New re­view to probe gold province

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Jar­rod Lu­cas

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.

Pic­ture: Jar­rod Lu­cas

Gold Road’s John Donaldson (third from left) with Raglan Drilling’s Hugo Lacey, Down­hole Sur­veys’ Lee Webb and Raglan’s Gus Lacey.

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