Gold 50 (ASX:G50) has reported a notable discovery of gallium mineralisation during its maiden drilling program at the Golconda Project in Arizona. The company’s wide-spaced drilling campaign has intersected gallium mineralisation in 11 out of 14 holes, showcasing promising results that may have economic implications amidst recent global supply chain concerns.
Among the standout results are intercepts from hole GRC02, which revealed a substantial 308 metres at 28.6 grams per tonne (g/t) of gallium from the surface. Additionally, hole GRC05 produced an impressive 271 metres at 23.8 g/t of gallium, including a 70-metre section at 34.2 g/t from 93 metres.
Gallium is known to occur within a broad zone of hydrothermal alteration, veining, and brecciation at Golconda, alongside high-grade Zn-Pb mineralisation, gold, and silver. Notably, the presence of gallium is significant for two reasons: it provides a vector for base and precious metal mineralisation and can act as a valuable credit in zinc concentrates.
Gold 50’s Golconda Project covers a vast area southeast of the Mineral Park porphyry copper-molybdenum deposit, encompassing numerous well-developed precious and polymetallic mineralised veins and unexplored structures. The initial drilling program targeted various structural controls for mineralisation and confirmed that specific structures strongly correlate with high gold grades, as highlighted by the discovery in hole GRC06.
Mark Wallace, Managing Director of Gold 50 stated, “these strong and thick gallium assays from surface confirm and justify our systematic approach and commitment to Golconda. We look forward to following up our recent high-grade gold discovery with further drilling to better understand the extensive thicknesses of gallium present in the recent drilling.”
China currently accounts for approximately 94% of the world’s gallium production, making it a critical concern for many high-tech industries. The discovery of substantial gallium reserves at Golconda could potentially reduce supply chain risks and offer a viable alternative source for this crucial element.
The Golconda Mine, the USA’s highest-grade zinc producer, ceased production in 1917 due to a surface infrastructure fire. With the ongoing exploration at Golconda, Gold 50 aims to unveil higher grades of gallium and indium associated with the high-grade Zn-Pb lodes that remain untapped.
Gold 50’s maiden drilling program, completed in April 2023, successfully tested multiple targets within the broad Golconda-Tub zone, characterised by strong alteration, veining, and sulfide bodies. The company’s understanding of structural controls played a critical role in the program’s success.
Wallace further stated that the recent drilling results have guided focused field work, including trenching, to better comprehend the extensive thicknesses of gallium present in the region. The company plans to continue its exploration efforts later this year to unlock the full potential of the Golconda Project.
The discovery of gallium at Golconda comes at a crucial time, highlighting the importance of diversifying global supply chains for essential high-tech materials. As Gold 50 presses forward with its exploration efforts, the potential economic implications of this discovery could prove to be substantial, positioning the company as a key player in the gallium market.