Perth, Australia-based Ora Banda Mining Limited (ASX: OBM) is currently undertaking exploration and development activities at its highly prospective, wholly-owned expansive gold deposits in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields, that is one amongst the Tier 1 gold mining regions in the world.
The company holds interest (100%) in around six projects namely Davyhurst, Riverina, Mulline, Siberia, Mt Ida and Lady Ida Projects, including 112 tenements (1,336 km2), spanning across a long 200 kilometres strike of the highly prospective greenstone belt, with known high-grade mineralisation of nickel sulphide, gold, and base metal mineralisation.
With its securities reinstated to official quotation on the Australian Securities Exchange on 28 June 2019, following a successful $ 30-million recapitalisation process, the company entered a new phase and commenced exploration initiatives at its project tenure. Ora Banda is initially targeting the well analysed five advanced deposits located within different project areas (see figure below) – Riverina, Waihi, Callion, Siberia and Golden Eagle, with a current Resource (JORC 2004 compliant) of 9.2 Mt @ 2.8 g/t for 840 koz. More on these advance prospects can be READ here.
A processing hub with a capacity of @ 1.2Mtpa (conventional CIP processing facility) is also present within the project area with existing relevant infrastructure such as well-connected road network, nearby airstrips at Callion and Bottle Creek, 16-man camp, administration & workshop buildings and a large bore field. Both oxide and fresh ores are treatable at the plant.
While Ora Banda’s predecessor Monarch Gold Mining Ltd consolidated the fractured tenement holding during 2002 to 2006, no exploration was undertaken since then. However, much earlier to this in 1890s, various prospectors, at the broader Davyhurst Project area (see figure below), discovered gold which led to the inception of mining towns at Davyhurst, Siberia, Mulline, Ularring, Callion, Copperfield and Mt Ida with subsequent cumulative gold production of ~ 600,000 oz. Further, in 1980s, different companies executed modern mining operations over the area.
Broader Davyhurst Area; Source: Company’s Website
With that backdrop, Ora Banda is aiming to establish sustainable mining operations at low capex to leverage the opportunity at hand.
In line with that, Ora Banda Mining had kickstarted a resource definition infill drilling program on 8 July 2019 at Riverina with RC drilling completed for ~ 600 metres until that day. In addition, a 5-hole RC drill program for up to 580 metres at the Mt Ida deposit and a 2-hole RC drill program for up to 200 metres at the Queen of Hearts deposit was also completed under the broader regional exploration campaign. The samples from both the programs were forwarded to the labs for assay.
Besides, 2,568 diamond core samples from prior drilling at the Waihi deposit and a further 2,684 diamond core, RC and auger samples from older exploration activities that were left un-assayed due to funding constraints were also submitted to multiple laboratories for assay and on 29 July 2019, the company reported the first assay results of the same-
Riverina Deposit Update – Recently on 26 August 2019, the company announced the first significant high-grade results returned from the 2019 Riverina Phase 1 RC resource definition drilling program to the stakeholders. The outstanding result returned 6.0m @ 13.4 g/t (including 4.0m @ 19.5 g/t), 4.0m @ 6.2g/t (including 2.0m @ 11.4g/t) and 5.0m @ 4.1g/t (including 2.0m @ 7.9g/t).
The Riverina Phase 1 RC program (initial) is now ninety percent completed and the drilling is still in progress. The company is progressively analysing samples from this program with Batch 1 results received to date.
The results from Phase 1 RC drill continue to build on the early drilling undertaken between 2016 and 2018 which returned 11.2m @ 22.4g/t of gold from 64.2m from the drill hole identified as RVDD16018. As the Riverina Phase 1 program comes to close, the company will shift the RC drill rig to the Waihi open pit mining area.
The key Riverina deposit, with a current Mineral Resource of 2.6 Mt @ 2.5 g/t Au for 205koz, is at an advanced stage with a high proportion of oxide tonnes defined. The Phase 2 of the resource drilling at Riverina aims to potentially expand the known mineralisation and the company would optimise the final program post the Phase 1 assay results.
Other Key Prospects– Ora Banda commenced underground mining at Golden Eagle in 2017 up to 150 vertical metres below the natural surface with assay results reported from two infill holes drilled in 2018. At the Siberia deposit, Ora Banda’s primary focus is Sand King and Missouri deposits which collectively host an Indicated JORC 2012 resource of 3.7Mt @ 3.1g/t Au and an Inferred JORC 2012 resource 1.1Mt @ 3.3g/t Au for a total of 4.8Mt @ 3.2g/t Au for 498,000 ounces. Historical studies at Sand King and Missouri indicated a Probable Open Pit Reserve of 2.0Mt @ 2.3g/t Au for 150,000 ounces.
As for the Waihi Complex, it is located 3 km west of the Davyhurst Mill and is also an advanced open pit and underground mining target, currently hosting a near surface Mineral Resource of 914,000 tonnes @ 2.4g/t Au, for a total of 71koz; however, the three main lodes (Waihi, Homeward Bound and Golden Pole Lodes) in this area are largely unexplored at depth.
While exploration activities around Siberia continued in 2018, the company intends to further critically review and revaluate these two deposits.
Way Forward – The company is very well funded to accelerate its ongoing high-grade gold resource, reserve and exploration definition programmes at its project tenure with the recently announced placement of 100 million new shares at 18.5 cents each to raise AUD 18.5 million. This would also expedite completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study for the project, now anticipated three months earlier, at 30 June 2020 before the company finally moves into production. On 26 August 2019, the company informed the market that Tranche 1 of the share placement has settled resulting in the issue of 57,559,910 fully paid ordinary shares at 18.5 cents to raise $10.7 million.
Source: Corporate Presentation
Stock Performance: Ora Banda’s market capitalisation is around AUD 99.72 million with ~ 486.42 million outstanding shares. On 27 August 2019, the OBM stock was trading at AUD 0.200. OBM has generated a positive return of 28.13% Year-to-date and 41.38% in the last one month.
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