Mining study confirms Excelsior potential

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Excelsior Gold has completed a preliminary conceptual mining study on the Excelsior resource in the central portion of its 100 per cent owned Kalgoorlie North project.

The results of the study have supported the company’s belief the deposit has the potential for large open pit development.

Additional assay results received by the company from a recently completed reverse circulation drilling program at Excelsior also defined broad intervals of gold mineralisation and higher grade zones.

Excelsior Gold has interpreted this to demonstrate the deposit’s potential to extend the conceptual pit design deeper beyond its current 175 metre vertical depth.

The conceptual study was based on the current Excelsior resource model which contains Indicated and Inferred resources of 5.3 million tonnes at 1.47 grams per tonne gold for 250,900 ounces (at 0.6g/t lower cut).

Recently received assay results from a reverse circulation drilling program undertaken at the Excelsior deposit have demonstrated broad zones of gold mineralisation and higher grade intersections.

The company expects these results will enable it to extend the current resource model at depth to the north.

New intersections at Excelsior include:

–    32 metres at 1.10 grams per tonne gold from 120 metres, including 8 metres at 1.42 grams per tonne gold from 123 metres and 14 metres at 1.42 grams per tonne gold from 123 metres; and

– 12m at 7.09g/t gold from 59m, including 3m at 20.9g/t gold from 62m and 22m at 1.15g/t gold from 97m.

The drilling consisted of 15 reverse circulation holes totalling 2,711m over 750m of strike at Excelsior.

The company has received assays results for nine of the 15 holes to date, with further sample batches yet to be processed.
“These drill results are anticipated to significantly improve the resource grades estimated in these locations within the current resource model as well as improving the resource confidence and/or extending the current resource,” Excelsior Gold said in its announcement to the ASX.

“This extension of the model and increase in block grade will potentially drive the Whittle optimisation deeper, particularly in the north.

“The intercepts of 12 metres at 7.09 grams per tonne and 12 metres at 1.62 grams per tonnes are very significant as they intersect the current block model where block grades are less than 1.2 grams per tonne gold near the northern end of the current conceptual pit design.

“Pushing the optimisation deeper in the north may well have an impact on the overall depth of the conceptual pit extending it deeper than its current 175 metre vertical depth.”

Once it has received all assay results Excelsior Gold intends conducting new resource modelling to facilitate more detailed mine analysis.

The company said it believes the results of the conceptual mine design study at Excelsior are sufficiently encouraging to warrant an extensive infill and extensional drilling campaign.

This is expected to commence in late October subject to appropriate approvals.

Drilling will also be conducted at several of the satellite resources such as Jackorite, Castlereagh and Lochinvar in order to define possible reserves.

Further engineering and metallurgical testwork is planned in preparation for mine pre-feasibility studies on the Excelsior and surrounding satellite deposits.

Alligator continues Tin Camp drilling

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Brisbane-based uranium play Alligator Energy has released results from an ongoing drilling program being carried out at its Tin Camp Creek project in the Northern Territory.

Alligator has received results from two holes recently drilled at the Caramal prospect and six drill holes undertaken in the South Horn area.

Drilling at Caramal was limited in July due to a drill rig breakdown.

A second rig was sourced and used to drill the initial 6 drill holes in the South Horn area.

Drilling recommenced at Caramal in August designed to test for down dip extensions of mineralisation.

Uranium intersections at Caramal include:

–    20 metres at 2027 parts per million uranium from 24 metres and 13m at 3095ppm uranium from 2m; and

–    5m at 1184ppm uranium from 30m and 3m at 1194ppm uranium from 21m.

Mineralisation at Caramal is considered by Alligator to occur within structural breccia zones which are parallel to stratigraphy and is un-related to adjacent dolerite dykes.

“The results from recent drilling continue to confirm this model,” Alligator said in its announcement to the ASX.

“High grade mineralisation in CAD11-05 was associated with chert and chlorite breccias having strong visual similarities to the mineralised chert breccias from the Ranger No1. Orebody.”

Initial diamond drilling has been undertaken in the South Horn area with assay results received from the first six drill holes.

Four of the holes were drilled along strike from historic South Horn drill holes which intersected uranium mineralisation.

Drilling results from the South Horn Prospect include:

–    4 metres at 1061 parts per million uranium from 70 metres and 11m at 563 parts per million uranium from 41 metres;

–    2m at 1432ppm uranium from 76m and 2m at 1158 ppm uranium from  48m; and

–    5m at 978ppm uranium from 46m and 1m at 990ppm uranium from 34m.

