The Couflens Project in located in the Pyrenees region of southern France and comprises a 42 km2 license area, within which lies the high grade historical Salau tungsten mine.
The existence of remaining resources had been proven and initial discoveries of promising mineralised zones elsewhere had been made, as stated in Fonteilles et al., 1989.
In addition to tungsten, significant gold values were recorded in the high-grade Veronique zone at the base of the Salau mine, which is largely untapped and is open at depth.
The database from previous operations is extensive and comprises a combination of high quality geological and drilling data, as well as underground mining and processing data, covering all exploration and production during the mine’s 15 years in operation.
Substantial news flow is expected as Apollo Minerals’ geological team rapidly advances a work program designed to facilitate the estimation and reporting of Mineral Resources in the Salau mine area.
* BRGM: French geological survey
Salau is a tungsten-bearing (primarily scheelite) skarn deposit developed at the contact between Devonian pelites and calcareous sediments of the Barregiennes Formation and a Hercynian-aged granodiorite stock (“Fourque”). The skarn formed within both the carbonate-bearing sediments and, to a much lesser degree, the host granodiorite. Mineralisation is directly related to the Fourque granodiorite which provided hot, tungsten- copper-gold bearing solutions that reacted with the host rocks to form the skarns and deposit metal-bearing minerals.
Salau consists of two known mineralised systems, the Bois d’Anglade embayment (Formation Nord, Gulfe, Formation Sud, and S.C. ore zones) and Veronique. Bois d’Anglade was discovered first and provided the bulk of the early production. Veronique, 300 metres to the west, was discovered in 1975 and provided higher grade tungsten production (average 1.9% WO3), including gold-rich material (not recovered in milling) towards the end of the mine life. Limited sampling of material from the lower section of the Veronique Southeast zone indicated the presence of high grade gold (Fonteilles et al, 1989).
The geometry of the orebodies at Salau is complex and appears controlled mainly by irregularities in the intrusive contact and by faulting. Two principal types of metalliferous skarns are developed:
- Prograde skarns: initial metasomatism resulted in the formation of broad zones of prograde skarns containing modest tungsten values (0.2 to 0.5% WO3)
- Retrograde skarns: later hydrothermal fluids overprinted the prograde skarns and deposited sulphide-rich material (mainly pyrrhotite) containing substantially higher values of tungsten, gold and copper. It is these sulphide-rich skarns which provided the bulk of the former production from the Salau mine.