Auroch Minerals maintains composure despite setback
Published on: | by Geoff Tait
Auroch Minerals (ASX:AOU), a junior metals explorer based in Australia, has updated the market of its ongoing exploration activity at its Tisova Project in the Czech Republic.
AOU has reported discouraging assay results for its first two holes at Tisová, but intends to continue developing its polymetallic project which contains cobalt, gold and copper. Despite strong expectations that high-grade cobalt would be found within AOU’s first assays, today’s published results indicate that both its copper and cobalt results are ‘lower grade and across narrower intervals than expected from the visual logging of the core’.
The assay results are shown below:
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AOU says its gold results (including 8m at 0.97g/t gold) are ‘closer to expectations’, although its cobalt and copper results have yet to reach expected levels. With the onset of the northern winter, exploration activity has now been suspended in the Czech Republic and can only resume post snow melts in 2018.
Further samples from AOU’s final two drill holes at Tisova have been dispatched to the ALS laboratory in Romania and results are expected by the end of December 2017.
The news sent AOU shares reeling at market-open this morning, falling 45% at the time of writing to trade at $0.11 per share.
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However, the large declines are somewhat overdone and are expected to recover if AOU manages to discover more amiable results from the remainder of its exploration programme at Tisova, or, progresses its other Resources assets including the Alcoutim Copper Zinc Project in Eastern Portugal, and the Karibib Lithium Project in Namibia.
As it stands, AOU has the option to earn into 100% of Tisova, which it has been exploring under an Option Agreement that expires in March 2018. So far, AOU has fulfilled its obligations under the agreement – which included four drill holes for 1200 metres to test the spatial distribution of copper and cobalt, as well as gold and silver, at Tisová.
Given today’s news, AOU is now expected to await the final results of its two remaining drill holes before making a decision whether to proceed with the option arrangement, including a further payment of A$75,000 (and 4,375,000 fully paid ordinary shares to be issued) to proceed with the project.
AOU CEO Dr Andrew Tunks assessed today’s results by saying, “The assay results to date are disappointing and not in line with our expectations. Thick zones logged as disseminated sulphides have returned lower than expected values for the target metals and where grades are reasonable, thicknesses are narrow and below minimum mining widths. We await the results of the second two holes before formulating our future exploration plans. Clearly the material we have drilled is substantially different from the samples we collected from the Tisová waste dumps. This points to a strong metal zonation within the Tisová orebody. We will review the 3D model of the sulphides and look to investigate geophysical methods to identify further sulphide bodies as a possible source of cobalt mineralisation.”