New review to probe gold province
Gold Road Resources principal geologist John Donaldson has revealed the explorer has joined forces with the CSIRO for a largescale geological review of Australia’s newest gold province.
Mr Donaldson addressed more than 100 industry figures, mostly geologists, at the Raglan Drilling Geology Lecture Series at Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Hannans Club on Thursday night.
The briefing focused on the Gruyere discovery along the Yamarna greenstone belt, which the Geological Survey of WA has compared to the Yilgarn craton that hosts the world-famous Golden Mile.
“The key concept of the whole Yamarna belt is that it is just like the rest of the Yilgarn,” Mr Donaldson said.
“We all know the Yilgarn is a world-class gold province with more than 300Moz of gold endowment.
“Most of that is in the Kalgoorlie belt and the work on the rocks out on the Yamarna belt so far suggest that is the most likely analogy.
“So we’re hoping to turn what we have at the moment — a 6.8Moz resource — into something much bigger.”
Mr Donaldson, a WMC alumnus, said the bulk of the resources were contained at Gruyere (5.51Moz) where Gold Road hopes to pour first gold in late 2018.
The project has its critics, with many suggesting the grades (1.24g/t) do not stack up, but there is no question the size of the new gold system is immense. Mr Donaldson’s presentation included a photograph of the Super Pit with the geographical footprint of the 2km-long, and still growing, Gruyere deposit superimposed over the top.
He said Gold Road is leaving no stone unturned as it seeks to get into production and part of those efforts included a visit to Australia’s biggest producing gold mine, Newmont’s Bod- dington operations, on Tuesday. “We want to unlock the potential of this greenstone belt,” he said.
“There are no mines out there and virtually zero historic workings.
“To do that we need to find a large operation with a 10-year mine life to justify the capital spend …that’s Gruyere.”
The earliest exploration was by Texasgulf Australia in the 1980s before Gold Road consolidated more than 5000sqkm of tenements in 2005.
The company made its first discovery with the narrow, highgrade Central Bore deposit in 2009 before finding Gruyere in October 2013. “Because it’s so small (Central Bore) you’re never going to build a mill out there on such a small deposit,” Mr Donaldson said.
“You really need that multi- million ounce deposit to justify all that capital spend to get something up and running …and that’s pretty much what Gruyere is.”
Hungarian-born geologist Ziggy Lubieniecki “virtually lived out on the site” and this year, alongside Kyle Prentice and Justin Osborne, was rewarded after being named Prospectors of the Year by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies.
Gold Road’s John Donaldson (third from left) with Raglan Drilling’s Hugo Lacey, Downhole Surveys’ Lee Webb and Raglan’s Gus Lacey.