THE DRILL SERGEANT: Middle Island Resources (ASX: MDI) has again increased the aggregate Minerals Resources of the company’s wholly-owned Sandstone gold project in the central goldfields of Western Australia.
Middle Island Resources released maiden Mineral Resource estimates for Sandstone’s new Ridge and McClaren satellite open pit deposits, collectively adding a further 24,500 ounces of gold.
This figure takes the Sandstone aggregate Mineral Resources to 746,500 ounces of gold.
More than 72 per cent of Ridge and 80 per cent of McClaren’s Resource estimates are classified in the Indicated category.
The Ridge and McClaren deposits represent the final two – of five – new satellite open pit deposits quantified by Middle Island’s 50,000m drilling campaign in 2020.
Middle Island anticipates Phase 3 infill drilling of the shallow, persistent, higher grade, northern element of the Ridge deposit, which is presently classified as an Inferred Resource, should result in an upgrade to Indicated for consideration as an Ore Reserve in due course.
The exploration component of the Phase 3 drilling will also test extensions to the McIntyre deposit and the Shillington Gap target.
“The maiden Mineral Resources for the Ridge and McClaren satellite gold deposits represent a 24,500-ounce increase in the total Sandstone project JORC 2012 Mineral Resources, which now aggregate 746,500 ounces gold,” Middle Island Resources managing director Rick Yeates said in the company’s ASX announcement.
“The Ridge and McClaren deposits will be optimised and mine designs prepared to determine their contribution to Ore Reserves in the FS.
“The maiden Ridge Mineral Resource is a particularly pleasing outcome, as the higher grade, northern extension of this deposit appears to be only limited by the quantum of drilling.
“This shallow dipping, near surface, mineralised extension was the final area drilled in the Phase 2 campaign on a 40m by 40m pattern and, as such, is appropriately classified as an Inferred Resource.
“Infill drilling on a 20m by 20m pattern should see this shallow, higher grade, deposit extension reclassified as an Indicated Resource for consideration as an Ore Reserve.
“The deposit still remains open to the northeast and further drilling has therefore been planned for the Phase 3 campaign, which is in progress.
“Drilling at the Ridge gold deposit included a number of isolated bonanza grade intercepts, which have appropriately been cut for resource modelling purposes.
“However, it is anticipated that these may ultimately be confirmed as more continuous, likely resulting in positive mining and processing reconciliations.
“While the Ridge deposit appears to offer a low strip ratio proposition, the economics of mining the McClaren deposit may be challenged by higher anticipated waste to ore ratios.
“The Ridge and McClaren satellite open pit deposits represent the final Mineral Resource estimates contributing to the current FS, which is scheduled for completion in January 2021.
“Prior to commencement of the 2020 drilling campaign, the anticipated best case scenario was a doubling of Sandstone’s open pit Mineral Resources which, with the addition of Ridge and McClaren, we have now achieved.
“This is an extremely pleasing outcome that should ensure a positive FS outcome and a project recommissioning in 2021.
“An extensive program of RC sterilisation drilling is now well advanced at Sandstone and further exploration drilling is imminent with the addition of a second RC rig.
“This Phase 3 drilling campaign is scheduled for completion in late December 2020.”
TO READ THE FULL ANNOUNCEMENT: CLICK HERE