Lydian Reports Its First Million Ounce Resource At The Amulsar Gold Discovery In Armenia

First drilling program outlines initial CIM compliant inferred resource of 1M oxide ounces at 1g/t gold from Tigranes and Artavasdes.  

TORONTO, Canada, March [18th], 2009 – Lydian International Ltd. (TSX:LYD) (“Lydian” or “the Company”), a diversified mineral exploration and development company, today announced the results of a first independent resource estimate on its Amulsar gold discovery in Armenia. The resource has been estimated using data gathered from the recent 13000m drilling programme confined to an area known as Tigranes-Artavasdes.   The Mineral Resource Estimate presented in Table 1, is NI 43-101 compliant and has been completed independently by CSA Global (UK) Ltd.   Table 1. Amulsar CIM compliant Inferred Mineral Resource (as at 18th March 2009) 

180309 Table1

Mineralization is from surface and entirely oxide with preliminary metallurgical testing indicating recoveries in excess of 90% (press release 13/08/08).  

“This is clearly a great start for Amulsar; more so when one considers that it was only some two and half years ago that the first gold was found at the project” said Tim Coughlin, Lydian’s President and CEO “This preliminary resource was defined in one field season and is limited to just the Tigranes-Artavasdes prospect areas, representing about one fifth of the surface area known to carry gold mineralisation at Amulsar. The resource has not been closed off and potential exists to define additional resource extensions of the known deposit, in all directions. The goal for 2009 is to drill-for-size and extend the current limits to reveal the true potential of the system.”  

Appendix A attached summarises the technical parameters used for the mineral resource estimates.  

Amulsar is a high-sulphidation type epithermal gold project located in central Armenia.  Lydian identified the gold bearing potential of the project in mid-2006, started initial  2scout drilling in 2007, and exploratory drilling in 2008 to test the bulk tonnage potential and confirm a preliminary gold resource.  The Amulsar license is 95% owned by Lydian’s wholly owned Armenian subsidiary (Geoteam CJSC).  The project is currently being explored as part of a 50/50 joint venture with Newmont Overseas Exploration Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM).  

About Lydian International  

Lydian is a diversified mineral exploration and development company incorporated in Jersey, with expertise employing “first mover” strategies in emerging exploration environments. Currently the Company is focused on Eastern Europe developing advanced precious and base metal assets in Armenia and in Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244).  The two main projects are gold at Amulsar in Armenia, and zinc, lead, silver and gold at Drazhnje in Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244).  Lydian also has a pipeline of promising gold and base metal exploration projects in the Balkans region, and operates a 50/50 gold and copper exploration joint venture with Newmont Overseas Exploration Limited, a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation in the south Caucasus region.  

Lydian’s management team has a track record of success in grassroots discovery, in acquiring and developing undervalued assets, and in building companies.  Lydian has a strong social agenda and a unique understanding of the complex social and political issues that characterise emerging environments.  The Company’s two largest shareholders are Newmont Mineral Holdings B.V. (owned by Newmont Mining Corporation), and International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group).    

The Mineral Resource Estimate was completed by Galen White, Principal Consultant, CSA Global (UK) Ltd. and is a Qualified Person as defined by the National Instrument 43-101.  

Dr Tim Coughlin, MAusIMM is a Qualified Person as defined by the National Instrument 43-101 overseeing Lydian's exploration programmes. Dr. Coughlin has also supervised the preparation of the technical information contained in this press release.  

Lydian employees are instructed to follow standard operating and quality assurance procedures to ensure that all sampling techniques and sample results meet international reporting standards. All assay work for the released results was carried out by ALS Chemex analytical laboratory in Rosia Montana, Romania, in Perth Australia, or in Vancouver, BC.   

For more information, please contact:

Tim Coughlin                                
President and CEO               
+44 7717 204300                            

Forward-looking Information  

Securities regulators encourage companies to disclose forward-looking information to help investors understand a company’s future prospects. This press release contains statements about our future financial condition, results of operations and business. These are “forward-looking” because we have used what we know and expect today to make a statement about the future. Forward-looking statements usually include words such as may, expect, anticipate, believe or other similar words. We believe the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable. However, actual events and results could be substantially different because of the risks and uncertainties associated with our business or events that happen after the date of this press release. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. As a general policy, we do not update forward-looking statements except as required by securities laws and regulations.                                    


The Amulsar Project is considered to host a high-sulphidation (HS) epithermal gold system, in part defined by recent mapping, geochemical sampling and drilling. Amulsar has a moderately large, well defined zone of intense alteration and has elements of a dynamic HS system with multiple phases of brecciation associated with oxidized sulfides.      

Gold is associated with silicified fragmental rocks and occurs dominantly in the carapace breccia of a flow dome complex or alternatively in the pyroclastic rocks that underlie the flow dome complex. The mineral potential of the host rocks has been enhanced by the development of hydrothermal breccias occurring in, or near, the original pyroclastic units.  

Drilling has delineated a CIM compliant inferred mineral resource totalling 31Mt @ 1.0g/t Au for 1.0Mozs Au, estimated by CSA Global (UK) Ltd, contained within the silica-alunite alteration zone associated with the domal complexes.  

The resource estimate utilised drillhole, assay, geology and survey data generated during the recent drilling campaign and reflects the current geological model for the project, which is considered valid. The nominal drill-hole spacing was 80m with some infill drilling at 30m and 50m. A total of 85 drill holes was used to estimate the resource.  

