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Erdene plans 24,000-meter drill program at Mongolian gold properties

Erdene Resource Development Corp. plans to undertake a 24,000-meter drill program at the company's Bayan Khundii, Altan Nar and Altan Arrow gold-silver projects in Mongolia this year.

A 20,000-meter program is expected to commence at Bayan Khundii early in the second quarter, with two drill rigs operating, the company said March 28.

One of the rigs will focus on the delineation and expansion in the known target areas including Striker, Midfield and Gold Hill Zones, while the other rig will explore multiple targets throughout the 1.7-kilometer Bayan Khundii trend and elsewhere in the district.

The company will also initiate additional metallurgical testing, hydrogeological, environmental, geotechnical and preliminary economic studies related to the Bayan Khundii project.

Depending upon the drill results, the company anticipates that a resource study could be underway between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2018.

At Altan Nar, the company will undertake 3,000 meters of additional drilling, focused on establishing continuity of the new high-grade Discovery Zone, the delineation and expansion of known deposits, and other targets.

A high-resolution magnetic survey is also planned for Altan Nar to evaluate the potential for similar cross-cutting structures.

Meanwhile, a 1,000-meter follow-up program is planned for the Altan Arrow project.

The exploration program aims to determine whether the projects have the size and grade potential to be further developed.

The next stage will be to define the potential mineral resource area and complete economic assessment studies. A series of studies will also be launched to support a mining license application.

Additionally, with the renewal of the strategic alliance with Teck Resources Ltd., the companies will undertake exploration to follow-up work on anomalous targets identified during the 2016 program.

The alliance was formed in April 2013 to fund and carry out mineral exploration in the Trans Altai region of southwest Mongolia.

Teck recently completed a nonbrokered private placement, pursuant to which it acquired 543,478 Erdene shares at 92 Canadian cents apiece for gross proceeds of C$500,000, fulfilling the equity investment obligation under the deal.