THE DRILL SERGEANT: Middle Island Resources (ASX: MDI) is set to commence a substantial multi-rig, reverse circulation (RC) drilling campaign of over 1200 metres within four kilometres of the company’s 100 per cent-owned gold processing plant at the Sandstone gold project in central Western Australia.
Middle Island said the drilling is being carried out to confirm, expand and/or test some 14 open pit gold targets in order to increase and/or upgrade existing open pit Mineral Resources.
This is expected to be finished prior to the completion of an updated pre-feasibility study (PFS) in the June quarter and revisiting a project recommissioning decision.
“Commencing 2020 with approximately $2.8 million in cash (at bank or fully underwritten) provides a rare opportunity to realise a long-held ambition to deploy significant drilling metres across a multitude of open pit gold targets (and deposits) that have remained untested or poorly tested due to prior funding constraints,” Middle Island Resources managing director Rick Yeates said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“The planned multi-phase drilling campaign has the potential to add significant open pit Mineral Resources to the Sandstone gold project.
“With the Australian dollar gold price near record levels, any additional Mineral Resources identified during the drilling campaign should significantly enhance the outcome of the current Sandstone updated PFS, which is planned to be completed in the June quarter of 2020, prior to reviewing a recommissioning decision.”
The company completed an initial aircore drilling program, comprising 200 holes late in January, in advance of the RC drilling to determine the limits of previously defined gold anomalies and maiden palaeosurface drilling of one new target.
At this stage, the aircore drilling results are pending, but Middle Island anticipates they will be returned in sufficient time to refine planned RC drilling of the palaeo-surface gold geochemical targets.
The company explained the aircore and RC drilling programs are the first of a substantial multi-phase drilling campaign, the progressive results of which will be reported on a continuous basis.
If required, additional RC and diamond drilling programs are planned for late in the March quarter to upgrade any defined Inferred Mineral Resources to an Indicated classification, and confirm oxide bulk densities, metallurgical and geotechnical parameters, and waste rock characterisation for a planned tailings facility expansion.