There are several known deposits in the Northern Project Area including Gecko, (Cu/Au), Orlando (Au/Cu), Ivanhoe (Au/Cu), and the North Star Group (Au/Cu). Recent work by Emmerson within the Gecko corridor has identified substantial copper mineralisation at Goanna and gold mineralisation at Monitor. HeliTEM plus supporting magnetic and gravity anomalies exist along strike to both Goanna and Monitor and will be targeted during 2014.
A small campaign of RC drilling was completed at Orlando in late 2012. This program successfully identified gold – copper mineralisation in areas previously untested and importantly down plunge of the known mineralisation.
This work so far has delivered the recently announced (2013) resource of 800,000 JORC compliant gold equivalent ozs (inferred and indicated categories).
Several greenfields targets include Marathon (Au), Troy (Cu), Hermitage (Au/Cu), and several poorly tested geophysical targets to the East and West of Gecko and also along strike to Orlando.
This project area contains an extension to the historically productive Ivanhoe and Warrego-White Devil lines where various magnetic, geochemical and HeliTEM anomalies have been identified. The area also contains several known prospects such as Red Bluff, Merlot, Explorer 80 and Smelter Deeps.
A small area centered on the White Devil mine has been flown with the HeliTEM technology and processing of these data has identified several coincident structural and HeliTEM anomalies requiring ground mapping and geophysical modelling.
Another area west of the Ivanhoe mine has been geologically mapped with samples collected returning encouraging gold-copper and bismuth assays. Further exploration is scheduled for this prospect.
The Southern Project Area was the area of most recent mining by Giants Reef (Chariot and Malbec) and contains many magnetic/gravity/HeliTEM targets such as Malbec North, Malbec Central, Monduese, Traminer, West Gibbet and the historic TC8 gold-copper mine.
The Chariot deposit is located ~10km west of the Tennant Creek town site and was discovered by Normandy Mining in 1998. Giants Reef Mining gained 100% of the project in 2003 and commenced open pit and underground mining operations, producing ~95Koz @ ~11g/t Au. After running into underground mining difficulties, Giants Reef Mining ceased operations in 2005.
Emmerson recently engaged independent mining consultants Optiro to conduct a Mineral Resource Estimate for the Chariot deposit and to assess the viability of bringing it back into production. Based on drilling completed to date, a JORC Resource of 170kt @ 17.4g/t Au (99,000oz) is estimated for the Chariot deposit.
Optiro has put forward a case whereby ~41koz of gold (at a very high grade of ~18g/t Au) could be extracted by optimising the open pit (by undertaking a cut-back to deepen the open pit). The base of the open pit would then reconnect with existing underground operations where a further 58koz could be mined at a similar grade.
Emmerson has also engaged Optiro to provide costs estimates for the refurbishment of the ERM-owned Warrego mill (300Ktpa) and assign economic parameters around some of open pit and underground mining opportunities within the field.
As part of ongoing exploration, Emmerson will soon undertake a ~1,200m RC drill program (immediately after the wet season), designed to test for shallow high grade supergene gold. Exploration will initially focus on the Chariot East and Chariot West targets which have potential to add high grade ounces and justify an even larger open pit.
While opportunity exists to expand resources immediately around the Chariot open pit, significant potential also exists to expand resources through drill testing of nearby brownfield targets located along a mineralised corridor known as the ‘Wine Line’. The majority of these targets were identified in a recent HeliTEM survey over the entire ‘Wine Line’ structure.
Of particular inteterest are targets such as Mondeuse (where historic drilling intersected 7m @ 2.55% Cu), Analytic (3m @ 40.7g/t Au) and West Gibbet (13m @ 66.9g/t Au and 4m @ 50.3g/t Au).
The eastern project area contains several historical mines including the Eldorado, Cat’s Whiskers, Golden Forty, Golden Kangaroo and the Argo. There are a number of smaller scale historical operations and it appears that this area was the focus of prospecting and small scale mining during the original gold rush of the 1940’s.
Emmerson sees this area to contain valid and current exploration targets which has also been highlighted with the results of the HeliTEM survey covering only a small part of this project area.
The Eldorado deposit which is less than 5km south-east of Tennant Creek is to be one of the next areas that Emmerson plans to review. The Eldorado was mined for gold via underground and more recently open cut methods and had an impressive life of mine head grade of 18 g/t gold. Previous explorers had identified deeper gold mineralisation called “Eldorado Deeps” however this was never exploited due to a poor gold price at the time. Data validation plus additional drilling is to be completed during 2014 and once complete Optiro will be commissioned to produce a Mineral Resource Estimate. Once received it seems likely that Eldorado Deeps could be mined concurrently with Chariot.
Other targets in the area include the Billy Boy, Gossan Hill, Ganymede, Callisto, Leda prospects. These are all relatively small gold occurrences however they are all in close proximity to each other and may be mined collectively should evaluation be positive. Gold-quart-jasper-ironstone specimens have been recovered from these areas during recent mapping exercises.