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Canadian gold miner starts drilling in Fiji

Tuvatu gold project. Photo by Lion One Metals.

Lion One Metals (TSXV: LIO) (ASX: LLO) announced that it kicked off a drilling campaign at its 100%-owned Tuvatu gold project located on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji.

In a press release, the North Vancouver-based miner said that the initial drilling program will test shallow dipping lodes in an area called the HT Corridor, which is a mineralized zone cross-cutting the principal vein system of the Tuvatu resource, inside the mining lease and in close proximity to the planned mill site.

Tuvatu is expected to produce 100,000 ounces of gold per year over a 10-year mine life

“The HT Corridor is in excess of 25 metres wide currently drill tested to approximately 200-metre depth. It is characterized by wide, highly fractured zones with biotite and potassium feldspar alteration and high-grade gold,” Lion One’s statement reads.

“The zone remains open along strike and down dip of previous drilling. At surface the structures of the HT Corridor have been mapped for over 1 kilometre to the northeast and 2 kilometres to the southwest of the resource area.”

According to the Canadian company, previous drilling in the target area encountered numerous intervals of near-surface high-grade mineralization, including:

  • TUDDH 463: 9.08 g/t Au over 11.01 m from 80.79 m, including 15.30 g/t Au over 5.18 m;
  • TUDDH 469: 20.29 g/t Au over 4.77 m from 21.50 m, including 51.84 g/t Au over 1.83 m;
  • TUDDH 467: 7.13 g/t Au over 4.45 m from 214.45 m, including 14.96 g/t Au over 1.75 m; and
  • TUDDH 442: 35.02 g/t Au over 2.77 m from 49.20 m, including 6.83 g/t Au over 3.22 m.

“We are excited about the prospect of a much wider and deeper alkaline gold system at Tuvatu,” Lion One CEO Walter Berukoff said in the press brief. “We’re also excited about the potential of the HT Corridor to add new ounces to the resource and mine plan.”

The June 2014 Tuvatu resource estimate reported an indicated resource of 1.1 million tonnes at 8.46 g/t Au for 299,500 ounces of gold and an inferred resource of 1.5 million tonnes at 9.70 g/t Au for 468,000 ounces of gold.

The property comprises the largest undeveloped gold project in the island country. According to Lion One, Tuvatu is expected to produce 100,000 ounces of the yellow metal per year over a 10-year mine life. The production target is based on a 600-tonne-per-day CIL operation yielding recoveries of 86% with up to 40% of gold recoverable through the gravity circuit.