THE INSIDE STORY: Vango Mining (ASX: VAN) is focused on the exploration and development of the company’s 100 per cent-owned Plutonic Dome gold project in Western Australia.
The Plutonic Dome gold project includes 45 granted Mining Leases located over the majority of the Marymia – Plutonic Greenstone Belt, approximately 218 kilometres northeast of Meekatharra in the Midwest mining district of WA.
The project’s main prospect is the Trident deposit, a high-grade gold resource hosted by the ultramafic/mafic package that hosts the nearby five-million-ounce Plutonic deposit being mined by Canadian company Superior Gold, 25 kilometres to the southwest.
Trident currently boasts an Inferred Resources of 2.21 million tonnes at 5.3 grams per tonne gold for 379,000 ounces of gold – but Vango is hungry for more!
Previous drilling at Trident focussed on a very high-grade central zone 120 to 200m below surface, associated with a roll-over or ‘ramp’ in host shear structure.
Vango completed highly successful drilling programs throughout 2017 and 2018 that produced very high-grade gold intersections, confirming and extending the previously defined high-grade gold zone.
These results include:
7 metres at 18.2g/t gold from 218m, including 2.02m at 44g/t gold;
3.76m at 12.8g/t gold from 222.24m, including 1m at 40.5g/t gold;
11.48m at 11.5g/t gold from 159m, including 4m at 26.1g/t gold;
6m at 15.37g/t gold from 198m, including 4m at 22.5g/t gold; and
Three intersections encountered within a 71m thick mineralised zone in VTRRCD0008 of:
10m at 3.7g/t gold from 132m, including 1m at 21.9g/t gold and 2m at 5.2g/t gold;
3m at 15.3g/t gold from 161m, including 1.05m at 40.3g/t gold; and
7.1m at 5.2g/t gold from 195.9m, including 2.1m at 12.4g/t gold and 2m at 4.6g/t gold.
“Drilling that had been done in the past had not been done to any great depth,” Vango Mining executive chairman Bruce McInnes told The Resources Roadhouse.
“We are probably the first to drill to any significant depth at Trident, and the step-out hole we are currently drilling is targeting a depth of approximately 600 metres and as we go deeper we anticipate intersecting repetitions of the high-grade mineralisation we have already encountered.
“We are drilling these deep holes at various targeted points to see what is beneath the known mineralisation at 250 metres.
“We know we have very good grades at the upper level, but if there is another underlying Resource there, obviously that would make it even better for us in terms of the potential scale of the deposit and the mining approach we may adopt.
“Trident we have always referred to as ‘the crown jewel’ of the company, which is proving to be a prophetic declaration as we believe it is going to be a significant and impressive asset just on its own.”
Vango Resources is by no means a newcomer to the region having established a Farm-in and JV agreement with Dampier Gold back in 2014.
“It took us two years to establish our 60 per cent earn-in to the Plutonic Dome area,” McInnes said.
“We then finalised negotiations for the purchase of the remaining 40 per cent from Dampier in 2016.”
Although the area had not been mined for many years, Vango recognised the potential for it to support future gold mining operations, be they underground or open pit.
The company’s initial thoughts were to establish a small gold mining operation then toll-treating the ore through a nearby mill – a strategy that would make good money, but a rethink by the company realised Plutonic Dome held potential to become a much bigger earner by making it one large standalone high-grade operation.
The change of strategy renewed the sharpness of the company’s focus on mining high-grade ore to be put through its own processing plant.
Once in production cashflow will fund ongoing exploration to find a lot more gold to keep the operation going.
“The Resources and Reserves we will upgrade using the results from drilling programs, particularly from Trident where we will be mostly focused again this year,” McInnes said.
“We aim to increase Resources to around one million ounces, and at the same time we will be using the results to glean further information for the plant construction.
“We don’t anticipate it will be a large plant initially, most likely around 250,000 to 300,000 tonnes per annum, with the ability to increase capacity as time goes on.
“It’s all about getting cashflow moving and then to use that cashflow to fund continuing drilling programs, and to continue our development as a gold producer.
“This company wants to be producing gold as soon as possible.”
Vango is now drilling to test a series of high‐grade gold targets at Trident as well as at the Cinnamon deposit located in the central part of the Plutonic Dome project area.
Three deeper pre‐collared diamond drillholes are testing for down‐dip repeats of the Trident flexure or ‘ramp’ structure that hosts most of the high‐grade gold mineralisation intersected to date at Trident.
This drilling will be targeting the shallow dipping ultramafic contact below the over‐thrust granite gneiss on 400m step‐outs from the high‐grade core zone while also testing the western part of the deposit, where the Trident gold mineralisation extends, up‐plunge, to shallow depth.
Mineralisation at the Cinnamon deposit is contained within a conglomerate, associated with the contact between a mafic‐ volcaniclastic/conglomerate footwall and felsic‐volcaniclastic/conglomerate hangingwall.
Earlier work carried out by Dampier Gold at Cinnamon showed the gold mineralisation intensifying where coarse-grained conglomerates are intersected by several interpreted cross cutting faults.
Dampier established a resource model for Cinnamon in 2011 showing the resource zone extending to over 400m in strike and open at depth below 200m.
Predominantly RC drilling intersections released by Dampier in 2011 demonstrate it potential to be, like Trident, an economic deposit in its own right.
Historic high grade drilling results from Cinnamon include:
19m at 6.85g/t gold from 132m, including 11m at 10.57g/t gold
24m at 4.75g/t gold from 146m, including 12m at 7.64g/t gold and
39m at 4.56g/t gold from 76m, including 10m at 12.72g/t gold.
Vango is drilling two diamond holes into the main mineralised zones at Cinnamon to verify the previous RC drilling intersections and enhance its geological understanding of the deposit.
This will be followed by a more extensive drilling program to potentially define and extend the thick, conglomerate hosted, mineralised zones.
Cinnamon is being tested as a high‐priority, additional resource target that could potentially support the new strategy for a stand‐alone processing operation and provide an early open pit option.
“Our technical team is working on establishing which target, Trident or Cinnamon, should be our starting point,” McInnes said.
“At Cinnamon the targeted drilling will be looking to identify the shape of the ore body, because should it emerge as we believe, it will be an ideal starter open pit.
“That is exactly what we are looking for, a nice easy surface area that has considerable tonnage with good grades.
“We have completed all-in costings on surface mining using the Dampier Mining 2011 Resource grades.
“The planned drilling will tell us whether the grades t around Cinnamon could make it our obvious first target.”
Vango Mining Ltd. (ASX: VAN)
…The Short Story
Level 39, Suite 3
259 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 8278 9942
Bruce McInnes, Sean Zhou, Carol Zhang