Sinclair Caesium Mine: Small in Stature, Big in Value

THE INSIDE STORY: Pioneer Resources (ASX: PIO) changed the company’s focus and fortunes in 2016 following the discovery of the Sinclair Zone caesium deposit.

Up to that moment, Pioneer Resources had been one of many active exploration companies focused on pursuing lithium (and prior to that, gold and nickel) at its Pioneer Dome project, located in the Eastern goldfields of Western Australia, between Kalgoorlie and Norseman.

“Ironically we started with the Pioneer Dome when we listed and it’s where we took our name from,” Pioneer Resources managing director David Crook told The Resources Roadhouse.

“Here we are 14 years later, about to start our first mine there.

“Our progress over 14 years as an active exploration company has shown we understand our capabilities, and we’ve filtered a lot of ground.

“We are seeing the benefits of that now as interest is returning to the sector.”

Pioneer was one of the first WA-focused junior exploration companies to recognise the potential of lithium.

While others maintained a traditional, ‘this is Kalgoorlie, we must find gold or nickel’, approach, Pioneer saw lithium mineralisation potential at the Pioneer Dome project.

The revelation followed a review of historic exploration reports which recorded numerous pegmatite intersections in nickel or gold-focussed drilling completed since the 1960s.

Further work identified minerals consistent with those seen only in an extremely differentiated zone of a rare-metal lithium-ceasium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatite system.

Pioneer confirmed this mineralogy as pollucite, which indicated the company was on the trail of an extremely rare and valuable commodity, caesium.

The caesium mineral Pioneer found present at Pioneer Dome was determined as being the preferred feed material in the production of Caesium Formate, a high value, high-density fluid used in high-temperature/high-pressure oil and gas drilling.

Caesium Formate provide several benefits, including: minimal damage to hydrocarbon-bearing formations resulting in higher production rates, it acts as a lubricant, is non-corrosive and is considered a benign chemical when compared to alternatives.

Global supply is heavily constrained, and it has few genuine substitutes.

Fast-forward to the present and the Sinclair Zone caesium deposit is now a near-term mining proposition, from which Pioneer intends to extract and sell the high margin caesium mineral pollucite, and possibly potassium and lithium minerals, from the proposed Sinclair open pit mine.

Pioneer is working through the regulatory processes required prior to commencing mining operations.

The importance of the Sinclair deposit was highlighted when Pioneer announced an offtake agreement with Cabot Specialty Fluids Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of New York-listed Cabot Corporation (NYSE: CBT).

Cabot is a global specialty chemicals and materials giant and has long been the world’s dominant caesium formate manufacturer, producing around 8,500 barrels per annum, which equates to an annual EBITA of approximately $40 million for its Specialty Fluid’s division.

Cabot liked what is saw at Sinclair and has agreed to buy all of the caesium ore to be extracted from the proposed Sinclair mine that will mine the Sinclair Zone caesium deposit.

The Offtake Agreement also includes a US$4.8 million loan facility to fund mining operations at the proposed mine.

The Sinclair Mine will be Australia’s first ever commercial caesium ore producer.

“Signing that Offtake Agreement is a significant milestone for Pioneer and for the Sinclair Mine,” Crook said.

“We anticipate being cashflow positive from the caesium zone before Christmas and that will lead us to commercialisation of other products at the Sinclair Zone deposit that we have to mine through to get to the caesium.

“With the new-found cashflow we anticipate earning we will continue to drill the lithium aspect of the project, because it is a well-endowed lithium area and we have been discovering lepidolite – the lithium micas that most of our peers like the look of and would like to find on their ground.

“We have also been finding petalite, which is a very pure form of lithium that goes into the manufacture of ceramics and glass.

“We are also starting to see the presence of spodumene, which is the holy grail of lithium explorers.

“But, since we have discovered Australia’s first caesium deposit, for now we are in a rarefied space.

“We have been telling people all along how rare a caesium find is, let alone one of this size.

“Not only will it be Australia’s first, and only caesium deposit to be mined, it will also be the only caesium deposit to be currently mined world-wide.

“There’s got to be more out there within the project area – we hope.”

Elsewhere in the Eastern Goldfields, Pioneer has its 100 per cent Golden Ridge project, located 26 kilometres south east of Kalgoorlie.

Golden Ridge includes substantial areas prospective for lateritic cobalt, plus the suspended Blair nickel sulphide mine that was closed in 2008 during a time of depressed nickel prices, having produced 1.26 million tonnes of nickel sulphide ore at 2.62 per cent nickel.

Pioneer has drilled at four cobalt targets: Rocket, Leo’s Dam, Anomaly 13 and Anomaly 14, intersecting cobalt mineralisation across all.

The prospects are within granted mining leases and an exploration licence along the eastern flank of the Blair Dome, a geological structure within the Golden Ridge project.

“We bought the Blair mine, just outside of Kalgoorlie, for its nickel sulphide potential, it turns out that a lot of the ground has also quite a lot of cobalt associated with it,” Crook said.

“We did some drilling this year and got some very good results.”

Pioneer’s 2018 drilling corroborated the Golden Ridge project to have a well-developed lateritic cobalt mineralisation mantle at the four prospects drilled.

Earlier drilling indicated widespread cobalt mineralisation throughout the project, and Pioneer has flagged future work will be directed towards defining resources.

Upcoming work at Golden Ridge will include detailed analysis of geochemical and geophysical datasets, and integrating drilling to generate an estimated Exploration Target, precise RC drilling to generate a Mineral Resource, and bulk sampling for bench-scale extractive metallurgy which will focus initially on an ore concentration technique.

A further nickel sulphide discovery at the Leo’s Dam prospect reinforced the company’s Blair Dome exploration model and the project’s prospectivity to host nickel sulphide deposits, both near-mine and regionally.

The progression of the cobalt and nickel sulphide potential at Golden Ridge will be a strong component of the company’s focus moving forward.

Lithium remains firmly on the company radar, and Pioneer holds an option to earn up to 80 per cent of the Mavis and Raleigh lithium projects in Canada from Joint Venture partner, TSXV-listed International Lithium Corp.

The Mavis and Raleigh Llthium projects are situated 19 and 80 kilometres respectively east from the town of Dryden.

Recent work targeted the Fairservice Pegmatite 6 prospect, comprising nine diamond core holes, all of which intersected spodumene mineralisation, usually in the form of multiple wide zones of pegmatite.

“Obviously the company’s core focus is to advance the Sinclair Zone caesium deposit into production,” Crook said.

“That project on its own has the potential to be a high margin operation.

“And, we also have a number of other very good projects and knowing we can move onto the Golden Ridge area for the cobalt and nickel sulphide as well as having the Canadian spodumene project sitting in our back pocket is comforting, to say the least.”


Pioneer Resources Ltd. (ASX: PIO)
… The Short Story

21 Ord Street
West Perth WA 6005

Ph: (08) 9322 6974


Craig McGown, David Crook, Wayne Spilsbury, Allan Trench


Teal Done, Goongarrie Lady to Come

THE INSIDE STORY: Intermin Resources (ASX: IRC) is a gold exploration and mining company focussed on developing and operating gold mines within the Kalgoorlie and Menzies areas of Western Australia.

Intermin Resources currently has $8.5 million in the bank, carries no debt, and has a further $1 million in investments.

Intermin’s strategy is to develop a pipeline of gold mining projects to generate cash and self-fund aggressive exploration, mine developments and further acquisitions.

A strategy that was put to effective use at the Teal gold mine, from which ore was processed at the nearby Lakewood toll milling facility.

“We started the Teal gold mine late in 2016 and poured the last gold at that operation in May 2018,” Jon Price told The Resources Roadhouse.

“Teal was forecast to produce around 18,000 to 19,000 ounces of gold but produced 21,836 ounces.

“The development and operation of the Teal mine was a perfect example of our strategy to generate cash from developing and operating mines while using third party infrastructure in the region.”

