Classic Minerals establishes 93,000 ounce gold resource at Kat Gap
Classic Minerals Ltd (ASX:CLZ) has established a Maiden JORC Compliant, Inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 1 million tonnes at 3 g/t gold for 93,000 ounces (0g/t lower cut-off) at its Kat Gap deposit in Western Australia.
The Kat Gap Project is approximately 50 kilometres from the company’s Forrestania Gold Project (FGP) and adjoins the Forrestania Nickel Project currently operated by Western Areas Ltd.
Resources estimated for Kat Gap by Sons of Gwalia in 2003 totalled 56,000 ounces grading 1.4g/t gold at zero grade cut-off and 36,000 ounces grading 3.9g/t gold at 1.5g/t gold grade cut-off.
The latest results strengthen the case for near term commencement of mining operations at the FGP to take advantage of historically high Australian dollar gold prices, currently in the vicinity of $2650 per ounce.
The maiden resource was primarily calculated to pave the way for the application of a mining lease over the Kat Gap deposit area.
Scoping studies, metallurgical testwork and optimisation work on possible open pit scenarios are currently underway potentially underpinning the economics for near term mining operations.
Comprehensive drilling of 500 metre zone
Building on gold exploration efforts in the area since the 1990s, Classic Minerals commenced an ongoing programme of RC and diamond drilling in April 2018.
This maiden JORC Compliant Mineral Resource is the culmination of several work programmes since this time.
The resource estimate utilises only recent Classic data, omitting the historic information and concentrating on a well drilled 500 metre zone centred on 6372200N – a zone of strong mineralisation cut by a prominent Proterozoic dolerite dyke.
While the dyke is mostly barren in terms of gold mineralisation, from a geological perspective there is evidence of localised remobilisation and concentration proximal to its contacts with the Kat Gap lode.
Mineralisation has been modelled to around 150 metres below surface and with typical widths of between 3 metres and 4 metres.
One of the key takeaways from establishing the Inferred Mineral Resource is that it grows the global mineral resource inventory for the company’s Forrestania Gold Project to 8.25 million tonnes grading approximately 1.5 g/t gold 404,000 ounces across all of its projects.
Establishing the resource paves the way for the application of a mining lease over the Kat Gap deposit, and from a broader perspective allows a quick upgrade to indicated resources post the acquisition of downhole surveying and specific gravity data.
Potential to produce economic operation at current prices
A number of recommendations have been made in response to obtaining exploration data and establishing the Inferred Mineral Resource at Kat Gap.
Importantly, management is looking to gain a better understanding of the orebody, an initiative that will provide confidence in reported resources.
On this note, chief executive Dean Goodwin said, ‘’With the Maiden Inferred Mineral Resource now estimated for the Kat Gap Project using all available reliable data collected by Classic Minerals over the past two years, a series of staged programs can be undertaken to improve the confidence in its status and hence, begin the initial process of open pit optimisation studies and ore reserve definition.
‘’The relatively high-grade and near-surface nature of this deposit implies that it has the potential to produce an economic operation at the present elevated gold prices, which is effectively triple the most optimistic case previously put forward for Kat Gap, when it was last reviewed by Sons of Gwalia in April 2003 (Fotakis, 2003).
‘’A comprehensive program of infill development RC drilling to bring the resource area down to a 10 metre north by 10 metre east drill spacing south of 92850mN is recommended to improve the interpretation in the continuity of the resource for a potential high-grade, Stage 1 type start-up open pit operation in that region.’’
Subsequently, it is intended that drilling should be regularised to a 20 metres north x 20 metres east spacing to a depth of about 80 metres, which can then be reassessed pending updated optimisation results and/or discovery of additional ore intersections of near-surface, higher-grade gold mineralisation.