Aruma Resources (ASX: AAJ) is targeting large scale sediment- hosted gold deposits at its Eastern Goldfields project area in Western Australia.
With the Slate Dam project, it may be on the cusp of the state’s next major gold discovery.
There’s no such thing as a ‘quick chat’ with Aruma’s managing director Peter Schwann once he starts talking about the company’s 100 per cent-owned Slate Dam project.
Schwann has been around the industry longer than most, and was quick declare the Slate Dam project as, “The best gold project I have had in my entire career.”
Slate Dam is Aruma’s major project and is located 40 kilometres from the Western Australian home of gold mining, Kalgoorlie.
Further north, the company also has the Beowulf gold project, which it pegged in 2017, that covers 490 square kilometres of gold prospective greenstone sediments.
Schwann draws comparisons to Slate Dam from the Invincible gold deposit, being mined by global gold major Gold Fields at its nearby St Ives operation, which set a new discovery benchmark for gold explorers in the Western Australia goldfields.
The Invincible deposit is considered by market watchers as one of the most important gold discoveries in recent decades for many reasons.
Invincible highlighted potential for new substantial gold systems within an existing gold district, hosted by an alternate geological setting.
It also readjusted the way geologists regard lithological units within the region, which were previously thought to never contain gold.
Invincible broke all the rules by being a hydrothermal gold deposit formed near the geological contact between the Black Flag Group and Merougil Sediments.
Schwann revisited Aruma’s land package paying close attention to the potential of sediment-hosted gold deposits.
He concluded that Slate Dam could also potentially be hosting gold in the Black Flag Group.
In February, Aruma received results from its maiden drilling program of Slate Dam testing the project’s large seven square kilometre historical gold anomaly.
The drilling was highly successful and identified a 20m thick zone of gold mineralisation extending from surface to a depth of around 200m, which remains open.
The first results from the drilling included:
5 metres at 3.8/t gold from 10m; and
7m at 2.1g/t gold from 11m.
The intersection from SDRC20 was part of a 16m at 1.34g/t gold from 8m hit that resulted in Aruma discovering a new mineralised gold zone.
The results also continued to draw parallels to the initial Invincible discovery drill results, which included:
3m at 5g/t gold from 73m;
4m at 3g/t gold from 79m; and
6m at 2.3g/t gold from 46m.
Following the success of the maiden drill program, a second phase of drilling is already underway at Slate Dam, designed to provide further results towards what Aruma anticipates will be a substantial maiden Resource estimate.
“Our maiden drilling results immediately justified drilling the previously known gold anomalism and validated our sediment-hosted gold model at Slate Dam,” Schwann told The Resources Roadhouse.
“They also showed that the extent of that historic anomaly is limited only by the insufficient historic drilling and sampling.
“The importance of our strategy to control the whole stratigraphic belt, both at Slate Dam and Beowulf, also became evident demonstrating the favourable stratigraphic trends to the north and south could continue to extend mineralisation.”
The discovery of new large, high-grade gold anomalies at Slate Dam continued as predicted with new anomalies identified over an area of 1.3 kilometres in strike length and 250m in width, with a peak value of 444ppb gold plus 10 further gold zones of greater than 10ppb.
“The discovery of those anomalies extended the main gold system we discovered at Slate Dam,” Schwann said.
“More importantly, they provided immediate, high priority drill targets for our next phase of drilling.”
The new anomalies were identified during a recently completed geochemical program at Slate Dam, which included a soil sampling and a rock chip sampling program.
While all this was happening, Aruma added a 28sqkm exploration licence to Slate Dam covering the eastern side of the highly prospective Transfind Granite, which hosts the Trojan and Transfind open-pit gold mines.
It followed up by signing a binding Sale and Purchase Agreement with Westgold Resources (ASX: WGX) to acquire 100 per cent of the Trojan gold project (ML25/104).
Under the terms of the deal, Aruma issued six million fully paid ordinary Aruma Resources shares to Westgold as payment in full for the project.
Located approximately 55km south east of Kalgoorlie, the strategic acquisition of the Trojan project slotted into Aruma’s landholding like the vital piece of a jigsaw puzzle with anomalies traversing the tenement borders.
The Trojan lease fits the company’s belief in Slate Dam’s potential to host large sediment-hosted gold deposits.
Schwann considers the potential success lies in the geological dolerite dykes that dot the Slate Dam landscape.
“I love these dolerite dykes,” he said.
Schwann described the dolerite dykes as the old geological plumbing system of the region that the alluvial fluids emerged through.
He supported his thesis by listing the gold companies and the mines they had discovered near dolerite dykes.
The list included names such the Paddington gold mine of Norton Gold Fields that is located just south of a dolerite dyke.
He also cited the Kambalda area, host to Aruma’s benchmark Invincible deposit, which is also located adjacent to dolerite dykes
“The soil samples that returned the gold hits at Slate Dam were taken due north of a dolerite dyke,” Schwann explained.
“The Trojan open pit sits in between two dolerite dykes.
“So, we think the area we have now consolidated is very exciting.”
Trojan includes a JORC 2012 Indicated and Inferred Resource estimate of 2.8 million tonnes at 1.61 grams per tonne gold for 144,800 ounces of gold (at a 0.70g/t cut‐off) at the Trojan Open cut extension.
Aruma has received an up to date data base that it will appraise in the coming months.
The company considers there to be potential for Trojan to generate near-term cash‐flow from a resumption of mining operations at the project.
The main focus now is to evaluate the gold mineralisation under and around the Trojan open pit and undertake targeted exploration at the project.
The second phase of drilling at Slate Dam will consist of around 30 reverse circulation (RC) drill holes for a total of up to 4,000m, with planned drilling depths up to 200m.
This drilling will include extensional holes to follow up the 20m thick trend of gold mineralisation identified by the maiden drill program.
It will also include repetition holes, which are hoped to discover stratigraphic repetitions of the gold mineralised system to the east.
Drilling will endeavour to extend the dip and strike potential of the major gold shoots identified in the first phase of drilling and define higher grade lodes within these shoots.
Further drilling of a six-hole RC drilling program is also underway at the nearby Beowulf project that is to involve drilling depths of up to 100m.
Aruma’s Beowulf exploration model is the same as the model it has developed for Slate Dam, in which nuggets define the greywacke beds in between the underlying shale, which is the drill target for the discovery of gold lodes.
Aruma Resources Limited (ASX: AAJ)
…The Short Story
6 Thelma St
West Perth WA 6005
Ph: +61 3 9321 0177
Paul Boyatzis, Peter Schwann, Dr Mark Elliott