Bowdens Adds Golden Hue to Silver Mines' Lustre




Silver Mines has added gold to its increasingly prospective silver deposit at Bowdens, near Mudgee in central NSW.

Silver Mines has already proposed a $250 million plus open cut mine at Bowdens, which is the largest undeveloped silver deposit in the country, with extra goodies of good grades for zinc and lead.

Last week the company revealed an underground resource at Bowdens (on top of the existing open cut) of 6.37 million tonnes of material at 209 grams a tonne grade of silver equivalent for 42.9 million silver equivalent ounces.

That was on top of the open cut resource which has been estimated at 275 million ounces silver equivalent (including 97 million ounces silver equivalent ore reserve). That silver equivalent reserve is made up of silver, lead, zinc and gold

The open cut project is based on a maiden ore reserve of 29.9 million tonnes at 69.0 grams of silver to the tonne, 0.44% zinc and 0.32% lead.  Silver Mines said a feasibility study has demonstrated that the project will produce an average of 3.4 million ounces of silver a year, together with approximately 6,900 tonnes of zinc and 5,100 tonnes of lead a year.

“Due to higher silver grades in the early stages of mining, average production during the first three years of operation will be approximately 5.4 million ounces of silver per annum and 6,000 tonnes of zinc per annum and 5,200 tonnes of lead per annum,” the company said last week.

The underground find has got the company wondering if it should start the open cut and then the underground, or leave more time between the two developments, or do both at roughly the same time. The gold find increases the attractiveness of the underground and open cut prospects.

On Monday the company, which last week strongly hinted that it was on the track of gold at Bowdens, told the ASX that it had encountered gold mineralisation in recent drilling at the prospect.

The program was conducted at the southern gold zone area of the project with yields of up to 131 meters at 0.92 grams a tonne gold equivalent, including 32.6 meters at 2.09g/t gold equivalent.

The gold is contained within the maiden underground mineral resource situated predominantly within the Bundarra Zone directly underneath the planned open-cut pit.

Gold was also discovered in 2021 at shallow depths in the south of Bowdens, along with high grades of silver mineralisation. This area has become a further target for gold and silver exploration drilling during 2022 and is now called the Southern Gold Zone, Silver mines told the ASX.

"Drilling has targeted an area previously undrilled and encountered a large, new fault situated between the known Gully and Eastern Faults.

"This fault is quartz flooded, highly deformed and could be responsible for localising gold and silver-rich mineralisation into complex fracture connected veins.

"This mineralisation style is characteristic to the southern area at Bowdens. A hole has drilled through the Rylstone Volcanics and into the Coomber Formation basement where it has returned the widest and highest-grade gold intercept to date at the Bowdens Project.

"Another hole was designed to drill into the hanging wall of the fault which is controlling gold mineralisation and intercepted significant and shallow silver mineralisation. Results from this hole include:

"70 metres @ 58 g/t silver equivalent (46 g/t silver, 0.15% zinc, 0.06% lead and 0.03 g/t gold,) from 7 metres; and 11 metres @ 74 g/t silver equivalent (11 g/t silver, 0.70% zinc, 0.27% lead and 0.21g/t gold,) from 156 metres.”

A third hole was drilled at the most southern extent of the Bowdens mineral system known currently. Significant result from this hole included:

"18 metres @ 75 g/t silver equivalent (62 g/t silver, 0.05% zinc, 0.03% lead and 0.12 g/t gold,) from 19 metres.”

For all that, Silver Mines shares eased 2.6% to 18.5 cents.