Aton Announces Gold Assays Up To 321 g/t From Selected Grab Samples At Its Recently Discovered Rodruin Prospect
Vancouver, February 6, 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 the results of the initial surface grab and channel sampling programme completed in December 2017 at the recently discovered Rodruin prospect.
- A first-pass surface sampling programme has been completed, consisting of a total of 78 samples, including 4 QAQC samples. Of the 74 ‘primary’ samples, 67 were grab samples and 7 were channel samples, taken over nominal 2m intervals. Samples were analysed for gold by fire assay and a 33 element geochemical suite;
- Samples returned gold assay grades of up to 321 g/t Au, and included further grades of 22.3 g/t Au, 20.6 g/t Au and 18.6 g/t Au;
- The 74 samples averaged 7.61 g/t Au, of which 7 samples (9% of total) returned gold assay grades above 10 g/t Au, 48 samples (65% of total) returned grades above 1 g/t Au, and 61 samples (82% of total) returned grades above 0.5 g/t Au;
- High grade zinc assays were also returned, with 9% of all samples returning assays greater than 5% Zn, including 2 very high grade samples which assayed 37.9% and 36.7% respectively;
- Samples also returned assays of up to 146 g/t silver, 1.75% copper and 2.18% lead;
- The initial sampling programme confirms the potential at Rodruin for a large “Hamama style” carbonate hosted body of gold-zinc mineralization, as well as a later phase of high grade shear zone hosted gold mineralization.
“This is an exciting day for Aton as these results confirm the potential for Rodruin to become a major gold discovery in Egypt, and the biggest discovery to date by the Company” said Mark Campbell, President and CEO. ”These samples were taken from the large Rodruin prospect, over an area covering at least 700m x 300m, and over a vertical elevation range of more than 100m, where the ancients were working, and have come back with some highly significant grades. We are doing more surface sampling, and will imminently start access road construction, to assist us in laying out a drilling program at Rodruin, which we hope to begin by April. Our goal is to fast track Rodruin along with our development project at Hamama”
The Rodruin prospect (see Figure 1) was discovered in early December 2017 by AAN’s field geologists (see news release dated December 14, 2017), and is located approximately 18km east of the Company’s Hamama West mineral deposit. The Rodruin site is located in an area of 2 major roughly E-W trending mountain ridges in a remote and rugged location. It is currently only accessible on foot, but can be reached via driveable desert tracks which pass within about 3km of the prospect.
The Rodruin prospect was first identified as a clay-Fe spectral target during the detailed Concession wide Landsat-ASTER remote sensing study undertaken during 2016-17, with further inspection of satellite imagery suggesting possible signs of ancient mining activity in the general area. Field inspection of the Rodruin prospect immediately led to the identification of major ancient workings over a large area, occurring within a series of carbonate rocks. The ancient workings are the largest and most significant ancient workings identified to date in the Concession. The ancient 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 occur on both the northern and southern ridges of the Rodruin prospect. The ancient miners exploited gossanous oxide mineralization, presumed to be very high grade in places, with the workings frequently localized along structural or shear zones. The ancient miners are believed to have been mining gold, as evidenced by archaeological remains in the general area, and the identification of coarse gold in hand specimens.
Figure 1: Abu Marawat regional geology, showing the location of the Rodruin prospect
December 2017 surface sampling programme
A short programme of surface sampling was carried out in mid-December 2017, with 67 grab samples and 7 channel samples, over nominal 2m intervals, collected. These samples were selectively taken, with the intention of confirming whether the mineralization identified in the field at Rodruin carried grades or not.
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 and Au-GRA21 for samples which returned gold grades greater than 10 g/t and 100 g/t Au, respectively). 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 MEICP61. Samples with Cu, Pb and Zn assays greater than 10,000 ppm (1%) were re-analyzed using ore grade analytical codes Cu-OG62, Pb-OG62, and Zn-OG62 respectively, and samples assaying greater than 30% Zn were re-analyzed using analytical code Zn-AA46.
A breakdown of the sample results, excluding QAQC samples, is provided below in Table 1, and full details of all the samples are provided in Appendix A, including Au, Ag, Cu, Pb and Zn assays.
