Junior explorer Matador Mining (ASX: MZZ) is ramping up exploration activities at the Cape Ray gold project in Canada as it prepares for an inaugural 30-hole winter drilling program to commence in February.
The company’s greenfields work has continued to generate quality targets for the campaign, with early results from the Big Pond and Benton prospects illustrating prospectivity for gold exploration.
First pass diamond drilling of six high-priority anomalies has been carried out at Big Pond concurrent with a systematic power auger basement core sampling program.
While some holes were based on new bottom-of-hole auger assays, the majority were drilled into targets generated from historic surface geochemistry and new detailed magnetics.
Matador confirmed assays from 14 of 28 diamond drill holes completed showed minor primary gold mineralisation but did not explain the strong surface gold anomalies.
All holes returned significant gold pathfinder element anomalies with strong arsenic, bismuth, molybdenum, antimony and tungsten intersected in association with pyrite-sericite and/or chlorite alteration and quartz veining in all holes.
Similar results were observed proximal to high-grade mineralisation at the Central Zone, Isle aux Morts and Big Pond prospects, and are considered a compelling indicator of a potential “near miss” of the mineralisation target.
Best gold results received from first pass drilling were 1.1m at 1.4 grams per tonne gold from 69.3m; 1m at 1.2g/t gold from 35m; and 1m at 0.5g/t gold from 18m.
Matador’s first round of systematic exploration at the Benton prospect commenced with the completion of an initial power auger program covering approximately 35% of the target area.
The program outlined multiple gold and pathfinder geochemical anomalies with several coincident high-priority structural targets identified in detailed magnetics which require follow-up diamond drill testing.
Multiple new high-grade rock chip samples (grading up to 25.4g/t gold) were also returned, confirming the presence of high tenor mineralisation identified in historic sampling.
Benton has historically yielded multiple high-grade rock chips (up to 191g/t gold) associated with numerous large, highly-altered, veined and gold mineralised boulders at surface.
Stag Hill drilling
Power auger drilling is also underway at the Stag Hill prospect, which sits under shallow-moderate till cover immediately between the Central Zone and Isle aux Morts deposits on the Cape Ray Shear Zone (CRSZ).
The prospect has never been drill tested and historic exploration was limited to wide-spaced soil sampling which defined numerous untested gold anomalies.
Almost half of the auger program has been carried out to date however Matador expects the program will be cut short and completed in the new year due to the impending winter shutdown.
Assay results from the first 51 holes have identified anomalous gold trends, including a peak 136 parts per billion gold value.
A further 46 power auger holes have assays pending and 110 holes remain to be drilled.
A reconnaissance till sampling program is nearing completion north of Malachite Lake, with more than 1,200 conventional samples collected over a regional-scale target area which hosts several priority areas of interest identified through high-resolution aeromagnetic data.
Multiple highly-prospective fault splays off the CRSZ have been identified coincident with a large bend in the main CRSZ structure.
The area containing these splays north of the main structure has had no past exploration and extends into new ground recently pegged by Matador.
All assay results for this program are currently pending.
Matador is now planning its inaugural winter season drilling program, comprising 30 diamond holes for up to 4,500m and focusing on a corridor encompassing the PW East, Stag Hill West, Isle aux Morts and Benton prospects.
The program will investigate surficial geochemistry and magnetic anomalies; follow-up on surficial and auger geochemistry and magnetic anomaly results at Stag Hill; drill test brownfield and greenfield targets proximal to Isle aux Morts; and follow-up on auger drilling, diamond drilling, surficial geochemistry and magnetic anomaly results at Benton.