Today was the first day of my site visit to see the projects of Royal Road Minerals Ltd (CVE:RYR). We started the day in Medellin and then drove for around two and a half hours to the east on a sealed highway, with the last 30 minutes of our journey on unpaved roads up the valley where the Guiter-Niverengo Gold Project is located (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Location of the Guiter-Niverengo Gold Project
Source: Royal Road Minerals
Leading the visit was Royal Road’s director and chief operating officer, Vernon Arseneault, and chief geologist, Mauricio Valencia, with exploration geologist, Daniel Vermond and investor relations manager María Camila Gutiérrez also accompanying us.
The Guiter-Niverengo Gold Project, is located on the hanging wall of a north-south oriented fault that separates bedded sedimentary units from volcanic rocks with interbedded sediments (Figure 2). The sediments are cross-cut by east-west trending carbonate-quartz-sulphide veins that have been extensively worked by local miners.
Figure 2: The Geology of the Guiter-Niverengo Gold Project
Source: Royal Road Minerals
There are around 60 adits within the concession area, most of which have yet to be fully explored or sampled. We went into one of these adits (Figure 3), which can be seen in our site visit video. This north-south oriented adit was here when AngloGold explored the project back in 2016, but back then it was only around 2 metres (m) long, now it’s around 70m long.
Figure 3: An Adit at the Guiter-Niverengo Gold Project
The rocks that can be seen exposed in the adit are intensively altered and silicified sediments, that are cross-cut but a stockwork of quartz, carbonate and quartz-carbonate veinlets that contain sulphides, dominantly pyrrhotite (Figure 4).
Figure 4: Sulphide mineralisation the Guiter-Niverengo Gold Project
The adit itself is cross-cut by a series of wider east-west orientated veins, that are dominantly carbonate, with less quartz, pyrrhotite, pyrite, chalcopyrite and sphalerite. These veins are around 2-5cm wide. These east-west veins are what the local miners have been focusing their efforts on mining.
To the east and up the valley by around 250m in elevation can be seen an area of white trees that is in the vicinity of where AngloGold drilled (Figure 5): 28m at a grade of 0.9 grams per tonne (g/t) gold (GUI-DD-009); 12m at a grade of 1.8 g/t gold (GUI-DD-006); 2m at a grade of 3.8 g/t gold (Au), 8m at a grade of 2.5 g/t Au and 6m at a grade of 1.6g/t Au.
Figure 5: Location of previous drilling at the Guiter-Niverengo Gold Project
Further up the valley is an area of extensive local mining with 200 miners operating on a periodic basis (Figure 6). Within the whole valley, there is believed to be around 400 miners in total. These upper valley workings have extensive soil heaps and we have been told by the miners that they have been worked for over 100 years.
Figure 6: Location of extensive local mining at the Guiter-Niverengo Gold Project
The entire veins system at Guiter-Niverengo has been mapped over 6 kilometres (km), giving Royal Road an extensive exploration target in an area with extensive local mining operations.
Since acquiring the project in the middle of 2019, Royal Road has undertaken a review of the existing exploration data and believes the project has the potential for a higher-grade bulk-tonnage target at depth within the metasomatized host rocks. The company expects to commence in the first half of 2020.