Drill Rigs Keep Spinning Across WA

COMMODITY CAPERS: Here at The Roadhouse, we often hear from companies of the difficulties they encounter trying to source drilling rigs to enable them to carry out exploration.

Our curiosity landed us on the webpage for the Western Australia Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, which delivered some sobering information.

We all know WA punches above its weight in terms of the Australian economy.

According to the Department, in 2019-20, WA achieved resource sales valued at $172 billion, making it a leading global resources precinct with a substantial global share of production for major and strategic commodities.

In 2019, WA’s share of global resources production included:

59 per cent of lithium, 32 per cent of iron ore; 29 per cent of garnet; 13 per cent of LNG; 12 per cent of rare earths; 12 per cent of zircon; 11 per cent of alumina; 11 per cent of diamonds, 6 per cent of gold; 6 per cent of nickel; 5 per cent of ilmenite; 4 per cent of cobalt; and 4 per cent of salt.

Not bad for a jurisdiction that boasts just 0.03 per cent of the global population.

“Western Australian mining operators have developed this scale of production capacity with a small population base through local development of leading technology, services and equipment,” the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation said.

“Western Australia is the global leader in autonomous and remote mining operations.”

This is where things got interesting.

The department provided a quick inventory of large-scale mining equipment across the state.

To produce the above-mentioned figures the industry is currently using just over 400 operating autonomous haul trucks across iron ore and open cut gold operations with more than 150 autonomous haul trucks to be added to the fleet.

The figure that raised The Roadhouse eyebrows was that there are only 48 autonomous drilling rigs in operations at mine sites.

Little wonder then, companies are screaming for rigs at a time when money is abundant and the global thirst for commodities constantly on the rise.

To exemplify what we mean, we took a random sampling of drilling underway across the state.



Kairos Minerals has just completed a program of reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Roe Hills project, located east of Kalgoorlie.

The drill program comprised 20 holes testing high-priority gold and nickel targets at the Caliburn, Talc Lake and Black Cat prospects.

“We’re really excited to now have this drilling program complete, with the results expected to provide an important assessment of the high-priority gold and nickel targets at Roe Hills,” Kairos Minerals executive chairman Terry Topping said.

“We expect to receive assay results within the next six to seven weeks, however visual analysis of the RC chips indicates plenty of exciting potential, particularly at the Black Cat prospect where we can see broad zones of significant sulphides.”

If you think drill rigs are in short supply, try counting the number of lab analysts that are needed to keep up with demand.

Kairos indicated it would no be waiting at least six weeks for the results of this program to hit its inbox.

Undeterred, the company is now moving the rig to its other project, the Mt York gold project in the Pilbara, where current Mineral Resources stand at 873,000 ounces of gold.

That means transporting the rig from Kalgoorlie to the Pilbara, a trek that most other jurisdictions would no doubt consider outrageous.


Moho Resources announced the commencement of diamond drilling at the Crossroads prospect, located in the WA Wheatbelt and about 22km west of the Edna May gold mine.

The Crossroads prospect is part of Moho’s Burracoppin gold project, which is subject to a 70:30 Joint venture with IGO Limited.

The four-hole coring program of approximately 600m has been designed to follow up mineralisation the company encountered in its January 2021 RC drilling program.

“Moho is again fortunate to have secured West Core Drilling to undertake our maiden diamond drilling program at the Crossroads prospect,” Moho Resources managing director Shane Sadlier said.

“We are particularly looking forward to identifying the orientation of structures controlling the gold mineralisation intersected in the recent RC drilling program, and to then apply these findings to subsequent exploration programs.”

The program is partially funded by the WA Government as part of its Exploration Incentive Scheme to test a potential Intrusive-Related Gold mineral system at the Crossroads prospect.



Kairos Minerals Kicks Off Mt York Drilling

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Kairos Minerals (ASX: KAI) has a program of Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling underway at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Pilbara gold project in Western Australia.

Kairos Minerals explained the program marks the final phase of the company’s 2020 field program before the onset of the northern-Australian Wet Season.

