Precipitate Gold has reported the start of exploration work on two projects, Pueblo Grande and Ponton, in proximity to Barrick’s Pueblo Viejo gold-silver mine in the .
At the Pueblo Grande project immediately adjacent to Pueblo Viejo, Barrick has initiated exploration in accordance with an earn-in agreement that allows it to earn a 70% interest in the project by incurring a minimum $10 million in qualifying work expenditures and delivering a qualifying prefeasibility study prior to the sixth anniversary of the entering into of the agreement.
At the Ponton project, 100% owned by Precipitate and located 25 kilometers (km) due east of Pueblo Viejo, the company has commenced a program of ground magnetic surveying over a multi-element geochemical anomaly identified at the Copey Hill zone.
As a start of its work on the Pueblo Grande project, Barrick has initiated review and validation of an extensive database of field and desktop analytics, including historic drilling results and existing geochemical and geophysical data from work conducted by Precipitate and prior operators. Barrick’s initial work is focused on the project’s Lithocap Zone, which is located immediately west of the Pueblo Viejo mining pits and which was the primary focus of Precipitate’s exploration work prior to execution of the earn-in agreement.
Barrick’s planned Lithocap Zone field work for the first and second quarters of the earn-in is planned to consist of selective surface geochemical sampling; systematic rock-clay alteration surveying, via portable spectral mineral analyzers; geological mapping; and an initial 2,500 meters (m) of exploration drilling.
Precipitate President and CEO Jeffrey Wilson commented, “We are pleased with the commencement of work by Barrick on our Pueblo Grande project. The timely startup of exploration initiatives closely following the easing of certain in-country COVID-related restrictions speaks to Barrick’s commitment to promptly initiate meaningful programs to explore and advance the project as efficiently and systematically as possible.
“We’re specifically encouraged by Barrick’s initial focus within the Lithocap Zone, where Precipitate had previously identified multiple prospective targets. Barrick’s unique and extensive experience with the style of high-sulphidation mineralization being targeted offers Precipitate shareholders leverage to critical exploration expertise.
“The earn-in agreement’s requirement for Barrick to incur a minimum $2 million in exploration before the second anniversary, and Barrick’s intent to conduct a 2,500-m drill program within the first two quarters of the agreement term, suggest the potential for important near-term exploration updates and results as Barrick’s work advances. We look forward to reporting any additional updates as they become available.”
Precipitate’s work at Copey Hill will consist of a minimum 40-line km of ground magnetic surveying comprised of an estimated 20 north-south oriented parallel lines extending up to 2 km in length, at both 50- and 100-m line spacing.
Wilson stated, “We are pleased to initiate the ground magnetic survey over the highly prospective Copey Hill zone, as it will provide quality geophysical data for us to utilize in combination with the existing and pending geochemical data derived from the zone. This is the first ground magnetic survey to be conducted on the Ponton property, so we anticipate this newly generated geophysical data will prove useful in our ongoing effort to identify and prioritize specific new target areas.
“Of particular interest will be any magnetic-low anomalies coincident with elevated surface soil and rock geochemistry, where magnetic lows are potentially indicative of magnetite destruction, a common geophysical feature found within gold epithermal systems. This important geophysical work will advance the Copey Hill closer to a possible drill program.”