Minotaur to trial new geophysical survey

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Minotaur Exploration has received a grant of $62,500 under the South Australian Government’s PACE 2020 Initiative.

The company will use the funding from the grant to undertake an innovative 3-dimensional magnetotelluric (MT) survey at its Aphrodite iron oxide copper-gold target in South Australia.

The Aphrodite target is located 34 kilometres southeast of Olympic Dam within the eastern Gawler Craton.

The Galer Craton is a region that is renowned for its iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) style mineralisation hosting globally-significant mineralising centres at Olympic Dam, Prominent Hill and Carrapateena, and other prospects nearby at Acropolis, Wirrda Well and Emmie Bluff.


Location of Minotaur’s tenement (red area) 30 km south of
Olympic Dam, within the Gawler Craton. Source: Company announcement

 “Despite its remarkable mineralised endowment, the discovery rate for IOCG-style deposits in the region remains low, largely due to a very thick sedimentary cover sequence,” Minotaur Exploration said in its announcement to the ASX.

“Magnetics and gravity are the dominant geophysical techniques utilised to date, with innovative geophysical methods such as 3D MT not yet routinely applied.”

Minotaur first identified the Aphrodite IOCG target in 2008.

According to the company the target is coherent and of significant size measuring around four kilometres by two kilometres.

Initial drilling at Aphrodite intersected hematite-altered basement cut by a number of late stage hematite-chalcopyrite veins and calcite-dolomite-bornite veins, which the company considers to be suggestive of an IOCG mineralised system in the vicinity.

A second hole conducted by Minotaur in 2010 however, did not resolve the target, and the nature of source rocks causing the positive gravity anomaly remains enigmatic.
“Magnetotelluric (MT) is a passive surface geophysical technique used to determine electrical conductance of the subsurface to great depth,” the company explained.

“An initial MT survey line across the Aphrodite target indicates good bedrock response and resolution.”

Minotaur said it will undertake a 3D MT survey that will incorporate an area of nine square kilometres around the previous drillholes in order to map deep bedrock conductance and test the effectiveness of the MT methodology for exploration for concealed IOCG-style mineralisation.

The total budget for the program is $167,000.

Excelsior to commence drilling Kalgoorlie North

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Excelsior Gold is set to commence a further phase of reverse circulation and diamond drilling at its Kalgoorlie North project.

The drilling is designed to provide the company with metallurgical samples and additional resource information at the Excelsior deposit.

It will also test high-grade intercepts previously identified in historical drilling at Bulletin and Jackorite, which the company considers to offer potential for resource expansion and near term mine development.

The program will consist of an approximately 2,000 metres of RC drilling and 1,000 metres of diamond drilling.

The majority of the drilling will be conducted so the company can improve current resource models and also collect metallurgical samples at the Excelsior deposit and at several of the satellite deposits in the Excelsior area.

The company claims the Excelsior deposit and nine other resources within a four kilometre radius of Excelsior potentially offer multiple open pit mine development options that would be supplemented by higher grade underground potential at the Zoroastrian deposit.


Kalgoorlie North gold project. Source: Company announcement.

This area currently hosts in excess of 618,000 ounces in resources (14.2 million tonnes at 1.36 grams per tonne gold at 0.6 grams per tonne gold Au cut-off) and has been earmarked by Excelsior as a priority area for future mining pre-feasibility studies.

In excess of 85 per cent of the resource ounces are concentrated in the cluster of deposits in the central Excelsior-Zoroastrian area which has been the focus for the company’s resource development program to date.

Small, highly-targeted drilling campaigns carried out by the company have increased resources to the point where this area is earmarked for more detailed mining studies during 2012.

The company’s resource expansion drilling campaigns will now extend to other target areas within the Kalgoorlie North tenements.

With the commencement of this latest drilling campaign, Excelsior Gold is accelerating the program of drilling, resource expansion and metallurgical test work which will form a basis for pre-feasibility studies into multiple open pit and underground mine development at the Kalgoorlie North gold project.

Bass commences drilling campaign

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Bass Metals has commenced an expanded drilling program in the vicinity of its producing Hellyer Mine operations in northwest Tasmania.

The company has recently completed a capital raising program of entitlements offer to shareholders resulting in $8.8 million hitting the company’s coffers.

The raising has allowed Bass to announce an immediate doubling of its current surface drilling capacity.

