Named after the village of Schellgaden, the focus of the district’s gold production was until the early years of the 20th Century. Schellgaden Project is located between the town of St. Michael/Lungau and the Municipality of Muhr, County of Lungau, in the State of Salzburg. The Schellgaden North Project consists of 68 overlapping Freischürfs covering an area of 34km2, and Schellgaden South Project consists of 151 Freischürfs covering an area 68 km2 (Figure 1.).
Gold mining at Schellgaden dates back to pre-Roman times. Known gold mines, such as Stüblbau, date back to the 12th-13th Century and the smaller Schulterbau Mine is likely to be considerably older. Chroniclers described the presence of some 150 gold mines during the heyday of mining in the 16th Century. Accordingly, Schellgaden has been considered one of the richest and most active gold mining districts in Austria.
Although frequently interrupted, mining activity continued until the first half of the 20th Century.
Apart from the known mine survey undertaken by VOEST Alpine Steel in the 1980’s, which was designed to focus on scheelite occurrences within the old mines, little is known of exploration efforts in the area prior to the Canadian company, Argosy Mining Corp, acquiring the Schellgaden North tenement holdings in 1995 through its Salzburg based subsidiary (“AMG”).
In May-June 1995, AMG undertook systematic geochemical sampling of accessible stope faces in a number of historic mines in Schellgaden North & South. From a total of 133 channel samples, geochemical analyses, of gold and 34 other elements, provided the first modern evaluation of the Schellgaden ore bearing layers. Channel samples collected by AMG revealed average gold grades of 7,508 ppb to 10,012 ppb (7.5 – 10.0 g/t) for the Barbara Lager in the Stüblbau Mine and average grades of 8,352 (8.3 g/t) in the Schulterbau Mine. Peak assay results of nearly 1 oz/t (34,280 ppb) where recorded in the nearby Knappenstube East Mine.
Figure 2. Geological modelling showing 3D projections of target zones and planned historic holes
Figure 3. Geological modelling showing the planned drilling at the Schellgaden Project
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