The 100 per cent-owned Goongarrie Lady gold mine 85km north of Kalgoorlie-Boulder has been designated as Intermin’s next venture.

A scoping study for Goongarrie Lady in April 2017 was followed up with infill drilling to increase geological knowledge and confidence in the project.

A Feasibility Study followed, delivering an updated JORC 2012 Mineral Resource Estimate for Goongarrie Lady of 0.31 million tonnes at 2.4 grams per tonne gold for 24,000 ounces with over 87 per cent of the Mineral Resource Estimate sitting in the Measured and Indicated categories.

A maiden Ore Reserve estimated 0.135 million tonnes at 2.94g/t gold for 12,700 ounces.

The FS included metallurgical test work on representative samples from all ore zones achieving estimated recoveries of 94 per cent.

The Goongarrie Lady FS found the project to be technically strong and financially viable with specifications including an openpit mine designed to produce 135,000 tonnes at a fully diluted grade of 2.94g/t gold for 12,700 ounces over a seven month mine life.

Third party milling at 94 per cent metallurgical recovery has been estimated to recover 11,938 ounces of gold while capex is low at $0.73 million with C1 Costs of $1,131 per ounce and All In Sustaining Costs of $1,164 per ounce.

“The Scoping Study established around 10,000 to 15,000 ounces of gold with all in costs around $1100 to $1200 delivering a profit margin of around $500 per ounce,” Price said

“Three months to first gold and then the mine will be done and dusted within seven months, depositing some five to six million dollars in the bank, based on a $1,700 per ounce gold price.”

Next up for Goongarrie Lady is completing already well-advanced statutory approvals by the September and December quarters and a review of development options and negotiations with mining and haulage contractors and third-party toll milling operators leading to anticipated Board approval for mine development in 2019.

“The Feasibility Study gave us robust economic results with strong projected cash margins and reduced geological risk for the project,” Price said.

“As with the Teal gold mine, we have taken a conservative approach at Goongarrie Lady regarding both Resource estimation and development studies with infill drilling increasing geological confidence and mine optimisation studies adopting conservative cut off grades to ensure acceptable cash margins.”

With Goongarrie Lady development progressing, Intermin is casting its discovery net wider, commencing with a Resource growth drilling program of 55,000m planned within a $4 million budget.

A combination of RC and diamond drilling is underway with the stated aim to grow Resources and Reserves to one million ounces of gold to underpin a higher production profile and support a standalone milling option.

Fifty percent of the drilling budget is allocated to new discovery drilling and 50 per cent on Resource growth to grow the current Resource base.

“We are working to grow the business to where we want to see ourselves in 18 to 24 months, holding emerging mid-tier status producing 100,000 ounces per annum, with a four to five-year mine plan,” Price said.

New discovery targets include the Blister Dam project area, Anthill east and Fire Ant and new targets within the Teal gold camp.

Resource growth drilling will focus on extensions along strike and at depth at Anthill, Teal and the new Jacques Find discovery.

“The 25,000 metres of drilling at Teal has indicated four multiple, parallel structures sitting within a six-kilometre strike window,” Price continued.

“We now know this is a very big system, from which we expect a continuous flow of drilling results and Resource updates and mine planning as we look to understand how big this system is, particularly at depth.”

“We are conducting 14,000 metres of drilling at the Ant Hill mine to extend strike from the from the 80,000 ounces of Resource we have now to over 100 metres strike,” Price said.

“We anticipate extending to over 400 metres of strike and increasing the Resource by the same multiplication factor, but we have to let the drill bit tell us that.”

Intermin’s December quarter will be all about new discoveries at Blister Dam where the company will be drilling an area not drilled since the 1990s.

“There are not a lot of drill holes below 80 metres and where we have started to put some tester holes we are already hitting some very good grades,” Price said.

Besides its gold interests, Intermin has several Joint Ventures in place across multiple commodities and regions of Australia providing exposure to vanadium, copper, PGE’s, and nickel/cobalt where the JV partners are collectively earning in to projects by spending over $20 million over five years, thus enabling the company to focus on its gold business while maintaining upside leverage.

The most advanced of these is the Richmond vanadium project in northwest Queensland with a total Mineral Resource of 2,579 million tonnes at 0.32 per cent vanadium oxide (V2O5) at a 0.29 per cent cut-off.

JV partner AXF has committed to the project’s stage 2 expenditure of $5 million over three years to March 2021 inclusive of a Feasibility Study on commercial production to qualify for a 50 per cent interest.

In late 2017, AXF collected approximately 1.2 tonnes of vanadium samples from the Lilyvale prospect area sent to two research laboratories in China: Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (BGRIMM), and Hunan Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals (HRINM).

Both Institutes account for over 60 per cent of test work conducted on vanadium in China jointly developed using AXF’s in-house expertise.

Metallurgical work on Lilydale samples confirmed previous work where 90 per cent of the contained V2O5 reported to the fine size fractions below 43 microns.

Initial two-stage concentration tests resulted in a 1.1 per cent V2O5 grade in 39 per cent of the mass at a 78.4 per cent recovery.

Work is now underway to optimise the pre-concentration stages with the aim of delivering a 1.5 per cent to two per cent V2O5 feed stock at acceptable recovery for downstream processing testwork.

“Results such as these from two highly-credentialed research institutes in China was a great result for the project,” Price said.

“We are now working with AXF on the downstream processing studies and upgrading the Lilyvale resource.”


Intermin Resources Limited (ASX: IRC)
…The Short Story

163-167 Stirling Hwy
Nedlands WA 6009

Ph: +61 (8) 9386 9534


Peter Bilbe, Peter Hunt, Jon Price


Alto Metals Re-invigorating Sandstone Gold Potential

THE INSIDE STORY: Alto Metals is aiming to re-establish standalone oxide and primary gold mining and milling operations at the company’s Sandstone gold project in Western Australia.

Alto Metals holds 800 square kilometres of the prospective Archaean Sandstone Goldfield in the East Murchison Mineral Field of WA.

Alto acquired the project in June 2016 and has compiled and reviewed a large legacy database leading to a series of focused exploration and drilling campaigns.

“We acquired the project in June 2016 andthe tenements were granted in September that year,” Alto Metals managing director Dermot Ryan explained to The Resources Roadhouse.

“During that 18 months we completed a detailed airborne magnetic survey, compiled a data base and made some new discoveries.

“Most of the Sandstone belt is covered by a layer of soil and sand and laterite, so airborne magnetics are needed to look to the basement rocks underneath to find favourable lithologies and structures for gold mineralisation.

“We did that, then burrowed through the Western Australia Mines Department historical soil sample and historical drilling results.

“We integrated those data sets and identified 56 targets we divided into camp-style areas, ranking them in order of potential prospectivity.”

Armed with this information, Alto aims to delineate a combined one million-ounce JORC 2012-compliant Mineral Resource, to be the basis for recommencing operations.

Work date has demonstrated this resource is likely to comprise relatively shallow gold deposits from brand new discoveries – new discoveries near known small deposits in the vicinity of Vanguard and Indomitable and expanding existing deposits such as Lord Nelson and Lord Henry.

“Oxidisation in the Sandstone region is around 50 metres deep, so drilling an angled hole to average of 41 metres depth, like many previous explorers at Sandstone, doesn’t test the primary zone,” Ryan explained.

“At targets such as Vanguard and Indomitable, we are drilling deeper, inexpensive aircore holes to get a good look in that primary zone with the view of developing these targets into open pit Resources we can mine from surface.

“For a junior company, discovering and mining a new deposit that is oxide on top and primary zone within 100 metres of surface is a better first option than drilling 200 to 300 metre holes under somebody else’s old pit.

“This deeper drilling can be funded later, or done now by others, if they have the requirement and the necessary funds.”

From a one-million-ounce start, Alto’s hopes to define over five million ounces of gold, which it considers comparable to other more intensely explored greenstone belts in the Yilgarn area.

Early results from RC and AC drilling conducted at the Vanguard and Indomitable targets demonstrated the Vanguard system contains many high-grade mineralised structures.

