Our Projects

TETHYAN EXPLORATION OVERVIEW

Tethyan is focused on precious and base metal exploration in the Balkan region, and Tethyan holds the rights to exploration on 643 square kilometres in Serbia and Kosovo, which are located in the Western Tethyan Metallogenic Belt (TMB).

The TMB formed as result of the convergence and collision of the Arabian, African and Indian tectonic plates during closure of the Tethys Ocean, and extends from eastern Europe to Southeast Asia.

In the Balkan region, the Tethyan Orogeny resulted in the formation of several distinct arcuate belts of accreted microcontinents, obducted marine sedimentary rocks and ophiolites, within which discrete clusters of porphyry copper gold and polymetallic epithermal deposits have formed.

Significant, Tier One copper-gold discoveries have been made in the Balkan part of the TMB since the 1960s, including the Bor complex and Majdenpek (Timok Belt, Serbia), the Elatsite and Assarel deposits (Panagyurishte District, Bulgaria) and Rosia Poieni (Apuseni District, Romania).

TETHYAN’S EXPLORATION INTERESTS

Tethyan’s exploration interests currently comprise two areas:

  • The Raska District and Gokcanica-Kovaci ELs in Serbia and Kosovo total 463 km2 and are situated in the central part of the Serbomacedonian Rhodope Belt, a Miocene magmatic arc which is host to the Tulare (Dundee Precious Metals, Serbia), Bucim and Ilovica copper-gold porphyry deposits and the Lece, Kizevak, Belo Brdo and Stri Trg polymetallic vein and carbonate replacement deposits (the Trepca District).
  • The Zukovac and Bucje ELs are located in eastern Serbia, to the south along strike from the prolific Timok Belt. Limited work has been completed on these ELs to date and Tethyan will conduct reconnaissance work in the course of the 2018 field season.

In addition, Tethyan is continually evaluating exploration and development opportunities throughout the TMB and conducting generative exploration activities.

HISTORY OF EXPLORATION IN THE BALKANS

The Balkans region is under explored as it has seen relatively little serious exploration since the 1980s when the break-up of Yugoslavia caused geological exploration to cease. Since this time both exploration and mining techniques have improved, therefore great potential remains for new discoveries in this.

The region is highly mineralised and proven to host world class deposits, importantly opportunity still exists to acquire exploration tenements over and around known mineralisation, a setting proven to be favourable for new discoveries year on year. Currently Tethyan Resources is developing a regional deposit targeting framework to focus exploration on the most prospective and under explored areas of the Balkans and is actively reviewing project opportunities in Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Conducting exploration in the Balkans where there is such a rich history of mining is an exciting task.

Southern and Central Europe has one of the oldest mining industry in the world. There is evidence of copper mining by the Cretians since the 5th millennium BC in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. From the 2d century AD, the Romans obtained gold from the Balkans, in particular in the Carpathians. Two of the oldest copper mines in Europe are located in the Balkans.

The main one in Serbia is Rudna Glava belonging to the Vinča culture. The discovery of these mines have changed the thinking of the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic periods of European history by pushing back European usage of copper by a thousand years or more.

Modern, industrialised mining was started by the Austrians and by the 20th Century the copper mines of Bor in Serbia and the Trepca lead-zinc complex in what is now Kosovo were among the largest operations of their kind in Europe. However this proud tradition of mining was dramatically interrupted by the breakup of Yugoslavia, the ensuing civil war and international economic sanctions. Today there is a momentum and government support to reinvigorate exploration and mining in the region.

RUDNICA OVERVIEW

  • Two copper-gold-(molybdenum) porphyry centres over a 1.2 km strike length
  • Mineralisation is coincident with anomalous gold, copper and molybdenum in soil and depleted zinc and manganese, as well as magnetic highs and zones of elevated chargeability and low resistivity
  • Geochemical and alteration zoning indicates that the lithocap has been eroded and the upper parts of the porphyry system is exposed at surface
  • Mineralisation is open in all directions
  • The northern prospect (Rudnica North) has not been drill tested
  • Significant drill intercepts at the southern Rudnica prospect include
    • 567 m @ 0.28 % copper and 0.45 g/t gold (from surface, RDD-001)
    • 356 m @ 0.38 % copper and 0.31 g/t gold (from 48m, RDD-004)
    • 460 m @ 0.21 % copper and 0.20 g/t gold (from surface, RDD-006)

Tethyan Resources entered into an option agreement over the Suva Ruda exploration license, which contains the Rudnica copper-gold porphyry project, in September 2016 (see press release dated 27th September 2016). According to the option agreement, Tethyan holds the option to purchase 100% of the license at any time during an 8 year period for a EURO 6 million cash payment provided that Tethyan achieves certain exploration and payment milestones (terms of the Option Agreement are discussed below).

Figure 1: Data compilation at Rudnica copper-gold porphyry project

Rudnica is the most advanced target and has been subject to historic drilling as well as 4,445 m of diamond drilling by Tethyan. Tethyan has also completed detailed soil sampling, channel sampling and a TITAN 24 geophysical survey. As a result of this drilling, mineralisation has been defined over 300 by 200 m at surface and to 550 m below surface, but remains open in all directions. A 15 to 30 m thick zone of supergene copper enrichment has been identified at approximately 100 m below surface, overlying hypogene copper-gold porphyry style mineralisation (stockwork veins and disseminated mineralisation).

Rudnica North is situated 600 m north of Rudnica and has not been drilled. Porphyry style quartz veins have been mapped over an area of 300 by 300 m and are coincident with an ovoid magnetic high and chargeability high, which is present between 300 and 600 m below surface. Channel sampling by Tethyan at Rudnica North returned significant gold bearing, copper poor intercepts (to be expected due to supergene leaching as at Rudnica) from similar geology to Rudnica and are shown below:

  • RCH015: 40m @ 0.21 g/t gold
  • RCH016: 30m @ 0.24 g/t gold
  • RCH017: 10m @ 0.26 g/t gold

The channel samples also returned anomalous molybdenum, which is indicative of the upper levels of a porphyry system. The prospect is now considered drill-ready to test for the potential presence of a near-surface supergene copper zone overlying hypogene copper-gold mineralisation.

