GOLD Mountain began its initial drill program at Crown Ridge Gold Project in late September. The program of 12 holes for 1000 metres is being complemented by an extensive bulk sampling program with the aim of estimating an initial JORC 2012-compliant mineral resource.

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A nugget panned from a watercourse at the Crown Ridge Gold Project in the PNG Highlands.

Before the drilling campaign, which is being carried out by Quest Exploration Drilling, Gold Mountain undertook a detailed survey of the selected drill locations, prepared access roads and trails for use, constructed camp site facilities, and cleared drill pads.

Quest is a leading drill company with more than 45 years’ experience in providing drilling services to the energy and resources sector. In late September Gold Mountain said Quest had mobilised a tracked Atlas Copco CS14 drill rig to the site.

Crown Ridge is 75km east-northeast of the Porgera mine in the PNG Highlands and work to date has identified paleo-alluvial gold mineralisation. The current exploration campaign, which is expected to be complete in early 2018, will also target the project’s hard rock potential.

The campaign will include up to nine 40-60 metre deep vertical diamond drill holes testing a 0.25sqkm area of the interpreted paleo-alluvial gold, covering an area that returned the best gold results from the previous 52 test pits.

It will also include a further 36 four-metre deep test pits on a 50x50 metre spacing infilling the previous pits and targeting an interpreted higher grade zone within the same area as the nine diamond holes.

There will also be three 150-200 metre deep diamond drill holes targeting the shallow hard rock potential in the interpreted southwest caldera margin.

Gold Mountain’s director of exploration Doug Smith said, “This diamond drilling and the ongoing bulk sampling program are key value catalysts for Gold Mountain and we expect to unlock considerable value from these works.

“They are the next steps in Gold Mountain compiling a JORC-compliant mineral resource, which will be a game change for us.

“Crown Ridge has all the geological characteristics of being another major PNG precious metals project and we are looking forward to reporting on a steady flow of exploration results as work progresses.”

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