Alto’s drilling at Vanguard discovered four new high-grade mineralised structures, in addition to the previously known structure, providing further evidence the Vanguard system is robust and open.

Assay highlights from Alto’s RC drilling of the oxide zone at Vanguard included:

8 metres at 7.8 grams per tonne from 34m;

29m at 2.3g/t gold from 28m; and

33m at 2.3g/t gold from 39m.

RC drill results from the primary zone at Vanguard included:

22m at 4.2g/t gold from 88m, including 3m at 13.3g/t from 28m;

17m at 4.5g/t gold from 122m, including 2m at 12.2g/t gold from 133m;

22m at 3.3g/t gold from 103m, including 1m at 15g/t gold from 109m; and

7m at 7g/t gold from 126m, including 2m at 10.8g/t gold from 128m.

“Between May and June 2018 we drilled over 12,000 metres of aircore over ten high priority prospect areas at Sandstone,” Ryan said.

“Approximately half of these holes, and half of the metres, were drilled around Vanguard and between Vanguard and Vanguard North.”

All five mineralised structures at Vanguard plunge shallowly to the northeast and remain open at depth.

The oxidation base was encountered at approximately 50m depth with mafic volcanics being the primary host rock.

A soil sampling program early this year identified a two square kilometre gold in soil anomaly connecting Vanguard and Vanguard North.

Assays of 197 of almost 400 samples from the Hancocks Mining Centre south of the Bull Oak pits defined a coherent 30 parts per billion (ppb) gold-in-soil anomaly over 9sqkm.

Assays from 28 samples out of a total of 340 samples collected near the Edale Fault returned anomalous results of over 7ppb gold in two discrete linear zones, each between 1,000m to1,500m long.

A third target, Chance, also lies on a splay of the Edale Fault.

“Our sampling program appears extensive, but we’re not blanket covering the whole belt,” Ryan said.

“We have focused on target areas of historic work that is incomplete.

“Once there, we are conducting detailed soil sampling to see if we can expand or constrain those targets for follow-up drilling.

“Although we have already completed 12,000 metres of aircore drilling this year, we have another 8,000 metres scheduled.”

More recent soil sampling over a geophysical target approximately 12km south of Sandstone has defined a plus 7ppb gold anomaly striking southeast over 1,500m.

In keeping with the history of naming prospects at Sandstone after WW1 British battleships, the target was dubbed ‘the Superb Anomaly’, possibly due to it returning a maximum value of 228ppb gold, with a further 13 samples returning over 15ppb gold.

The area hosting the Superb Anomaly was initially identified by Barry Bourne, a consultant of Terra Resources, in 2017 after processing and interpreting the detailed aeromagnetic data mentioned above that had been flown and/or compiled by Alto over the entire Sandstone project area.

Bourne described the target as, “a break in sediment/mafic stratigraphy with proximal mineralisation”.

“The Superb Anomaly lies in an area of iron rich duricrust, or laterite, so we need to determine whether the gold is representative of a primary gold source at depth, or is alluvial in nature,” Ryan explained.

“Further soil sampling will determine the extent of this gold in soil anomaly which is open to the south east.

“We have lodged a Program of Work for Aircore drilling with the Department of Mines, Industry and Safety and are awaiting approvals to enable us to start drilling.”

At the same time as the search proceeds for the new one million ounce discovery, Alto is reviewing potential for generating early cashflow from treating 100 year old battery sands from Hacks, Oroya, Havilah and Maninga Marley prospects.

Auger sampling and metallurgical test work is underway to determine the material’s viability for being incorporated into a low-cost heap leaching operation.

“There is still a lot of gold – underground – at Oroya, and we’re currently digitising the old level plans and having a look at what might be a residual Resource that we could do something with – or somebody else might want to do something with,” Ryan said.

“Hacks is another deposit mined by the old timers to the south of Sandstone that historically produced around 206,000 ounces of gold at 28 grams per tonne gold.

“In the short term we are reviewing all the existing open pits and looking at what potential may lie beneath them.

“The deposits we are looking at all have very high-grade in the primary zone.”


Alto Metals Ltd (ASX: AME)
…The Short Story

Suite 9
12 – 14 Thelma Street
West Perth, WA, 6005

Ph: +61 8 9381 2808


Terry Streeter, Dermot Ryan, Dr Jingbin Wang, Terry Wheeler


Rox Resources Nickel Projects Take Poll Position

THE INSIDE STORY: A shopping expedition at the start of the year reinforced the quality of Rox Resources’ (ASX: RXL) portfolio of nickel projects.

Rox Resources’ financial position is one many of its junior exploration company peers would relish.

Thanks to some judicious project divestment strategies in 2017, Rox currently boasts a war chest of around $14 million in cash and receivables.

Such a strong financial position means the company can carry out extensive exploration programs while scanning the market for suitable new asset opportunities to build shareholder value.

However, kicking the tyres on a few possible project acquisitions revealed plenty about the projects it already owned outright – that they were as good, if not better than what was on offer.

“We spent a considerable amount of time looking at projects and we looked seriously at two or three projects that didn’t come up to scratch,” Rox Resources managing director Ian Mulholland told The Resources Roadhouse.

“The question we had to ask was would we spend money on that project versus spending money on what we already had, and the answer was, no.

“That’s not to say that something fantastic may not come up in the future – there’s just nothing worthwhile around at the current point in time.

“That’s why we have decided to increase our focus on our nickel projects.”

Rox Resources has two nickel sulphide projects in the Northern Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Rox discovered the Fisher East nickel province in December 2012 and has since made further open-ended nickel sulphide discoveries.

Mineral resources have been defined over the Camelwood, Cannonball and Musket deposits totalling 2 million tonnes at 2.5 percent nickel containing 50,000 tonnes of contained nickel with Indicated Resources accounting for 95 per cent of the total resource.

The company has completed a Scoping Study on this mineral resource, which concluded the project as being low technical risk and financially viable at ‘normal’ nickel prices.

Since completion of the study the ‘normal’ nickel price has enjoyed a ‘supernormal’ run from around US$4 per pound a year ago to currently hover around US$7 per pound at time of writing.

The second project is the advanced Collurabbie nickel-gold exploration project, also located Northern Goldfields and situated just 70 kilometres due east of the Fisher East project.

The Collurabbie project hosts the Olympia nickel sulphide deposit, with a JORC 2012 Inferred Mineral Resource of 573,000 tonnes at 1.6 per cent nickel, 1.2 per cent copper, 0.08 per cent cobalt, 1.5 grams per tonne palladium, 0.85g/t platinum.

The two projects offer attractive synergies as should both projects come into production, ore from Collurabbie and Fisher East could potentially be treated at the same plant.

“We are now focusing on our two nickel projects with the goal of increasing the Resource, while the nickel price is continuing to go up, to the point where we can make a decision on commencing a Pre-Feasibility Study over the next 12 to 24 months,” Mulholland said.

Rox has launched into a program of work at both projects designed to both discover new deposits and increase existing resources.

At Fisher East 2,100m of diamond drilling has been drilled to extend the Musket and Camelwood deposits by testing previously defined strong downhole EM anomalies, and at Corktree to test a very strong one-kilometre long EM conductor, detected from surface.

Additional aircore drilling at Collurabbie (5,000m) and Fisher East (1,200m) is continuing to define geochemical trends, from which the company will target deeper drilling to discover new nickel sulphide orebodies.

“We did a diamond drilling program at Fisher East during April/May this year, with the outcome of extending two of the project ore bodies by 150m in depth, but more importantly, we demonstrated that the systems continue,” Mulholland explained.

“While we are not necessarily proposing to drill those out as Resources, because they are quite deep, it does mean that once we can get into production we have an open system, at depth, which we will be able to access from underground.

“Our focus is going to be on doubling the Resource within the top 500 metres.”