Figure 2. Soil sampling and porphyry vein type and abundance mapping at Rudnica highlights the size of the system.

2016 / 2017 DRILL RESULTS

Results from Tethyan’s 2016 and 2017 drilling programmes at Rudnica are shown in the table below:

Drill Hole ID Easting Northing Elevation (m) Dip Azimuth Total Depth (m) From (m) To (m) Length (m) Copper Grade (%) Gold Grade (g/t)
RDD-001 473,927 4,787,653 604 -85 136 584.6 0 567 567 0.28 0.45
including 122 158 36 1.22 0.38
RDD-002 474,022 4,787,637 622 -76 165 461.8 6 74 68 0.11 0.23
98 320 222 0.24 0.27
354 440 86 0.16 0.30
RDD-003 473,873 4,787,734 581 -60 140 710 42 327 285 0.31 0.33
including 102 118.7 16.7 1.55 0.20
657 695 38 0.14 0.27
RDD-004 474,005 4,787,752 592 -60 210 558.6 48 404 356 0.38 0.31
including 102 132 30 1.45 0.39
476 502 26 0.12 0.19
RDD-005 473,890 4,787,657 596 -65 30 535.7 6 266 260 0.22 0.20
including 116 128 12 0.78 0.13
  366 535.7 169.7 0.15
RDD-006 474,020 4,787,640 622 -80 325 500.6 0 460 460 0.21 0.20
including 92 112 20 1.04 0.20
RDD-007 473,816 4,787,670 577 -60 140 611.6 0 572 572 0.11 0.16
including 106 186 80 0.30 0.16
RDD-008 474,039 4,787,804 579 -60 210 479.7 138 479.7 341.7 0.17 0.24

The results of these drill holes have expanded the known extent of the Rudnica porphyry system, and have returned long intervals of porphyry-style stockwork copper mineralisation hosted in multi-phase porphyritic dacite/diorite intrusions. The true widths of the drill intersections cannot be determined with the information available as mineralisation is disseminated throughout the large system.

GEOLOGY

Rudnica comprises Neogene andesite and andesitic volcaniclastics which unconformably overlie Paleozoic serpentinite.  At Rudnica these units have been intruded by a suite of steeply northwest dipping hornblende diorite stocks and dykes and tonalite dykes. The intrusive suite occurs over a north-south area of at least 600 by 250 m. Four stages of intrusions have been recognised: early-mineralisation (P10), intra-mineralisation (P20) and late-mineralisation (P30 and P40). Several generations of late-mineral faults are observed offsetting mineralisation on a small (10s of meters) scale.

Rudnica North is inferred to lie on the northern, downthrown side of a west-northwest trending, post-mineral normal fault and therefore represents a more shallowly eroded porphyry than Rudnica.

MINERALISATION

The upper 30 to 100m of the Rudnica deposit has been leached by weathering resulting in a copper-poor, gold bearing cap which contains gold grades of between 0.2 and 0.6 g/t gold. The leached zone overlies a 10 to 30 m thick zone of supergene copper enrichment (chalcocite blanket) which contains copper-gold grades of between 0.8 % and 2 % copper and 0.2 and 0.6 g/t gold.

At Rudnica, copper-gold mineralisation comprises steeply northwest and northeast dipping porphyry style (A and B) stockwork quartz-pyrite-chalcopyrite ± magnetite veins and disseminated sulphides associated primarily with P10 intrusions, with lower copper-gold grades observed in P20 intrusions. This hypogene mineralisation has been defined over 300 by 200 m to a depth of 550 m below surface, and remains open at depth and along strike as indicated from drilling results and surface mapping.

% Cu Equivalent = % Cu + 0.64 x g/t Au (US$ 2.97 US per lb Cu and US$ 1300 per troy oz Au).

Copper-gold mineralisation sits at the core of the intrusive suite and is enveloped by an outer zone of weakly anomalous (>10ppm) molybdenum, overlying a chargeability high. The molybdenum zonation is typical of most porphyry systems and indicates that the upper parts of the porphyry system are exposed. The chargeability anomaly at depth remains to be fully tested by drilling.

Late gold-silver-lead-zinc veins cross cut the copper-gold porphyry mineralisation and trend east-west.

ALTERATION

Rudnica is characterised by a central zone of early relict secondary biotite (potassic) alteration and magnetite-stable chlorite-epidote-actinolite (propylitic) alteration overprinted by late magnetite-destructive quartz-sericite-pyrite (phyllic) alteration. The late phyllic alteration is observed near-surface and locally at depth, with a narrow transitional zone of chlorite-sericite-clay (intermediate argillic) alteration observed between the early and late alteration assemblages. This alteration zonation is indicative of the upper parts of a porphyry system.

PHOTO GALLERY

Option Agreement

Under the terms of the Agreement Tethyan is entitled to purchase 100% of the License or Deep Research (at Tethyan’s discretion) for a cash payment of €6 million, plus a percentage of the eventual capital cost of building the mine (details set out below), at any time during the total duration of the License and any future extensions of the License (a minimum of 7 years from the date of the Agreement).

The decision whether or not to exercise the Option during this period is at the sole discretion of the Company. The percentage of the capital costs payable by Tethyan in relation to the building of the mine (the “CAPEX”), which will only become clear once a bankable feasibility study has been conducted over the License, will only become payable if Tethyan exercises the Option, secures the necessary financing and proceeds with the building of the mine. The percentage of these costs due to the shareholders of Deep Research will be calculated as follows:

  • 4% of CAPEX up to €200m;
  • 2% of CAPEX between €200 – 500m;
  • 1% of CAPEX in excess of €500m.

Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, and in order to retain the Option, the Company will arrange to complete, at its sole discretion, the following work program on the License:

  • a minimum of 2,000m drilling before 28 December 2016;
  • a minimum of 5,000m additional drilling before 28 December 2018;
  • complete a preliminary economic assessment before the sixth anniversary of the date of the Agreement;
  • complete an economic feasibility study before the seventh anniversary of the Agreement.

The Company estimate that the full cost of the drilling programme to be completed by 28 December 2018 will be less than £500,000. The drilling programme can be stopped at any stage at the Company’s sole discretion. The purpose of the drilling programme is to assess the prospectivity of the License so that Tethyan can make an informed decision with regards to the exercise of the Option.

In order to satisfy the first requirement under the work programme Tethyan intends to start work immediately with respect to drilling 2,000 meters by 28 December 2016. Discussions have commenced with local drill contractors who have drill rigs standing-by to commence work. Land access is currently being assessed in order to allow for drilling during the next 3 years,

The Company will also make certain milestone payments, at its sole discretion, in order to retain the Option:

  • €100,000 by 1 March 2017;
  • €100,000 on each anniversary of the signing the Agreement up until the third year.

KIZEVAK OVERVIEW

Brownfield zinc-lead-silver exploration target is an extension of mineralisation at the historic, past-producing Kizevak open pit mine. Mineralisation comprises structurally controlled vein and breccia hosted (intermediate sulphidation) massive sulphide lenses. The area is a continuation of the Trepca mining district, ‘Trepca’ was the largest lead-zinc-silver mining complex in Yugoslavia during the 1970s and remains prospective for lead-zinc-silver discoveries.

Soil sampling has identified two significant anomalies:

  • Southeastern Anomaly: 
    • Located 1000 m southeast along strike from Kizevak historic open pit mine
    • The prospect is defined by a 500 by 260 m zinc-lead-silver soil anomaly
    • A 1,000 m drill programme is underway
  • Southern Anomaly:
    • Located 800 m south of Kizevak historic mine
    • Sub-parallel structure to main trend
    • The prospect is defined by a 1.3 km by 150 m lead-zinc soil anomaly and coincident 400 by 290 m gold-silver soil anomaly

IMAGE GALLERY

GOKCANICA OVERVIEW

Tethyan Resources has executed an option agreement with Rockstone Group LLC (“RGS”) pursuant to which Tethyan can earn up to an 80% interest in the Gokcanica project licenses in Southern Serbia (“the Gokcanica Permits”).

The Gokcanica Permits consist of two adjoining permits with a combined area of 110km² located in southern Serbia, 5 km to the north of the town Josaniska Banja. The area is located within the 500 km² Rashka ore field. A Jurassic ophiolite sequence intruded and overlain by Tertiary andesitic volcanics and intermediate stocks covers the area. The board of Tethyan believes that good potential for porphyry and epithermal style mineralisation as well as deeper-level replacement base metal and gold deposits exists throughout the license.

Mining in the Gokcanica licence area dates back beyond contemporary records and is evidenced by many pits and shafts. Exploration from the 1970s focused on lead-zinc-silver veins. Euromax Resources Limited (“Euromax”) conducted exploration in the area from 2006 to 2008. Following this work a major copper company explored the area for porphyry copper mineralisation in 2014-2015.

Euromax completed a detailed mapping and soil geochemistry program over a 6 km long zone of phyllic to argillic altered andesite volcanics and intrusives with abundant ancient mine workings. Drilling at the northern end of this trend by Euromax intersected multiple gossan and massive sulphide intervals, one of which reported 12.4 metres at 1.5% copper, 1.4% lead, 0.8% zinc, 62 g/t silver and 1.6 g/t gold. This program also defined a 3 km by 2 km magmatic complex at the southern end of the trend which remains undrilled.

A major copper company followed-up this work on the large zone of phyllic to argillic alteration, which measures 6 km by 3 km wide, indicating the potential for a porphyry copper gold deposit. They identified a coincident Cu-Mo soil anomaly within this alteration. However after drilling 6 holes the major copper company did not locate the source of this Cu-Mo anomalism. In addition the phyllic alteration occurs within altered andesites immediately above an unconformity contact with the ophiolite basement. This is a classic contact zone for porphyry copper deposits to form, for example the Resk Project (700 million ton @ 0.7 % Cu, 0.3 g/t Au) in Hungary forms at an unconformity contact between basement and overlying altered volcanics.

More recent prospecting work has located a number of arsenopyrite and pyrite rich veins which outcrop over a 200 meter strike length, can be up to 20 meters wide, and with individual assays up to 67 g/t gold. Detailed channel sampling has not been completed on this zone and it has not been drilled. Tethyan plans to focus initial exploration on these zones for a potential high grade gold target. Exploration will consist of geological mapping, rock chip sampling, trenching and drilling.

With large areas of alteration and many undrilled gossan zones rich in precious metals we feel confident in moving the project forward to the drill stage and with the aim of discovering a significant gold deposit. Much of the previous work has been targeted at base metal veins and porphyry copper deposits and may therefore have overlooked the potential for significant gold mineralisation. The district as a whole is very under explored and previous exploration has mainly focussed on base metals and the Tethyan Resources management therefore feels that we can bring our gold exploration expertise to bear.

RASKA DISTRICT OVERVIEW

The Raska District is prospective for copper-gold porphyry and lead-zinc-silver-(gold) vein type (intermediate sulphidation) deposits. The district is located at the northern end of the Trepca lead-zinc-silver belt in southwestern Serbia and northern Kosovo, which has been a major producer of lead, zinc and silver since the 1970s. Tethyan believes that the region remains prospective for additional lead-zinc-silver discoveries and is relatively poorly explored for copper-gold porphyry style mineralisation.

Tethyan’s flagship Kizevak and Rudnica projects are located in the Raska District, however Tethyan also holds multiple additional exploration targets in the district, as detailed below.

