The Maly Patom-area is located to the north of Bodaibo and covers a total area of 1,940 km² (194,000 ha), split into seven properties. Kopy Goldfields’ licenses for bedrock gold prospecting, exploration and production in the Maly Patom project are valid to 2037, with extension options. The area is located in the Patomo-Nechersky gold district within Lena Goldfields, with a 100-year history of successful alluvial gold mining and with many active mining projects of this type currently under way.
FACTS ABOUT MALY PATOM
Mineral resources according to GKZ (’000)*: P3: 2 793 koz
Valid until: 2037
Ownership Kopy Goldfields AB: 100 %
License area: 1 852 sq km
Kopy Goldfields’ licences for bedrock gold prospecting, exploration and production are valid for 25 years, with extension options.
A majority of the river valleys in this part host alluvial gold deposits and placer miners have reported pristine gold grains in the area, which indicates the existence of bedrock sources of alluvial gold nearby. No serious and consistent bedrock gold exploration, however, has been conducted in the area to date.
The geology and age of the rock in the area is similar to that of Sukhoy Log, with stratigraphy, lithology and structural setting favourable for primary gold mineralizations. There have been numerous reports from the area of secondary gold halo, zone and points of gold mineralization, as well as many grab samples with gold.
Based on the known deposits in the area with similar characteristics, Kopy Goldfields is looking for strike extensions of above 500 meters and steep ore bodies with a thickness of 30 meters and upwards. Mineralizations consist of gold-sulphide, disseminated and veinlet-disseminated in black shale complexes.
During the initial review of the historic exploration data and maps of the licenses, preliminary targets were identified based on a combination of geochemical anomalies, vicinity of alluvial mines, grab samples with gold and high concentration of pathfinder elements. Kopy Goldfields has prepared an exploration program for the project and the exploration approach includes covering the whole area with initial survey and further step-by-step target prioritization in order to reduce the whole area to 3-5 high potential targets, with at least 1 Moz resources each. By the end of the program, outlined below, the Company intends to report initial JORC Inferred resources for 3-5 targets.
Based on characteristics of major gold deposits within Lena Goldfields (Sukhoy Log, Verninskoye, Vysochaishy) with similar geology to the area, the following exploration parameters are expected for the Maly Patom project:
Strike extension of gold mineralization: from 500 meters; steep ore bodies with thickness from 30 meters
Type of gold mineralization: gold sulfide, disseminated and veinlet-disseminated in black shale complexes
Average gold grade: around 2 g/t
Exploration program 2016
During 2016, stage 1 of the exploration program was commenced with the target of covering the total licence area with a systematic and modern method for exploration, to identify and prioritize multiple targets during the first year of field operations. The plan was to verify historic data and to identify new clusters for the next stage of exploration. Initially, the whole area of 1,852 km² was covered with a stream sediment survey with a density of 5-6 samples/km². In total, 5,380 samples were collected and analysed, both for gold and 24 other chemical elements. The collected geochemical data was then used to develop geochemical maps of gold and concomitant elements distribution. A statistical review of the identified anomalies based on gold and pathfinder elements was completed. Further, multiplicative anomalies were identified and mapped for every license area. These anomalies, identified in the 2016 exploration activities, were compared with historic exploration data existing before 2016. Comparing the historic and the new exploration results, 21 exploration clusters were selected for more detailed Stage 2 follow-up explorations with a total exploration area of 243 km².
Exploration program 2017
In 2017, stage 2 of the exploration program was carried out, covering seven of the 21 exploration targets that were identified during the 2016 stream sediment survey. A detailed geochemical survey at 200*50 meters grid, together with geological mapping, was conducted of the area, corresponding to 122 km². In total, 12,896 soil samples were collected and analyzed for 32 chemical elements plus gold.
Results from the 2017 exploration program were reported in February 2018. The results confirmed the expectations of the Maly Patom being an area with high exploration potential. In line with the target, it was possible to scale down the exploration area further and three anomalous geochemical areas were identified with a total area of 10.2 km². All three anomalies, called Mezhdurechnaya, Sekushaya and Polovinka, corresponded to the exploration parameters and target gold deposits of 1+ Moz and are now ready for drilling and trench sampling. In addition to these drilling and trench sampling targets, there are still another 14+ targets from 2016 left for detailed geochemical survey, similar to the exploration done in 2017. Alluvial (placer) gold mining operations are currently being developed areas by external producers within the Maly Patom license under separate alluvial licenses.
Exploration program 2019
In April 2019, a new license area called Polovinka was added to the Maly Patom project. The new exploration license is bordering the Gorbylyakh license area, which was already a part of the Maly Patom exploration project and covers the potential extension of the previously identified soil gold anomaly also called Polovinka. The new property covers an area of 88 km². The license provides the right for bedrock gold prospecting and exploration for seven years. The license was issued by the Russian State Federal authorities on a “first come, first served” basis with no upfront payment. If gold is discovered within the license area, Kopy Goldfields is entitled to a priority production permit for the area.
During September – November 2019, Kopy Goldfields drilled a total of 2,505 meters of core holes and developed 2,338 meters of trenches within three previously identified Zhelanny and Alemakitskiy targets. In addition, a geophysical survey of 38 km² of the ground was done within the Zhelanny, Alemakitskiy and Russkaya Pech areas. Based on the activities, gold mineralizations at both the Zhelanny and Alemakitskiy prospects were intersected with several intervals with anomalous gold content above 1 gr/t.
The Company believes in a great exploration potential of the Maly Patom project. Further exploration activities should proceed with identification of lithologic and stratigraphic variations in sequences with anomalous gold contents, an exploration model we have been following from the beginning. Although no commercial gold mineralization was identified, the exploration results strongly evidence existence of bedrock gold mineralization within our licenses areas and support our exploration approach to a gold discovery. Kopy Goldfields is currently in discussion with several mining companies over options to develop further exploration on the Maly Patom in partnership.