Erris Resources and GreenOre plc entered into an option agreement on the 10th December 2019 to explore for gold on the Loch Tay Licence in Perthshire, Central Scotland. The licence area comprises 237 square kilometres of highly prospective ground within the Grampian Gold Belt, a region of Dalradian rocks which host several significant mineral occurrences and deposits of high-grade gold, base metals and baryte across Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Grampian gold deposits include the Curraghinalt deposit in NorthernIreland (6.09 Moz at 13.6g/t Au) and the Cononish deposit in Scotland (266 KOzat 13.4 g/t Au). An initial due diligence review, which involved preliminary prospecting and mapping by Erris Resources, has identified two priority target areas, Ardtalnaig and Glen Almond, as having excellent gold potential based onthe presence of historic workings, mineralised outcrops and alluvial gold occurrences.
The terms of the Option Agreement with GreenOre are as follows:
· Resources will have the option to earn 80% of the Loch Tay Project consisting ofthe Loch Tay Mines Royal Option from GreenOre by defining a minimum inferred resource of 250,000 ounces gold within four years of the date of the Option Notice.
· Upon defining 250,000 ounces within the required time frame, the ownership of the licence shall be allocated as to 80% Erris Resources and 20% GreenOre and any subsequent funding shall be on a pro-rata basis.
· In the event of either party failing to fund their respective portion,they will be diluted according to a standard industry formula. If either party shall dilute to less than 10% then that party shall forfeit all ownership and be entitled to a 2% Net Smelter Return Royalty (“NSR”).
· Erris Resources shall have the option to purchase 50% of the NSR for US$1M at any time prior to a production decision on the project
In the Ardtalnaig area, small-scale workings for lead, which are hosted in felsites, have been mapped and include severa ltrenches and a possible adit with associated dumps. The felsites intruded the Dalradian schists following the main regional metamorphic events such that they are unaffected by deformation. The felsites are interpreted to be part of asill complex and are essentially subvolcanic rhyolite intrusives; elsewhere in the licence area, outcropping flow banded rhyolite has been found which resembles the felsite. The felsites indicate the presence of late-orogenic magmatic activity which could have driven hydrothermal activity and mineralisation of gold and base metals. Recent sampling by GreenOre has yielded high-grade gold associated with quartz-stockwork breccias within these felsites. Quartz stockworks in felsite containing variable amounts of galena, sphalerite and baryte have been found within an area of intermittent outcropmeasuring 1.7km x 1km while mineralised boulder trains increase the length of the zone to approximately 2.4km. The stockwork zones are thought to range from 0.5m to several meters in width and there could be several parallel structural zones present based on the distribution of mineralised boulders. The trend of the mineralised zones is approximately 160 degrees and is consistent with other occurrences in the wider licence area.
Samples taken by GreeOre from the historic workings returned encouraging results for gold, silver lead and zinc. Two samples from separate workings returned the following: sample K06789 - 5.97g/ tAu, 8.9g/ t Ag, 2.21% Pb and 4.2% Zn and sample K24526 – 7.58 g/t Au, 16.9 g/tAg, 4.43% Pb and 3.99% Zn. A boulder sample taken uphill from the workings returned a result of 8.74g/t Ag, 11.85g/t Ag and 1.66% Pb. Most samples show strong correlations between gold, lead and baryte. The sulphides occur in vuggy quartz veins and stockworks indicative of shallow epithermal-style mineralisation. Further mapping, rock sampling and soil surveys are planned.The association of mineralisation with felsites and major structures in the area is important and this will guide exploration going forward.
Glen Almond Target
Some vein outcrops and alteration zones consisting of silicification of pelites and psammites were discovered in the Glen Almond area which is located 6.6km south of Ardtalnaig. The prospect lies 2.5km east-southeast of the Coire Buidhe silver mine, one of the more significant historic mines in the region where up to 18 veins were worked for high-grade silver associated with lead in argentiferous galena. In addition, a team from the University of Leeds which is studying alluvial gold, discovered a 10 gram nugget in the Glen Almond river within the Glen Almond target area in July 2019. The nugget is thought to be proximal to source due to its shape and association with quartz crystals which were still attached. A total of 77 fine gold grains were panned at a down streamsite in Glen Almond as part of the same regional alluvial gold study. Further prospecting and mapping is required to locate the source of alluvial gold and expand the potential of the prospect.
The licence area, including the two main prospects, has good access, nearby infrastructure and is located in a region which has seen acceptance for mining projects. Recently, operations at the Cononish deposit owned by Scotgold (43 km to the west) commenced and a planning application was approved by Perth and Kinross Council in September 2016 for the Duntanlich baryte mine 25km to the northeast which is owned by M-ISWACO, a Schlumberger company. The Fossbaryte mine located 18km to the northeast will be winding down operations once Duntanlich is in production. Initial land access agreements have been signed by GreenOre with the two landowners at Ardtalnaig and Glen Almond.
Figure 1. 10g nugget found in Glen Almond in 2019
Figure 2. Mineralised dump material taken adjacent to workings at the Ardtalnaig target.