Tatestown Project (20% owned) – Ireland
Buchans, through its wholly owned subsidiary Westland Exploration Ltd, holds a 20% interest in Prospecting Licence 1440R (Tatestown), which is being explored under a Joint Venture agreement with Boliden Tara Mines Limited (80%), and which hosts part of the Tatestown–Scallanstown zinc lead mineral deposit.
The Tatestown–Scallanstown deposit, with a resource of 2.4 million tonnes averaging 7.31% zinc plus lead, is located 1.5 kilometres to the northwest of Boliden’s large Tara zinc lead mine at Navan and straddles the Blackwater River, which forms the licence boundary between prospecting Licences 1440R and PL 1496 (100% Tara).
During 2016, Tara Boliden, Operator of the JV, completed an infill drilling programme of four drill holes between and peripheral to existing resource blocks on Pl 1440R. Potentially economic grades and widths were intersected in all four of these holes. During the first quarter of 2017, a further four holes were completed, with all four holes intersecting economic grade mineralisation over widths between two and nine metres. The drilling confirms the continuity of the deposit and the very widespread nature of mineralisation in this area.
The Tatestown-Scallanstown deposit is centered on the east-west Tatestown Fault and lies within a well-defined, two-kilometre wide, north-south trending, zone of mineralisation, which is a peripheral extension of the large Navan mineralised system. Traced by drilling, this extends north-south for four kilometres, terminated to the south by the Randalstown Fault, which separates it from the main body of the Navan mineralisation, and to the north by the Boolies Fault, a major reverse fault with a throw of around 400m identified by recent seismic surveying.
On PL 1440R, the northern two kilometres of the north-south trending zone remains essentially unexplored, with just four, widely spaced intercepts comparable to those peripheral to the known deposit. A second east-west fault, parallel to the Tatestown Fault, is indicated by drilling cutting this area suggesting potential for higher grades and widths similar to those adjacent to the Tatestown Fault.
At the adjacent Tara Mine, which is one of the larger zinc mines in the world, successful exploration by Boliden has recently identified new mineralisation, Tara Deep, and Boliden has decided to launch a programme to extend the life-of-mine. Boliden reported in February 2017 that the new Tara Deep deposit has inferred mineral resources totalling 10 million tonnes with a zinc grade of 8.5% and a lead grade of 1.8%. The mineralisation at this location resembles Tara’s main ore body, but has a more complicated structure and is at a greater depth of between 1,200 and 1,900 metres.