It has been a record-breaking year for metres drilled at Australian exploration sites but no reason for a handful of standout companies to keep working hard through the festive period – promising to kick off 2022 with exciting news flow.
Rox Resources announced this week a return to the Mt Fisher-Mt Eureka gold project, Aeris Resources released a resource upgrade for its exciting Budgerygar copper deposit, Artemis Resources delivered outstanding gold results at Carlow Castle, BMG Resources hit the half-way point of its diamond drill program at Abercromby and St George Mining identified a new, major at-depth nickel target at Mt Alexander.
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- Mineral Resources and Roy Hill strike Pilbara port, rail deal
Rox (ASX: RXL) may have completed drilling for the year at the Youanmi project, located near Mt Magnet in WA, but the company’s exploration team is far from finished.
Throughout 2021 Rox has added ounces to Youanmi’s resource base and the Link prospect is the latest among many to emerge as a strong target for further drilling in 2022.
This week, the company reported further high-grade results from Link, which demonstrated that mineralisation was plunging below the historic United North open pit. Rox said the growing number of returning assays were building confidence the mineralisation “hangs together nicely”.
Rox has flagged a Youanmi resource upgrade in the first half of 2022, which will incorporate all the drilling data since the company announced a 39% resource upgrade in June.
While investors eagerly anticipate the full picture of drilling at Youanmi in 2021, Rox’ exploration team will hit the ground running and start a new drilling program at the Mt Fisher-Mt Eureka gold project, located in the Eureka greenstone belt in WA. The company aims to capitalise on learnings and synergies from the Youanmi program and deliver on earn-in agreements.
Rox completed 4000m of reverse circulation drilling at Mt Fisher-Mt Eureka earlier this year and the diamond campaign will target strong electromagnetic conductors associated with gold mineralisation down-plunge of a high-grade historical intersection at the old Mt Fisher gold mine.
Aeris (ASX: AIS), which owns and operates the Cracow gold (Queensland) and Tritton copper (NSW) operations, has led by example with building out a compelling resource following a strong discovery.
At Tritton, the Constellation discovery continued to “surprise on the upside” and is shaping as a repeat of the success of the Budgerygar deposit, which is now in development as part of mine life extension work.
Aeris this week reported a 15% mineral resource upgrade for Budgerygar to 2.6 million tonnes at 1.48% copper for 38,700t of metal.
Aeris executive chairman Andre Labuschagne said Budgerygar, with mineralisation starting just 70m below surface and only 600m from Tritton’s underground infrastructure, was a perfect fit for the copper operation.
“The cost and time to bring (Budgerygar) into production are significantly lower compared to a new stand-alone mine,” he said.
“Our immediate focus is to continue the resource drilling program over the remainder of the inferred mineral resource. However, the deposit remains open at depth and … we intend to drill a couple of deeper holes to get a better understanding of potential continuity of the deposit at depth.”
Artemis (ASX: ARV) is fast progressing work to get its Carlow Castle gold-copper project in WA’s Pilbara region to a development-ready phase. The company this week reported an impressive second round of assays from a just-completed 14,000m RC drilling campaign.
Executive director Alistair Clayton said the latest round of assays, at only 120m vertical depth, had the ability to “dramatically alter the economics of the entire western portion of Carlow Castle”.
The exploration team targeted and successfully hit ultra-high-grade shoots that were discovered earlier in the year, and Artemis said it had now extended their strike length both down dip and laterally to the north.
“Importantly these shoots appear to be many metres in thickness and very high-grade gold is often complemented by very high-grade copper. Together, these coincident gold and copper grades are hugely impressive and will be a major target for further drilling in the New Year,” Mr Clayton said.
BMG (ASX: BMG) has been drilling at its Abercromby gold project in the Wiluna greenstone belt in WA. The company is charging ahead with a 2100m diamond drilling program and has completed five of nine holes.
Investors are keenly awaiting assays after BMG reported intersecting intervals of quartz-carbonate veining sulphides at the anticipated lode positions.
“We’re excited to see diamond drilling progressing well at Abercromby. With the remainder of our 6000m combined RC and diamond program set to be completed over Christmas and into the New Year, we anticipate stepping into 2022 on a solid footing,” managing director Bruce McCracken said.
St George’s (ASX: SGQ) executive chairman John Prineas said the results from a first seismic survey at the Mt Alexander nickel-copper sulphide project in WA’s Goldfields had turned up “an absolutely compelling target for a potential major discovery” near the Investigators prospect.
St George said the survey provided a breakthrough in the understanding of the complex intrusive system at Mt Alexander. The new target has a dip-extent of more than 450m, which makes it a priority focus for the discovery of a large-scale deposit of nickel, copper and platinum group metals.
“Our systematic exploration over the past year has been primarily focused on testing the deeper areas at Mt Alexander to build on the four shallow high-grade nickel-copper sulphide discoveries already made across more than a 5.5km east-west strike length of the Cathedrals Belt,” Mr Prineas said.
“The mineralisation we have at Mt Alexander is unique – the rare combination of high-grade nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group metals is not seen anywhere else in Australia.”
Drilling at Mt Alexander is due to resume in late January.