Alligator considers a re-assessment of the area is warranted to determine the effectiveness of historic drilling orientations and the potential to intersect fracture and stockwork zones in the area.

The recent drilling has re-focused the company’s attention on the Caramal area and additional drill rigs have been engaged to accelerate drilling in September and October.

Drilling has commenced to the east of Caramal targeting potential distal strike extensions to mineralisation.

Drilling is also continuing to test down dip extensions to mineralisation to the north.

A further 2000 metres to 3000 metres of drilling is also planned in these areas in September and October.

Sheffield confirms scale of McCalls deposit

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Bulk minerals explorer Sheffield Resources has released the results from a 30 hole drilling program at its McCalls heavy mineral sand exploration project.

The project is located 110 kilometres north of Perth, near Gingin in Western Australia.

Of the 30 holes drilled, all returned mineralised intervals of greater than one per cent Heavy Mineral (HM), with all but two of the holes ending in mineralisation.

One drill hole was extended in order to test the depth potential of the deposit.

This 85.5 metres of mineralisation and was still in mineralisation at the end of the hole.

Drilling results that recorded significant intersections included:

–    85.5 metres at 1.52 per cent Heavy Mineral from 4.5 metres;

–    58.5m at 1.49% HM from 4.5m;

–    61.5m at 1.32% HM from 1.5m;

–    49.5m at 1.52% HM from 1.5m; and

–    45m at 1.60% HM from 6m.

“These drill results are excellent, and improve on both the average grade and the dimensions of the deposit as outlined by BHP’s prior drilling; confirming our belief that McCalls is potentially a very large scale, high titanium ilmenite project with significant zircon credits,” Sheffield Resources managing director Bruce McQuitty said in an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

McQuitty also said the drill results exceeded the expectations set by historic work at McCalls.

The 30 hole drilling program was designed by Sheffield to infill earlier broadly spaced drilling carried out by BHP, which had explored the McCalls region during the early 1990s.

On one section Sheffield completed 25 drill holes to infill 8 holes drilled by BHP.

What the company found to be of significance is that the average width and grade of the latest drill intersections is higher and the average slimes component lower than those of the BHP drill intersections.

In a release to the ASX in January Sheffield declared an Exploration Target for McCalls of between 1.5 billion tonnes and 2.5 billion tonnes grading between 1.1 per cent HM and 1.3 per cent HM.

The average heavy mineral grade of 1.35% for all intersections achieved from the recent drilling program is above the higher target range.

Sheffield considers this suggests either the presence of a large zone of higher grade material within the overall deposit, or a conservative grade estimate for the Exploration Target.

Aphrodite confirms gold at North Menelaus

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Perth-based gold exploration play Aphrodite Gold has scored some encouraging results from a maiden reverse circulation drilling program recently completed over the company’s North Menelaus gold prospect.

North Menelaus is located four kilometres north of the company’s Aphrodite gold deposit near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

The company has recently concluded an initial five hole (874 metres) RC drill program to explore the North Menelaus zone over a strike length of 180 metres and to a maximum vertical depth of 180 metres.

Drilling was completed along three lines spaced 80m apart and in a zone where gold mineralisation had been reported in historic drill holes.

Historic gold intercepts achieved at North Menelaus include: 23m at 3.20 grams per tonne gold from 83m; 5m at 4.73g/t gold from 161m; and 2m at 5.48g/t gold from 122m.

All five holes drilled during the recently carried out program intersected significant gold mineralisation (greater than 0.5 g/t) with intercepts up to 15 metres in length (down hole).

Gold intercepts from the recently completed program include:

– 2 metres at 7.05 grams per tonne gold from 102 metres to 104 metres;

– 4m at 3.60g/t gold from 84m to 88m; and

– 15m at 1.33g/t gold from 122m to 137m.

“These results are very encouraging and confirm that our Aphrodite gold project has the potential to grow into a significant gold camp,” Aphrodite Gold exploration and development director Leon Reisgys said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.”
 
Although North Menelaus is still in early stages of exploration activity Aphrodite said it could still be interpreted as possibly representing an offset of the same zone/structure which hosts the Chameleon gold prospect located 500m to the south south east.

Recent drilling carried out by Aphrodite Gold at Chameleon has already identified gold mineralisation over a strike length of 600m.
 
The North Menelaus prospect is one of a number of gold targets which the company has identified within the Aphrodite project.

Aphrodite said it plans to undertake further drill testing of North Menelaus before the end of 2011.

Bulletin Resources extends Nicolson’s

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Gold exploration play Bulletin Resources recently completed a program of RC drilling on its 100 per cent owned Nicolson’s gold project located near Halls Creek in northern Western Australia.
 
