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Our exploration efforts have identified multiple high priority targets including:
Since Q4-2015 Erdene has largely focused on its new 100%-owned high-grade Bayan Khundii gold discovery, however, the larger district is host to several other 100%-owned prospects, including the Company’s Altan Nar gold-polymetallic project, 16 km northwest of Bayan Khundii. The wider district, although still in its infancy in regards to modern exploration, is now known to host the full spectrum of arc-related base and precious metal systems, including copper-silver and molybdenum-copper porphyries, intermediate sulphidation / carbonate base metal gold deposits, and low sulphidation epithermal gold and gold-silver systems within an approximately 40 km by 60 km area.
Erdene discovered Bayan Khundii in Q2-2015 during a regional reconnaissance program over a 1.4 km long zone of intensely silicified and sericitized volcanic units. The majority of the initial rock chip/grab samples returned highly anomalous values with over 20% of the samples returning values in excess of 3.0 g/t gold (up to 4380 g/t gold), leading to a comprehensive exploration program that has included: geological mapping; soil geochemical surveys; additional surface rock chip sampling; a ground magnetic survey; gradient array and dipole-dipole induced polarization surveys; and the completion of 11,340 meters of drilling in 96 drill holes (as of December 2016). Drilling has revealed the presence of very high gold grades, including 112 g/t gold over 2 metres (hole BKD-92; Midfield Zone), within broad mineralized envelopes, including 65 metres of 6.3 g/t gold (hole BKD-77; Striker Zone). Detailed studies indicate the mineralized zones can be characterized as low-sulphidation, quartz-sericite (illite)-adularia type mineralization that was formed in a back-arc extensional environment.
The Altan Nar gold-polymetallic (silver-lead-zinc) deposit was discovered by Erdene during a regional reconnaissance program. Since drilling the first hole in late 2011 (23 m of 2.1 g/t gold), Altan Nar has progressed rapidly, now consisting of 18 high-grade, near-surface mineralized zones across a 5.6 km x 1.5 km mineralized corridor. Drilling in Q3-2015 returned 9 m of 7.3 g/t gold, 25 g/t Ag, 1.20% Pb, and 1.65% Zn (9.2 g/t Au equivalent) within a 38 m interval of 2.0 g/t gold, 55 m from surface. Altan Nar hosts multi-phase, epithermal mineralization dominated by an intermediate sulphidation, carbonate, base metal gold phase.
The Altan Arrow gold-silver project is located 13 km southeast of Altan Nar and 3.5 km north of Bayan Khundii. Erdene completed a maiden drilling program at Altan Arrow in late 2016 to test epithermal gold-silver targets previously sampled at surface over a 1 square km area. Drill results confirmed the presence of both high-grade gold bearing veins (up to 23.5 g/t gold over 2 m at 76 m depth) and broad structurally controlled lower-grade zones (up to 28 m of 0.45 g/t AuEq), including values of up to 2.4 g/t gold and 171 g/t silver.
The Company’s Zuun Mod molybdenum property is located approximately 40 km east of Altan Nar and Bayan Khundii, and 200 km from railhead at Ceke on the Chinese border. In June 2011, Erdene released an updated National Instrument 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for Zuun Mod, including a Measured and Indicated Resource of 218 Mt at an average grade of 0.057% molybdenum and 0.069% copper (0.04% Mo cut off grade). This equates to 273.5 million pounds of contained Mo metal and 330.7 million pounds of contained Cu metal. In addition, Zuun Mod has an Inferred Resource of 168 Mt averaging 0.052% molybdenum and 0.065% copper.
The Khuvyn Khar copper-silver project is located on the Zuun Mod property, approximately 2.2 km northwest of the Zuun Mod molybdenum-copper porphyry deposit. Previous drilling completed by the Corporation to test a geophysical target, intersected 34 m of 1.3% copper and 9.24 g/t silver from 308 m to 342 m (hole ZMD-121). Additional drilling on the Khuvyn Khar prospect has defined a very large copper mineralized zone trending over 900 m with multiple zones in three drill holes returning assays in excess of 0.2% copper over significant widths (12 m to 42 m).
A Strategic Alliance with Teck Resources Limited ("Teck”) was entered into in April 2013, and was formed by the signing of option and private placement agreements (collectively, “Agreement”) to fund and carry out mineral exploration in the prospective Trans Altai region of southwest Mongolia. A multi-year program of regional exploration, designed to identify porphyry and porphyry-related mineralization, has been underway since inception.
Excluded from the Alliance are the Company’s Bayan Khundii, Altan Arrow, and Altan Nar gold projects, along with the Zuun Mod and Khuvyn Khar projects.