Drilling, dewatering and development has begun at Lion One Metals’ 100%-owned and fully permitted Tuvatu Gold Project on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji. The company has commenced drilling of infill and extensional targets of the Tuvatu deposit.

One surface drill rig is in operation and one underground drill rig is on site and ready to be mobilised as the dewatering of the Tuvatu decline progresses.

Initial drilling results include 71.41 g/t gold over 8.41 metres, including 126.67 g/t over 4.56 metres, drilled from surface to a vertical depth of 92 metres.

Other results from the same hole include 1.25 metres from 72.3 metres @ 10.16 g/t, 0.30 metres from 70.93 metres @ 23.3 g/t, 2.88 metres from 48.42 metres @ 5.30 g/t, 1.80 metres from 102.71 metres @ 12.58 g/t, and 0.72 metres from 116.5 metres @ 36.20 g/t.

“These initial infill drilling results further confirm the high grades and continuity of near surface mineralisation at Tuvatu,” said Lion One’s managing director Stephen Mann. “Our objective with ongoing drilling programs is to extend and increase confidence in the resource ahead of mine development at Tuvatu.”

The Tuvatu decline was developed during a previous feasibility study and consists of 1341 metres of decline, strike and rise development to a depth of 240 metres below surface. Previous work included systematic geological mapping and channel sampling of the UR, URW, GRF, SKL and Murau lodes.

The decline is driven through competent impermeable Monzonite with stable ground conditions. Water ingress is primarily due to a permeable structure, the Core Shed Fault, 150 metres inside the decline. Rehabilitation of the Core Shed fault will require cementing and heavy ground support, and will enable access to the Nasivi/SKL stockwork zone which is targeted for further drilling and initial extraction.

The existing decline can accommodate 15 tonne trucks and provides access to mineralization targeted for extraction in years 1-3 of the Tuvatu mine plan.

At the Jomaki Ridge prospect trenching and sampling continues with results pending. This prospect is 1.50km southwest of the planned processing plant site at Tuvatu.

Meantime, the company has been advised by the Mineral Resources Department that the review process for Navilawa tenement applications is still under way.