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Australian mining company discovers gold, silver deposits in northern Cambodia

A bag of gold nuggets at a mining site in the Kingdom's north in 2015.
A bag of gold nuggets at a mining site in the Kingdom's north in 2015. Heng Chivoan

Australian mining company discovers gold, silver deposits in northern Cambodia

Australia-based mining company Geopacific Resources has confirmed the discovery of gold and silver deposits at its drilling site in northern Cambodia, according to a company release on the Australian stock exchange.

Geopacific announced on Wednesday that a new zone of gold and silver deposits was discovered at its Prospect 118 site at the company's Kou Sa project in Preah Vihear province – the second such find this year after another discovery was announced in January.

The gold and silver discovered thus far have been found in epithermal deposits, which are typically small in size but high in concentration of minerals. These types of deposits are likely caused by the circulation of sub-surface water, which breaks down organic compounds in the soil and mineralises them--converting organic matter into inorganic substances like gold and silver. Because they are found near the earth's surface, epithermal deposits are considered easily mineable.

As Geopacific moves closer to the source of this circulation, it will likely find more gold, according to Geopacific managing director Ron Heeks.

With much of the land incorporated in Geopacific’s Kou Sa licence yet unexplored by drilling, the most recent gold and silver discoveries indicate that there remain significant deposits to be uncovered at the site, Heeks said in the release.

“The prospectivity of the Kou Sa project has been greatly enhanced by this new, large epithermal gold discovery,” he said, adding that both recent finds indicated that a larger “significantly sized source” driving the mineralisation had yet to be found.

“This [discovery] is consistent with results across the project, all of which indicates a significant ‘engine’ driving the deposition of mineralisation,” he said. “The results from this drilling indicate that we have probably encountered an outflow zone of an epithermal system and that the main zone may be located nearby.”

After exploring the Kou Sa licensed area throughout 2017, the company determined that prospect sites 118 and 181, where the first discovery was made, were likely to be home to significant mineral deposits.

The company intends to continue exploring this site, and is currently sampling the soil to identify the extent of the recently discovered gold and silver zones.

Geopacific expects to use geophysical imaging to identify further ore deposits at the site.

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