Results received from this drilling were highly encouraging, including:

MFED080 at Musket
4.3 metres at 2 per cent nickel Ni from 701.7m, including 0.3m of massive sulphides grading 8.1 per cent nickel from 701.7m;

MFED076W1 at Camelwood
2.4m at 2.4 per cent nickel from 718.3m, including 0.2m of massive sulphides grading 5.2 per cent nickel from 718.9m; and

MFED081 at Camelwood
0.3m at 7.5 per cent nickel of massive sulphides from 288.8m.

The result at Musket held some significance in that it broadened the prospective area for drilling and indicated that mineralisation extends to at least 700 metres depth.

Added to this, the two drill holes at Camelwood indicated that target’s nickel sulphide system to be more extensive than currently contained in the existing resource.

“The drilling at Fisher East moved us another step closer to our continuing overall aim of making a new game changing massive nickel sulphide discovery through exploration, while we increase resources at known deposits and continue to assess development options,” Mulholland enthused.

“We now know that the nickel sulphide systems at Musket and Camelwood are extensive and offer significant potential to develop a large resource base.”

Rox firmly stamped its nickel focus by announcing its intention to spin out its Mt Fisher gold project into a newly established, 100 per cent-owned subsidiary, Helios Gold Limited via an Initial Public Offering.

The Mt Fisher gold project is located 270km north of Leonora, adjacent to the Fisher East nickel project, and contains a mineral resource of 973,000 tonnes grading 2.75g/t gold for 86,000 ounces of gold.

Ironically, Rox originally acquired the Mt Fisher tenements in 2011 for the gold potential the project area offered, however the discovery of nickel at Fisher East since that time has made it difficult for the company to give the gold assets the proper focus they merited.

“The IPO is basically a new set of funds dedicated to that project,” Mulholland said.

“It means we can use our substantial bank balance to focus on our nickel projects while we have new funds and a new team taking the gold project in a new direction.

“Trying to do both would ultimately mean that we would not give either the full attention they both deserve.”

Mulholland believes expanding the company’s nickel presence, with the commodity trending the way it currently is, is an ideal approach for it to take, especially given the quality of the projects it already has in its portfolio.

“Further expansion of our current portfolio really depends on whether we are able to locate projects that we consider good enough to spend our money on.

“Our strategy is to increase our nickel Resources to take advantage of the nickel price upswing, to get to the point where we can be making some development decisions.

“If other opportunities emerge along the way, we’ll look at them, but they are going to have to be a lot better than the projects we currently have.”


Rox Resources Limited (ASX: RXL)
…The Short Story

Level 1, 34 Colin Street
West Perth WA 6005

Ph: +61 8 9226 0044


Stephen Dennis, Ian Mulholland, Brett Dickson


Draig Resources Riding in Fast Lane to Resource Estimate

THE INSIDE STORY: Draig Resources (ASX: DRG) has changed its name to Bellevue Gold Limited (ASX: BLG).

Tha change follows Draig’s early exploration success at its Bellevue gold project that has the company  to sustain and repeat its efforts.

Late last year, Draig Resources announced discovery of the Tribune Lode at the Bellevue gold project, located 400 kilometres north west of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

The Bellevue gold mine was once one of Australia’s highest-grade historical gold mines producing approximately 800,000 ounces of gold at 15 grams per tonne gold over 100 years before closing in 1997.

Bellevue changed hands numerous times between some of the industry’s biggest-hitting companies yet very little modern exploration was undertaken as it never fell into their collective portfolio considerations.

Thus, Draig Resources became the first company to conduct any exploration work of note on the mine and surrounding area in the last 20 years.

After confirming historical intersections at Bellevue, Draig commenced drilling on the Tribune Lode, a Bellevue parallel structure located immediately to the west of the Highway Fault and about 300m to the west to the historic Bellevue underground mine.

The move paid off immediately making a new gold discovery with the first hole of the program.

Drillhole DRRC0024 was drilled in a relatively untested area situated mostly under the Western Mineralised Corridor shallow transported sand cover, returning assays including:

7 metres at 27.4 grams per tonne gold from 92m, including 5m at 37.5g/t gold from 92m.

Step-out extensional drilling confirmed the high-grade mineralised system to be extended to the south, at depth and down plunge.

Draig followed this result up in March and May this year with further Tribune discovery results from drilling focused on preparing the estimation of a maiden Resource, infilling to a regular 80m by 40m grid pattern over the tested 550m of strike.

Additional work, including follow up DHEM target plates from the first pass exploration holes also produced highly-encouraging results.

The drilling and subsequent DHEM work demonstrated Draig was be looking in the right area by detecting several new high-grade ore shoots, all of which lifted the overall exploration potential of the strike extensions.

Results from the follow-up drilling for the first half of this year included:

2.5m at 29g/t gold from 147.5m and 3.8m at 5.2g/t gold from 133m;

9m at 5.4g/t gold, including 2m at 15.2g/t gold from 375m (The deepest hole drilled to date at Tribune Lode showing remains open);

7m at 7.2g/t gold, including 2m at 17.8g/t gold from 288m (the most southern hole drilled to date at Tribune lode showing remains open);

2.4m at 16.6g/t gold from 102m downhole;

4.1m at 6g/t gold from 92.5m downhole;

4.4m at 13.5g/t gold from 306m downhole (NEW SHOOT POSITION identified from DHEM);

9.5m at 5g/t gold, including 2.6m at 12.7g/t gold from 326.5m (NEW SHOOT POSITION identified from DHEM); and

2.3m at 8.2g/t gold from 53.7m and 0.3m at 31.8g/t gold from 64.9m and 2m at 9.3g/t gold from 92m downhole;

Further scout drilling conducted 160m to the north of the drill grid resulted in two holes intersecting Tribune style shearing and veins.

Results for these were pending at time of writing, however while the intersections didn’t demonstrate any noteworthy sulphide mineralisation, follow up DHEM indicated highly conductive plates as off hole conductors providing Draig with new shallow and high priority drill targets.

“We announced the Tribune discovery hole in December 2017 and, taking the Christmas break in to consideration, just five months later we are looking at coming out with a maiden Resource,” Draig Resources executive director Steve Parsons told The Resources Roadhouse.

“We are also very excited with our second target – the possible extension of the historic Bellevue Lode that results indicate we may have encountered already, again with our first drill hole into this new target.”

Draig completed its first deeper drill hole at the Bellvue gold mine designed to test the area known as the ‘Gap’ targeting the offset and extension of the historic high-grade Bellevue underground mine Lode position.

The results showed the drilling had encountered a new high-grade mineralised gold zone, returning assays of:

4.3m at 8.8g/t gold, including 3.4m at 10.4g/t gold from 576.2m; and

A secondary zone of 0.3m at 44.4g/t gold from 584.3m downhole.

Results were similar in widths and style of mineralisation to the historical Bellevue mine, which is not so surprising as existing Bellevue underground mine development is located only 190m from the mineralised drill intercept.

“The last few months have been a pretty exciting time for us, especially since the discovery of the new high-grade Tribune lode located just west of the old Bellevue gold mine,” Parsons said.

“We had spent time preparing to drill the deeper target below the Bellevue mine looking for the offset extension of that underground mine and we would have been drilling there earlier, except for the early success we had with the Tribune discovery.

“That was a most welcome distraction, however, once we finally got to drill at Bellevue, our first hole appears to have snicked, what we believe could be, the extension to the Bellevue Lode.

“The next couple of months will all be about conducting EM work and stepping out on this new lode.

“We will also be carrying out step-out drilling to the north and to the south of the Tribune discovery.”

Draig quickly commenced that step-out drill program looking to gain a deeper understanding of what it thinks could be a potentially abundant mineralised zone.

Activity on the project area is furious with diamond drilling testing the potential offset ore positions west the of the Highway Fault, and the Tribune Lode footwall potential ore positions.

On top of a recent $8 million raising to new institutional investors from Australia, Asia and North America and existing institutions and sophisticated investors, Draig has been allocated an EIS co-funding grant of $200,000 for a single drill hole to assist in this exploration.