Two deep RC holes carried out by Bulletin have extended the high-grade Nicolson’s Footwall lode to a vertical depth approaching 300 metres.
 
Results from the final assays from the drilling at Nicolson Find have been received. Two of these holes, which targeted the down-plunge extensions of the recently discovered Footwall lode, intersected gold mineralisation including:

–    5 metres at 9.3 grams per tonne gold from 263 metres; and

–    5m at 7.4 g/t gold from 314m.

Bulleting considers these results have provided it with further confidence in the down-plunge continuity of the Nicolson’s deposit.

The company expects to complete further drilling on the Footwall lode as soon as it is able to have the RC rig returned to site.

This is currently anticipated to occur in early October.

Two additional lines of RC drilling were also completed north of the Rowdies deposit.

Rowdies is located approximately 800 metres south of the Nicolson’s pit and is one of several open pit resource targets along the main Nicolson’s host structure that have been subjected to limited testing so far.

Highlights from this drilling include:

–    4 metres at 27.5 grams per tonne gold from 57 metres; and
 
–    1m at 92.5 g/t gold from 57m;

“These highly promising down-plunge results provide us with even more confidence on the resource growth potential of Nicolson’s at depth,” Bulletin Resources managing director Marty Phillips said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
 
“The recent drill results from Rowdies and the adjoining Wagtail prospect continue to increase the likelihood for further high grade mineralisation at shallow depths. This will contribute valuable tonnages to our opening stockpiles at commissioning.”

Now that Bulletin has received all results outstanding from the recently completed drilling, the company has commenced work on updating its current resource model.

Bulletin said it expects the new resource estimate for the Nicolson’s project to be released in the first half of October.

Two drill rigs have been booked for the December quarter.

An air core rig will be used to continue the assessment of the open pit targets at Rowdies, Wagtail North and Wagtail deposits in addition to commencing the sterilisation drilling of the planned mine infrastructure and waste storage sites.

Aspire identifies Mongolian coal seam

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Northern Mongolia-focused coal play Aspire Mining has identified a new coal seam formation.

The seam is located around four kilometres from the resource area at the company’s Ovoot coking coal project in Northern Mongolia.

The company currently has four drilling rigs working to determine the resource potential of the area.

Aspire has completed 5,000 metres of exploration drilling as part of its 2011 program, in addition to infill, geotechnical and hydrological drilling.

A further 5,000 metres of exploration drilling is expected by the end of calendar year 2011.

“The exploration team has now intersected coal in three holes approximately four kilometres to the north east of the existing resource area,” Aspire Mining managing director David Paull said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The coal was logged as hard, bright or sugary coal and we now need to understand the extent of this coal seam.

“We have pre-collared a number of the holes to start core drilling to get coal quality data and determine the extent and orientation of the mineralisation.

“This will indicate whether the coal shallows and thickens as we head further south towards the resource area.”

Results from the three holes – which are 1.7 kilometres apart – included:

–    A total of 2.8 metres of coal from 261 metres;

–    A total of 3.1m of coal from 366m; and

–    A total of 3.1m of coal from 338m.

Aspire has a magnetics program planned in order to determine the structure and shape of the Ovoot Basin and to aid in the identification of possible shallower coal seams.

“With this view of the coal being closer to the base of the Jurassic sediments, it is now evident that potential coal is still open to the north east and east of the existing resource area,” Paull continued.

“We are currently exploring this area as part of the extensions to the Ovoot Resource area and to further determine the potential resource.

“Currently four drilling rigs from two drilling companies are on site at Ovoot with a fifth large-capacity rig expected later in October.

“It is expected that all rigs will be available to continue drilling through the winter.”

A larger Coretech 1800 rig has recently arrived on site, which means the company is now able to drill the holes that are required to be deepend.

This will enable it to test for the potential coal seam extensions.

Aspire is also set to commence a close spaced magnetics program as a supplement to existing seismic data and to help guide interpretations.

The company is now considering ground versus airborne options to address the whole Ovoot Basin, which Aspire considers will provide it with an effective exploration targeting tool going forward.

Mutiny hits high grades at Deflector

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Gold-copper company, Mutiny Gold has hit some impressive gold intersections while drilling at the West Lode of its Deflector gold deposit.

The deflector deposit is part of the company’s Gullewa project located in the South Murchison region of Western Australia.

The latest results are from a recently completed diamond drilling program carried out on the Deflector deposit extensions.

Mutiny will be incorporating the results into a revised resource estimation, which it expects to release soon.
 
A diamond drill program of 30 holes was carried out to enable the upgrade of the resources within the proposed area of initial underground mining at Deflector.

