Empire Metals has a 50% interest in the Bolnisi Copper and Gold Project in Georgia situated approximately 100km south-west of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on the prolific Tethyan Belt, a well-known geological region and host to many high-grade copper-gold deposits and producing mines. The Bolnisi concession covers an area of over 860 sq km and has a 30-year mining licence with a variety of targets and projects ranging from greenfield exploration / target definition phase through intermediate target-testing phases to more advanced projects including Kvemo Bolnisi East which is due to advance to Feasibility Study.
Empire Metals has tenure over two key deposits in the project licence area, namely Kvemo Bolnisi East and Dambludi, and is currently in discussions with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development to seek to secure its rights to the remainder of the licence area, which includes three further known deposits, Kvemo Bolnisi West, Tsitel Sopeli and Balichi, together with a large greenfield exploration region.
Empire also has an agreement with Candelaria Mining Corporation (TSXV: CAND) for the sale of the Bolnisi Gold and Copper Project however this is subject to the right of first refusal in favour of the Company’s joint venture partners in Georgia.
Tsitel Sopeli is the second most advanced prospect in the licence area. Located 12km north-east of the Madneuli Mine and processing facility, and 6km east of the Kvemo Bolnisi Project, the prospect has a footprint of 3km by 1.5km where outcropping oxide gold and base metal and barite mineralization is hosted within strongly silicified felsic volcanics, genetically similar to KBE.
During the Soviet-era a total of 140km of drilling was completed, to depths of 500m, but all holes were vertical (despite the vein system also being largely vertical).
Nevertheless, although mineralised intercepts were erratic, there is clear evidence of increasing Au grade with depth, as would be expected in such a system. As an example, the historic hole 135 intersected 234.2 m @ 1.70 g/t Au and 4.0 % Cu from 175.8 m, and in 2012 the partner explorer CMG drilled three inclined holes with peak intercepts of 22.3 g/t Au at 419 m indicating the top of a bonanza gold zone was intercepted but remains to be properly tested down-dip and along strike.
Next steps include the drilling of several deep holes targeting the bonanza style mineralisation at TS West, and expanding the footprint of oxide mineralisation at TS East, which remains open in all directions.
The style of mineralisation at Tsitel Sopeli is directly analogous to those at the Fruta del Norte project in Ecuador, and at Hod Maden in Turkey.
Covering an area of 2km by 1km, Dambludi is a base and precious metal project located 8km south-west of the Madneuli mine. A structurally controlled, east-west trending swarm of vein style mineralization is hosted within mid-Jurassic carbonate sediments and diorite intrusive bodies.
Historical (Soviet-era) drilling totalled 18,750m and typically extended to 100m below surface, and there are extensive adits in both the eastern and western areas. Much of the deposit appears to be shallow but is also open at depth.
During 2017 Empire Metals carried out grab and chip channel sampling, soil geochemistry and geophysics surveys (Induced-Polarisation). In 2018 a small portion of the adits were also inspected and resulting grab samples yielded very attractive grades of up to 14.3 g/t Au & 4.16 % Cu.