Erdene Resource Development Corp. is pleased to provide an update on its 100%-owned Bayan Khundii Gold Project and Altan Nar Gold-Polymetallic Project. In advance of the resumption of drilling in September 2016, the Company has been carrying out extensive technical studies on the styles and controls of gold mineralization at both Bayan Khundii and Altan Nar, as well as various studies and projects related to the anticipated development of the district.
Bayan Khundii and Altan Nar are near-surface, high-grade gold discoveries made by the Company within the Tian Shan gold belt of southwest Mongolia. These projects are approximately 19 kilometres apart with gold mineralization traced over 6 kilometres at Altan Nar, and 1.7 kilometres at Bayan Khundii. The current technical work program includes structural mapping studies, hyperspectral analysis of core and surface samples, evaluation by an expert in epithermal gold systems, geophysical interpretation, development of a 3-D model, and through this combined evaluation, develop the ideal approach to drilling in regards to both exploration targeting and eventual resource categorization for both projects. The following provides an overview of the technical program as well as preliminary plans for Q3-Q4 drilling programs.
Dr. Jeffrey Hedenquist, an Ottawa-based, independent consultant and one of the world’s leading experts on epithermal gold systems, is currently visiting the Company’s Bayan Khundii and Altan Nar projects with the objective of aiding ongoing geological interpretation and drill targeting efforts.
Mr. Anthony Coote, of Applied Petrologic Services & Research in New Zealand, is completing mineralogical petrographic and fluid inclusion studies on drill core samples from Bayan Khundii to interpret the hydrothermal environment and controls on the distribution of gold mineralogy and paragenesis.
Dr. Stefan Kruse, an experienced structural geologist with Terrane Geoscience Inc., recently spent 12 days on site at Bayan Khundii and Altan Nar to determine the principal structural controls and geometry of the mineralized systems. Dr. Kruse’s final report is expected during the third quarter.
Ms. Khashagerel Bat-Erdene and Mr. Imants Kavalieris of Plus Minerals LLC, who specialize in alteration studies of epithermal and porphyry systems, recently completed field and drill core evaluations at Bayan Khundii and Altan Nar to identify alteration zonation within the hydrothermal systems that can assist with future drill targeting. Mr. Kavalieris has extensive experience in Mongolia, including exploration and delineation of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold porphyry deposit.
Terrane Geoscience Inc. is completing a 3-D model of the Bayan Khundii mineralized zones to assist with drill targeting. The model will incorporate all geological, drilling, structural, spectral, geochemical and geophysical data.
Geophysical Data Processing and Quality Control – Bayan Khundii & Altan Nar
Mr. Chet Lide of Zonge International has completed data processing and quality control analysis of all magnetic and induced polarization data from both Bayan Khundii and Altan Nar.
RungePincockMinarco Limited has been contracted to provide an independent review of all results to date with an objective of recommending optimal drill hole spacing in advance of future resource definition drilling at Bayan Khundii.
The Tsenkher Nomin and Khundii licenses are both in year 7 of a 12-year term for an exploration license. The following studies are being conducting in order to support future scoping and/or feasibility-level studies and an eventual mining license application at both Altan Nar and Bayan Khundii.
Eco-Trade LLC, a Mongolian environmental consulting company, is completing an environmental baseline study for the Bayan Khundii and Altan Nar projects.
Dr. Ariunchimeg Ya. led a research team from the Academy of Sciences Paleontology and Geology Institute who carried out surveys on both the Khundii and Tsenkher Nomin licenses. It was concluded there are no hindrances to exploration continuing; no paleontological relicts were identified in any of the units present within the Khundii license area; and within the Tsenkher Nomin license area only gastropod residue was identified in the southwest corner of the license within Carboniferous sediments.
Professor Batsaikhan Z. of the Department of Anthropology of College and Sciences at the National University of Mongolia led the archeological study. It was concluded that due to the isolation and climatic conditions, the area was not suitable for sustained human settlement. No archeological artifacts were identified and therefore there is no hindrance to carrying out exploration or mining.
The Company contracted Okhi-Us LLC, an experienced Mongolian hydrogeological consulting firm, to complete a preliminary hydrogeologic study in the vicinity of the Altan Nar and Bayan Khundii projects. Although a water resource was previously defined in association with a study of the Company’s Zuun Mod molybdenum-copper deposit, 35 km to the east of Bayan Khundii, this program is targeting basins more proximal to the current target areas. Initial surveying and water testing has identified two areas that will now be the subject of geophysical surveying and drilling to determine water volume, recharge and quality.
The results of the various studies will be evaluated by Erdene’s technical team with additional exploration and drilling programs designed accordingly. Details of this evaluation and resulting programs will be announced once final. Drilling is set to resume at Bayan Khundii in September, and is expected to continue throughout the fourth quarter and will include a drill program at Altan Nar. A review of the Company’s Altan Arrow high-grade discovery is also planned.
The Company continues to evaluate copper-gold opportunities throughout the Edren Terrane of Southwest Mongolia through its alliance with Teck Resources Limited. Field evaluations are currently underway focused on geochemical surveys and satellite interpretation. Erdene closed a non-brokered private placement with Teck in June 2016 to fund the regional exploration program. Since 2013, Teck has subscribed for $2.5 million in Erdene shares and owns 10.8% of Erdene’s issued and outstanding common shares. The Company’s Bayan Khundii and Altan Nar projects are excluded from the Teck alliance.