EXPLORATION PROJECTS

Tethyan controls the rights to 463km2 of exploration licenses in the Raska District and is conducting a systematic exploration programme to generate targets, prioritise significant prospects, and advance them to the mineral resource estimation stage. To date, three copper-gold-(molybdenum) porphyry prospects have been identified, surrounded by multiple stand-alone lead-zinc-silver vein and breccia targets:

Copper-Gold Porphyry Prospects

  • Rundnica and Rudnica North (flagship project)
  • Bukovik
  • Kremice

Lead-Zinc-Silver-(Gold) Prospects

  • Kizevak (flagship project)
  • Sastavci
  • Lipovica
  • Karadak
  • Gokcanica and Kovaci
  • Amedija
  • Fern Hill

SASTAVCI TARGET

Soil sampling returned a 290 by 300 m gold-silver-lead-zinc anomaly (50-240 ppb gold, 5-52 ppm silver, 1500-62,400 ppm lead, 250-3450 ppm zinc) situated 500 m north of the historic Sastavci mine, which is open along strike to the east. The soil anomaly occurs on a prominent 800 m long, east-trending ridge, that is also 600 m west of a gold occurrence shown on historic maps, with outcrops of silicified, rarely vuggy, andesite tuff which grades outward to argillic and phyllic alteration. The prospect is inferred to represent an epithermal polymetallic vein target and Tethyan is awaiting results of an easterly extension to this soil grid.

View of alteration in road-cut in Sastavci target area, situated 500 m north of historic mine.

BUKOVIC TARGET (Copper-Gold)

The Bukovik prospect is situated on an elevated ridge with widespread float comprising argillic and advanced argillic altered andesitic rocks, with rare samples of specular hematite and alunite alteration observed. Bukovik is characterised by a copper-rich, zinc-poor and bismuth-rich soil anomaly (780 by 400 m), weakly elevated gold, arsenic and molybdenum, and depleted manganese and lithium. Bukovik is flanked by the Lipovica lead-zinc-silver vein system and the Plavkovo Au-Cu-(Pb-Zn) prospect. This metal zonation, alteration and geochemistry is indicative of a shallowly eroded lithocap environment, which may host a high-sulphidation gold target and potentially overly a deeper copper-gold porphyry system (Figure 3).

LIPOVICA (Zinc-Lead-Silver)

Mineralisation comprises sub-parallel quartz-sulphide veins over a strike length of 1 km and a total width of 100 m, where individual veins vary from 0.2 to 2 m wide based on historical data. Historic underground workings and drilling have been conducted and Tethyan intends to access and review this data to aid geological interpretation. Underground workings are not currently accessible. Soil sampling in this area shows a large zone of weakly anomalous lead-zinc coincident and peripheral to the location of historic, collapsed adits.

Tethyan collected three rock-chip samples from a waste dump at an historic adit, which returned between 0.7 and 54.9 g/t silver, 0.1 to 4.6 % lead and 0.1 to 4.2% zinc

PLAVKOVO (Gold-Silver-Lead-Zinc)

Plavkovo is located 1 km south of the Rudnica copper-gold porphyry deposit. Mineralisation is coincident with a 2 by 0.2 km, east-west zinc soil anomaly. Two outcropping zones of alteration and mineralisation have been identified within the zinc soil anomaly, located 800 m apart. The western zone strikes northeast over 300 by 150 m and comprises silica-clay altered andesite cross-cut by a network of quartz-hematite and hematite veinlets in zones up to 30 m wide with evidence of historic exploration pits at surface over the entire strike length. Tethyan collected three rock-chip samples from this area which returned results of between 0.36 and 6.46 g/t gold, 11.8 and 65.7 g/t silver, and 0.01 to 0.17 % copper.

The eastern zone comprises a broad zone of at least 300 by 200 m of argillic and phyllic altered andesites cross-cut by rare quartz-hematite-goethite-jarosite and carbonate-hematite-goethite veins and veinlets, between 0.2 and 2m wide. Results of first pass chip-channel sampling in this area did not return significant results, however the zone warrants continued mapping and sampling given the proximity to Rudnica and the coincident zinc in soil anomaly.

EXPLORATION CONCEPT

Tethyan’s Raska District prospects display similar size alteration halos, metal zonation and geophysical characteristics to other major porphyry districts worldwide. By way of comparison, the below image demonstrates the scale of the alteration and mineralisation observed at surface in the Raska District relative to the major copper deposits of the Timok Belt in eastern Serbia.

Tethyan’s Rudnica, Bukovik and Kremice porphyry prospects in the Raska District have typical geochemical and geophysical characteristics associated with copper-gold porphyry systems, including:

  • Strong metal zonation at surface which provides vectors to mineralisation
    • Coincident copper-gold-molybdenum in soil and channel samples at Rudnica and Kremice
    • Depleted zinc and manganese overlying porphyry mineralisation
    • Elevated arsenic and bismuth in soils
  • Alteration is indicative of upper levels of hydrothermal system
    • Alunite, vuggy silica and specular hematite observed at Bukovik, inferred to represent a lithocap environment, potentially overlying or on the shoulders of a deeper porphyry
    • Strong sericite and weak silica alteration at surface indicates the roots of a lithocap are exposed at Rudnica, i.e the top of a porphyry
  • Mapping has confirmed the presence of porphyry style veining coincident with the geochemical anomalies at Rudnica and Rudnica North, and detailed mapping of the Kremice and Bukovik prospects is planned to follow up the geochemical anomalies.
  • Coincident geophysical anomalies underly the geochemical anomalies and alteration zones
    • Moderate magnetic highs observed at Rudnica and Rudnica North, related to magnetite stable alteration and serpentinite basement
    • Magnetic data provides excellent basis for broad scale structural interpretation
    • Chargeable highs and resistivity lows are coincident with the magnetic anomalies

In addition, several lead-zinc-silver vein and breccia hosted targets are observed peripheral to the porphyry prospects and present stand-alone exploration targets. Tethyan infers that the porphyry and lead-zinc-silver (intermediate sulphidation) deposits are related to the same mineralising events.