Draig has identified the Western Corridor as a major exploration target and has deep diamond drilling planned to be followed up with DHEM to highlight potential ore positions.

Extensional diamond drilling at the Tribune lode is testing modelled DHEM conductors to the north of the existing mineralised extent as well as to the south towards Southern Belle target area.

Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling will infill the top 50m of the Tribune Lode to 40m by 20m centres ready for future economic extraction study work.

“Geological ore bodies are always more complicated than just identifying a straight line on a map,” Parsons said.

“Having said that, we hit the mineralised zone – and the exact target, our technical team had identified.

“So, if it looks like an apple and tastes like and apple it should be an apple, but we prefer to take a conservative approach and want to drill a few more holes so that we can be certain we have hit the Bellevue Lode.

“Once we have completed the extra drilling we should have a really good handle on what is going on.

“We are well on track for releasing our maiden Resource when we said we would and at this stage it is looking at being very good high-grade and, most importantly, open so we can expect to revisit that Resource in the second half of this year.”


Draig Resources Limited (ASX: DRG)
…The Short Story

Suite 3, Level 3
24 Outram Street
West Perth, WA, 6005

Ph: +61 8 6424 8077


Ray Shorrocks, Steve Parsons, Guy Robertson


Musgrave Minerals Regional Drilling Extends Cue Gold Mineralisation

THE INSIDE STORY: Throughout 2017, Musgrave Minerals (ASX: MGV) maintained a steady pace of news flow as the company advanced its flagship Cue project in the Murchison district of Western Australia.

This trend continued into 2018, when in the March quarter Musgrave completed diamond drilling at the Break of Day deposit and a reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at the Louise prospect, a discovery made by the company in the previous November, located just 750 metres south of Break of Day.

The drilling was designed to identify further mineralisation with the aim of increasing the already established Break of Day and Lena gold resources of 868,000 tonnes at 7.15 grams per tonne gold for 199,000 gold and 2.68 million tonnes at 1.77g/t gold for 153,000 ounces respectively.

Gold was intersected at depth at Break of Day and confirmed the mineralisation continues and is still open below 300m.

Musgrave decided it was time to broaden its exploration horizons, and intent on confirming the upside potential within the Cue tenements it commenced a large aircore/RC drill program to test 10 new high-priority gold targets.

The targets had been defined by integrating results from regional gravity survey with existing aeromagnetic data, historical broad spaced aircore drilling and surface geochemistry.

The drilling program of approximately 110 drill holes for 12,000m used a combination of aircore drilling with RC ‘tails’ to extend drill holes into fresh rock, down dip of gold anomalism.

All 10 occur along a 20-kilometre long prospective corridor that hosts the Break of Day and Lena gold Resources.

Seven of the targets underwent historical broad-spaced aircore or rotary air blast (RAB) drilling that returned anomalous gold results, but terminated in weathered basement and did not penetrate the unweathered Archaean below, however, they remain open and untested by basement drilling.

“The drilling results we had already achieved along the Break of Day/Lena shear provided plenty of confidence as we moved in to this next phase of exploration along the corridor,” Musgrave Minerals managing director Rob Waugh told The Resources Roadhouse.

“This drilling is testing some exciting new large-scale targets in areas that have received very little previous exploration.

“We are in a very prospective greenstone belt in a well-endowed region with good infrastructure and numerous operating gold plants.

“The focus of this drilling is to discover another high-grade Great Fingal-style gold deposit.”

Just as the drill rig operators were instructed to ‘start their engines’ Musgrave announced that a nearby neighbour in gold mill owner-operator, Westgold Resources had subscribed for 48 million ordinary shares in the company through a share placement at a 15% premium of seven cents per share.

The $3.36 million investment by Westgold presented the suitor with a holding of 15 per cent (undiluted) in Musgrave and the entities have started informal discussions regarding the possible commercialisation of Musgrave’s Cue gold deposits.

Completion of the Placement took Musgrave’s bank balance up to approximately $5.5 million in cash that will complement the co-funded drilling grant of up to $150,000 the company received under the Western Australian Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS).

“Westgold has three operating mills in the region surrounding our Cue project and is a highly regarded professional gold miner and processor,” Waugh said.

“Welcoming a company with such pedigree to our register is a positive result for us and a strong endorsement of the work we have completed to date on our projects, gold resources and upside exploration potential.

“The strong cash position will enable Musgrave to accelerate exploration while also progressing development studies on the existing Break of Day and Lena Resources.”

It didn’t take long for the first positive results to start filtering through from aircore drilling to the north of Break of Day in an area not previously drill tested.

18MORC010 intersected:
1m at 8.3 grams per tonne gold from only 4m depth.

The intersection was encountered just 200m north of the current high-grade Break of Day gold resource and is thought to be a possible extension to the Break of Day gold mineralisation.

Mineralisation is open along strike towards more than 300m of untested, at depth, potential.

Other results came from the first drill holes at the Lake Austin North target included:

21m at 0.78g/t gold from 118m to end of hole, including 6m at 2.2g/t gold from 118m;

24m at 0.54g/t gold from 98m, including 6m at 1.9g/t gold from 98m;

54m at 0.22g/t gold from 70m; and

18m at 0.20g/t gold from 94m.

These wide zones of near-surface gold mineralisation extend over one kilometre in length that Musgrave considers may be indicative of a higher-grade gold source in fresh rock.

“These initial results identified potential extension to the high-grade gold mineralisation at Break of Day and a large regolith gold halo at Lake Austin North,” Waugh said.

“Both areas are potentially significant with the Break of Day north intersection only 200 metres from the northern edge of the current high-grade gold resource and the Lake Austin North target confirming significant thicknesses of regolith gold mineralisation over a large area in a structurally favourable position and on a favourable lithological contact.”

Good news comes in threes, and Musgrave’s first drill hole into the Joshua gold target, 18MOAC056, approximately 4.7 kiloetres south of the high-grade Break of Day deposit, intersected: 6m at 3.9g/t gold from 54m down hole.

“That’s not a bad first pass result from Joshua, which we will follow up with additional drilling,” Waugh said.

“The target is open for more than 200 metres, both north and south and is, again, on the same mineralised trend as Break of Day and Lena.”

The Cue project dust had no time to settle with further results from Lake Austin North returning thick intervals of substantial gold mineralisation in regolith over two wide zones (A Zone and B Zone).

The A Zone sits on a highly prospective sheared granodiorite-mafic contact in similar geological setting to that seen at the Granny Smith gold deposit in the Eastern Yilgarn of Western Australia.

Two parallel, mineralised gold targets returned multiple thick gold intersections including:

13m at 4.3g/t gold from 120m, including 7m at 7.1g/t gold from 126m to end of hole;

42m at 1g/t gold from 112m to end of hole, including, 18m at 1.9g/t gold from 130m;

33m at 1.2g/t gold from 116m to end of hole, including 12m at 2.6g/t gold from 134m;

60m at 0.67g/t gold from 90m, including 18m at 1.6g/t gold from 126m; and

42m at 0.59g/t gold from 90m, including 6m at 2.1g/t gold from 120m.

“We could not have asked for a better start to our regional drilling program than identifying new gold mineralisation at Joshua, Lena North, Break of Day North and Lake Austin North,” Waugh said.

“It has highlighted the Cue project’s potential to host further gold deposits within this very prospective and well-endowed region with good infrastructure and numerous operating gold plants.

“It’s go, go, go, and we’re eagerly looking forward to a transformational year ahead.”


Musgrave Minerals Ltd (ASX: MGV)
…The Short Story

Ground Floor
5 Ord Street
West Perth WA 6005

Ph: +61 8 9324 1061


Graham Ascough, Rob Waugh, Kelly Ross, John Percival


Middle Island Resources has Sandstone Ore Sorted

THE INSIDE STORY: A new approach opened the potential of the Two Mile Hill tonalite deeps deposit within Middle Island Resources’ (ASX: MDI) 100 per cent-owned Sandstone gold project.

