Aton Announces Further Results Of Selective Grab Sampling At The Rodruin Prospect, With Gold Assays Up To 15.45 G/T, And The Identification Of Gold Mineralization In Ancient workings To At Least 40m Below Ground Level
Vancouver, April 16, 2018: Aton Resources Inc. (AAN: TSX-V) (“Aton” or the “Company”) is very pleased to provide investors with an update on exploration activities at the Company’s 100% owned Abu Marawat Concession (“Abu Marawat” or the “Concession”), and to announce gold assay results from the third phase of grab sampling at the recently discovered Rodruin prospect.
- A third phase of selective surface grab sampling has been completed at Rodruin, consisting of a total of 58 samples, including 2 QAQC samples. Samples were analyzed for gold by fire assay and a 33 element geochemical suite;
- Grab samples returned gold assay grades including 15.45, 11.95 and 10.65 g/t Au from a well mineralized ancient underground working at the western end of the South Ridge, and 7.08 g/t Au from the eastern end of the North Ridge. Base metal and trace element results are still pending;
- 16 of the 56 ‘primary’ samples (29% of total) returned gold assay grades above 1 g/t Au, and 28 samples (50% of total) returned grades above 0.5 g/t Au;
- This third phase of grab sampling continues to confirm the widespread distribution of surface gold mineralization at Rodruin. Underground inspection and sampling of the 40m deep ancient stope has confirmed that strong gold mineralization persists to at least 40m below ground level, and apparently continues at depth.
- Work on the access road construction is continuing, and it is estimated that the road will reach the main area of ancient workings at the western end of Rodruin in approximately 2-3 weeks’ time. “Rodruin continues to provide very encouraging results” said Mark Campbell, President and CEO.
“Widespread mineralization continues to be identified at surface, and strong mineralization has now been confirmed at depth from the old workings. Ongoing geological mapping is increasing our level of understanding of the deposit, and will inform the design of the upcoming first phase drilling program, which is now planned to start after Ramadan.”
The Rodruin prospect (see Figure 1) was discovered in early December 2017 by Aton geologists (see news release dated December 14, 2017), and is located approximately 18km east of the Company’s Hamama West mineral deposit. The Rodruin prospect is located over an area consisting of 2 approximately E-W trending parallel mountain ridges, in a remote and rugged location. It is currently still only accessible on foot, but can be reached via drivable desert tracks which pass within about 3km of the prospect, although the construction of an access road to Rodruin from its western side is now well advanced. Rodruin is now the clear and primary focus of the Company’s exploration efforts at Abu Marawat.
Very extensive ancient workings have been identified at Rodruin covering a large area, and occurring predominantly along the margins of, or within a series of slates and carbonate rocks. These ancient mine workings are the largest and most significant workings identified to date in the Concession. The workings are spread over an area of at least 500m x 400m in size, and over a vertical elevation range of more than 100m, and are located predominantly on the South Ridge of the Rodruin prospect, with fewer workings on the North Ridge. The ancient miners clearly exploited high grade gold mineralization, often associated with gossanous gold-bearing quartz veins; with the workings typically targeting structural or shear zones, which are typically localized along lithological contacts or in fold hinge zones.
Figure 1: Abu Marawat regional geology, showing the location of the Rodruin prospect
February-March 2018 Phase 3 surface sampling program The third phase program of surface sampling was carried out in the second half of February and early March 2018, with 56 selective grab samples collected. This program now completes the planned surface sampling at Rodruin for now. Further surface channel sampling will be undertaken once the road has been completed to Rodruin, and the onsite arrival of the plant will allow for mechanical excavation and exposure of potentially mineralized bedrock, currently covered by scree and talus. All samples were crushed to -4mm at the Company’s onsite sample preparation facility at Hamama, with c. 500g splits shipped to ALS Minerals at Rosia Montana, Romania for analysis. Samples were analyzed for gold by fire assay using analytical code AA-Au23 (repeated by AA-Au25 for samples which returned gold grades greater than 10 g/t). Samples were also analyzed for Ag, Cu, Pb and Zn as part of a 33 element suite by ICP atomic emission spectrometry, using analytical code ME-ICP61. Base metal and trace element results are still pending, and are not reported herein.
Figure 2: Sample locations and gold assay results, Phase 3 grab sampling program only
Figure 3: Sample locations and gold assay results, combined Phase 1 to 3 grab sampling programs
Of the 56 grab samples collected, most were collected at surface from the Central Valley area or the North Ridge (see Figure 2). 8 samples were also collected from a deep ancient underground stope identified during the Phase 2 sampling program in the main area of workings at the western end of the South Ridge (see news release dated March 5, 2018, and Figure 2). It remains apparent that outcropping mineralization is more widespread on the South Ridge, and is more areally restricted to discrete high grade structurally controlled zones on the North Ridge. A new zone of ancient workings and mineralization was identified and sampled during the Phase 3 program near the summit of the North Ridge, near its eastern extent (see Figure 2). Full details of all samples are provided in Appendix A.