Overview

TETHYAN EXPLORATION OVERVIEW

Tethyan is focused on precious and base metal exploration in the Balkan region, and Tethyan holds the rights to exploration on 643 square kilometres in Serbia and Kosovo, which are located in the Western Tethyan Metallogenic Belt (TMB).

The TMB formed as result of the convergence and collision of the Arabian, African and Indian tectonic plates during closure of the Tethys Ocean, and extends from eastern Europe to Southeast Asia.

In the Balkan region, the Tethyan Orogeny resulted in the formation of several distinct arcuate belts of accreted microcontinents, obducted marine sedimentary rocks and ophiolites, within which discrete clusters of porphyry copper gold and polymetallic epithermal deposits have formed.

Significant, Tier One copper-gold discoveries have been made in the Balkan part of the TMB since the 1960s, including the Bor complex and Majdenpek (Timok Belt, Serbia), the Elatsite and Assarel deposits (Panagyurishte District, Bulgaria) and Rosia Poieni (Apuseni District, Romania).

TETHYAN’S EXPLORATION INTERESTS

Tethyan’s exploration interests currently comprise two areas:

  • The Raska District and Gokcanica-Kovaci ELs in Serbia and Kosovo total 463 km2 and are situated in the central part of the Serbomacedonian Rhodope Belt, a Miocene magmatic arc which is host to the Tulare (Dundee Precious Metals, Serbia), Bucim and Ilovica copper-gold porphyry deposits and the Lece, Kizevak, Belo Brdo and Stri Trg polymetallic vein and carbonate replacement deposits (the Trepca District).
  • The Zukovac and Bucje ELs are located in eastern Serbia, to the south along strike from the prolific Timok Belt. Limited work has been completed on these ELs to date and Tethyan will conduct reconnaissance work in the course of the 2018 field season.

In addition, Tethyan is continually evaluating exploration and development opportunities throughout the TMB and conducting generative exploration activities.

HISTORY OF EXPLORATION IN THE BALKANS

The Balkans region is under explored as it has seen relatively little serious exploration since the 1980s when the break-up of Yugoslavia caused geological exploration to cease. Since this time both exploration and mining techniques have improved, therefore great potential remains for new discoveries in this.

The region is highly mineralised and proven to host world class deposits, importantly opportunity still exists to acquire exploration tenements over and around known mineralisation, a setting proven to be favourable for new discoveries year on year. Currently Tethyan Resources is developing a regional deposit targeting framework to focus exploration on the most prospective and under explored areas of the Balkans and is actively reviewing project opportunities in Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Conducting exploration in the Balkans where there is such a rich history of mining is an exciting task.

Southern and Central Europe has one of the oldest mining industry in the world. There is evidence of copper mining by the Cretians since the 5th millennium BC in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. From the 2d century AD, the Romans obtained gold from the Balkans, in particular in the Carpathians. Two of the oldest copper mines in Europe are located in the Balkans.

The main one in Serbia is Rudna Glava belonging to the Vinča culture. The discovery of these mines have changed the thinking of the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic periods of European history by pushing back European usage of copper by a thousand years or more.

Modern, industrialised mining was started by the Austrians and by the 20th Century the copper mines of Bor in Serbia and the Trepca lead-zinc complex in what is now Kosovo were among the largest operations of their kind in Europe. However this proud tradition of mining was dramatically interrupted by the breakup of Yugoslavia, the ensuing civil war and international economic sanctions. Today there is a momentum and government support to reinvigorate exploration and mining in the region.

Rudnica Copper-Gold Porphyry

RUDNICA OVERVIEW

  • Two copper-gold-(molybdenum) porphyry centres over a 1.2 km strike length
  • Mineralisation is coincident with anomalous gold, copper and molybdenum in soil and depleted zinc and manganese, as well as magnetic highs and zones of elevated chargeability and low resistivity
  • Geochemical and alteration zoning indicates that the lithocap has been eroded and the upper parts of the porphyry system is exposed at surface
  • Mineralisation is open in all directions
  • The northern prospect (Rudnica North) has not been drill tested
  • Significant drill intercepts at the southern Rudnica prospect include
    • 567 m @ 0.28 % copper and 0.45 g/t gold (from surface, RDD-001)
    • 356 m @ 0.38 % copper and 0.31 g/t gold (from 48m, RDD-004)
    • 460 m @ 0.21 % copper and 0.20 g/t gold (from surface, RDD-006)

Tethyan Resources entered into an option agreement over the Suva Ruda exploration license, which contains the Rudnica copper-gold porphyry project, in September 2016 (see press release dated 27th September 2016). According to the option agreement, Tethyan holds the option to purchase 100% of the license at any time during an 8 year period for a EURO 6 million cash payment provided that Tethyan achieves certain exploration and payment milestones (terms of the Option Agreement are discussed below).

Figure 1: Data compilation at Rudnica copper-gold porphyry project

Rudnica is the most advanced target and has been subject to historic drilling as well as 4,445 m of diamond drilling by Tethyan. Tethyan has also completed detailed soil sampling, channel sampling and a TITAN 24 geophysical survey. As a result of this drilling, mineralisation has been defined over 300 by 200 m at surface and to 550 m below surface, but remains open in all directions. A 15 to 30 m thick zone of supergene copper enrichment has been identified at approximately 100 m below surface, overlying hypogene copper-gold porphyry style mineralisation (stockwork veins and disseminated mineralisation).

Rudnica North is situated 600 m north of Rudnica and has not been drilled. Porphyry style quartz veins have been mapped over an area of 300 by 300 m and are coincident with an ovoid magnetic high and chargeability high, which is present between 300 and 600 m below surface. Channel sampling by Tethyan at Rudnica North returned significant gold bearing, copper poor intercepts (to be expected due to supergene leaching as at Rudnica) from similar geology to Rudnica and are shown below:

  • RCH015: 40m @ 0.21 g/t gold
  • RCH016: 30m @ 0.24 g/t gold
  • RCH017: 10m @ 0.26 g/t gold

The channel samples also returned anomalous molybdenum, which is indicative of the upper levels of a porphyry system. The prospect is now considered drill-ready to test for the potential presence of a near-surface supergene copper zone overlying hypogene copper-gold mineralisation.

