Monday, 6 February 2012

Empire Resources: gold find alongside high grade copper enhances Yuinmery economics

Empire Resources (ASX: ERL) has returned gold assays from recent drilling at the A Zone deposit, part of the company’s Yuinmery Project Copper-Gold project in Western Australia.

The company followed up on yesterday’s announcement of high grade copper at depth with gold results, with a peak intercept from the two diamond drill holes of 3 metres at 3.3 grams per tonne (g/t) gold.

Results from the drill holes are:

- 8 metres at 1.3g/t gold and 2.4% copper from 274.8 metres, including 6 metres at 1.7g/t gold and 3% copper and 3 metres at 3.3g/t gold and 4% copper; and
- 7 metres at 1g/t gold and 1.9% copper from 268.6 metres, including 6 metres at 1.2g/t gold and 2.2% copper.

These assays show that high grade gold is associated with higher copper values, with indications that grades of both metals improve with depth.

Mineralisation remains open at depth.

In close proximity to the Just Desserts deposit at Yuinmery, Empire managing director David Sargeant said the latest results from A Zone indicate high prospectivity for the region.

“The attractive intersections of good copper-gold grades, together with the known mineralisation at nearby Just Desserts, reinforces our belief that the region has the potential to host a number of significant VMS mineralized zones,” Sargeant said.

Improved economics

Sargeant told Proactive Investors today that the gold assays will improve the economics of the Yuinmery project, with no additional costs associated with the additional metal, and high gold prices meaning increased profits.

“We just produce a concentrate, and all the metals contained in that like copper and gold and all that get sold as is and you get paid for the metal,” Sargeant said.

“The gold will be a credit and we don’t have to smelt it or do anything like that.”

While it is common for volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits to include gold and other metals, Sargeant told Proactive Investors that the company has not seen such high grades of gold at the A Zone deposit previously.

Another win for the company is the lack of complications associated with the mineralisation.

“The good thing about these ores that we’re dealing with is that it doesn’t have anything deleterious, in other words, any penalty metals,” Sargeant said.

“We’re just dealing with copper gold and zinc, so we’re pretty fortunate.”

Further exploration ahead

Empire is planning a further drilling program at A Zone in late February or March this year.
“We’ll be drilling the next tier of holes underneath this, looking to extend this resource,” Sargeant said.

Following the next round of drilling, initial Resource calculations for A Zone will be undertaken. Empire also plans to update the existing Resource at the Just Desserts, which hosts an Indicated and Inferred JORC Resource of 1,070,000 tonnes at 1.82% copper and 0.78g/t gold.

Sargeant told Proactive Investors the company’s plan is to “Just keep drilling and get up to that threshold where we can press the button and say yes we want to move into analysing and feasibility, so we’d like to think that that’s going to happen this year.

“With some fortune we’re on the tip of something that’s much bigger.”

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