Prior to resource estimation work, a site visit was undertaken by CSA to the Amulsar Project during which data was reviewed and verified. Project history, geological setting, mineralisation controls, exploration history, recent drilling activities, sampling protocols, assay QA/QC and geological interpretation are all detailed in the technical document titled “NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Amulsar Gold Project, Armenia, Drazhnje Zinc-Lead-Silver Project in Kosovo and Crepulje Zinc-Lead-Project in Kosovo”, prepared by CSA Global (UK) Ltd, March 2009, and filed on SEDAR, to which the reader is referred.

Collar, assay, survey and geological data, presented as excel spreadsheet data was received and imported into Micromine software. A drill hole database was created and validation functions performed to check for errors.  

Once validated, drillhole assay and geological data was displayed in 3d and mineralised zones were interpreted on a series of cross sections through the deposit.  The mineralised zone was defined using a 0.2ppm cut-off, with a maximum of 10m continuous internal dilution, which reasonably defines the high tonnage low grade, shallowly dipping halo mineralised zone, potentially amenable to the proposed open pit bulk mining method and heap leach processing.  

In addition to the defined low grade halo (0.2-1.0ppm), discrete narrow zones of elevated gold content (1-80ppm) do occur and represent a statistically separate grade population, interpreted as narrow, steeply dipping structurally controlled and limonite altered mineralised zones, the geometry and grade continuity of which is poorly understood at the current drill spacing (up to 80m × 160m) and therefore these cannot be modelled with confidence. The impact these poorly defined high grade zones has on, what is essentially  5a broad low grade mineralised zone, required consideration to avoid overstating the resource grade.  

A series of 2d string interpretations of the mineralised zones were then joined to form a 3d solid model of the mineralised envelopes. Slices through the grade model were then compared with cross sections of the geological model, to ensure the geological interpretation was honoured in the grade model.  

A total of 12 continuous and semi-continuous mineralised domains (MIN1-12) are identified. Statistical analysis was undertaken on the gold grade population in each domain.  

Top-cut analysis was performed on assay data contained within the mineralised domains, to assess the impact of high grade outliers. Although extreme grades are real, their impact on the resource estimate needs to be controlled so as not result in a biased estimate. By considering the gold grade histogram, probability plot and summary statistics, a top-cut of 25ppm Au was applied to all grade data within all domains with the exception of MIN10, where a top-cut value of 10ppm Au was found to be more suitable.  

Prior to geostatistical analysis and grade estimation, assay data was composited to standard intervals of 1m.  

Variography was performed on the larger domains where sufficient data was present so as to offer a reasonable chance of obtaining meaningful variograms. At the current drill spacing, directional semi-variograms were able to be calculated and the nugget value estimated (low-moderate), as well as reasonable ranges of grade continuity in the three principle directions. The variogram models were cross validated and found to be adequate for use in the Ordinary Kriging grade interpolations.  

A 3d block model was created using parent blocks with dimensions of 20m (x) × 20m 9y × 5m (z) to reflect the considered mining method. The block model was constrained to the 3d mineralised wireframe, and sub-blocking employed to ensure the extents of the block model honoured the wireframe extent. Once constrained to the wireframes, blocks outside wireframes were deleted. The topographic surface DTM provided by Lydian and created using 40m spaced geochemical sampling points, was used to constrain the block model to the surface.  

Blocks within the model were then coded by domain and during the grade interpolations, grade was assigned to blocks on a domain-by-domain basis, using only assay data that lies within each respective domain (closed interpolation). An ellipsoid search criteria was employed to assign interpolated grade. Base search ellipses were created for each domain, honouring the domain geometry, with dimensions equal to the established variogram ranges of 135m (strike), 55m (dip) and 17m (across dip). A series of interpolation “runs” was then undertaken at a series of base range factors (1/3, 2/3, 1, 2 and 3) utilising search ellipse sectors ( 4 sectors) so as to decluster the data. In run 1, block grades were estimated using at least 5 samples from at least 3 holes.

Blocks not captured in run 1 were estimated using at least 5 samples from at least 2 holes (run2). Subsequent runs estimated grade using at least 3 samples from at least one hole. This  6grade interpolation criteria, used in all domains was employed to improve local block estimates, avoid over smoothing and control the influence of high grade sample data.  

Domains MIN1-4 were estimated using the Ordinary Kriging interpolation method, incorporating the variogram model, whilst blocks within domains MIN5-12 were estimated using the Inverse Distance Weighting interpolation method (IDW) raised to the second power. IDW was employed for these domains since no variogram models for these domains could be calculated, and given the limited data within these domains.  

A density of 2.41 was applied to all blocks.  

Once all blocks had received an interpolated grade, block model validations were undertaken which included; a visual comparison of block grade versus composite sample grade, by northing, easting and RL, to ensure that block grades honour the composite grades, statistical comparisons of mean composite grade versus mean block grade, review of kriging variance throughout the model and a comparison of wireframe and block model volumes.  

Results of the validations suggest the estimate of resources honours the  input data used in its creation. Estimating of grades using relatively widely spaced data in to relatively small blocks has resulted in a smoothed estimate, where low grades are overstated and high grades understated. This should be borne in mind when considering potential mining selectivity, since local estimates of grade are likely to be variable. This situation can be improved with infill drilling.  

The Amulsar resource has been classified according to CIM guidelines and is reported as an Inferred Mineral Resource. The current drill spacing, geological model and data quality are adequate to define geological and grade continuity to the level required for Inferred resources.   Details of the resource estimation methodology employed for the Amulsar deposit are being collated in to a Technical Report which will be lodged on SEDAR within 40 days of this release.