Notable intersections include:

–    3.6 metres at 153 grams per tonne gold and 13.3 per cent copper from 145m;

–    12m at 3.4g/t gold and greater than 0.1% copper from 262m;
 
–    3m at 47.6g/t gold and 1.5% copper from 249m;

–    4m at 17.4g/t gold and 1.2% copper from 300m;

–    3m at 22.8g/t gold and 1.2% copper from 282m;
 
–    3m at 18.1g/t gold and 0.3% copper from 292m;
 
–    3m at 18.8g/t gold and 0.8% copper u from 316m;

–    6m at 20.9g/t gold and 0.3% copper from 255m; and

–    4m at 6.2g/t gold and 0.5% copper from 308m.

The company said it had achieved multiple intersections within some holes, due to there being a number of parallel lodes present at depth within the deposit.

Mutiny indicated the intersection of 3m at 153g/t gold and 3.3% copper to be of particular significance with this particular hole implying high-grade gold- copper mineralisation is open below 130m vertical depth.

Other high-grade intersections the company achieved at vertical depths of around 215m to 270m has it considering significant mineralisation persists at depth.

The intersection of 6m at 20.9g/t gold was from a hole drilled 600m to the south of the one mentioned above.

The company is confident it indicates the length of the deposit within which high-grade mineralisation can be expected to be present at depth.

Mutiny Gold plans to commence production with an open pit mining operation at the Deflector deposit, followed by underground mining after two years.

The currently known Deflector gold-copper deposit contains Mineral Resources of 3.4 million tonnes at 5.4g/t gold, 4.7g/t silver and 0.8% Copper for 590,000 ounces of gold, 510,000 ounces of silver and 25,500 tonnes of copper.

Measured and Indicated Resources total 1.5Mt at 4.8g/t gold, 6.4g/t silver and 1.1% copper for 235,000oz of gold, 310,000oz silver and 16,500t of copper.

Centaurus on track for Jambreiro upgrade

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Brazil-focused iron ore play Centaurus Metals has received final results from recently completed drilling at its Jambreiro iron ore project.

The company said the results support previous results, which demonstrated quality and consistency of mineralisation at the project.

Resource estimation work is currently underway with on upgrading the project’s current JORC Resource estimate (combined Measured, Indicated and Inferred) of 70.6 million tonnes at an average grade 28.0 per cent iron.

This is expected to be completed by the end of September 2011.

“With the receipt of all outstanding assay data for the project, we can now progress the finalisation of the Resource upgrade ahead of new pit optimisation and mine scheduling work for the Pre-Feasibility Study to be delivered by mid-November,” Centaurus Metals managing director Darren Gordon said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“All of the prospects at Jambreiro host a large proportion of friable mineralisation, which will provide the project with significant operational benefits at the start of future mining activities due to low operating costs.”

Drilling was carried out across the Jambreiro iron ore project deposits.

Highlights of the recent results from the Tigre deposit include:

–    45.5 metres at 27.9 per cent iron, 1.6 per cent aluminium oxide and 0.05 per cent phosphorous from 89.1 metres;

–    53.8m at 29.1% iron, 1.4% aluminium oxide and 0.04% phosphorous from 78.6m; and

–    54.1m at 26.2% iron, 2.3% aluminium oxide and 0.06% phosphorous from 121.2m.

Centaurus said these results will allow some of the existing resource, currently classified as Inferred but within the current pit design, to be upgraded to the Indicated category.

Results from the South East Extension Zone have confirmed the friable nature of the mineralisation held there as well as demonstrating the extension of the Tigre Resource into this Zone.

Highlights from the South East Extension Zone of the Tigre deposit include:
 
–    43.0 metres at 30.4% iron, 0.7% aluminium oxide and 0.06% phosphorous from 37.0 metres;

–    11.2m at 41.1% iron, 3.8% aluminium oxide and 0.03% phosphorous from surface; and

–    36.0m at 29.8% iron, 2.3% aluminium oxide and 0.05% phosphorous from 44.0m.

These results have also provided support for the company’s hopes for the South East Extension Zone exploration target of 20-30 million tonnes at a grade of 28-33% iron, which it expects to convert to Resource and added to the existing Tigre Resource estimate (Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 61.2Mt grading 27.7% iron) by the end of September 2011.

Drilling of the Cruzeiro, Galo and Coelho prospects at Jambreiro is also now complete with results demonstrating continuity of friable mineralisation at the Cruzeiro prospect with consistent widths of 30m to 35m.

The Galo prospect returned an intersection from one of the final drill holes of 37m at a grade of 29.5% iron.