Middle Island Resources has been tracking the extension and enhancement of the proposed gold production profile at the Sandstone project with the aim of recommissioning its on-site 600,000 tonnes per annum processing plant.

The Two Mile Hill tonalite deeps deposit is located just four kilometres north of the company’s 100 per cent-owned Sandstone gold processing plant and presently comprises an Exploration Target of 24 million tonnes to 34 million tonnes at 1.1 grams per tonne to 1.4 grams per tonne gold for 0.9 million to 1.5 million ounces of gold.

Middle Island Resources has determined the deposit’s amenability to pre-concentration of gold mineralisation via an ore sorting study.

The initial study findings increase the mill feed grade, at the same time reducing the haulage and milling costs, and, importantly, the quantum of mill feed to a level compatible with the existing processing plant’s capacity.

Middle Island Resources initiated the ore sorting study in October last year after receiving encouraging results from a mineralogical assessment of material sourced from the Two Mile Hill deeps deposit.

The aims of the initial testwork, which involved the assaying of a series of hand-sorted composites of quartz vein material and un-veined tonalite, were designed to determine the relative disposition of gold within the deposit.

The mineralogical assessment suggested that over 99 per cent of the gold is hosted within the quartz veins.

Buoyed by these results, Middle Island embarked on an initial ore sorting trial, which demonstrated that ore sorting could deliver a 185 per cent to 257 per cent increase in grade.

“We have identified that 99.6 per cent of the gold occurs in the quartz veins, it is commonly coarse, and certainly free gold,” Middle Island Resources managing director Rick Yeates told The Resources Roadhouse.

“Some 60 per cent of the gold is recoverable in a gravity circuit and, at a relatively coarse grind size of 106 microns, we are getting 93 to 97 per cent leach recoveries after gravity concentration.

“The leach kinetics are also good, with about 90 per cent leach recovery in the first two hours, with low reagent consumptions and no deleterious elements.

“The recognition that 99.6 per cent of the gold occurs in the quartz veins led us to the concept of ore sorting and we have been investigating this opportunity for the past eight to nine months.

“The indicative trials we completed early this year identified that XRT and Colour sensors provide the best results, with gold recoveries over 93 per cent delivered into some 36 per cent of the mass.

“This results in a significant increase in mill feed grade and, very importantly, a significant reduction in the quantum of mill feed, potentially compatible with our existing processing plant.”

Riding the success of the initial ore sorting program, Middle Island drilled a large diameter diamond core hole, MSDD261, from surface to a depth of 284.5m to provide sufficient material for a second, more definitive ore sorting campaign.

50-gram fire assays of 1m quarter core intervals from MSDD261 returned a best intercept of 100 metres at 2.02 grams per tonne gold from 55m downhole depth, including 7m at 18.1g/t gold from 121m depth.

This intercept in MSDD261 is entirely consistent with previous diamond drilling at Two Mile Hill, variously including intersections of:

508.3m at 1.38g/t gold;
372.7m at 1.52g/t gold;
230.4m at 1.62g/t gold;
353.3m at 1.04g/t gold;
141m at 2.3g/t gold; and
156.3m at 1.14g/t gold.

“One of the characteristics of the deposit, particularly important for its amenability to ore sorting, is the highly consistent nature of the mineralisation,” Yeates said.

“They are certainly very substantial intercepts and demonstrate that the deposit is persistently mineralised.”

Drilling carried out to date at the Two Mile Hill deeps deposit has confirmed the presence of a substantial and ubiquitously mineralised system which, at surface, measures 250m in strike, up to 90m in width and is mineralised to at least 700m depth and remains open beneath this level.


Middle Island believes this latest, 100m at 2.02g/t gold intercept, combined with encouraging results derived from previous diamond drilling, metallurgical testwork, mineralogical studies and ore sorting trials, presents the potential for underground mining beneath the proposed open-pit cutback at Two Mile Hill.

“Sub-level caving is certainly the preferred mining option being assessed at this stage,” Yeates said.

“There is no question that ore sorting will be key to the project economics.

“The fall-back position for us is a more selective, open stoping, mining approach, and we have identified multiple higher-grade, sub-horizontal zones within the known 700 metre vertical extent of mineralised tonalite, on which we could focus to achieve that outcome.”

At the time of writing, more definitive ore sorting trials on bulk composites from diamond hole MSDD261 were complete, however the results of 2kg bottle roll assays of the various product fractions generated by the main trials were still pending.

These more definitive ore sorting trials include iterations around crush size and grade range, designed to refine the original ore sorting results.

The company has also recently completed Stage 1 resource definition diamond drilling, designed to bring the upper half of the Two Mile Hill tonalite deeps Exploration Target (from 140m depth, which is the base of the quantified mineralisation for the open pit, and approximately 420m depth) into at least an Inferred Resource category.

Logged vein densities and alteration intensities observed in diamond core are entirely consistent with previous diamond drilling, and multiple instances of course, visible gold have been identified.

Middle Island is confident of a successful outcome for the current, more definitive, ore sorting trials.

So much so, it is already planning to progress Stage II infill drilling, designed to bring the upper half of the deposit into the Indicated Resource category, prior to a more comprehensive economic assessment of its underground mining options.

Each drilling stage is also designed to maximise the number of possible intersections on the upper and middle banded iron formations (BIFs) that are intruded by the Two Mile Hill tonalite plug, to target additional high-grade gold mineralisation within the BIF units, peripheral to the tonalite contact.

While several such BIF intercepts have been recorded around the tonalite contacts to date, only one of these has been quantified as a Mineral Resource.

“The tonalite intrudes three BIF units,” Yeates explained.

“Immediately adjacent to the tonalite we see selective massive to semi-massive pyrite replacement of magnetite within the BIFs, with which the very high-grade intercepts are associated.

“These mineralised lenses are relatively small, so in the grand scheme of things they are not hugely material, but they are very nice sweeteners.

“We have only quantified one of these lenses to date, as a dense drilling pattern is required and can be expensive, but we have identified multiple ore positions that are marginal to the tonalite on the upper two of the three BIF units – we haven’t drilled the lower BIF at all.”


Middle Island Resources Limited (ASX: MDI)
…The Short Story

Suite 1
2 Richardson Street
West Perth WA 6005

Ph: +61 8 9322 1430


Peter Thomas, Rick Yeates, Beau Nicholls


Blackstone Minerals’ Consistent Cobalt Hits Continue to Polish Little Gem

THE INSIDE STORY: Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) has made a rapid start and impressive progress since joining the competition to discover high-grade cobalt deposits.

Blackstone Minerals listed on the ASX in January 2017 and in July that year acquired 100 per cent of the Little Gem project, located in British Columbia, Canada.

Cobalt is very much a metal-of-the-moment, due mainly to its 60 per cent contribution to the makeup of lithium-ion batteries, which is the basis for 50 per cent of global demand.

Expected growing demand for electric vehicles leads the lithium-ion battery charge that is sweeping cobalt along in its wake.

As a result, cobalt is expected to have a supply deficit, especially as current global mining output is only just meeting demand.

The cobalt price has enjoyed a buoyant run over the past two years, rising from US$10 per pound (US$22,000/tonne) to US$40/lb (US$87,000/t).

Current prices are still well short of the highs of US$52/lb (US$115,000/t) experienced in 2008, which was the last time cobalt was in deficit.

Blackstone Minerals commenced a six-hole maiden diamond drilling program at Little Gem in 2017, which came up trumps from the get go.

The first drill hole intersected massive, semi-massive and disseminated mineralisation, returning:

4.3 metres at 1 per cent cobalt and 15 grams per tonne gold, including 1.1m at 3 per cent cobalt and 44g/t gold.

These results were encouraging and were consistent with high-grade historic underground drilling and adit channel sampling data results of 1.8m at 2.4 per cent cobalt and 112g/t gold and 1.8m at 4.4 per cent cobalt and 73g/t gold respectively.

