Native Mineral Resources has stocked up its tucker bag, landing the Arcoona gold project in the Eastern Goldfields of WA, next door to the revered Carosue Dam gold mine. The new acquisition covers 170 square kilometres of prospective ground just 4km to the west of Saracen’s multi-million-ounce operation where Native Minerals is targeting rich intrusive-related gold mineralisation.
The acquisition of Arcoona forms part of an option agreement with privateers Sullivan Creek to purchase three projects in the region with the company having already completed the purchase of the Music Well project, north of Leonora and now the tenement next to Carosue.
The remaining piece of the Sullivan Creek puzzle is the Mt Vetters gold project north of Kalgoorlie, which sits in the same neighbourhood as Ardea Resources’ Goongarrie gold discoveries and aspiring miner, Bardoc Gold’s Zoroastrian deposit. Native Minerals will likely look to complete the acquisition of this tenure in the coming months.
The Arcoona acquisition adds another strategic property to Native Minerals’ burgeoning portfolio of gold and copper projects across Australia.
Native Mineral Resources Managing Director, Blake Cannavo said:
“We are aggressively building our exploration pipeline, with diamond drilling currently underway at the Leane’s Prospect in QLD and plans well advanced to commence work across several high-quality targets in the Eastern Goldfields early next year.”
“Arcoona is a very strategic project for NMR as it is situated only 4km from the operating Carosue Dam Gold Mine and our technical team is firmly of the view that it offers our shareholders significant gold exploration upside potential. Although in a premier gold producing region, our Eastern Goldfields tenements have been subjected to very little previous exploration, so we are currently finalising field work plans for Q1 next year which will systematically target mineralisation associated with IRGS (intrusive-related gold systems) gold deposits similar to those found at Hemi and Ramone.”
The Arcoona gold project is located 100km to the north-east of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. The project covers around 20km along the western margin of the fertile Mulgabbie greenstone belt. The terrane hosts the 1.2 million-ounce Carosue Dam deposit in the south, which proved to be a company-maker for Saracen Resources and the historic Porphyry gold mine, 40km to the north. With little modern exploration having taken place since, the region seems ripe for the picking.
The gold mineralisation at the Carosue Dam mine is hosted by quartz veining, shearing and intrusive porphyry units within a sequence of volcanic sediments. Mining at the operation has transitioned from open pit to underground operations as Saracen exploits the rich, auriferous lodes at depth.
A recent evolution in exploration has been the increased focus on intrusive units such as granites and porphyries as pathfinders to gold mineralisation. The example set by the Hemi discovery in the Pilbara proved an eye-opener for many explorers and Native Minerals looks to be hunting down a similar trail at Arcoona.
The Arcoona project includes 10km wide intrusive body coined the Relief Monzogranite. The company’s target is likely to be a fractured margin of this sizable unit, where it comes in to contact with the Mulgabbie greenstones forming a structural and geochemical contrast. However, exploration is complicated by a veneer of sand and soil which overlies the monzogranite masking its geochemical signature and preventing surface mapping of target structures.
The company’s initial work over Arcoona is likely to include an interpretation of its geophysical and geological data, seeking to gain greater understanding of the structural architecture hosting gold mineralisation throughout the region.
Native Minerals study of the historical exploration over Arcoona is already gaining traction, with a review of a geochemical survey from 1995 showing an extensive, but subtle gold anomaly, as would be expected in areas of cover. The anomaly extends over more than 4km of strike, with values of up to 35ppb gold – a welcome leg-up for future exploration and a large first-pass drill target.
Whilst the company’s evolving exploration program in WA is set to capture the immediate attention of market pundits, it is perhaps its drilling program over its extensive ground holding at Palmerville in Queensland that will raise a few eye-brows in the coming weeks. The ongoing exploration program over the Leane prospect is testing a large copper skarn which extends over more than 1km of strike, with deeper drilling perhaps beginning to probe the porphyry feeder in the bowels of the mineralised system, hinting that the company has a tiger by the tail.
Native Minerals is following the old adage that if you want to find a new gold mine, look next to an existing operation. With a strategic position next to a million-ounce deposit in WA and drilling continuing to push out visible copper mineralisation in Queensland, the company is poised for interesting few months and looks set to hit the ground running in 2021.
www.businessnews.com.au by Matt Birney 02/12/2020 – 12:15