The company has also indicated it has plans to restart underground drilling over the coming months.

The decision to accelerate its drilling program follows a string of drilling successes the company has achieved in the vicinity of the Hellyer mine.

One of the key targets for the expanded campaign is the recently drilled McKay discovery, located just 120 metres from the existing Fossey mine operations.

Recent exploration drilling at the McKay prospect returned a number of high-grade intersections including:

–    7 metres at 22.3 per cent zinc, 9.9 per cent lead, 0.7 per cent copper, 181 grams per tonne silver and 3.4 grams per tonne gold; and

–    1.65m at 21.9 per cent zinc, 14.7 per cent lead, 1.0 per cent copper, 182 g/t silver and 2.3 g/t gold.

Diamond drill rig mobilising to new site at McKay prospect. Source: Company announcement

Bass Metals managing director Mike Rosenstreich said the company was excited about the exploration potential in the McKay area.

“It’s proximity to the Fossey mine development means that it has the early potential to be upgraded into resources for our Hellyer project,” Rosenstreich said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Importantly it validates the company’s new exploration model, which opens up a range of new prospects in areas that have never been touched by a drill bit between the large high-grade Hellyer and Que River deposits.”

Bass Metals said it plans to use the recently raised funds to maintain an aggressive drilling program, advance a tailings feasibility study and continue the work on its revised mine plan at Fossey.

The company expects to announce further production successes at its Hellyer operations in the near future with the release of an Operations Update, following completion of a sixth milling campaign in early November.
“The past five months have been a difficult period for all Bass stakeholders,” Rosenstreich admitted.

“Many spectators had written us off, but with the proven quality of our team and assets we have emerged reinvigorated and are targeting sustainable and profitable growth.

“It is important to acknowledge the support of associated companies such as Mancala and Intec and our shareholders, Directors and brokers, Helmsec Global Capital who all supported the Entitlement Offer.

“They have all been important contributors to this fundraising process and I thank them for their patience and support.
“Bass Metals is now better placed to achieve the targets for growth and profits that our quality Tasmanian assets hold.

“We look forward to providing the market and our shareholders with further positive details of exploration activities and business and development plans going forward.”

West African recommences Burkina drilling

THE DRILL SERGEANT: West African Resources has resumed exploration following the recent wet season in Burkina Faso.

The company’s 2011-12 field season program will include an extensive 200,000 metre drilling campaign, targeting further mineralisation at its 100 per cent-owned Boulsa gold project.

Once the wet season ended in October, West African embarked upon its 2011-12 field season drilling program by commencing drilling at the Meguet prospect with one RAB rig in progress following up previous results that included:

–    10m at 7.67 grams per tonne gold from 0m, ended in mineralisation; and

–    10m at 2.77 g/t gold from 0m, ended in mineralisation.


Drilling at  Meguet prospect. Source: Company website

The company has also commenced RC drilling at the Moktedu prospect with two rigs targeting mineralisation intercepted in RAB drilling during the 2010-11 field season.

Mineralisation was intercepted during the previous campaign over a strike length of 1.6 kilometres at Moktedu with high-grade results from RAB drilling including:

–    28m at 9.22 g/t gold from surface, including 8m at 31.67 g/t gold; and

–    8m at 10.67 g/t gold from 12m, including 4m at 17.79 g/t gold.

West African will use the 2011-12 auger drilling programs to test new areas acquired by the company in June.

These new landholdings include permits adjoining Orezone Gold Corporation’s 3.5 million ounce Bomboré deposit.

The company has also commenced infill auger drilling with two rigs at the Sartenga prospect, which it also acquired in June.

Prior to the onset of the wet season the company defined a large anomaly on a broad 200m by 800m grid, some 6.2km in strike length and up to 1.4km wide, with a peak result of 609 parts per billion gold.

Further results from Sartenga are expected in late December 2011.

West African managing director Richard Hyde said the company had worked hard during the recent wet season to prepare for the upcoming work programs, including shipping and field testing new drill rigs in preparation for the aggressive 200,000m campaign.

“With an extensive exploration program planned for the 2011-12 field season, we are targeting a maiden resource by June 2012,” Hyde said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We are looking forward to a busy year and updating the market on our progress.”