The current drilling program is focused on the Old Faithful deposit at the Mt York project, targeting extensions to the current Resource as well as high-grade zones within the deposit, with the aim of upgrading the current Unclassified, Inferred and Indicated Resources into higher-confidence categories.

Approximately 14 holes are expected to be drilled, with the aim of testing some of the targets generated by the recently-completed SAM survey, as well as testing extensions to the known mineralisation both at depth and along strike.

“Our recent SAM survey has delivered a number of compelling targets at Old Faithful, which we will start testing over the next two weeks,” Kairos Minerals executive chairman Terry Topping said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“In addition, we will be looking to extend and upgrade the existing 89,400 ounces Old Faithful Resource and target additional high-grade zones within the deposit.

“We’re also looking forward to shortly receiving assay results from recent exploration programs at the Skywell and Croydon projects, which will help our drill targeting for 2021.”

The current Mineral Resource at Old Faithful is 2 million tonnes at 1.37 grams per tonne gold for 89,400 ounces, limited to a maximum vertical depth of 140 metres.

The Old Faithful deposit is part of the larger Pilbara gold project, which has total Resources of 20.9 million tonnes at 1.3g/t gold for 873,500 ounces – including the Iron Stirrup and Mt York deposits.





Kairos Minerals Doubles Down on Pilbara Gold Drilling Program

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Kairos Minerals (ASX: KAI) announced an expansion to the ongoing drilling program at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Pilbara gold project in Western Australia.

Kairos Minerals indicated the drilling within the Croydon project area, would now include the Tierra prospect, with over 5,000 metres of drilling expected to be completed at both Tierra and the Fuego prospect.

To date, 20 RC drill holes have been completed at the Fuego prospect, with the drill rig set to shift Tierra for a further 1,500m of drilling.

Another program of RC drilling is expected to start in November at the Mt York project, with around 5,000m planned to be drilled across the project area targeting extensions of the existing deposits and potential new discoveries.

“Thanks to the recently completed $9 million capital raising, we are in a position where we can really make the best possible use of the remaining time between now and the onset of the northern field season,” Kairos Minerals executive chairman Terry Topping said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“With drilling now complete at Fuego, we have decided to expand the program at Croydon by drilling an initial 1,500 metres program using the same rig at the exciting Tierra prospect to test the gold targets we have defined previously, which have coincident geochemical and geophysical signatures.

“The RC rig will then move to Mt York to drill approximately 5,000 metres targeting extensions of the Mt York, Iron Stirrup and Old Faithful deposits.

“In total, this will increase the size of the RC program to around 10,000 metres.

“This excludes the previously foreshadowed air-core programs we are planning at the Kangan and Skywell Projects, commencing in the December quarter.

“The net result of all of this increased activity is that shareholders can look forward to strong and regular news-flow with drilling updates and assay results from now through until Christmas and into early next year.

“This is a really exciting time for Kairos as we move closer to our goal of hopefully uncovering a significant new Pilbara gold discovery while also expanding our resource position at Mt York.”








Kairos Minerals Identifies Kangan Project Gold Targets

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Kairos Minerals (ASX: KAI) timed its announcement of four new gold targets identified at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Kangan project in Western Australia with executive chairman Terry Topping’s presentation to the RIU Resurgence Conference.

The Kangan project is located 90km south of Port Hedland and 20km south-east of the new Hemi gold discovery of De Grey Mining (ASX: DEG).

Kairos Minerals identified the targets by way of results from a recently completed geochemical sampling program, together with interpretation of data from a recent aeromagnetic survey.

The new targets include a large gold target that sits in a favourable geological position for potential intrusive-hosted gold discoveries.

In light of the new discoveries, Kairos has decided to prioritise an initial aircore drilling program to test the targets next quarter.

Target 1 is defined by a major north-south structural zone which is coincident to a 3km long geochemical anomaly.

Target 2 is a gold-in-soil anomaly coincident with some magnetic features. Sulphur and Strontium are also elevated within this target area.

Target 3 is defined by a 3.5km long geochemical anomaly coincident with magnetic features and lithological boundaries.

Target 4 is a low-level gold anomaly coincident with a magnetic feature.

