Vardar is a private UK registered exploration company with a focus on the metal endowed Balkan region and one of the first companies to be awarded exploration licences in Kosovo.
Vardar is exploring the Mitrovica and Viti projects, both of which are located within the Tethyan Belt, a major orogenic metallogenic province for gold and base metals which extends from the Alps (Carpathians/Balkans) to Turkey, Iran and Indochina, and contains several world class discoveries.
Beowulf has a 37.55 per cent stake in Vardar. Its investment has enabled Vardar to complete its 2018 exploration programme and fund its 2019 Kosovan exploration programme, diamond drilling, geophysical surveys and other activities, at the Mitrovica project, targeting lead-zinc-silver, copper and gold mineralisation, and at the Viti project, targeting copper-gold, lithium-boron mineralisation.
The Mitrovica project is situated in northern Kosovo, covers 55 square km, and lies immediately to the west and northwest of the Stan Terg lead-zinc-silver mine which dates back to the 1930’s (34 Mt) at 3.45 per cent lead, 2.30 per cent zinc and 80 g/t silver).
The licence area exhibits lead, zinc, silver and copper anomalies associated with iron stockworks and gossans, anomalous gold and silver associated with advanced argillic alteration zones, and alteration typical of epithermal gold systems. The project is prospective for both high sulphidation gold mineralisation and vein/replacement related base metal targets.
On a regional scale, the area is located within the late Alpine Tethyan Orogenic Belt and more specifically within the External Vardar Sub-zone of the Vardar Zone. The basement is comprised of ophiolites and a metasedimentary mélange affected by a polymetamorphic overprint (not exceeding greenschist facies conditions). A series of felsic to intermediate sub-volcanic and pyroclastic rocks of Oligocene to Early Miocene age represents the cover sequence.
In early 2018, mapping identified an extensive lead-zinc mineralised gossan, Wolf Mountain target, in the central part of Mitrovica, with associated hydrothermal breccias and silicification on the central-eastern margin of the licence area, along with copper mineralisation associated with trachyte dykes intruding into basement rocks.
In November 2018, fieldwork continued with trenching/channel sampling, geological mapping and ground magnetic geophysical surveys over Wolf Mountain. In addition, detailed geological mapping and sampling were carried out in the Mitrovica South and Majdan Peak areas in the southern part of the licence area, targeting potential porphyry copper and epithermal gold mineralisation.
- Wolf Mountain lead-zinc target (Vllahi Zone) forms a prominent outcropping gossan, with strike length of more than 4km and width ranging from approximately 20m to greater than 300m. The target is located approximately 4km from the Stan Terg mine, highlighting the potential for significant lead-zinc mineralisation;
- All assays from the exposed gossan zone have returned anomalous metal contents averaging 0.71 per cent zinc and 0.73 per cent lead;
- Channel samples show continuity of mineralisation and zones of intense silicification and hydrothermal breccias;
- Highest combined lead-zinc assays from channel sampling returned 2.8 per cent over 26m. Other samples returned lead-zinc assays of 2.34 per cent over 27m, 1.4 per cent over 11m and 0.6 per cent over 22m;
- Elevated silver content averaging 6.0 g/t across the mineralised zone, with individual samples returning up to 93 g/t; and
- Elevated nickel content averaging of 0.15 per cent across the mineralised zone.
Discovery of potential porphyry-epithermal related mineralisation in the southern part of the Mitrovica licence including:
- A large hydrothermal breccia associated with trachyte sills with significant metal anomalies, including consistent zinc values in excess of 1.0 per cent, along with elevated gold of 1.25 g/t and silver of 57 g/t;
- Copper mineralisation, up to 3500 ppm, associated with altered trachyte dykes; and
- Significant gold recoveries from advanced argillic samples (up to 7.0 g/t) on Majdan peak in the south-eastern portion of the licence area.
The Wolf Mountain target forms a prominent outcropping feature, with strike length of more than 4km and width ranging from almost 20m to greater than 300m. It represents a hydrothermal breccia zone with stockworks, which outcrop as a gossan, with iron-manganese oxides and hydroxides. The peripheral parts of the zone are characterised by intense silicification corresponding to fold structures which control the development of the hydrothermal breccia.
The mineralisation is structurally controlled, and for most of the target mineralisation is developed in the basement, broadly following a tectonic contact between ultramafic rocks and phyllite, with the bulk of mineralisation developed within the ultramafic units. Mineralisation is likely vein/replacement-type related to Oligocene magmatic activity responsible for the hydrothermal systems mapped in the southern portion of the licence area.
202 samples have been analysed over the extent of the area, including 118 composite channel samples, and rock grab samples that were cut along traverses perpendicular to the strike of the outcropping gossan. All samples were analysed using 48 element ICP-MS with gold fire assay ICP-AES at ALS Global (“ALS”) in Serbia and Ireland.
Detailed alteration mapping and sampling have been carried out across the southern half of the licence area. Of interest is a sub-volcanic sill like body of trachytic composition associated with a hydrothermal breccia zone and with abundant iron oxides. Several samples collected from the breccia zone returned significant metal anomalies including consistent zinc values in excess of 1.0 per cent, along with gold (1.25 g/t) and silver (57 g/t) anomalies.
One kilometre south of the above target, interpretation of magnetic airborne geophysical data has led to the identification of a prominent circular magnetic anomaly with magnetised and demagnetised concentric rings, displaying a typical signature of porphyry targets. Geological mapping in this area has identified hydrothermal breccias which have returned significant copper assays in grab samples (0.21 per cent and 0.35 per cent). The presence of the magnetic anomaly and associated copper mineralisation is of interest as it may suggest the potential for porphyry style mineralisation at a deeper structural level in basement rocks.
Higher up in the system, at Madjan Hill, also in the southern part of the licence area, several historic gold workings/pits have been discovered, thought to be of Saxon or Roman age. Rock chip sampling on the slopes of the hill, in an area of advanced argillic alteration, has returned significant gold anomalies of up to 7.0 g/t, suggesting potential for epithermal gold mineralisation.
The Viti project is situated in south-eastern Kosovo and is made up of three adjacent licences covering 213 km2. The licences cover an interpreted circular intrusive from regional airborne magnetic data. There is evidence of intense alteration typically associated with porphyry systems, with several copper occurrences and stream sample anomalies in proximity to, and within the project area. In addition, Viti is prospective for lithium-boron mineralisation, with a geological setting like Rio Tinto’s Jadar deposit in Serbia.
In the south-east of the project area, reconnaissance mapping identified several zones of intense argillic alteration, hydrothermal breccias and iron oxide stockworks. The interpretation of regional magnetic data suggests that alteration is located on the margin of a large caldera structure, which supports the case for porphyry mineralisation. Recent geological mapping has identified prominent silicified gossans, breccias and iron oxide stockworks with intense argillic alteration, often associated with trachyte dykes.
The target area includes a gossanous zone, approximately 300m by 200m, surrounded by a zone of intense argillic alteration, approximately 1.5km in diameter. Sampling over the gossan has returned encouraging results, with anomalous copper (0.99 per cent) and gold (0.16 g/t), along with elevated molybdenum and zinc, potentially related to the deeper part of an uplifted porphyry system with associated phyllic alteration.