Octagonal earns 70 per cent in Lucky Bay

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Octagonal Resources has earned 70 per cent equity in tenements comprising the Lucky Bay South Joint Venture at the Hogan’s project, in Western Australia.

The Hogan’s project is located 70 kilometres southeast of Kalgoorlie and 30 kilometres northeast of the 12 million ounce St Ives Goldfield.

The Lucky Bay South Joint Venture comprises two exploration licences covering 38 square kilometres of Archaean greenstone located adjacent to the south of the Salt Creek mine and Lucky Bay prospect, discovered by Integra Mining.


Source: Company announcement.

Octagonal has the potential to earn an additional 10 per cent equity in the tenements (increasing its total equity to 80 per cent) by spending an additional $150,000 on exploration.

The company’s JV partner, Gold Attire, will be Free Carried until a Decision to Mine is made after the completion of a Feasibility Study.

A program of aircore drilling was completed at the Burns prospect between May and August 2011, which intersected significant zones of gold anomalism including:

–    12 metres at 0.3 grams per tonne gold from 68 metres to the end of hole;

–    3m at 0.9 g/t gold from 44 metres;

–     23 metres at 0.5 g/t gold from 18 metres to the end of hole;

–    6 metres at 0.6 g/t gold from 78 metres;

–    4 metres at 0.6 g/t gold from 71 metres;

–    6 metres at 0.2 g/t gold from 20 metres;

–    4 metres at 0.4 g/t gold from 42 metres to the end of hole; and

–    8 metres at 0.3 g/t gold from 20 metres.
The company said it considers these results define two broad target areas that are not constrained by drilling where they trend under salt lake cover.

“The eastern gold anomaly extends over 300 metres and is associated with variable epidote and biotite altered high-magnesian basaltic rocks,” Octagonal said in its announcement to the ASX.

“The western gold anomaly strikes broadly north-south, extends over greater than 1,000 metres strike length, and is associated with both altered high-magnesian basaltic and intermediate intrusive rocks.”

Octagonal is advancing these exploration target areas in anticipation of bedrock drilling during early 2012.

A 100 hole infill land aircore drilling program, totalling 4,500m, is currently being completed to better define the distribution of gold in regolith anomalism and provide the company with refined targets for reverse circulation or diamond drill testing.

Westgold intercepts high-grades at South Fingall.

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Drilling carried out recently by Westgold Resources at the South Fingall prospect located in the Day Dawn Goldfield at the company’s Central Murchison gold project has intercepted a high-grade reef structure.

According to Westgold the area has previously been subjected to wide-spaced shallow drilling, which defined a small open-pittable mineral resource of 65,000 tonnes at 3.0 grams per tonne gold.

Westgold has reviewed the area taking into consideration the geological setting, structural interpretation and the proximity to the prolific Great Fingall and Golden Crown reef systems.

The company said it now believes the area holds potential for additional narrow, moderately dipping quartz lode structures within the footwall of the Great Fingall Dolerite unit.

A program of RC drilling was completed, which returned results that included:

–    3 metres at 16.09 grams per tonne gold from 43 metres, including 1 metre at 46.4 grams per tonne gold;

–    3m at 6.4g/t gold from 26m, including 1m at 13.9g/t gold;

–    6m at 9.54g/t gold from 37m, including 2m at 25.95g/t gold;

–    3m at 10.77g/t gold from 24m, including 2m at 15.85g/t gold; and

–    4m at 5.25g/t gold from 43m, including 3m at 6.58g/t gold.


Source: Company announcement

Westgold has interpreted the new and previous drilling from this area to indicate a mineralised strike-length for the structure at South Fingall of around 600m.

It also considers the area to now demonstrate greater open pit potential and that it may be able define a larger resource.

“Importantly, the drilling has shown that there appears to be an increase in grade within the vein structure at depth which remains open,” the company said.

“The results present real potential for additional high grade material which could be accessed in conjunction with the company’s development strategy for the re-start of underground mining at the Great Fingall and Golden Crown lodes.”

Westgold said a depletion zone has previously been identified at the nearby Golden Crown reef, albeit being non-economic at surface and only reaching commercial grades below 100m vertical depth.

The company has deeper drilling of the area planned in order to evaluate for depth extensions.