The first hole only tested the upper portion of the mineralised target but was able to identify multiple zones of massive sulphide (cobalt-gold) mineralisation within a broader alteration halo.

Blackstone re-commenced its 2018 field season drilling in April and immediately revealed the Little Gem alteration halo to be much larger than the company had previously estimated.

The 2018 drilling results the company had received at the time of writing had consistently intersected a broad alteration zone, highlighting potential for a major hydrothermal system at Little Gem.

The third hole to be completed at Little Gem, LGD18-002, continued to encourage Blackstone, returning:

3.2m at 0.8 per cent cobalt and 4g/t gold, including 1m at 1.2 per cent cobalt and 5g/t gold.

“It’s very clear that the results we have achieved to date are in line with our expectations, especially with our first hole at Little Gem hitting three per cent cobalt,” Blackstone Minerals managing director Scott Williamson told The Resources Roadhouse.

“We have now followed that result with further high-grade cobalt hits of one per cent and over.

“To put that in perspective – our peers in Australia are averaging around 0.1 per cent cobalt.

“We have recorded two intersections of over one per cent cobalt, which is ten times anything our Australian peers have encountered.

“We believe we are, potentially, dealing with a major hydrothermal system, which means there is a lot of fluid flow and a broad halo around this mineralisation.”

On the back of these positive results, Blackstone initiated a geophysical survey to test for further high-grade cobalt-gold prospects within the identified plus-1.8-kilometre strike target zone at Little Gem and the nearby Jewel prospect located 1.1km north-northeast of Little Gem.

“We are now seeing a significantly larger alteration zone at Little Gem and we are also seeing that the disseminated mineralisation is carrying good widths within flat lying zones of mineralisation,” Williamson said.

“To really understand that, we need to carry out more geophysical studies, so we can unlock what is really happening within the deposit.

“Over the next three to six months we will be focused on doing just that.”

The second mineral occurrence to attract Blackstone’s attention at the Little Gem project is the historic Jewel gold prospect which supported limited gold production from 1938 to 1940.

The Jewel prospect is located only 1.1 km north-northeast of the Little Gem Mine, near the (serpentinite/ granodiorite) contact zone which is prospective for cobalt-gold mineralisation in a fashion the company considers being analogous to the world class Bou-Azzer primary cobalt district in Morocco.

The comparisons to Bou-Azzer are inevitable with the district Little Gem is situated in having been well-explored and well-understood for gold and other metals, however, Blackstone is the first to be primarily on the hunt for cobalt.

The multi-element potential of the district has been demonstrated since Blackstone began working on the Little Gem project.

The company has verified mineralisation identified historically at the Little Gem prospect as well as at the Jewel gold prospect and discovered a new high-grade gold prospect named Roxey.

The Roxey gold prospect is located 1.5km west-southwest of the Little Gem prospect and was visually identified by Blackstone during the company’s original due diligence site visit, during which it took rock chip samples that returned assays of up to 24g/t gold, 1.9 per cent copper and 24g/t silver.

This was supported by surface rock chip samples taken at the Jewel prospect, which returned up to 98g/t gold and 3.2 per cent copper.

These results confirm what Blackstone found from its investigation of historical samples.

The Little Gem Project was discovered in the 1930s by prospectors who identified a pink cobalt-bloom on weathered mineralisation that led to the development of three adits.

A total of 1,268m of underground drilling was completed at this time and detailed channel sampling was taken from the adits.

Results from this historic work generated exceptional cobalt and gold assays including:

Historic drilling
1.8m at 2.4 per cent cobalt and 112g/t gold 3.3m at 1.4 per cent cobalt and 12g/t gold; and
4.1m at 1.4 per cent cobalt and 11g/t gold.

Underground channel sampling
1.8m at 4.4 per cent cobalt and 73g/t gold; and
2m at 3.1 per cent cobalt and 76g/t gold.

Surface channel sampling
0.4m at 5.7 per cent cobalt and 1,574g/t gold; and
0.1m at 4.6 per cent cobalt and 800g/t gold.

The Little Gem deposit is mostly underlain by granite of the Coast Plutonic Complex and ultramafic rocks on what has been interpreted to be the northern extension of the Cadwallader fault zone.

These are the major geological units and structures important to the mineral deposits either as the host rocks or sources of the mineralising fluids that gave rise to the Bridge River mining camp.

This camp has 60 mineral localities including the Bralorne-Pioneer mining complex, which boast an endowment of 4.4 million ounces at 17g/t gold and is the biggest gold producer in British Columbia and the sixth largest in Canada.

Little Gem is only 15km along strike to the north of the Bralorne-Pioneer mining complex.

Incredibly, there has been very little modern-day exploration carried out at Little Gem and what has been undertaken mostly consists of airborne geophysical surveys, including magnetic, radiometric and electromagnetic (EM) surveys completed in the 1970s and a further two drill holes completed in 1986.

“Results from the first three drill holes have confirmed Little Gem has some of the world’s highest-grade cobalt-gold mineralisation,” Williamson said.

“We are looking forward to the next round of assays and results from geophysical surveys to define the full potential of the mineralised system and the extensive alteration zone discovered at Little Gem.”


Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX: BSX)
…The Short Story

Suite 3, Level 3
24 Outram Street
West Perth, WA, 6005

Ph: +61 8 9425 5217


Hamish Halliday, Scott Williamson, Andrew Radonjic, Steve Parsons, Bruce McFadzean, Michael Konnert


Alliance Resources Promoting Weednanna from Gold Prospect to Gold Region

THE INSIDE STORY: Alliance Resources (ASX: AGS) is beginning to realise the potential lying within its flagship Weednanna gold prospect and other regional targets.

As Alliance Resources progresses Weednanna towards a maiden mineral resource estimate, the company has also turned its attention to the regional gold potential surrounding the prospect.

The Weednanna gold prospect is the most advanced of the Wilcherry Project Joint Venture in the Gawler Craton of South Australia between Alliance and Tyranna Resources (ASX: TYX).

As of 31 March 2018, Alliance had increased its interest in the Wilcherry Project Joint Venture Exploration Area to 71.09 per cent.

At Weednanna, high-grade gold shoots are associated with a calc-silicate and magnetite skarn system.

Alliance has stated its objective to establish a maiden mineral resource estimate for Weednanna this year and working towards that goal includes a staged program of metallurgical work on Weednanna gold mineralisation with the aim of optimising gold recovery and culminating in process design criteria and capital and operating costs for the processing base case.

Should the outcomes of both work streams be positive, Alliance intends feeding them into a scoping study to commence in the second half 2018.

The company has already demonstrated the exploration potential at Weednanna, however historic high-grade gold intercepts at the Mawson and Ultima Dam South prospects, both within a short trucking distance to Weednanna, also have the company very excited.

The most recent work at Weednanna consisted of Alliance’s fourth RC drilling program at the prospect, returning results that included four holes assaying greater than 50 grams per tonne-metres gold (grade by thickness).

Around the same time, Alliance completed a further 22-hole RC drilling program to define the geometry of Target 4 and initial testing of Target 5.

Fifteen holes at Target 4 reported intercepts greater than 1g/t gold, including four holes returning greater than 50g/t-m gold.

After a short break in drilling at Weednanna, Alliance returned in June to conduct a further 14 holes at Weednanna Target 4 with the aim to bundle together Targets 1 – 4 and 3D modelling to establish a mineral resource estimate.

“We finished a high-resolution gravity survey at Weednanna earlier this year, because we really wanted to fully understand the targets we are drilling,” Alliance Resources managing director Steve Johnston told The Resources Roadhouse.

“They are discreet targets and most have relatively narrow extents in cross section, but have potential for continuity down plunge and, of course, there is potential for repetition.

“We are trying to throw as much at it as we can in terms of geophysics because we already possess good magnetic data sets, a good regional gravity data set and previous IP work there has lit up sulphides which are often associated with gold.”

