THE INSIDE STORY: Gold Road Resources’ (ASX: GOR) is determined to repeat the Gruyere gold discovery from its substantial 6,000 square kilometre Yamarna Belt tenement holding in Western Australia.
Having negotiated the Gruyere Joint Venture (GJV) deal with Gold Fields Ltd, which the Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum declared, the ‘Deal of the Year’, Gold Road Resources embarked on a $30 million greenfield exploration drilling program.
This recent drilling was centred on the Wanderrie and Corkwood Camps, located within the company’s 100 per cent-owned North Yamarna tenements.
This included RC and diamond bedrock testing of prioritised highest-ranked targets, and infill definition of gold anomalies identified through regional aircore drilling completed while Gruyere studies were being completed.
Of interest was developing an improved understanding of these targets with Santana and Satriani (Wanderrie Camp), and Ibanez (Corkwood Camp) receiving priority attention.
Broad spaced drilling confirmed gold bedrock mineralisation along the main mineralised shear through the Santana and Satriani prospects, which form part of a continuous 11-kilometre-long mineralised corridor known as the Wanderrie Supergroup Trend.
Best Wanderrie mineralised intersections included:
2m at 14.74g/t gold from 73m;
1m at 17.73g/t gold from 68m; and
5m at 2.03g/t gold from 108m.
Similar bedrock drilling testing the Ibanez prospect at the Corkwood Camp returned intersections of:
8.2m at 11.63g/t gold from 229.67m, including 3.33m at 27.48g/t gold from 232.26m; and
10m at 28.67g/t gold from 240m, including 2m at 136.57g/t gold from 240m.
Each new drilling campaign at all three prospects encouraged the company, with planning now underway for systematic framework drilling to definine greater extents of the mineralised systems.
Anticipated results from this extended work will provide a deeper understanding of each prospect’s potential as the company aims to progress at least one of these areas to advanced infill drilling in 2018.
Other work completed on the North Yamarna tenements included aircore definition of a five-kilometre southern continuation of the Wanderrie Supergroup Trend through the Gilmour and Morello prospects, where early bedrock drilling intersected gold mineralisation.
Gold Road interprets Supergroup Trend to be the southern continuation of the Attila‐Alaric Trend, which already hosts 420,000 ounces of gold in Mineral Resources.
The Attila‐Alaric Trend continues over 30 kilometres further south to the Yaffler and Toppin Hill prospects on the company’s South Yamarna Joint Venture tenure, a 50:50 Joint Venture with Sumitomo Metal Mining Oceania Pty Ltd.
The JV’s recent exploration efforts at South Yamarna centred on selective testing of priority targets, particularly the Breelya‐Toppin Hill, Spearwood and Kurrajong Camp Scale targets, where a total of 12 Reverse Circulation (RC) and 103 aircore drill holes were carried out.
Bedrock mineralisation was intersected at Yaffler South, in the Breelya‐Toppin Hill Camp, piquing the JV’s interest by delineating a thick mineralised shear zone close to the contact of a dolerite with a sedimentary unit, which it is confident can be identified in magnetics.
A strike length of 1.4km of mineralisation has been identified to date, providing room for follow‐up drilling that is pencilled in, at this stage, for next year, enhancing the JV’s portfolio of advanced drilling targets.
Best bedrock intersections at Yaffler South, included:
2m at 4.34g/t gold from 142m; and
15m at 0.68g/t gold from 40m, including 1m at 5.84g/t gold from 49m.
A further program, consisting 103 aircore holes was carried out at the Kingston North target, designed to infill and extend anomalism delineated by drilling completed last year.
The drilling confirmed the Kingston North target includes an area of structural complexity with north to north‐west striking shear zones being interpreted from geophysical data.
The company’s geological interpretation of the Kingston North results indicates anomalous gold mineralisation associated with zones of stronger shearing.
These anomalous zones are being incorporated into a detailed geological and structural re‐interpretation that will form the basis for follow up drilling.
“The drilling we have completed this year has provided some extremely encouraging results,” Gold Road Resources executive director ‐ exploration & growth Justin Osborne told The Resources Roadhouse.
“The Gruyere project team has been keeping the project build right on schedule, which has allowed us to focus on speeding up our exploration programme across the broad Yamarna Belt.”
Progress of the Gruyere gold project is happening without much fanfare or headlines, which Gold Road Resources is very pleased about.
As exciting as it is to be building a project of the scale of Gruyere, Osborne said the company was holding the advice of chairman Tim Netscher in high regard.
“It’s great having somebody with the experience of Tim as our chairman and working so close with the Board and the Steering Committee,” Osborne said.
“He’s been through all this before and he knows that the most common news you expect to hear during development of a project is bad news – so we are more than happy not to be generating headlines as the project ticks along on schedule.”
It has been a case of so far so good for the Gruyere gold project, which has quietly progressed, on schedule and budget, under the stewardship of JV partner Gold Fields.
The right boxes continue to be ticked with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor Amec Foster Wheeler Civmec Joint Venture (ACJV) having commenced process plant construction.
A concrete batch plant was also commissioned, allowing the ACJV to complete the first concrete pour in the carbon‐in‐leach (CIL) area.
Fabrication of the steel plate for the CIL plant tanks, the first of the major components required for the process plant, commenced in Civmec’s Henderson facility south of Perth, which will complete all of the steel fabrication from 100 per cent Australian sourced steel.
Bulk earthworks contractor MACA has completed clearing of the process plant site, construction of the Gruyere airstrip and Gruyere main access road, and has also commenced clearing for the Stage 1 open pit, having completed clearing for the Tailings Storage Facility.
MACA has also started initial construction works for the installation of production and monitoring bores for the Yeo borefield, which will supply the mine and process plant.
A strong field of companies tendering for the mining services contract has been whittled down to a short list of three.
It is expected this contract will be finalised by the end of the year, allowing the successful party to start mobilising to site in the March 2018 quarter.
There may not be as many months left in the year as there were, but Gold Road shows no sign of slowing down before Christmas.
Work on the North Yamarna tenements will include diamond and RC drilling at Ibanez targeting stacked high‐grade lode structures to allow further advanced infill drilling.
On the Gruyere JV, Gold Road expects to report a maiden Mineral Resource estimate for YAM14 in early 2018.
Alaric and Attila pre‐feasibility studies are near completion which if positive will allow reporting of first Ore Reserves also early in 2018.
A high level conceptual mining study for the northern higher-grade zone of Gruyere is also underway to assess potential for future drilling in this area of the deposit.
The South Yamarna JV will conduct drilling at Yaffler, subject to pending assays, in concert with development of a structural and geological map for Kingston North to guide future bedrock testing.
Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR)
… The Short Story
26 Colin Street
West Perth WA 6005
Ph: +61 8 9200 1600
Tim Netscher, Ian Murray, Justin Osborne, Sharon Warburton, Brian Levet