“This mineralisation is considered to be structurally related to the nearby Great Fingall Reef which has historically produced 1.2 million ounces of gold at an average grade of 19.5 grams per tonne gold and has been shown to continue to at least one kilometre in depth,” Westgold Resources managing director Scott Huffadine said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We are excited by these early results which indicates both higher grade open pit potential, and points to additional significant high grade reef development in the area.”

Segue introduces encouraging drill results

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Segue Resources has completed the first 28 reverse circulation (RC) drill holes on its Emang manganese project in the Postmasburg Manganese Field (PMF) located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

The 28 holes represent just over 40 per cent of the holes the company has planned for its initial drilling program at the project.

Source: Company announcement

The company has had one RC drill rig and one diamond drill rig operating on site to date.

It commissioned an additional RC drill rig on 1 November, to ensure the program could be completed on schedule.

Three diamond holes have been completed so far; however logging of these holes is not yet complete.

A total of ten diamond drill holes are planned to be completed as part of the 28 holes program.

The company began sampling of RC chips in October and the first bulk shipment of samples was dispatched for assay during that month.

The company anticipates it will be commencing geological modelling of the manganese mineralisation in late November, following receipt of the final assay results.

Segue said it also expects to be releasing a maiden resource statement for the Emang manganese project by early December.

“The initial exploration results from the Emang manganese project exceed the company’s expectations at this early stage of exploration,” Segue Resources managing director Steven Michael said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“To encounter manganese mineralisation in over 85 per cent of holes drilled is remarkable, and is a testament to the exploration team, led by Tenure Mineral Consultants.

“We look forward to receiving the first assay results in mid-November, followed by a maiden JORC resource in early December – less than six months from the company entering into the farm-in agreement.

“This will be a significant achievement for Segue and the Emang manganese project.”

Once the drilling program has been completed, Segue will have met its expenditure requirements for the first stage of farm-in to the Emang manganese project.

In order for Segue to earn a 30 per cent interest in the project, the company must pay to Emang Mmogo Resources ZAR7 million (A$0.84 million) plus an additional ZAR7 million (A$0.84 million) if the maiden resource at the project exceeds 10 million tonnes at a grade of at least 34 per cent manganese.

Segue can then earn an additional 21 per cent interest in the project (taking its total interest to 51 per cent) by spending ZAR21 million (A$2.52 million) on completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study.

Corazon identifies high-grade nickel-copper

THE DRILL SERGEANT: ASX-listed Canada-focused exploration company Corazon has intersected approximately 50 metres of sulphide mineralisation from 771 metres down-hole, including three zones of high-grade semi-massive to massive nickel-copper sulphide breccia, at its Lynn Lake nickel sulphide project.

The result comes from an ongoing exploration hole, which is currently being drilled at Lynn Lake.

“The intensity of the mineralisation is some of the strongest observed at the Lynn Lake Project to date, and is significantly greater than anything the company has drilled in the upper parts of the EL Deposit and resource area,” Corazon Mining said in its announcement to the ASX.

Source: Company announcement

Visual analysis carried out by Corazon of the drilling so far along with results from a hand-held XRF instrument supports the company’s belief in the existence of nickel and copper mineralisation at the project within a breccia internal to the ultramafic intrusion.

The current hole is a follow up drill hole to a discovery hole, which the company completed in May this year.

This hole returned:

–    23.75 metres at 3.34 per cent nickel, 1.54 per cent copper and 0.079 per cent cobalt from 731.25 metres, targeting down plunge extensions to the historic EL Mine.

The company said the current drilling has now established a down-plunge extent to mineralisation of at least 100 metres between the discovery hole and the latest hole while remaining open to the south and at depth.

“This is a significant discovery and supports the existence of a breccia body similar to the high grade nickel/copper/cobalt sulphide mineralisation mined at surface within the EL mafic/ultramafic pipe,” the company said.

“The reported intercept does not represent a true width for the mineralisation.

“At this stage the orientation of the mineralisation is uncertain. Analogous mineralisation outcropped at surface and was mined to 210 metres depth at a consistent diameter of between 80 metres and 120 metres, pertaining to the ultramafic core of the intrusion.”

Corazon has now drilled seven holes into this target, which had initially defined by drilling and verified by downhole EM geophysics.

All of these holes have intersected high-grade mineralisation and support the company’s interpretation that the EM conductors recently defined are likely to represent substantial zones of high-grade nickel/copper sulphide.