“Our systematic approach to exploration across the Pilbara Gold Project is continuing to generate results across a number of fronts,” Kairos Minerals executive chairman Terry Topping said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Results have been received from the recent Ultrafine soil geochemistry program at Kangan and together with newly interpreted aeromagnetic data, have generated four gold targets.

“The largest of these is a coincident geochemical and geophysical feature that sits on the margin of an intrusion in a geologically favourable position just 20 kilometres from De Grey Mining’s exciting Hemi discovery.

“We plan to commence heritage surveys with a view to testing these new targets as soon as possible, clearing the way for initial aircore drilling in October/November this year.”

Elsewhere Kairos has completed a ground-based geophysical program for the Fuego prospect, part of the company’s Croydon project, located 120km south of Port Hedland.

The survey also covered the Iron Stirrup and Old Faithful prospects at the Mt York project.

Approximately 190 line kilometres of survey has been completed to date and data processing and interpretation is now underway.

The survey is currently in progress over the Tierra prospect at the Croydon project, with 70 line kilometres planned to cover over 5km strike of the geochemical anomaly.

“RC drilling is continuing at the Fuego prospect with eight holes completed to date,” Topping said.

“We are encouraged by the initial indications from this drilling, with broad zones of sulphides intersected in conglomerates, sandstones and black shale.

“Assays are awaited and drilling is progressing to allow us to complete the initial program at Fuego.

“Drill pad preparation at the Mt York Project has now been completed and the rig will relocate from Fuego to Mt York as soon as the current program is completed, to drill extensions of the Mt York, Iron Stirrup and Old Faithful deposits.

“In total, we expect to drill approximately 5,000 metres across the two project areas.”







Kairos Minerals Claims New Conglomerate-Style Gold Discovery

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Kairos Minerals (ASX: KAI) kicked off its 2019 exploration field season at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Pilbara gold project in Western Australia by claiming the discovery of an extensive area of conglomerate-hosted gold nuggets and visible gold.

Kairos Minerals made the discovery during ground-based exploration activities at the Croydon project, located within the central part of the Pilbara project, situated around 100 kilometres to the west of the Mt York gold project.

Kairos said the new discovery was a major advance in its conglomerate exploration program and was the first time the company has encountered intact gold nuggets hosted directly in a conglomerate unit and is considered to be directly analogous to the Purdy’s Reward discovery near Karratha, which first sparked interest in conglomerate-hosted gold in the Pilbara.

To date, Kairos has recovered a total of 223 nuggets for 656 grams/21.1 ounces at the base of the conglomerate outcrop near the contact with the granitic rocks of the Archean basement.

The company said its metal detector is also indicating that there is gold in five different locations in-situ.

A more detailed mapping program is now underway to define the mineralised horizon within the conglomerate unit.

“Our 2019 exploration field season in the Pilbara is off to a great start with our field team achieving a significant early breakthrough with the discovery of a large area of visible gold and nuggets hosted in conglomerate sequence,” Kairos Minerals executive chairman Terry Topping said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“This is the first time that we have found intact gold nuggets hosted directly in rock on our tenements – a really exciting development.

“The gold-bearing conglomerate horizon is located in a valley which lies just two kilometres from the six nugget patches discovered last field season and extends over a strike length of approximately 700 metres and width 200 metres.

“The conglomerate horizon occurs at surface and is therefore easily accessible from the perspective of metal detecting and potential future sampling and trial mining.

“Importantly, the gold-bearing conglomerate appears to be directly analogous to the extensive gold-bearing horizon reported previously by Novo Resources Corp at its Purdy’s Reward project near Karratha – demonstrating just how widespread this style of gold mineralisation is in the Pilbara.

“Together with the results of previous stream sediment sampling and the extensive program of soil sampling currently underway, this has added significantly to our understanding of the scale of the exploration opportunity at the Croydon project.

“We have so far identified multiple high-priority gold targets over 22 kilometres of strike, established access tracks to facilitate 4WD-assisted exploration and now discovered our seventh significant nugget patch – this time with gold hosted directly in the conglomerate sequence.

“Field exploration activities are continuing with sampling, mapping and metal detecting, and we are looking forward to reporting further results as they come to hand.”