Aton Announces the Discovery of a Large New Zone of Au-Zn Mineralization at the New Rodruin Prospect
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aton Resources Inc. (TSX-V:AAN) (“Aton” or the “Company") is very pleased to provide investors with an update on exploration activities at the Company’s 100% owned Abu Marawat Concession (“Abu Marawat” or the “Concession”), and to announce the discovery of a large new zone of Au-Zn mineralization at the Rodruin prospect, with the identification of visible gold in hand specimens from ancient mine workings, and nearby historic tailings grading 21.1 g/t Au at East Eradiya.
- Discovery of a significant new zone of Hamama-style gold-zinc oxide mineralization exposed at surface at the Rodruin prospect, with ancient mining workings, gossans and gossanous carbonate rocks identified over an area covering at least 500m x 400m, and a vertical extent of greater than 100m;
- Identification of visible coarse gold in hand specimens indicates the potential presence of considerably higher grade zones than anything the Company has yet seen at Hamama;
- A first-pass surface sampling programme has been completed, and assay results are expected in January 2018.
“This is a red letter day in the history of Aton,” said Mark Campbell, President and CEO. ”I think it is fair to say, that Rodruin has the potential to be the biggest discovery to date in exploring the Abu Marawat Concession, with mineralization having been identified over a much larger areal extent than anything we have seen before, including our Hamama West resource. The Rodruin prospect was first identified by the remote sensing study we completed during 2017 and was discovered during recent follow-up fieldwork. The physical scale of the Rodruin prospect is substantial, and the identification of significant mineralization at Rodruin again confirms the untapped exploration potential of the Abu Marawat Concession. Rodruin now becomes the number one focus of our exploration efforts, comprising 17 targets we are currently exploring and evaluating, that run the gamut from first-pass greenfields exploration through to development.”
The Rodruin prospect is located approximately 18km east of the Company’s Hamama West mineral deposit, and approximately 3km ESE of the ancient processing site at East Eradiya described in news release dated November 22, 2017 (see Figures 1 and 2). A single grab sample was taken from the ancient tailings at East Eradiya in 2014, which returned a previously unreported fire assay grade of 21.1 g/t Au. The Rodruin site is located in the area of 2 major roughly E-W trending mountain ridges in a remote and fairly rugged location (Figure 3). It is only accessible on foot, but can be reached via desert tracks which pass within about 2km of the prospect.
The Rodruin target was first identified as a clay-Fe spectral target (see Figure 2) during the detailed Concession wide Landsat-ASTER remote sensing study undertaken during 2016-17. Further inspection of satellite imagery suggested possible signs of ancient mining activity in the general area east of the East Eradiya processing site, and the area was selected for follow-up field investigation.
Field inspection of the Rodruin prospect immediately led to the identification of a large area of major workings close to the western end of the southern Rodruin ridge (see Figure 4), occurring within a series of carbonate rocks. The ancient workings are the largest and most significant ancient workings identified to date in the Concession. It is believed that they were not identified by previous workers in the area due to their relatively remote location, away from the main desert access tracks. The workings are spread over an area of at least 500m x 400m in size, are spatially related to the carbonates, and occur on both the northern and southern ridges at the Rodruin prospect, and are substantial in scope and size, reaching up to 15-20m in depth in places. The workings exploited gossanous oxide mineralisation, and are found over a vertical elevation range of more than 100m from the two ridgelines down to the central valley between the two ridges, indicating both significant areal and depth extents of the mineralisation, and the possible development of a large zone of oxide mineralisation.
Figure 1: Abu Marawat regional geology, showing the location of the Rodruin prospect
The mineralization at Rodruin occurs within a broad zone of carbonate rocks, as at Hamama, which appear to be replacing a series of heavily altered, in places laminated, felsic tuffaceous rocks, although there is also possible evidence for the presence of sedimentary carbonates. As at Hamama, the mineralization appears to occur almost exclusively within carbonate rocks, which outcrop over a considerably larger area than at Hamama (Figure 5). The area has been heavily tectonized, with extensive development of cleavage in the finer grained tuffs, and extensive folding and shearing throughout the area. Many of the workings appear to be following individual and anastomosing shear zones filled with soft gossan, although much of the carbonate away from the workings also appears to be heavily gossanous and mineralized (Figure 6). The ancient miners appear to have been specifically targeting structurally controlled zones of softer gossan within the carbonate host rocks. The gossans frequently contain large amounts of hemimorphite (supergene zinc silicate), which is a typical weathering product of primary zinc sulphide mineralization. Supergene lead minerals are present in the gossans, but only minor amounts of supergene copper minerals were seen. Abundant visible gold was observed in boulders of gossanous quartz from the mine workings, and also from an ancient processing site located in a wadi immediately to the south-west of the southern ridge.
Figure 2: Clay-Fe spectral anomaly, coincident with mineralized carbonate rocks, hosting the Rodruin prospect (modified from Google Earth)
Figure 3: The south (left) and north (right) ridges of the Rodruin prospect, as seen from the approach from the ESE, showing the mineralized carbonates which cap both ridges
The initial interpretation is that the Rodruin prospect potentially hosts a large body of Au-Zn(-Ag-Pb?) sulphide mineralization, very similar to that seen at Hamama, hosted in a distinctive carbonate unit. There appears to be a second phase of mineralization with gold remobilized into structurally favourable zones controlled by shearing, which represented the main target for the ancient miners. The presence of significant processing sites in the general East Eradiya/Rodruin area, the high grade nature of the tailings sampled at East Eradiya, the presence of major ancient underground mine workings, the absence of any significant copper mineralization or staining, and the identification of visible gold all combine to strongly suggest that the Rodruin prospect area represents a major ancient mining site from which gold was mined from high grade gossanous structures and veins, localized within a large-scale body of carbonate hosted Au-Zn mineralization.
Figure 4: Ancient underground workings at the NW end of the south ridge of the Rodruin prospect
Figure 5: Comparison between the extent of the carbonate outcrops at a) Rodruin prospect, and b) Hamama area
Figure 6: Rodruin mineralization - a) hemimorphite-rich Zn gossan, and b) gossanous carbonate
A first pass surface sampling programme has been completed at Rodruin, and it is anticipated that the samples will be dispatched from site to ALS Romania for analysis within the next week, with results expected in January 2018.
About Aton Resources Inc.
Aton Resources Inc. (TSX-V:AAN) is focused on its 100% owned Abu Marawat Concession (“Abu Marawat”), located in Egypt’s Arabian-Nubian Shield, approximately 200 km north of Centamin’s Sukari gold mine. Aton has identified a 40 km long gold mineralized trend at Abu Marawat, anchored by the Hamama deposit in the west and the Abu Marawat deposit in the east, containing numerous gold exploration targets, including three historic British mines. Aton has identified several distinct geological trends within Abu Marawat, which display potential for the development of RIRG and orogenic gold mineralization, VMS precious and base metal mineralization, and epithermal-IOCG precious and base metal mineralization. Abu Marawat is over 738km2 in size and is located in an area of excellent infrastructure, a four-lane highway, a 220kV power line, and a water pipeline are in close proximity.
The technical information contained in this News Release was prepared by Roderick Cavaney BSc, MSc (hons), MSc (Mining & Exploration Geology), FAusIMM, GSA, SME, Vice President, Exploration, of Aton Resources Inc. Mr. Cavaney is a qualified person (QP) under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
For further information regarding Aton Resources Inc., please visit us at www.atonresources.com or contact:
President and Chief Executive Officer
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