Lode Resources has extended the strike length of its mineral system to over 3km with a thick 26.5m intersection of lead-zinc-silver mineralisation at its Webbs Consol project in NSW.
The explorer estimates the broad intercept contains about 12 per cent galena, 3 per cent sphalerite and 0.5 per cent chalcopyrite — minerals that collectively contain lead, zinc and copper. The core samples are already on their way to Australian Laboratory Services for fast-track analysis.
Lode expects the assays to reveal significant silver mineralisation as silver is known to be strongly associated with the encountered minerals within the project.
The latest intercept came from a shallow depth of 30.1m at the project’s Tangoa West prospect, 1.5km south of its previously reported intersection of 12.1m at 312 grams per tonne silver equivalent.
The southern intercept now stretches and confirms its mineralised system to over 3km.
Surface samples of up to 745 g/t silver, 16.50 per cent lead, 14 per cent zinc and 0.50 g/t gold at Tangoa West inspired the company to probe with the drill bit.
Lode sees the result as evidence of the brownfield project’s underexplored nature and potential for further discoveries.
Drilling is continuing at the prospect and at additional targets open along strike to the north, south and at depth.
Downhole electromagnetic and fixed loop electromagnetic geophysical surveys are planned for early this month, targeting the most prospective drilling encountered so far.
The magnetic surveys aim to detect conductive sulphide accumulations at depth and potentially along strike and will help Lode line up its drill targets before launching its second phase of drilling.
Without ruling out other prospects, the explorer plans to scan its Shaft 1, Lucky Lucy North and Tangoa West prospects with the geophysical methods.
Lode’s previous drilling at Shaft 1 has yielded a 27.5m hit at 468 g/t silver equivalent and 5.3m at 144 g/t silver equivalent at Lucky Lucy North.
Webbs Consol was discovered in 1890 with intermittent mining up to the mid-1950s. Several mine shafts worked for high-grade lead and silver content only, with zinc mineralisation discarded.
Silver is mined and produced as a byproduct of mining other metals such as lead, zinc, copper and to a lesser extent gold.
Whilst used for traditional items such as currency and cutlery, more recently silver is increasingly proving its worth as a “tech” metal and Lode could stand to benefit as it squeezes silver from its brownfields project.
According to the Mineral Council of Australia’s Commodity Demand Outlook 2030 report, each year more than 96 million ounces of silver are used in the manufacture of solar panels. Silver is the most conductive metal and enhances solar panels’ efficiency at converting light into electricity.
The US Geological Survey says world production of silver in 2021 was 771.6 million ounces, with nearly 42 million attributed to Australia.
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