STRONG DRILL RESULTS HIGHLIGHT DEPTH AND PIT EXTENSION POTENTIAL AT BURTVILLE, LAVERTON
|Highlights– High-grade results from western pit area confirm mineralisation open below and outside existing pit– Results include:
– Preliminary modelling indicates potential for a low strip ratio pit expansion
– Wider review points to likelihood of a very large mineralised system outside existing mined area
Focus Minerals Ltd. (ASX: FML), a leading Australian gold producer and explorer, said high-grade results from a major drilling programme at the Burtville mining centre in Laverton (Figure 1) have confirmed depth extensions to the existing pit floor and expansion beyond the current pit shape.
Burtville was a large, low strip open pit operation that was mined in the 1990s by Sons of Gwalia producing 64,000oz @ 1.4g/t. Numerous historic shafts in the area indicate a substantial gold system across a 2km x 1km footprint (Figure 2).
The Mineral Resource definition drilling programme of 142 RC holes focused on a detailed drill-out of the western section of the existing Burtville pit (Figure 3) to a vertical depth of 110m. The goal of the drilling was to test up to 70m below the base of the current pit to assess the potential for Burtville’s inclusion in Focus’ near-term production schedule. This has delivered the following results (Table 1):
Focus Minerals CEO Campbell Baird said mineralisation at Burtville remained open in all directions and outside of the immediate existing pit area.
“it appears that the first stage of drilling has just touched on the potential of this system,” said Mr Baird. “Burtville is a high-priority target for us as there are multiple factors pointing to the existence of a very big system.
“So far we’ve just focused on the western third of the existing Burtville pit where our modelling is indicating there’s the potential for a very low strip ratio pit expansion.
“This, in combination with what we believe to be a very large mineralised system points to the opportunity to develop a long-term, low unit cost mining centre at Burtville,” Mr Baird said.
Since acquiring the Laverton operations last year, Burtville has been one of a series of priority development targets for Focus. The Burtville deposit is hosted in granodiorite. To the northeast the granodiorite is in contact with a sequence of bedded siltstone and felsic tuff. Narrow (1-3m) fine grained mafic and felsic dykes cut the granodiorite and adjacent rocks.
Numerous gold bearing quartz veins (1mm – 30cm thick) cut through the rock types at Burtville, with the best vein development occurring within the granodiorite. The larger veins contain disseminated pyrite. The largest concentration of veins appears to be in the western half of the pit, where this drilling programme was targeted. Gold mineralisation appears to be confined mainly to the quartz veins.
Mineralisation at Burtville is open in all directions. Very little drilling had been historically undertaken, outside of the immediate pit vicinity. There is a 2km x 1km area around Burtville (Figure 2) containing numerous prospector workings, where they have mined some of the quartz veins within the weathered granodiorite.