SIGNIFICANT HIGH-GRADE INTERCEPTS FROM RECENT UNDERGROUND AND SURFACE DRILLING
EXCELLENT START TO QUARTER WITH APPROXIMATELY 14,500 OUNCES PRODUCED TO-DATE
- Latest round of underground diamond drilling at Empress delivers high-grade intercepts outside of the reserve with best result of: 13.52m @ 9.31g/t Au (including 0.50m @ 130g/t Au)
- Maiden Focus Minerals Indicated and Inferred Resource completed for the Tindals deposit: 182,000t @ 3.7g/t Au for 21,600 ounces
- Recent exploration drilling results at the greater Tindals Mining Centre continue to reward the Company’s aggressive exploration strategy. Highlights from recent drilling included: 2.28m @ 5.77g/t and 1.88m @ 10.94g/t at Cookes; 16m @ 3.59g/t at Dreadnought; and 7m @ 5.55g/t, 2m @ 17.29g/t and 2m @ 15.81g/t at Empress/Alicia.
Gold producer Focus Minerals (ASX: FML) is pleased to provide an update on operations at the Company’s Coolgardie Gold Project, including significant high-grade gold intersections from the current round of drilling within the Tindal’s Mining Centre, Coolgardie.
Drilling continues both underground and at surface as part the Company’s aggressive resource definition, extensional and exploration programs aimed at defining new mineral deposits and extending existing resource and reserve inventories.
The most recent toll milling campaign (number 10) concluded at Greenfields on Sunday, 14 February, with approximately 9,000 ounces produced. In addition, Focus has also produced approximately 5,500 ounces from the Three Mile Hill mill, delivering total gold production for the 2010 calendar year to date of approximately 14,500 ounces.
Underground Drilling – Empress
At Empress, underground drilling has returned excellent results including a high-grade down-hole intercept of 13.52m @ 9.31g/t (including 0.55m at 130.00g/t).
Importantly, the high-grade intersection is outside of the current Reserve and is over 50 metres below the current Empress workings. The ongoing success of drilling outside the current Empress Reserve points to a continual growth in the Resource and Reserve base at the Tindals Mining Centre.
While exploration drilling underground early in the year was focused at Empress, the Company also conducted Reverse Circulation (RC) surface drilling at the Empress/Alicia, Cookes and Dreadnought deposits with high grade intercepts including:
- 2.28m @ 5.77g/t from 57.82m and
- 1.88m @ 10.94g/t from 53.45m at Cookes;
- 16m @ 3.59g/t from 26m at Dreadnought;
- 7m @ 5.55g/t from 45m and
- 2m @ 17.29g/t from 1m and
- 2m @ 15.81g/t from 37m at Empress/Alicia.
Of particular note were the relatively shallow nature of the above intercepts, which will enhance the project economics of the deposits as they are converted to Reserves in the future. A full tabulation of the 33 holes drilled since mid-December a provided in Appendix 1.
The intercept of 16m @ 3.59 from 26m from the Dreadnought deposit resulted from a hole planned to test metallurgy and is within the current pit design. This result compares very favourably to the current Reserve grade of 1.8g/t (recently released in the December 2009 Quarterly Report).
Work continues on the conversation of Resources to Reserves at the Tindals Mining Centre and during the month of January, Focus was able to complete a maiden Focus Minerals Resource for the actual Tindals deposit. A small amount of drilling has been ongoing at Tindals in conjunction with the drilling at Countess and Empress.
The Tindals ore body was historically mined as a series of underground shafts before being transformed into an open pit operation to a depth of 90 metres. The mine eventually returned to an underground operation, closing in 2005 with the last level producing over 80,000 tonnes at 3.24g/t for 9,100 contained ounces.
Validation of the historical data, combined with recent interpretations and compilation of historic survey information, has provided confidence in the historical data. This has resulted in an initial small resource estimate for the next 100 metres vertical and approximately 200 metres along strike (Figure 1).
There remains significant upside below and along strike of this resource which will be tested by drilling and continual evaluation of existing and new data with access to the flooded levels nearly complete pending completion of current dewatering programme.
A Maiden Probable Reserve for Focus Minerals of 68,000t @ 3.2g/t for 7,000 ounces has been generated for the Tindals ore body. The Tindals ore body sits approximately 50m to the East of the Countess ore body and will be accessed by extending the Countess cross cut. The decline is already shared between Countess and Empress and the addition of Tindals will be achieved for little additional capital expenditure. The Tindals ore body will be the fourth to be mined underground by Focus at the Tindals Mining Centre and will add further benefits of scale and flexibility to an already robust operation.
Focus Chief Executive Officer, Mr Campbell Baird, said the drilling results were immensely exciting − particularly those coming from the surface drilling: “The drilling results to date have confirmed that our existing deposits have significant potential for additional Resources and Reserves,” said Mr Baird.
“The new Resource and Reserve update at the Tindals deposit at the Tindals Mining Centre is also very pleasing and shows that in many areas further drilling will unlock the wealth that is present here in Coolgardie” said Mr Baird.
Mr Baird also said it has also been very pleasing to get the year off to a running start with the milling campaign at Greenfields in combination with the first production from Three Mile Hill.
“This is a particularly exciting time for Focus Minerals and with more drilling planned and the recent commissioning of the Three Mile Hill Gold Plant earlier this month, 2010 is shaping up to be a very active year,” he added.