Aurelius Minerals (TSXV: AUL, OTC: AURQF) has released an initial mineral resource estimate on its Aureus East gold project in Nova Scotia, sending its equity to a new 12-month low.
The Toronto-based explorer outlined 985 million tonnes in the indicated category grading 5.14 grams per tonne gold for 162,700 oz. of contained metal. The company also released an inferred resource estimate of 4.185 million tonnes grading 2.88 grams per tonne for 387,600 oz. gold.
The resource estimate holds 78,000 oz. of pit-constrained gold and another 84,700 oz. of underground material. The inferred material comprises 147,200 oz. of pit constrained and 240,400 oz. of underground constrained resources.
Aurelius said it plans to build on the resource estimate by focusing on the subsequent phases of drilling on high-grade target zones to increase the resource estimate in the near term. It plans to fold this work into an upcoming preliminary economic assessment.
On Thursday, Aurelius noted "tremendous" exploration potential remaining on the property, with several zones north and south of the deposit axis.
The zones extend from the surface and are open at depth, with potential for surface extraction and near-surface resource growth, Aurelius said.
According to Aurelius, most of the drilling is less than 500 metres deep and constrained to the western portion of the deposit, leaving a good amount of the property unexplored.
CEO Mark Ashcroft hailed the maiden resource estimate as a "major milestone" for the company.
"We established this maiden resource estimate as a key milestone for the project, and we have delivered on that in 21 months," Ashcroft said in a news release.
"We had exceptional success in validating the project's potential, with our drill program intersecting significant intervals of gold at 100% of our drill holes. The result is a robust gold resource that unlocks tremendous value through the drill bit and demonstrates the potential for significant additional resource growth in the near term."
Aurelius now has four distinct mineral resource estimates in Nova Scotia.
The group is also advancing two district-scale gold projects in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Ontario.