Significant gold assays were returned from most of the samples with 9% assaying more than 10 g/t Au, 65% of the samples assaying over 1 g/t Au, and 82% of the samples assaying over 0.5 g/t Au (see Figure 2). The overall average grade of all the samples was 7.61 g/t Au, but this was biased by a single sample from the North Ridge, which assayed 321 g/t Au (and 146 g/t Ag). Even if this sample was excluded from the dataset, the remaining 73 samples still averaged 3.32 g/t. These initial gold results compare very favorably to the Hamama area, which has produced only a handful of gold assay values above 10 g/t, in comparison to gold grades of 321 g/t, 22.3 g/t, 20.6 g/t and 18.6 g/t from the Rodruin samples.
Figure 2: Sample locations and gold assay results
Assay values for silver, copper, lead and notably zinc were also significantly elevated (see Table 1). Silver averaged 11.07 g/t across the complete dataset, which reduces to 9.22 g/t when the significant 146 g/t outlier is excluded from the data. Zinc values also showed significant mineralization, as was expected with the identification of hemimorphite-rich gossan at Rodruin, with 9% of all samples averaging greater than 5% Zn, including 2 very high grade samples, which assayed 37.9% and 36.7% Zn respectively. Copper and lead assays were also elevated, but were significantly lower than the Zn values, as was to be expected from the sampling – only limited amounts of copper supergene minerals were seen and identified. This metal association is similar to Hamama.
The mineralization at Rodruin is interpreted as belonging to 2 fairly distinctive and separate styles, and has been sampled over an area of at least 700m x 300m (Figure 2): background carbonate/gossan hosted “Hamama style” mineralization, and shear zone hosted mineralization.
The first style of carbonate and/or gossan hosted mineralization carries lower levels of Au (average 2.18 g/t Au) and Ag, and is considered to be broadly similar to that at Hamama. It also contains strongly elevated levels of Zn, Cu, Pb, As, Cd, Sb, and Bi (see Table 2). This mineralization is likely to be of a low temperature, acidic, and probably magmatically derived nature, and is similar to the hybrid VMS-epithermal mineralization interpreted at Hamama, and has a wide areal extent at Rodruin.
A very strong correlation between Au and Ag grades, and significantly higher grades of Au (shear zone style samples averaged 20.45 g/t Au), as well as Ag, Cu, Pb and Zn, are seen in the second shear zone style of mineralization interpreted at Rodruin (see Table 2). This style of mineralization appears to have represented the main target of the ancient miners, and is potentially very high grade in places, but is areally more restricted relative to the background gossan hosted mineralization.
The results from the December 2017 surface sampling support the initial interpretation that the Rodruin prospect potentially hosts a large body of Au(-Ag-Zn) mineralization, of a similar style to that at Hamama, hosted in a distinctive, probably replacive, carbonate unit. The new assay results, coupled with the presence of significant ancient processing sites in the general East Eradiya/Rodruin area, the high grade nature of the tailings previously sampled at East Eradiya (see news release dated December 14, 2017), the presence of major ancient underground mine workings, the limited presence of significant copper mineralization or staining, and the identification of visible gold in hand specimens all combine to strongly suggest that the Rodruin prospect represents a major ancient mining site from which gold was exploited from high grade gossanous structures and veins, localized within a large body of background carbonate hosted Au-Zn mineralization.
The December 2017 surface sampling programme at Rodruin has successfully indicated the potential of the target, and has confirmed the existence of both Hamama style carbonate/gossan hosted mineralization, as well as high grade structurally controlled shear zone hosted mineralization. As originally interpreted from field observations it appears that the overall gold grade at Rodruin is potentially significantly higher than that at Hamama. The background gossan/carbonate hosted mineralization appears to be very similar to Hamama, but with potentially significantly higher gold grades. Mineralization at Rodruin is directly spatially related to the outcropping gossanous carbonate unit, as it is at Hamama (see Figure 3). The area of the outcropping mineralization hosting carbonate rocks at Rodruin can be seen to be much larger than that at Hamama, indicating the potential for a considerably larger body of mineralization than that identified to date at Hamama.
Rodruin will immediately become the prime focus of the Company’s exploration efforts, going forwards into 2018, with further surface sampling having been commenced, and work planned to start imminently on the construction of a road into the prospect, with the aim of allowing drilling to commence by April 2018.
Figure 3: Comparison between the extent of the carbonate outcrops at a) Rodruin prospect, and b) Hamama area
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
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