Alice Queen Limited (ASX: AQX) is an advanced gold explorer, based in South Yarra, with major focus on exploration and mining opportunities in Australia. Its diversified project portfolio includes Horn Island and Kaiwalagal (84.5 per cent stake in each) in Queensland and Mendooran and Yarindury (90.0 per cent stake in each) in New South Wales.
The stock of AQX was buoyant on ASX and was up by 17.857 per cent at AUD 0.033 on 28 November 2019 (AEST 03:05 PM), following the release of encouraging results for the company’s soil and rock chip geochemical sampling program at the Horn Island Gold Project in Queensland. The program is part of the recently formed earn-in and joint venture agreement (EIJVA) between AQX and St Barbara Limited (ASX: SBM) for the Horn Island project in the Torres Strait.
Soil and Rock Chip Geochemical Sampling Program
AQX recently completed the program, which targeted the area located northwest of the Horn Island Mineral Resource (~0.5 Moz Au Inferred, based on 7.96 Mt at an average grade of 1.9 gram per tonne of gold, using a 0.5 gram per tonne gold cut-off grade) and historic mining centre.
Gold and multi-element assay results have now been returned. The company collected a total of 407 (primary and duplicate) soil and 176 quartz vein rock chip samples.
- AQX completed the soil sampling program involving 407 soil samples on 23 NE oriented lines spaced 100 metres apart and the samples were collected at a spacing of 50 metres.
- During the soil sampling program, quartz veining was observed and was rock chipped, resulting in the collection of 176 samples.
- From rock chip sampling, assay result of up to 215 grams per tonne of gold was returned, with fourteen samples returning > 1 gram per tonne of gold.
- From soil sampling over the current Mineral Resource, assay result of up to 2.31 grams per tonne of gold was returned, with twenty-one samples returning > 0.1 gram per tonne of gold.
- Anomalous gold results occur locally within the 1.5-kilometre-area located NW of the 0.5 Moz Inferred Horn Island Mineral Resource.
- The results broadly correlate with previous vein rock chip results (joint venture and historic AQX sampling), which includes 16.5 grams per tonne, 5.52 grams per tonne, 3.15 grams per tonne, 3.08 grams per tonne and 2.34 grams per tonne of gold. The results add further encouragement for the prospectivity of this area.
Meanwhile, a review of the multi-element analyses highlights that anomalous gold in surface samples is associated with enriched Sb-Ag-As-Pb-Zn. This indication is in line with the gold - multi-element association observed in the Horn Island Mineral Resource. Moreover, the indication is similar to the geochemical signature of other intrusion related gold deposits in Queensland.
The recent results coupled with previous historic AQX sampling results are encouraging. Furthermore, they continue to improve the prospectivity of the area located northwest of the Horn Island Mineral Resource.
Dipole-Dipole Induced Polarisation (DDIP) Survey Program
Alice Queen would further test the area as part of the ongoing ground DDIP survey program. The program is progressing well, targeting a 3 kilometre by 2.5-kilometre area around the Mineral Resource area, with the primary goal of identifying chargeability anomalies (near surface to deeply occurring), which may be as a result of sulphide minerals linked to gold mineralisation.
The below figure highlights lines completed to date under the DDIP survey, which covers geochemical survey area (purple outline) and the Horn Island Mineral Resource (yellow outline).
The DDIP survey program is expected to be completed by the end of December 2019. Following completion, the results from both the geochemical and geophysical surveys would be interpreted, in addition to the existing exploration data, to develop and rank targets for exploration programs in the future.
Update on Excluded Zones in JV
Under the joint venture between AQX and SBM, there are certain excluded zones (the existing Inferred Resource (approx. 0.5Moz Au)). SBM has an option to purchase all or part of the excluded zones at “fair value” after spending AUD 4 million over a period of three years to earn 70 per cent of areas outside of the excluded zones and then electing to move to 70 per cent.
According to Mr Buxton, AQX is working hard towards developing a program, intended to elevate the existing Resource from the status of Inferred to Indicated, in relation to the excluded areas. The company would start this program, along with some additional diamond core drilling, early in 2020.
Additionally, the company plans to use the core from these holes for ore sorting and metallurgical test work, as AQX progresses towards a bankable feasibility study (BFS) on the existing open pit mining opportunity at Horn Island.
The stock of Alice Queen Limited has delivered excellent returns to the investors, with 133.33 per cent in the last one year, 86.67 per cent in the last six months and 75 per cent in the last three months. The market capitalisation of the company as on 28 November 2019 (AEST 03:05 PM) stands at AUD 22.34 million with approx. 798.04 million outstanding shares.
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