Arras Minerals (TSXV: ARK) says drill results from three holes at its Beskauga copper-gold project in northeastern Kazakhstan suggest it holds high-grade zones.
Diamond drill hole Bg22012 returned 365 metres grading 0.54 gram gold per tonne, 0.4% copper, 2 grams silver per tonne and 35.3 million parts per million (ppm) molybdenum (0.9% copper-equivalent or 1.06 grams gold-equivalent) starting from 41 metres downhole, Arras said in a news release on Monday.
“Drilling at Beskauga continues to deliver near-surface, broad intervals of significant copper-gold mineralization,” Arras CEO Tim Barry said in the release. “These grades are indicative of high-grade zones found throughout the deposit which we continue to review as we explore for the core of this very extensive system.”
The 63-sqkm project about 300 km east-northeast of the capital, Astana, is subject to a four-year option-to-purchase agreement signed in 2020 with private Swiss company Copperbelt AG. The agreement requires Vancouver-based Arras to spend $15 million on exploration over the term before Arras can buy all of Beskauga for $15 million more.
Hole Bg22012 included 29 metres grading 0.6 gram gold, 0.5% copper, 2.1 grams silver and 31.8 ppm molybdenum (1% copper equivalent or 1.2 grams gold-equivalent) from 87 metres down-hole.
The same hole also cut 64 metres grading 1.8 grams gold, 1% copper, 4.6 grams silver and 66.5 ppm molybdenum (2.6% copper-equivalent or 3.2 grams gold-equivalent) from 120 metres depth; and 30 metres grading 2.95 grams gold, 1.5% copper, 6.2 grams silver and 63.8 ppm molybdenum (4% copper-equivalent or 4.8 grams gold equivalent from 120 metres downhole.
Hole Bg21010 outside of the Beskauga main deposit intersected “strong advanced argillic to argillic alteration and local zones of copper-gold mineralization,” showing the potential for concealed porphyry-style mineralization in the thick volcano-sedimentary package that is separated from Beskauga main by a northwest to southeast fault zone, Arras said.
It began a 30,000-metre diamond drill program in October 2021. More assay results are expected in the coming months, Arras said.
The Beskauga deposit has an indicated mineral resource of 111.2 million tonnes grading 0.5 gram gold per tonne, 0.3% copper and 1.3 grams silver for 1.75 million oz. of contained gold, 333,600 tonnes copper and 4.79 million oz. silver.
Inferred resources add 92.6 million tonnes grading 0.5 gram gold, 0.2% copper and 1.1 gram silver for 1.49 million oz. of contained gold, 222,200 tonnes copper and 3.39 million oz. silver. The resource estimate was completed in December 2021.
Beskauga lies 130 km west of KAZ Minerals’ Bozshakol porphyry-copper-gold mine, one of the country’s largest. Beskauga is near the town of Ekibastuz, which serves the largest coal mine in Kazakhstan and provides a trained workforce for Arras. Paved road access, power lines, a heavy rail line and an irrigation canal all lie within a 25-km radius of the project.