Auroch Minerals (ASX: AOU) is close to completing exploration drilling at the Guy Fawkes Project Sector, which forms part of the Northern shear of the 3 million ounce Manica Gold Project in Mozambique.
The program is aiming to grow the company's non-refractory JORC gold resource. Total gold resources are 2,971,000 ounces at Manica.
The company has completed 28 scout holes from a 31-hole diamond drilling program with initial results confirming a classical greenstone structure with mineralisation hosted within quartz veins.
It is anticipated that the final sample set from the remaining 3 holes will be dispatched to the laboratory for assay on 10 May.
Five of the first seven scout holes drilled had intersected gold mineralisation with a best result of f 0.4 metres at 10.83 grams per tonne.
"The company continues to move forward to deliver on its first milestone of an additional 400,000 oxide ounces of inferred resources," managing director Dean Cunningham said.
"We remain operationally flexible to derive value for shareholders and aim to realise maximum value for our assets."
The data from the airborne VTEM and aeromagnetic surveys has been received and is being interpreted by the Company's geophysical consultants. The interpretation is expected in early May 2013.
Auroch will integrate the forthcoming assay data from the current drilling campaign on the Guy Fawkes Project Sector with the airborne survey interpretation, trenching and surface mapping on the Northern Shear to define further prospective targets in the Project Sector.
In the interim, the company has begun a comprehensive trenching program which is intended to identify further drill targets in the Guy Fawkes Project Sector using the data which has been accumulated to date.
A suite of 28 potential trench sites has been selected based on a combination of criteria including gold-in-soil geochemistry, favourable geology and structures, previous and current drilling, current and historical workings.
The Guy Fawkes drilling makes up 7,445 metres of the planned 22,000 metres exploration program that Auroch is carrying out this year.
As Auroch advances its exploration program it hopes to continue to confirm the continuity of the Shear Zone and its associated mineralised structures as it heads eastwards towards the Mutambarico and Boa Esperanca Project Sectors.
The Shear Zone contains a variety of lithologies including quartz veins, bleached talc chlorite schist, banded iron formation (NYSE:BIF) and aplite, often strongly brecciated, and is gold mineralised in part.
Auroch remains well funded to continue its exploration plans with around A$4.1 million, or $0.096 per share, in cash at the end of March 2013. This places the company at close to 70% cash backing based on its market capitalisation of $5.99 million and share price of $0.14.
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