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The Pickle Crow Project. Source: Auteco Minerals
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  • Auteco Minerals (AUT) bolsters the inferred mineral resource estimate at its Pickle Crow Project in Canada by 71 per cent
  • The resource upgrade comes on the back of a 45,000-metre drilling program completed at the project in 2020
  • The project’s resource estimate now sits at 6.6 million tonnes at 8.1 grams of gold per tonne (g/t) for 1.71 million ounces of gold
  • Auteco launched a fresh drilling program in June this year, with 50,000 metres worth of drilling planned as part of this 2021 exploration work
  • Shares in Auteco spiked over 8 per cent at market open but have since retreated back to the grey line to trade at 12 cents each at 11:28 am AEST

Junior explorer Auteco Minerals (AUT) has bolstered the inferred mineral resource estimate at its Pickle Crow Project in Canada by 71 per cent.

The resource now sits at 6.6 million tonnes at 8.1 grams of gold per tonne (g/t) for 1.71 million ounces of gold. This is up from the previous resource estimate of one million ounces of gold at 11.3 g/t reported in September 2020.

The latest estimate is made up of a high-grade vein-hosted resource of 4.5 million tonnes at 10.1 g/t for 1.47 million ounces of contained gold — an increase of 47 per cent on the last estimate — and a brand new banded iron formation (BIF) resource of 240,000 ounces of gold grading 3.7 g/t gold.

What’s more, Auteco Executive Chairman Ray Shorrocks said the resource upgrade cost just $15.25 per ounce to complete.

“To grow the high-grade resource by almost 50 per cent by adding 470,000 oz at more than 10 g/t is an exceptional result. Achieving that at a cost of around $15/oz is even better,” Mr Shorrocks said.

“Pickle Crow now has genuine scale and is truly high-grade by any measure. These factors highlight the quality of the mineralised system.”

The resource upgrade came on the back of a major exploration program taken on last year, underpinned by some 45,000 metres of drilling in the project area. With the $15.25-per-ounce price tag, Auteco said this is an “outstanding” return on the drilling campaign.

What’s next?

While the resource upgrade was based on last year’s exploration work, Auteco launched a fresh drilling program in June this year.

All up, the company plans to drill 50,000 metres worth of holes as part of the 2021 program, with 14 diamond holes for 5622 metres completed so far.

Auteco said assay results have been partially received for five of these holes.

Further, the company told investors it is fully funded for its growth strategy, with $26.8 million worth of cash on hand at the end of March, before the latest drilling work began.

The company is yet to release its quarterly report for the June 2021 quarter and updated cash balance.

According to Auteco, the Pickle Crow mine was one of the highest-grade historical Canadian gold producers, with 1.5 million ounces of the yellow metal produced at an average of 16.1 g/t between 1935 and 1966.

Shares in Auteco spiked over 8 per cent at market open but have since retreated back to the grey line to trade at 12 cents each at 11:28 am AEST. The company has a $192 million market cap.

AUT by the numbers
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