Lion One Metals has submitted a tender for the acquisition of the Navilawa tenement which directly adjoins its fully permitted Tuvatu Gold Project on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji. Exploration is also under way on a new discovery at the Jomaki Ridge Prospect within the Tuvatu Mining Lease.
Fiji’s Mineral Resources Department solicited expressions of interest for the Navilawa tenement after the lapse and expiry of the previous holder’s exploration licence.
The tenement directly adjoins the northern boundary of Lion One’s tenements at Tuvatu, which if combined, would consolidate ownership of the entire Navilawa mineral complex under a plus-30,000 hectare exploration licence package with the 384.5 hectare Tuvatu Mining Lease (SML 62) and mining and processing operation, currently under development, at its centre.
Lion One has submitted a tender for the Navilawa tenement with C$15 million of initial exploration expenditure proposed over five years. Navilawa has at least 10 well defined prospects including the Kingston Mine, Banana Creek and Tuvatu North. The most significant historic results returned were surface rock chip samples of 46.30 grams/tonne (g/t) gold from Banana Creek; 176.27 g/t from the Kingston Mine; and 8.50 g/t from Tuvatu North, where a rock chip sample was taken adjacent to the Tuvatu resource.
Although little systematic historical exploration has been undertaken in the area, six of the prospects have historic workings with short shafts or adits up to 15 metres deep or manual workings on copper and gold bearing rocks as is the case at the Central Ridge prospect. Mapping, sampling and geophysics clearly demonstrates that the Tuvatu gold deposit extends north into the Navilawa tenement area.
Trenching and sampling has begun to test outcrops and near-surface mineralisation, with initial rock chip sampling returning results up to 125 g/t. Further sampling results are expected by late October, with 183 samples already dispatched to Townsville, Queensland, for analysis, and will be followed by more samples collected from the extensive trenching program across the width and strike length of the mineralized zone currently under way.
Meantime, Lion One says that its prime contractors and suppliers have been retained and equipment has been purchased for dewatering, drilling and rehabilitation of the existing decline, which is the next phase of development at Tuvatu. A new diesel powered pumping station has been delivered and is scheduled to become operational in late October.
Based on prior testing, the company estimates that less than 30 days of pumping will be required to dewater past the Core Shed Fault, 150 metres inside the decline.
The company plans to have diamond drill rigs operating on surface by late October and underground by late November, to focus on numerous infill and extensional targets of the existing mineralised lodes at Tuvatu.