THE CONFERENCE CALLER: An active field campaign is helping Apollo Consolidated (ASX: AOP) set itself up within the next generation of domestic gold producers as it expands the inventory of the company’s wholly-owned one million-ounce (plus) Lake Rebecca project in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields. By Mark Fraser
Since announcing Lake Rebecca’s total indicated and inferred mineral resource of 27.1 million tonnes at 1.2 grams per tonne gold for 1.035 million ounces (in optimised pit shells) earlier this year, the junior has been busy in the field, with infill, extensional, RC and diamond drilling continuing to deliver mouth-watering results.
Comprising 160 square kilometres of tenure located some 150km east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the project covers the eastern margin of the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt and sits at the southern end of the Laverton Tectonic Zone.
Located in a similar geological setting just 140-150km to the north-west are three world class gold operations – Barrick Gold Corp’s (TSX: ABX) Granny Smith and Wallaby mines as well as AngloGold Ashanti’s (ASX: AGG) Sunrise Dam project.
As it stands, Apollo is currently targeting three key Lake Rebecca prospects – the flagship Rebecca, which contains 775,000 oz (indicated and inferred), Duchess (180,000 inferred oz) and Duke (80,000 indicated oz).
Although Apollo managing director Nick Castleden told delegates at today’s RIU Resurgence Conference in Perth that Rebecca would “drive the project forward”, he was also keen to point out that the company had not been resting on its laurels when it came to its field activities.
Deeper diamond drilling since the announcement of the inferred resource, for instance, had revealed underground mineralisation with gold intercepts of:
5m at 2.5g/t
5m at 5.53g/t
14m at 1.3g/t and
22m at 3.44g/t.
Additionally, during late August, the junior announced it had identified further mineralisation at Cleo, situated some 2km to the west of Rebecca, where an anomalous zone of at least 150m wide was established.
According to the company, this material is hosted by fine grained disseminated sulphides in micro-diorite to amphibolite, as opposed to the granodiorite gneiss found at Rebecca, Duchess and Duke.
Two RC holes in particular – 38m at 2g/t gold from 65m depth (including 2m at 20.4g/t from 74m) and 2m at 9.39g/t (with 1m at 17.2g/t) – were particularly encouraging as they sit within widespread gold anomalism totalling 113m at 0.46g/t from 31m.
Meanwhile, another drill hole located 100m to the north also intersected widespread gold anomalism (70m at 0.34g/t from 15m). A fresh rock result of 2m at 9.39g/t from 47m, including 1m at 17.2g/t from 48m, was also welcomed by the junior.
Further shallow infill RC drilling at Duchess – which sits just 4km south of Cleo and Rebecca – also came up with the goods, returning gold intercepts like 9m at 1.82g/t from 11m and 24m @ 0.87g/t from 50m, 12m at 1.15g/t from 76m, 9m at 1.17g/t from 113m (as well as multiple plus-5m hits at 0.50g/t), 14m at 0.74g/t from 40m, 35m at 0.90g/t from 94m, 10m at 1.46g/t from 148m and 18m at 0.74g/t from 161m.
Drilling will continue around the three key deposits at Lake Rebecca and along further exploration targets, including Cleo, throughout the remainder of the year.
Further diamond drilling will also test specific high-grade step-down exploration targets at the Rebecca deposit.
An additional 12 infill RC holes have also been completed at the 80,000oz Duke deposit as part of a planned mineral resource definition program, while the RC rig is now undertaking infill and step-out drilling at Rebecca.
Apollo also plans to start some of the longer-lead project fieldwork that will feed into option analysis and future mining studies.
Castleden told the conference delegates Lake Rebecca represented, “a window to what can be done in a pretty mature terrain”.
“Certainly, there is a lot of interest in this company because we do things in a constrained and conservative sort of way,” he said.
“These are real ounces – we think they can be dug up with real machinery.
“The metrics for our shareholders are undemanding, we think, compared to some of our peers; certainly, it’s not a high-grade system, but it is a very solid system.”
The company remains in a strong financial position to continue its exploration endeavours, with $21 million in the bank as at the end of June 2020.
Although it had been active in the west African nation of Cote d’Ivoire, Castleden indicated Apollo was now strongly focused on developing its WA assets.
It does, however, retain a valuable royalty interest (1.2%) over the growing (plus) 1 million oz Seguela gold project, which is being developed by Canadian gold miner Roxgold (TSX: ROXG), where an NI 43-101 indicated resource of 529,000 oz at 2.3g/t and an inferred one of 508,000 oz at 2.9g/t, covering four deposits, has been established.
Castledine said he was expecting the Canadian company to make a mining decision regarding this project within the next 12-18 months.