Toronto, Ontario — Omai Gold Mines Corp. (TSX VENTURE:OMG) (“Omai” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the first phase of diamond core drilling at the Omai Project has commenced. The 5,000-meter drill program will focus on expanding the open-pit potential of the historical past-producing Wenot Pit. Wenot was not fully tested due to a low gold price environment, but previous drilling demonstrates the potential for similar grades and thicknesses of gold extending below the current pit, including 69 meters of 3.96 grams per tonne gold in hole OM-0412.
Highlights of the drill program:
- An initial 5,000 meters of drilling has been planned below the Wenot Pit.
- This drilling, combined with the logging and assaying of 6,000 meters of historical core, is expected to accelerate a new mineral resource estimate planned in late 2021.
- Environmental baseline, metallurgy, and hydrology studies are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2021.
- Historical data and geophysics along with new geologic modelling suggest multiple relatively untested targets for evaluation by trenching and drilling on the license.
Mario Stifano, Chief Executive Officer of Omai Gold Mines, commented: “We are very excited to kick off our initial 5,000 metres of drilling, especially after extending mineralization 150 meters below the historical pit with multiple high-grade assays, including 9.1 grams per tonne gold over 14 meters, as part of our program of logging and sampling of 6,000 meters of unassayed, recovered historical core. We look forward to testing the extent of gold mineralization below Wenot and reporting on our results in the coming months.”
The potential drill sites are based on a review of the historical drill database by Dr. Michael Gustin of MDA Associates in Reno, Nevada, a former exploration manager at Omai in the early 2000s; Dr. Linda Heesterman, a former exploration manager for Iamgold; and Dr. Dennis LaPoint, Omai’s Vice President of Exploration. Songela, a well-established Guyanese company, is the drilling contractor. A single rig with two shifts will initially be deployed.
Assay results received to date from core drilled in 2012 and subsequently sampled by Omai demonstrate that the Wenot grades and thicknesses from historical mining continue below the Wenot Pit with mineralization extended 100 to 150 meters below the historical pit, and remains open to depth (for more information, see Omai’s news release on February 9, 2021).
In addition, logging and assays extend the mineralization to the south in the sedimentary rocks, potentially expanding the width of the Wenot mineralization. The combination of logging of the 2012 drilling plus the creation of a new geological model which includes historical drill information and blast hole data, has correlated two high-grade mineralized zones that extend the entire length of the Wenot Pit. Dioritic dikes are not as well described in historical logs, but are also associated with high-grade mineralization, especially in sedimentary rocks to the south.
Logging of the 2012 drill core has led to a better understanding of the geology under the historical Wenot Pit. In the southern domain of the pit, a lithic wacke unit is dominant. This is a fine- to medium-grained immature sandstone. The contact between the lithic wacke and the basalts (to the north) consists of a highly strained unit with a proto-mylonite forming within the less competent lithic wacke. This structure, known as the Wenot shear, can be recognized in the drill holes by increased alteration and strain towards this contact and felsic dikes. North of the Wenot shear are chloritized basalt (green, aphantic) with a stratification of massive basalts/andesites and a more pillowed basalt sequence to the north. These are followed by andesite/basalt packages again.
Dikes of both felsic and dioritic composition intrude these units and are directly correlated with high-grade mineralization. The intrusive lithologies include:
- Rhyolites, which are usually intensely silicified with considerable potassium alteration halos.
- Quartz-feldspar porphyries, with quartz eyes and feldspar phenocrysts within an aphanitic siliceous matrix.
- Quartz diorites, a phaneritic crystalline felsic greyish grey rock.
- Hornblende diorites, crystalline rock with interlocking grains of quartz and feldspar crystals interlocked with fine-grained dark green amphibole.
Proximal to the intrusives, in the lithic wacke and the basaltic rocks, brittle-ductile deformation increases together with alteration and dikes. Apparent, shallow, north dipping (30º) extensional veins and some minor shear veins with associated sulfides dominate the structural component of the gold-bearing zones.
Figure 1: Plan map showing planned drill hole sites at historical Wenot Pit.
Figure 2: Cross section of first planned hole, OMDD21-001 looking west. Mafic rocks shown in green and sediments shown in blue.
Watch a short video of drilling commencing at site: