Far East Gold has made history with the start of drilling at its Woyla copper-gold project in Aceh, but while it is an extremely attractive play, it is just one of six cards in the company’s deck.
Woyla is arguably the richest prize in the company’s portfolio.
The project is a large scale epithermal and porphyry system in Indonesia’s Bandar Aceh region – a known gold province – and is comparable to the giant Gosowong gold-silver mine in North Maluk, which features very similar structures, very similar vein textures and similar bonanza sampling grades.
It is also located adjacent to Baru Gold’s Miwah deposit, which hosts a non-JORC resource of 3.1 million ounces (Moz) of gold and 8.85Moz of silver.
Woyla has been held by major companies such as Barrick and Newcrest, who have mapped out 5.5km of epithermal vein systems that showed outcrop, forming the basis for FEG’s further mapping advancement work to define over 13km of strike length.
But despite their best efforts, they were unable to secure the all-important IPPKH administrative authority required for advanced exploration activities – including drilling – to take place on the forest designated section of the tenement.
Going where no major has gone before
This sorry state of affairs only changed after Far East Gold (ASX:FEG) acquired the 24,260 hectare asset and put in the hard yards that would lead to its being granted the permits to start drilling.
Speaking to Stockhead, chief executive officer Shane Menere noted that the company had done a substantial amount of work such as rock chip sampling and assaying, including samples taken at depth from artisanal workings, which allowed the company to extend the strike of mapped vein systems up to 13km.
The pièce de resistance occurred when the company successfully applied to change the forestry designation of about 7,665 hectares of land within the Woyla Contract of Works area, the key step which led to the company landing its drilling approval – and now the start of drilling which is well underway.
“Now that we’ve got the ability to drill, we can put those drill holes where best proposed. We think that it’s going to come back really quite interesting given that some samples returned bonanza results of up to 119 grams per tonne (g/t) gold,” Menere said.
“The area that we’re drilling first is called Anak Perak and to its east, there’s a series of three vein systems which are Rek Rinti, Aloe Eumpeuk and Aloe Rek.”
“We’re moving the IP, that’s the geophysics equipment, over to Rek Rinti and we’re starting the IP survey over there to confirm our drill targets and we intend to drill at Rek Rinti and simultaneously then move the IP work a little bit further south and hopefully prove what we strongly suspect is a continuance or joining of the veins underneath Rek Rinti, Aloe Eumpeuk and Aloe Rek.”
So just what are these targets and what makes them tick?
The Anak Perak vein system is a broad zone at least 1,800 meters long and between 20 and 300 meters wide which contains a system of quartz veins and stockwork zones.
Trench sampling has returned encouraging results such as 2m at 7.64g/t gold and 6m at 4.29g/t gold while ridge and spur sampling has indicated the system is open in both directions along its north-south strike and across strike.
Meanwhile, hand trenching has exposed the Aloe Eumpeuk vein system for 100m along strike with notable results such as 16m at 2.93g/t gold.
There certainly appears to be room for growth with soil sampling defining a zone of anomalous gold about 250m along strike and up to 120m in width.
Aloe Rek mineralisation is located within the Victory vein, which is a complex series of quartz lenses and veinlets that can be traced over a strike of more than 1km with individual veins showing features which typically occur in the boiling zone of epithermal systems.
Trench channel samples returned results up to 1m at 13.4g/t gold while soil sampling outlined a gold-arsenic anomaly up to 70m wide over a strike length of 900m coincident with the vein system.
Last but certainly not least is Rek Rinti, which occurs adjacent to the Sumatran Fault along the northern extensions of the Aloe Rek – Aloe Eumpeuk trend and features mineralisation similar to the low sulphidation vein styles seen at Aloe Rek and Aloe Eumpeuk.
Rock float of vein material assayed up to 24.2g/t gold while highly anomalous silver of up to 138g/t silver have been sampled.
Aceh is also known to host a cluster of copper mineralised porphyry intrusives which have been targeted by companies such as Rio Tinto and Freeport McMoran.
This presents another potential target given that Barrick’s reconnaissance channel rock chip sampling had returned results such as 40m at 0.13% copper and 0.12g/t gold.
With this potential, it is no wonder that Far East believes that Woyla has the potential to be a company-making tier one project.
“It’s got the high grades, it’s got the very large and deep vein system, it’s in a mining friendly area now and we’ve got the team to develop it,” Shane Menere added.
“So we believe that we’re going to do well with Woyla.”