Entrée Gold is conducting a pre-feasibility drilling program at its Ann Mason copper-molybdenum project in the Yerington district of Nevada. The program is designed to upgrade mineral resources contained in a 2012 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) from indicated and inferred to a mix of measured and indicated. The resource upgrade will be essential for preparation of the project’s first reserve estimates and for determining the economic viability of the deposit.

The initial stage of the pre-feasibility drilling program consists of approximately 14,000 m of reverse circulation and diamond drilling in 31 holes. The program has an estimated budget of approximately $5 million and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. Entrée expects to issue an updated resource estimate in the first quarter of 2015.

The 2012 Ann Mason PEA envisions a 24-year conventional open-pit mine and sulphide flotation mill operating at 100,000 mt/d. The PEA estimates average copper recovery of approximately 93%, producing a clean, 30% copper concentrate containing an average of 214 million lb/y of copper over the life of the mine.

Regarding the likelihood of Ann Mason development, Entrée President and CEO Greg Crowe said, “We believe that Ann Mason is extremely well positioned going forward, given its proximity to a historic copper mining camp and the necessary infrastructure in one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world.”

Iamgold has commenced exploration drilling activities on Solvista Gold’s Caramanta property in Colombia, where it is working on an earn-in agreement. A contract has been let for close to 4,000 m of drilling to be done within a porphyry cluster north of zones previously tested by Solvista, with the objective of making a new discovery.

Iamgold can earn an initial 51% interest in the Caramanta project by investinga total of $18 million in qualifying expenditures, including cash payments of $900,000 to Solvista, over a five-year period. The company can earn an additional 19% interest in the project, for a total 70% interest, by investing a further $18 million in qualifying expenditures over a maximum three-year period following the completion of the initial 51% earn-in.

The Caramanta project is located at the center of Colombia’s Middle Cauca Belt, where recent discoveries have included AngloGold Ashanti’s La Colosa deposit, which has a JORC-compliant inferred resource of 24.15 million oz of gold at a grade of 0.94 g/mt gold. 

Reservoir Minerals has initiated the first phase of exploration drilling on its 100% owned Nikolicevo permit in the Timok magmatic complex in eastern Serbia, about 8.5 km southeast of the Bor copper-gold mining complex. Reservoir has budgeted up to $5 million to explore copper-gold targets over its four 100% owned Timok permits.

The first-phase drilling program is testing shallower targets in favorable Upper Cretaceous volcanics at expected depths of less than 500 m near the western boundary of the Nikolicevo permit, where the target volcanic unit is sub-outcropping. First-phase drilling initially includes eight holes totaling approximately 3,000 m.

A second phase of drilling (initially 10,000 m) will test deeper targets to depths of up to 1,000 m in the eastern sector ofthe permit, where the Upper Cretaceous sequence is concealed beneath Miocene cover, as well as additional deeper targets in the western sector. Reservoir expects the second-phase drilling to begin later this year.

Core Exploration is starting a new drilling program at its recently discovered Inkheart/Blueys silver-lead-zinc prospect 100 km east of Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory. Core’s single drilling traverse of the 2-km-long silver-in-soil anomaly at Inkheart discovered high-grade silver-lead-zinc mineralization, with values of up to 354 g/mt silver, 11% lead, and 6.51% zinc. The high-grade mineralization occurs in structurally controlled veins surrounded by broad lower-grade mineralization.

Drilling has also intersected high-grade silver at the nearby Blueys prospect, with values of up to 1,070 g/mt silver.

Core’s planned 2,500 m reverse circulation drilling program was scheduled to begin during the first week of September, and first assays from the drilling were expected to be available toward the end of month.