Figure 2. Soil sampling and porphyry vein type and abundance mapping at Rudnica highlights the size of the system.

2016 / 2017 DRILL RESULTS

Results from Tethyan’s 2016 and 2017 drilling programmes at Rudnica are shown in the table below:

Drill Hole ID Easting Northing Elevation (m) Dip Azimuth Total Depth (m) From (m) To (m) Length (m) Copper Grade (%) Gold Grade (g/t)
RDD-001 473,927 4,787,653 604 -85 136 584.6 0 567 567 0.28 0.45
including 122 158 36 1.22 0.38
RDD-002 474,022 4,787,637 622 -76 165 461.8 6 74 68 0.11 0.23
98 320 222 0.24 0.27
354 440 86 0.16 0.30
RDD-003 473,873 4,787,734 581 -60 140 710 42 327 285 0.31 0.33
including 102 118.7 16.7 1.55 0.20
657 695 38 0.14 0.27
RDD-004 474,005 4,787,752 592 -60 210 558.6 48 404 356 0.38 0.31
including 102 132 30 1.45 0.39
476 502 26 0.12 0.19
RDD-005 473,890 4,787,657 596 -65 30 535.7 6 266 260 0.22 0.20
including 116 128 12 0.78 0.13
  366 535.7 169.7 0.15
RDD-006 474,020 4,787,640 622 -80 325 500.6 0 460 460 0.21 0.20
including 92 112 20 1.04 0.20
RDD-007 473,816 4,787,670 577 -60 140 611.6 0 572 572 0.11 0.16
including 106 186 80 0.30 0.16
RDD-008 474,039 4,787,804 579 -60 210 479.7 138 479.7 341.7 0.17 0.24

The results of these drill holes have expanded the known extent of the Rudnica porphyry system, and have returned long intervals of porphyry-style stockwork copper mineralisation hosted in multi-phase porphyritic dacite/diorite intrusions. The true widths of the drill intersections cannot be determined with the information available as mineralisation is disseminated throughout the large system.

GEOLOGY

Rudnica comprises Neogene andesite and andesitic volcaniclastics which unconformably overlie Paleozoic serpentinite.  At Rudnica these units have been intruded by a suite of steeply northwest dipping hornblende diorite stocks and dykes and tonalite dykes. The intrusive suite occurs over a north-south area of at least 600 by 250 m. Four stages of intrusions have been recognised: early-mineralisation (P10), intra-mineralisation (P20) and late-mineralisation (P30 and P40). Several generations of late-mineral faults are observed offsetting mineralisation on a small (10s of meters) scale.

Rudnica North is inferred to lie on the northern, downthrown side of a west-northwest trending, post-mineral normal fault and therefore represents a more shallowly eroded porphyry than Rudnica.

MINERALISATION

The upper 30 to 100m of the Rudnica deposit has been leached by weathering resulting in a copper-poor, gold bearing cap which contains gold grades of between 0.2 and 0.6 g/t gold. The leached zone overlies a 10 to 30 m thick zone of supergene copper enrichment (chalcocite blanket) which contains copper-gold grades of between 0.8 % and 2 % copper and 0.2 and 0.6 g/t gold.

At Rudnica, copper-gold mineralisation comprises steeply northwest and northeast dipping porphyry style (A and B) stockwork quartz-pyrite-chalcopyrite ± magnetite veins and disseminated sulphides associated primarily with P10 intrusions, with lower copper-gold grades observed in P20 intrusions. This hypogene mineralisation has been defined over 300 by 200 m to a depth of 550 m below surface, and remains open at depth and along strike as indicated from drilling results and surface mapping.

% Cu Equivalent = % Cu + 0.64 x g/t Au (US$ 2.97 US per lb Cu and US$ 1300 per troy oz Au).

Copper-gold mineralisation sits at the core of the intrusive suite and is enveloped by an outer zone of weakly anomalous (>10ppm) molybdenum, overlying a chargeability high. The molybdenum zonation is typical of most porphyry systems and indicates that the upper parts of the porphyry system are exposed. The chargeability anomaly at depth remains to be fully tested by drilling.

Late gold-silver-lead-zinc veins cross cut the copper-gold porphyry mineralisation and trend east-west.

ALTERATION

Rudnica is characterised by a central zone of early relict secondary biotite (potassic) alteration and magnetite-stable chlorite-epidote-actinolite (propylitic) alteration overprinted by late magnetite-destructive quartz-sericite-pyrite (phyllic) alteration. The late phyllic alteration is observed near-surface and locally at depth, with a narrow transitional zone of chlorite-sericite-clay (intermediate argillic) alteration observed between the early and late alteration assemblages. This alteration zonation is indicative of the upper parts of a porphyry system.

PHOTO GALLERY

Option Agreement

Under the terms of the Agreement Tethyan is entitled to purchase 100% of the License or Deep Research (at Tethyan’s discretion) for a cash payment of €6 million, plus a percentage of the eventual capital cost of building the mine (details set out below), at any time during the total duration of the License and any future extensions of the License (a minimum of 7 years from the date of the Agreement).

The decision whether or not to exercise the Option during this period is at the sole discretion of the Company. The percentage of the capital costs payable by Tethyan in relation to the building of the mine (the “CAPEX”), which will only become clear once a bankable feasibility study has been conducted over the License, will only become payable if Tethyan exercises the Option, secures the necessary financing and proceeds with the building of the mine. The percentage of these costs due to the shareholders of Deep Research will be calculated as follows:

  • 4% of CAPEX up to €200m;
  • 2% of CAPEX between €200 – 500m;
  • 1% of CAPEX in excess of €500m.

Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, and in order to retain the Option, the Company will arrange to complete, at its sole discretion, the following work program on the License:

  • a minimum of 2,000m drilling before 28 December 2016;
  • a minimum of 5,000m additional drilling before 28 December 2018;
  • complete a preliminary economic assessment before the sixth anniversary of the date of the Agreement;
  • complete an economic feasibility study before the seventh anniversary of the Agreement.

The Company estimate that the full cost of the drilling programme to be completed by 28 December 2018 will be less than £500,000. The drilling programme can be stopped at any stage at the Company’s sole discretion. The purpose of the drilling programme is to assess the prospectivity of the License so that Tethyan can make an informed decision with regards to the exercise of the Option.

In order to satisfy the first requirement under the work programme Tethyan intends to start work immediately with respect to drilling 2,000 meters by 28 December 2016. Discussions have commenced with local drill contractors who have drill rigs standing-by to commence work. Land access is currently being assessed in order to allow for drilling during the next 3 years,

The Company will also make certain milestone payments, at its sole discretion, in order to retain the Option:

  • €100,000 by 1 March 2017;
  • €100,000 on each anniversary of the signing the Agreement up until the third year.
Kizevak Zinc-Lead-Silver

KIZEVAK OVERVIEW

Brownfield zinc-lead-silver exploration target is an extension of mineralisation at the historic, past-producing Kizevak open pit mine. Mineralisation comprises structurally controlled vein and breccia hosted (intermediate sulphidation) massive sulphide lenses. The area is a continuation of the Trepca mining district, ‘Trepca’ was the largest lead-zinc-silver mining complex in Yugoslavia during the 1970s and remains prospective for lead-zinc-silver discoveries.

Soil sampling has identified two significant anomalies:

  • Southeastern Anomaly: 
    • Located 1000 m southeast along strike from Kizevak historic open pit mine
    • The prospect is defined by a 500 by 260 m zinc-lead-silver soil anomaly
    • A 1,000 m drill programme is underway
  • Southern Anomaly:
    • Located 800 m south of Kizevak historic mine
    • Sub-parallel structure to main trend
    • The prospect is defined by a 1.3 km by 150 m lead-zinc soil anomaly and coincident 400 by 290 m gold-silver soil anomaly

IMAGE GALLERY

Gokcanica Project

GOKCANICA OVERVIEW

Tethyan Resources has executed an option agreement with Rockstone Group LLC (“RGS”) pursuant to which Tethyan can earn up to an 80% interest in the Gokcanica project licenses in Southern Serbia (“the Gokcanica Permits”).

The Gokcanica Permits consist of two adjoining permits with a combined area of 110km² located in southern Serbia, 5 km to the north of the town Josaniska Banja. The area is located within the 500 km² Rashka ore field. A Jurassic ophiolite sequence intruded and overlain by Tertiary andesitic volcanics and intermediate stocks covers the area. The board of Tethyan believes that good potential for porphyry and epithermal style mineralisation as well as deeper-level replacement base metal and gold deposits exists throughout the license.

Mining in the Gokcanica licence area dates back beyond contemporary records and is evidenced by many pits and shafts. Exploration from the 1970s focused on lead-zinc-silver veins. Euromax Resources Limited (“Euromax”) conducted exploration in the area from 2006 to 2008. Following this work a major copper company explored the area for porphyry copper mineralisation in 2014-2015.

Euromax completed a detailed mapping and soil geochemistry program over a 6 km long zone of phyllic to argillic altered andesite volcanics and intrusives with abundant ancient mine workings. Drilling at the northern end of this trend by Euromax intersected multiple gossan and massive sulphide intervals, one of which reported 12.4 metres at 1.5% copper, 1.4% lead, 0.8% zinc, 62 g/t silver and 1.6 g/t gold. This program also defined a 3 km by 2 km magmatic complex at the southern end of the trend which remains undrilled.

A major copper company followed-up this work on the large zone of phyllic to argillic alteration, which measures 6 km by 3 km wide, indicating the potential for a porphyry copper gold deposit. They identified a coincident Cu-Mo soil anomaly within this alteration. However after drilling 6 holes the major copper company did not locate the source of this Cu-Mo anomalism. In addition the phyllic alteration occurs within altered andesites immediately above an unconformity contact with the ophiolite basement. This is a classic contact zone for porphyry copper deposits to form, for example the Resk Project (700 million ton @ 0.7 % Cu, 0.3 g/t Au) in Hungary forms at an unconformity contact between basement and overlying altered volcanics.

More recent prospecting work has located a number of arsenopyrite and pyrite rich veins which outcrop over a 200 meter strike length, can be up to 20 meters wide, and with individual assays up to 67 g/t gold. Detailed channel sampling has not been completed on this zone and it has not been drilled. Tethyan plans to focus initial exploration on these zones for a potential high grade gold target. Exploration will consist of geological mapping, rock chip sampling, trenching and drilling.

With large areas of alteration and many undrilled gossan zones rich in precious metals we feel confident in moving the project forward to the drill stage and with the aim of discovering a significant gold deposit. Much of the previous work has been targeted at base metal veins and porphyry copper deposits and may therefore have overlooked the potential for significant gold mineralisation. The district as a whole is very under explored and previous exploration has mainly focussed on base metals and the Tethyan Resources management therefore feels that we can bring our gold exploration expertise to bear.

Raska District

RASKA DISTRICT OVERVIEW

The Raska District is prospective for copper-gold porphyry and lead-zinc-silver-(gold) vein type (intermediate sulphidation) deposits. The district is located at the northern end of the Trepca lead-zinc-silver belt in southwestern Serbia and northern Kosovo, which has been a major producer of lead, zinc and silver since the 1970s. Tethyan believes that the region remains prospective for additional lead-zinc-silver discoveries and is relatively poorly explored for copper-gold porphyry style mineralisation.

Tethyan’s flagship Kizevak and Rudnica projects are located in the Raska District, however Tethyan also holds multiple additional exploration targets in the district, as detailed below.