Significant gold assays were returned from many samples, notably the samples from the ancient underground stope, with 29% of all samples assaying greater than 1 g/t Au and 50% assaying over 0.5 g/t Au (see Table 1 and Figure 2). The overall mean average grade of all the samples was 1.65 g/t Au.
Phase 3 grab sampling has continued to confirm and extend the areas of significant surface gold mineralization notably in the Central Valley area and the steep southern flank of the North Ridge (see Figure 2), as well as identifying a new zone of ancient workings and significant mineralization at the eastern extent of the North Ridge summit, which returned gold grades of up to 7.08 g/t Au.
Table 1: Summary of Phase 3 surface and underground sample gold assays
8 samples were collected underground from a deep ancient stope or working towards the western end of the South Ridge, at various locations between about 15-35m below surface ground level. The stope is open to about 5m in length at surface, but on further investigation was found to be some 40m deep, widening underground with a strike length of at least 30m, and possibly more. The underground openings vary from less than 1m to 5m in width, and are complex and anastomosing. It appears that the ancient miners followed very high grade structurally controlled zones, but the unmined wall rocks are also significantly and strongly mineralized. The stope is interpreted as having exploited very high grade anastomosing gossanous quartz vein mineralization within a background of well mineralized and silicified slatey sedimentary rocks. Mineralization continues to the bottom of the stope, and the highest grade assay of 15.45 g/t Au was returned from the deepest sample (AHA-13644) at a depth of approximately 35m below ground level. The high grade mineralization appears to continue below the mined stope, and the miners apparently stopped working due to the hardness of the ground, which may be due to the transition from weathered to fresh rock.
Table 2: Summary of underground sample assays
All 8 underground samples returned significant grades (see Table 2), with a mean average grade of 7.84 g/t Au. Visible gold was identified from at least one of the sample locations (sample AHA-13650), which returned an assay of 10.65 g/t Au. Due to the potential presence of coarse gold in these samples, new 25g splits of the 8 pulverized and homogenized samples were taken and re-assayed by ALS, and the results are presented in Table 2. The re-sampling exercise confirmed the original assays, and ALS have confirmed that their QAQC procedures indicated the presence of coarse gold in these samples.
Other activity at Rodruin
Construction of the access road from the west is proceeding well, and it is anticipated that the road will reach the main area of workings at the western end of Rodruin in about a further 2-3 weeks. The access road head is currently about 1km to the NW of Rodruin (see Figs. 4 and 5). Once the access road has been completed work will commence on the construction of the initial drill pads and drill access roads onsite, prior to the equipment being stood down over Ramadan. It is now planned that drilling will start at Rodruin after the Ramadan break, around the end of June, once sufficient drill positions have been prepared.
Figure 4: Rodruin access road, as of April 13, 2018 (red: actual position of road; yellow: planned route of road)
Geological mapping is ongoing at Rodruin and continues to confirm the structural complexity of the area. All lithologies have been intensely folded, and the shear zone and structurally controlled high grade mineralization appears to be almost entirely hosted within sedimentary lithologies, and not within the main gossanous and mineralized carbonate unit. On the North Ridge the high grade mineralized zones appear to be related to sub-vertically plunging fold hinges, and are likely to occur as steeply plunging shoots with limited surface areal extent, but with significant depth potential. The structurally controlled mineralization appears to be very late, and is quite different to the carbonate-hosted mineralization seen in a similar stratigraphic sequence at Hamama. There appears to be only limited occurrence of volcanic rocks at Rodruin, and the altered slatey rocks appear to be predominantly clastic and carbonate-rich sediments, unlike the volcanic rocks in the Hamama area. While there are broad similarities to the carbonate-hosted mineralization at Hamama, the widespread distribution of structurally controlled high grade gold mineralization in clastic sediments at Rodruin is very different to that seen in the Hamama area.
Figure 5: Rodruin access road head, as of April 13, 2018 (Rodruin is located behind the ridge above the excavator)
About Aton Resources Inc.
Aton Resources Inc. (AAN: TSX-V) is focused on its 100% owned Abu Marawat Concession (“Abu Marawat”), located in Egypt’s Arabian-Nubian Shield, approximately 200 km north of Centamin’s Sukari gold mine. Aton has identified a 40 km long gold mineralized trend at Abu Marawat, anchored by the Hamama deposit in the west and the Abu Marawat deposit in the east, containing numerous gold exploration targets, including three historic British mines. Aton has identified several distinct geological trends within Abu Marawat, which display potential for the development of RIRG and orogenic gold mineralization, VMS precious and base metal mineralization, and epithermal-IOCG precious and base metal mineralization. Abu Marawat is over 738km2 in size and is located in an area of excellent infrastructure; a four-lane highway, a 220kV power line, and a water pipeline are in close proximity.
The technical information contained in this News Release was prepared by Roderick Cavaney BSc, MSc (hons), MSc (Mining & Exploration Geology), FAusIMM, GSA, SME, Vice President, Exploration, of Aton Resources Inc. Mr. Cavaney is a qualified person (QP) under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
For further information regarding Aton Resources Inc., please visit us at www.atonresources.com or contact:
President and Chief Executive Officer
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
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