Exploration History of the Shambesai and Obdilla Gold Deposits
Historically the Turkestan-Alai and Southern Fergana Segments of the western Southern Tianshan, Kyrgyzstan, were a mercury and antimony producing region with only small and undeveloped gold deposits. The recent discovery of the Obdilla and Shambesai Carlin gold deposits by Manas Resources represents a new deposit style for the area and the potential for a new gold district.
The potential for ‘Carlin-like’ deposits in the region had been suggested by Yakubchuk etal. 2002 and Seltmann etal. 2004 and the Manas discoveries support this idea. The Shambesai and Obdilla gold deposits occur within a 300km package of now extremely prospective host rocks.
The area that hosts Shambesai and Obdilla was geologically mapped in the Soviet era to their standard 1:50,000 scale map sheet and explored using heavy concentrate sampling. The nearby historic Chauvei mercury-antimony deposit was in production from 1939 until the early 1990’s.
Phelps Dodge explored the area in the late 1990’s, drilling several holes around the Chauvei Hg-Sb deposit.
In 2005 Perseus Mining Kyrgyzstan (which would be listed as Manas Resources in 2008) first drilled at Chauvei but soon focused on their gold in soil and trenches 3.5km away at the Obdilla prospect. After 12,028.85m of diamond drilling in 67 holes the current Obdilla JORC resource is estimated at 9.2 Mt at 1.6 g/t Au for 485,000 OzAu.
In late 2007 a gold stream sediment anomaly 7km south of Obdilla at Shambesai prospect lead to a successful soil, trench and drill program. The last Shambesai JORC resource estimate completed in November 2012 includes 37,576.7m of diamond drilling in 275 holes and gave 8.066 Mt at 2.69 g/tAu for 697,000 g/t Au.
Shambesai Gold Deposits site
Shambesai gold deposit showing ore type and design pit
Schematic section through the Shambesai ore body and host geology
High grade oxide at Shambesai gold deposit
Core interval showing the nature of oxide and sulphide mineralisation
Obdilla gold deposit looking west, the roads representing the area drilled. The deposit continues from this area west back into the ridge
Obdilla Gold deposit model