EXPLORATION PROJECTS

Tethyan controls the rights to 463km2 of exploration licenses in the Raska District and is conducting a systematic exploration programme to generate targets, prioritise significant prospects, and advance them to the mineral resource estimation stage. To date, three copper-gold-(molybdenum) porphyry prospects have been identified, surrounded by multiple stand-alone lead-zinc-silver vein and breccia targets:

Copper-Gold Porphyry Prospects

  • Rundnica and Rudnica North (flagship project)
  • Bukovik
  • Kremice

Lead-Zinc-Silver-(Gold) Prospects

  • Kizevak (flagship project)
  • Sastavci
  • Lipovica
  • Karadak
  • Gokcanica and Kovaci
  • Amedija
  • Fern Hill

SASTAVCI TARGET

Soil sampling returned a 290 by 300 m gold-silver-lead-zinc anomaly (50-240 ppb gold, 5-52 ppm silver, 1500-62,400 ppm lead, 250-3450 ppm zinc) situated 500 m north of the historic Sastavci mine, which is open along strike to the east. The soil anomaly occurs on a prominent 800 m long, east-trending ridge, that is also 600 m west of a gold occurrence shown on historic maps, with outcrops of silicified, rarely vuggy, andesite tuff which grades outward to argillic and phyllic alteration. The prospect is inferred to represent an epithermal polymetallic vein target and Tethyan is awaiting results of an easterly extension to this soil grid.

View of alteration in road-cut in Sastavci target area, situated 500 m north of historic mine.

BUKOVIC TARGET (Copper-Gold)

The Bukovik prospect is situated on an elevated ridge with widespread float comprising argillic and advanced argillic altered andesitic rocks, with rare samples of specular hematite and alunite alteration observed. Bukovik is characterised by a copper-rich, zinc-poor and bismuth-rich soil anomaly (780 by 400 m), weakly elevated gold, arsenic and molybdenum, and depleted manganese and lithium. Bukovik is flanked by the Lipovica lead-zinc-silver vein system and the Plavkovo Au-Cu-(Pb-Zn) prospect. This metal zonation, alteration and geochemistry is indicative of a shallowly eroded lithocap environment, which may host a high-sulphidation gold target and potentially overly a deeper copper-gold porphyry system (Figure 3).

LIPOVICA (Zinc-Lead-Silver)

Mineralisation comprises sub-parallel quartz-sulphide veins over a strike length of 1 km and a total width of 100 m, where individual veins vary from 0.2 to 2 m wide based on historical data. Historic underground workings and drilling have been conducted and Tethyan intends to access and review this data to aid geological interpretation. Underground workings are not currently accessible. Soil sampling in this area shows a large zone of weakly anomalous lead-zinc coincident and peripheral to the location of historic, collapsed adits.

Tethyan collected three rock-chip samples from a waste dump at an historic adit, which returned between 0.7 and 54.9 g/t silver, 0.1 to 4.6 % lead and 0.1 to 4.2% zinc

PLAVKOVO (Gold-Silver-Lead-Zinc)

Plavkovo is located 1 km south of the Rudnica copper-gold porphyry deposit. Mineralisation is coincident with a 2 by 0.2 km, east-west zinc soil anomaly. Two outcropping zones of alteration and mineralisation have been identified within the zinc soil anomaly, located 800 m apart. The western zone strikes northeast over 300 by 150 m and comprises silica-clay altered andesite cross-cut by a network of quartz-hematite and hematite veinlets in zones up to 30 m wide with evidence of historic exploration pits at surface over the entire strike length. Tethyan collected three rock-chip samples from this area which returned results of between 0.36 and 6.46 g/t gold, 11.8 and 65.7 g/t silver, and 0.01 to 0.17 % copper.

The eastern zone comprises a broad zone of at least 300 by 200 m of argillic and phyllic altered andesites cross-cut by rare quartz-hematite-goethite-jarosite and carbonate-hematite-goethite veins and veinlets, between 0.2 and 2m wide. Results of first pass chip-channel sampling in this area did not return significant results, however the zone warrants continued mapping and sampling given the proximity to Rudnica and the coincident zinc in soil anomaly.

EXPLORATION CONCEPT

Tethyan’s Raska District prospects display similar size alteration halos, metal zonation and geophysical characteristics to other major porphyry districts worldwide. By way of comparison, the below image demonstrates the scale of the alteration and mineralisation observed at surface in the Raska District relative to the major copper deposits of the Timok Belt in eastern Serbia.

Tethyan’s Rudnica, Bukovik and Kremice porphyry prospects in the Raska District have typical geochemical and geophysical characteristics associated with copper-gold porphyry systems, including:

  • Strong metal zonation at surface which provides vectors to mineralisation
    • Coincident copper-gold-molybdenum in soil and channel samples at Rudnica and Kremice
    • Depleted zinc and manganese overlying porphyry mineralisation
    • Elevated arsenic and bismuth in soils
  • Alteration is indicative of upper levels of hydrothermal system
    • Alunite, vuggy silica and specular hematite observed at Bukovik, inferred to represent a lithocap environment, potentially overlying or on the shoulders of a deeper porphyry
    • Strong sericite and weak silica alteration at surface indicates the roots of a lithocap are exposed at Rudnica, i.e the top of a porphyry
  • Mapping has confirmed the presence of porphyry style veining coincident with the geochemical anomalies at Rudnica and Rudnica North, and detailed mapping of the Kremice and Bukovik prospects is planned to follow up the geochemical anomalies.
  • Coincident geophysical anomalies underly the geochemical anomalies and alteration zones
    • Moderate magnetic highs observed at Rudnica and Rudnica North, related to magnetite stable alteration and serpentinite basement
    • Magnetic data provides excellent basis for broad scale structural interpretation
    • Chargeable highs and resistivity lows are coincident with the magnetic anomalies

In addition, several lead-zinc-silver vein and breccia hosted targets are observed peripheral to the porphyry prospects and present stand-alone exploration targets. Tethyan infers that the porphyry and lead-zinc-silver (intermediate sulphidation) deposits are related to the same mineralising events.