Results of drilling within the EM conductors include:

–    23.53 metres at 1.46 per cent nickel, 0.54 per cent copper and 0.036 per cent cobalt from 718.47 metres;

–    23.75m at 3.34 per cent nickel, 1.54 per cent copper & 0.079 per cent cobalt from 731.25 m, including 13 m at 4.27 per cent nickel & 0.89 per cent copper;

–    2.30m at 3.84 per cent nickel, 0.41 per cent copper & 0.092 per cent cobalt from 715.25 m; and

–    1.42m at 3.99 per cent nickel, 0.36 per cent copper & 0.027 per cent cobalt from 724.00 m, and 6.00m at 1.89 per cent nickel, 1.17 per cent copper & 0.048 per cent cobalt from 739.00 m;

The company said all holes except for one are believed to have intersected the upper-northern parts of the targeted EM conductor.

Sumatra makes new gold discovery

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Sumatra Copper & Gold has made a new gold discovery at the Lusang North prospect within the Tandai District, located in southwest Sumatra.

The Tandai Joint Venture is currently managed by Sumatra with Newcrest Mining, which has the right to earn a 70 per cent stake in the project by spending US$12 million.

The Tandai project is a gold and silver project with, what the company claims to be, strong potential to be a multi-million ounce district.

It is located approximately 100 kilometres north of Bengkulu and covers approximately 1,000 square kilometres.

Source: Company announcement

The project has reported historic gold production of 1.4 million ounces of gold and 15 million ounces of silver.

Current exploration at the Tandai project has targeted Glumbuk, Toko Rotan and Lusang North prospects, where drilling commenced earlier this year.

Three wide intersections were returned as follows:

–    19.7 metres at 2.62 grams per tonne gold, 5.2 grams per tonne silver from a depth of 58.8 metres;

–    21.0m at 4.74 g/t gold, 36.2 g/t silver from a depth of 86.9m, including 1.9m at 27.56 g/t gold, 28.0 g/t silver from a depth of 91.3m;

–    20.8m at 1.16 g/t gold, 3.2 g/t silver from a depth of 144.3m;

–    3.0m at 2.03 g/t gold, 30.4 g/t silver from a depth of 110.2m; and

–    1.7m at 2.23 g/t gold, 7.8 g/t silver from a depth of 123.3m.

The company said it was unable to ascertain an accurate estimate of the true thickness of the mineralisation until further drilling is completed and the results have been integrated with surface mapping and detailed down hole structural measurements.

“We targeted the program at Lusang North following recent character sampling of breccia zones earlier this year which returned bonanza values up to 104.00 grams per tonne gold and are extremely pleased to find these high grade vein breccias,” Sumatra Copper & Gold executive chairman Julian Ford said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We have so far completed 2,897 metres of drilling around Tandai, including activity at our other highly prospective targets at both Toko Rotan and Glumbuk to the north and south of Lusang North.

“The first phase program was recently completed and the second phase program testing other prospect areas within the Tandai district, following up intersections from the phase 1 program and testing CSAMT anomalies is now in progress.”

Nupower receives drilling approval

THE DRILL SERGEANT: NuPower has had a Phase 2 reverse circulation (RC) drill program approved to be carried out on the company’s Arganara phosphate project located in the Northern Territory.

The Phase 2 program will include approximately 166 additional 30 metre holes for 4980 metres of drilling.

NuPower said the aim of the Phase 2 drilling program is to extend the phosphate footprint and test if mineralisation is continuous from Arganara to Limestone Bore, which would result in a strike length of approximately 30km.
The company is currently wrapping up a Phase 1 program with just the western detailed 200m by 200m spaced grid of holes covering possible extensions of known phosphate mineralisation on an adjacent tenement, yet to be completed.


NuPower Phase 1 drill holes shown as blue dots, Phase 2 as red dots. Source: Company release

“NuPower expects the Phase 2 program to be completed quickly, as it will follow directly on from the Phase 1 program and utilise the existing field camp and drill rigs,” the company said in its announcement to the ASX.

“If time and weather permits, the Phase 2 drill holes planned at Anomaly L will also be completed, however, if not completed this year, then they will be drilled separately during 2012.”

Currently Phase 1 drill chips are being submitted for preparation before being sent for analysis.

The company has met some delays with the initial batches; however, it said that it hopes these delays will not extend into the second phase of drilling.