The high-resolution gravity survey revealed several structures, including a dominant NW-SE trending set.

The Weednanna Target 1 gold shoot is located along the most prominent of these NW-SE trending structures, which continues to the south of Target 4.

Alliance will use the gravity data to assist with mapping the sub-surface geology, particularly the target corridors of calc-silicate and magnetite skarn that host high-grade gold shoots.

The data will complement the existing geophysical datasets at Weednanna and will be utilised for constrained 3D inversion modelling to assist with targeting new gold lodes.

“The idea of doing the high-res gravity survey was to get a handle on the calc-silicate target, which hosts the gold mineralisation,” Johnston explained.

“We found some really large northwest-trending structures cutting across the project, which we had a hint of from the magnetics, but they really showed up from the gravity survey.

“One of the structures goes through Target 1, which is our largest target sitting in the west of the project.

“Target 1 is quite constrained at only 130 metres of strike, but this structure that trends through it, and continues on, is about one kilometre and, historically, there hasn’t been much drilling along the length of it.

“That has really opened that area for further exploration, so we will be looking at that too.

“Once we have modelled these targets we will be able to see if there are any other localities that might provide for structural repetition.

“It could be quite a powerful model that we will have at the end of it, so the wireframing we are doing is not just for a mineral resource estimate, it is also for targeting additional mineralisation.

“I’m confident that we will identify other target areas, I don’t know how many at this stage, but we have potential to add to the number of target areas we already have at Weednanna.”

In May this year, Alliance announced the commencement of a review of regional gold prospectivity in a bid to identify prospects with potential for gold mineralisation situated within five kilometres of Weednanna.

The company compiled results from historic geochemical and drilling databases that showed gold was encountered at the Mawson, Ultima Dam South and Weednanna North prospects, with anomalous gold of greater than 0.2g/t gold at the Ultima Dam and Ultima Dam North prospects.

The Mawson prospect sits 3,600m to the northwest of Weednanna and was initially identified by calcrete sampling in in the 1990s that defined a gold-in-calcrete anomaly over the southern part of the prospect.

Drilling by Anglogold into the anomaly in 1999 intersected 29m at 0.86 per cent copper from 41m.

Trafford Resources drilled nine RC holes across Mawson in 2008, including four with diamond tails with five holes reporting intercepts greater than 1g/t gold, with a best intercept of 5m at 2.46g/t gold from 159m, including 3m at 3.3g/t gold from 161m.

The Ultima Dam South prospect, 3,200m northeast of Weednanna, was also drilled by Anglogold in 1999.

Two holes reported intercepts over 1g/t gold, with a best and shallow intercept of 1m at 4.09g/t gold from 14m.

When it released the announcement, Alliance was surprised that it seemed to fly under the radar of market watchers and analysts.

“The market doesn’t always understand the implications of such an announcement,” Johnston said.

“That announcement was really a statement of historic results within a five-kilometre radius of Weednanna that we don’t believe had been published before.

“This was work completed by previous owners and explorers that included results of five metres at close to 2.5 grams per tonne gold at the Mawson prospect, just to the northwest of Weednanna and another of one metre at four grams per tonne gold from the Ultima Dam South prospect to the east.

“What is important to note is that the drilling was not targeting gold but copper at Mawson and iron ore at Ultima Dam South.

“Serendipitously there was gold and it appears to be associated with the calc-silicates and magnetite similar to what we’re getting at Weednanna.

“We will be having a really good look at that next year with a view to doing more geophysics and drilling to try and identify some of these target areas.

“We have only just scratched the surface at Weednanna, but there seems to be potential for multiple Weednanna-style deposits at these other localities.”


Alliance Resources Limited (ASX: AGS)
…The Short Story

Suite 3
51 – 55 City Road
Southbank, VIC, 3006

Ph: +61 3 9697 9090


Ian Gandel, Tony Lethlean, Steve Johnston


S2 Resources Committed to International Portfolio

INSIDE UPDATE: S2 Resources (ASX: S2R) confirmed its commitment to its portfolio of Scandinavian and North American exploration projects by selling interests of its promising Western Australian gold project.

S2 Resources struck a deal for Westgold Resources (ASX: WGX) to acquire its interest in the Polar Bear project (100%), Eundynie Joint Venture (80%) and the Norcott project (100%).

The deal was a profitable one for S2 Resources, which received $3 million cash plus four million Westgold shares.

At the time of the deal, Westgold shares were around $1.50 per share, valuing the total consideration at approximately $9 million.

On executing the agreement, S2 indicated it was part of the company’s strategy to focus on those opportunities it considered to have the best potential to deliver a major discovery.

It also reduced the need to chase extra funding, keeping its capital structure as tight as possible so that in the event of exploration success its shareholder base would reap maximum value.

The WA asset sale strengthened S2’s balance sheet, taking it, with cash and investments, to approximately $25 million, providing the company with scope to focus its time and funds on the opportunities presented in its overseas exploration activities.

Of note, S2 retained exposure to the upside of the Polar Bear project’s nickel prospectivity, which includes the Taipan and Halls Knoll nickel prospects discovered by S2’s precursor, Sirius Resources.

“We can’t have everything and do everything,” S2 Resources managing director Mark Bennett explained to the Resources Roadhouse.

“We took a view based on an equation of how much we are going to spend versus how much we think we are going to achieve and we felt that our chances were better in Sweden, Finland and Nevada.

“Rather than the WA projects sitting there doing nothing and costing us money to hold, why not monetise them?

“That gives us more cash in the kitty and more time to focus on the international projects.”

S2 Resources has been drilling at the Storgroven target within its 100 per cent-owned Skellefte project in Sweden.

Base of till drilling identified two adjacent zones of gold/silver mineralization, with seven base of till holes ending in mineralization greater than one gram per tonne gold and 20g/t silver.

Peak end of hole assays included 2.5g/t gold and 60g/t silver in the southern zone and 2.3g/t gold and 42g/t silver in the northern zone.

Subsequent diamond drilling of the Storgroven prospect identified a VMS-prospective horizon containing lenses of massive and stringer sulphides strongly anomalous in precious metals.

First results through came from three of eight holes drilled at Storgroven, with the best intercept being 15.7 metres at 0.8g/t gold and 6g/t silver.

Historical drilling data from the Aliden prospect, located within the same prospective stratigraphy some 450m south along strike from Storgroven, has confirmed the presence of similar style mineralisation, with several gold-silver mineralized intercepts, including 23.4m at 1.5g/t gold, 41g/t silver and 1.5 per cent zinc from 57.2m drilled in 1969 beneath a VMS lens first identified by trenching in the 1930’s.

An electromagnetic (EM) survey identified two conductors immediately to the south of and subparallel to the recent drilling at Storgroven.

S2 Resources other international commitments involve three active earn-in agreements with TSXV-listed Renaissance Gold on three Carlin-style gold targets in Nevada in the United States of America.

S2 has commenced drilling on the first of two scheduled holes designed as an initial test of a blind Carlin-style gold target at the South Roberts project in central Nevada, where the company is earning a 70 per cent interest.

Previous drilling confirmed the presence of favourable stratigraphy, solution collapse breccias and anomalous gold, and also led to the inference of the presence of an anticline – an important trap site for Carlin style gold deposits.

Controlled source audio-magnetotelluric (CSAMT) surveying confirmed this interpretation, defining a north-south trending anticlinal crest hidden beneath transported gravels.

Follow up enzyme leach surface geochemical sampling, which is designed to detect mineralisation buried beneath transported material, identified several anomalous zones of gold and associated Carlin-suite elements broadly coincident with this anticline.

Each of the two initial holes is planned to be drilled to around 400m to test multiple target horizons associated with specific favourable stratigraphic units.


S2 Resources (ASX: S2R)
…The Short Story

North Wing, Level 2
1 Manning Street
Scarborough WA 6019

Ph: +61 8 6166 0240


Jeff Dowling, Mark Bennett, Anna Neuling, Grey Egerton Warburton.