With all final assay data received Centaurus is well-advanced with the process of data validation and geological interpretation.

The company said a JORC Resource estimate is on schedule to be completed by the end of September.

Based on the assay results from the South East Extension Zone, the company said it expects to be able to increase the overall Resource base at Jambreiro.

The new resource will be used as a platform for a Pre-Feasibility study, which is due in November.

GBM Resources upgrades Bungalien

THE DRILL SERGEANT: GBM Resources has completed a 26 hole, RC drilling program on its Bungalien phosphate project areas located in the Georgina Basin, southeast of Mount Isa in North Queensland.

The company received results that included peak phosphate values exceeding 25 per cent phosphorous pentoxide from the 1,436 metre RC drill program.

Results included many intersections of significant widths greater than 10% phosphorous pentoxide mineralisation including:

–    13 metres at 7.0 per cent phosphorous pentoxide, including 5 metres at 12.7% phosphorous pentoxide;

–    15m at 3.7% phosphorous pentoxide including 3m at 12.2% phosphorous pentoxide;

–    13m at 7.6% phosphorous pentoxide including 5m at 13.3% phosphorous pentoxide;

–    5m at 12.3% phosphorous pentoxide including 1m at 26.0% phosphorous pentoxide;

–    24m at 4.2% phosphorous pentoxide including 5m at 12.3% phosphorous pentoxide; and

–    4m at 14.3% phosphorous pentoxide.
 
“The latest drilling results from Bungalien are very encouraging and confirm the extent of phosphate prospectivity encountered in the initial drilling campaign conducted in 2008,” GBM Resources managing director Peter Thompson said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Additional scout drill holes undertaken in new areas also intersected phosphate mineralisation including:

–    7m at 4.19% phosphorous pentoxide at Horse Creek; and

–    9m at 2.14% phosphorous pentoxide at Limestone Creek.

The company said these results demonstrate areas of its tenements hold potential for untested phosphate mineralisation at shallow depths.

GBM’s main objective for the latest round of drilling was to build on phosphate results from the first round it had completed in December 2008 and to extend the area of phosphate mineralisation.

Drilling focused on areas of phosphate mineralisation interpreted to be within 50m of surface, which showed large areas underlain at shallow depth by rocks of the Beetle Creek Formation.

The largest phosphate deposits in Australia are found in the Georgina Basin, the largest of which is the Phosphate Hill mine owned by Incitec Pivot, located just 50 kilometres south of GBM’s Bungalien project.

Argentina identifies Cerro Blanco target

THE DRILL SERGEANT: South America-focused gold and copper play Argentina Mining has identified a geophysical anomaly at its Cerro Blanco porphyry copper project in San Juan Province, Argentina.

Argentina Mining described the anomaly as a high chargeability zone (HCZ) identified by an Induced Polarisation and Resistivity (IP) survey, which the company considers to have the potential to be a large sulphide mineralised system.

Recent 3D modelling carried out by the company indicate that previous diamond drilling reached the margins of the HCZ.

The earlier drilling intersected wide zones of porphyry copper‐gold‐molybdenum mineralisation, recording a best result of:

–    108 metres averaging 0.20 per cent copper, 0.08 grams per tonne gold and 95 parts per million molybdenum from 233 metres.

The company said the latest result is consistent with its deposit modelling which suggests drilling had intersected a pyrite‐rich halo outside a potentially copper‐rich inner zone.

Argentina Mining has designed a program of three new diamond drill‐holes that will test the IP anomalism on three separate 200m sections.

Each drill hole is planned to be up to 700m to 750m deep with inclinations in the range of 75 degrees to 90 degrees.

The company has been encouraged by secondary copper mineralisation and other oxidation minerals that were exposed during the recent excavation for one of the drill pads.

This drilling has already commenced and is expected to be completed by mid‐October, with final assay results by November.

Argentina Mining managing director Eduardo Videla said that the HCZ target is highly promising and therefore the company moved immediately to drill test it to planned depths of up to 750m.
“This is a major development for Argentina Mining,” Videla said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Following the success of the initial drilling which confirmed porphyry copper‐gold‐molybdenum style mineralisation, we continued with the integration and interpretation of data from our drilling, detailed geological and alteration mapping, surface geochemistry, ground magnetics and the recently‐completed IP survey.

“Interpretation of the combined datasets provides a robust pointer to the target zone which may represent a large copper‐rich mineralised zone.

“This gives us confidence in the design and execution of the next round of over 2,000 metres of diamond drilling and dramatically enhances the potential for discovery of economic copper and gold mineralisation at the Cerro Blanco project.”