belt High Sulfidation District Exploration
At the Morros Blancos project, the Company completed four of the five drillholes planned for the Rosario del Alto target and continued surface studies at the Morro Colorado target.
During Q1 2022, four diamond drill holes totaling 1,020 meters were completed in three main phreatomagmatic complexes (Maar Austral, Maar Central, Maar Oriental) identified in the delineation stage at Rosario del Alto. All drill holes intercepted large columns of phreatomagmatic rocks, confirming a high degree of preservation and continuity of the systems at depth. No significant gold intercepts were obtained. The phreatomagmatic facies show a progression from crater-fill environments towards the edges of the complexes. All recognized geological features such as breccia rock type, hydrothermal alteration, and oxidation level allow for vectoring towards the mineralised center of the system in the next phase of drilling.
At the Morro Colorado target, delineation is progressing where a ~2x1 km area with phreatomagmatic breccias affected by high-level high sulfidation alteration was identified, developed in volcanic sequences that include domes and blocks and ash deposits. This structural block is in contact to the west with a domain characterized by lavas and numerous intrusive bodies, some of them with evidence of porphyry-style alteration.
Rosario del Alto Target
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Casposo - Manantiales
Phase l drilling was completed in five vein targets including 14 holes in 2,800 meters in 2021 as disclosed in the Company's press release 26 October 2021. At the Manantiales vein, a blind ore-shoot was intercepted opening the upside to the south and the exploration potential to the north in the preserved block related to Vallecito reverse fault.
Phase II drilling commenced in 2022 and drill hole LPO-22-001 of the "La Puerta Oeste" was completed in April 2022 at 224 meters. Final results are expected to be received in Q2 2022.
Several metric intervals with high to very high pervasive silicification were intercepted, affecting the host rock (rhyolitic tuff) in the first 75 meters drilled in drillhole LPO-22-001. In addition, despite not having intercepted vein structures larger than 20 cm, many millimetric veinlets up to 12 cm were intercepted and were comprised of white and gray cryptocrystalline and saccharoidal silica. In addition, cryptocrystalline gray silica veinlets with black bands associated with adularia were intercepted between 67-69 meters and from 110.0 meters, tufisite dikes and polymictic supported breccia were intercepted.
New geological interpretations confirmed diatreme with preserved maar facies, migrating to polymictic breccias at depth opening potential for new ore controls. The program has been redefined and aimed to test for this new conceptual target.
As part of the Phase II drilling program, two more holes are to be drilled at Puerta Oeste, while five follow-up holes are to be drilled at Manantiales Vein and another three holes are to be drilled at Fabiola and Awada, where recent surface sampling has returned high-grade values.