Panther Metals PLC (LON:PALM) has awarded a contract to a local drilling and surveying contractor for the upcoming soil geochemical sampling programme at the Merolia gold project in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Gyro Australia will carry out auger drilling and sampling contract for a planned 828 samples taken from a planned 1.5m depth, with initial examination using a portable x-ray fluorescence analyser and sample material retained for verification analysis as appropriate.

READ: Panther Metals says it has a “clear runway” for 2021

With the auger drilling at 200m by 500m grid spacings, this will cover a prospective area striking roughly 15km long by 6km wide, entirely located within Panther’s exclusive option tenement E 38/3384 1.

Darren Hazelwood, Panther Metals’ chief executive, said he expects the work to start in the next couple of weeks. 

“We’re excited to be getting ‘boots on ground’ at Merolia to test a priority target zone south of the Ironstone and Comet Well prospects,” he said.

“Prior technical review highlighted that it contained a gap in previous exploration coverage along a strike of about 15km. The ground immediately to the north and south of this area have historically returned significant gold in soil anomalies. This soil geochemistry programme aims to ‘fill in the gap’ and provide us with further targets for future mineral exploration.”

Located around 250km north-northeast of the town of Kalgoorlie and 23km to the west of Laverton in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia, the Meriolia project comprises a portfolio of four contiguous, 100% held exploration tenements totalling 145 sq km, together with five largely contiguous exploration tenements totalling another 290 sq km that are held under an exclusive option agreement.

The area around Laverton is well-serviced by infrastructure and has a skilled local workforce as it includes several major gold mines, including the 3mln oz Granny Smith, 8mln oz Sunrise Dam and Wallaby, with many other significant gold deposits. 

Exploration into Panther’s licence area has been limited as it is partly obscured by “a veneer of transported cover”, it says, but regional magnetic data had identified several geological systems which have potential to host substantial gold mineralisation. 

This potential has been backed up by surface geochemical sampling along the Comet Well gold trend, which has identified significant coherent linear soil gold anomalies at Comet South, Comet North, Comet West and at Ironstone. 

The Comet Well gold trend extends NW over at least 15km from the Comet Well area in the south to the Burtville East area in the north, with the Comet Well gold trend and associated sub-parallel structures extending outside of the licence area, north to the Bright Star gold deposit owned by Stone Resources Australia (ASX:SHK). 

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