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The Empire Project on granted Mining Lease 20380 is located 34km west of Chillagoe. Chillagoe is a historic mining town which was once the site of a smelter built to treat local ore. This was mined principally from skarn-hosted deposits within the Palaeozoic Chillagoe Formation. This formation has been the focus of exploration for over a century, with the most notable success being the Red Dome gold-copper deposit which was mined for a decade until 1997 when ore reserves were exhausted.
The tenement has an extensive exploration history with significant drilling being carried out in multiple phases culminating in the estimation of a Mineral Resource Estimate in 2019, on the Empire Stockworks gold deposit.
Soil geochemical surveys indicate the Empire Stockworks mineralization displays an Au-Ag-Bi-Cu-Mo-Sb-W geochemical signature.
The eastern portion of the Empire tenement is known as the Empire Stockworks prospect. The Empire Stockworks consist of a broad zone of sheeted quartz veins and quartz vein stockworks of variable intensity, hosted within intensely silicified Nundah Granodiorite. The sheeted quartz veins consist of banded comb quartz, with quartz rimmed by albite and carbonate, separated by a median suture cavity. The veins are usually accompanied by sulphides consisting of arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, pyrite and minor bornite.
The quartz veins are orientated north-south with a strike length of 400m, over a width of 90m. The veins appear to be dipping sub-vertical to inward dipping in orientation and narrow with depth.
Well recognised and mapped irregular Red Dome style felsic porphyry intrusions apparently related to the quartz stockwork system, some of these intrusions are intensely disrupted and stockworked and yielded very encouraging gold values.
The Empire Gold Project tenement has a number of already identified targets.
FNR proposes to conduct a significant exploration and development program at its Empire Project, proposed exploration work includes the following target(s).
a) Focus on resource definition for Empire Stockworks – Work will include drilling to upgrade Inferred Resources to Indicated and to extend the mineralisation along strike and at depth. With an updated Mineral Resource Estimate it may be possible to progress to mining studies such as pit optimizations. This can also include associated work to progress the project to an Ore Reserve should the drilling results and mining studies prove successful. This work will include hydrogeological and geotechnical studies for final pit designs. Additional Metallurgical test-work will be required to finalise optimal processing routes.
b) Focus on mineral exploration, Scout drilling identified targets from field mapping, historical shafts or historical drilling – Copper Pit, United Empire, Empire Rose, Pinnacles Breccia.