The first week of 2020 marked a strong start for the gold explorer and aspiring gold developer, Middle Island Resources Limited (ASX:MDI), which embarked on the first of a scheduled series of drilling programs at its wholly owned Sandstone gold project in central Western Australia.
The Company has commenced a major, multi-phase 17,400m open pit drilling campaign at the Sandstone project, which comprises a sequential series of aircore (AC), reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling programs.
Key Details of Drilling Campaign
Middle Island has initiated a major exploration and resource definition drilling campaign, which will target about 17 identified prospects and deposits within its Sandstone tenure. The prospects and deposits have been prioritised following a detailed internal and external technical review.
A majority of the open pit gold targets and deposits are situated on the Company’s fully permitted Mining Leases (M57/128 & M57/129), and all lie within 5km radius of the 600,000tpa Sandstone gold processing plant. The Company notified that Programs of Work (POWs) have been approved for all the targets.
The 17 open pit gold targets include Davis (AC & RC), Southern Zone (AC & RC), Eastern Zone (AC & RC), Hatton (AC), Wirraminna Laterite East (AC), Wirraminna Laterite West (AC), Wirraminna (RC), Goat Farm (RC), Twin Shafts (RC), Plum Pudding (RC), Shillington (RC), Two Mile Hill Basalt (RC), G2 & G3 Gravity Targets (RC), Ridge (RC), McIntyre North (RC), McIntyre South (RC) and Old Town Well (RC).
It is worth noting that the Two Mile Hill deposit already constitutes a significant open pit Mineral Resource (and underground Exploration Target). Moreover, previous RC drilling has also identified considerable gold intercepts hosted by basalt adjacent to the tonalite, including 35m at 6.27g/t, 3m at 15.8g/t and 9m at 5.23g/t Au.
The key objective of the drilling campaign is to identify (and/or confirm) and measure additional open pit gold deposits and deposit extensions to complement present Mineral Resources in the June 2020 quarter, before completing a pre-feasibility study (PFS) update commenced in the December quarter of 2019,. The drilling campaign is scheduled to be completed during the March 2020 quarter.
Phases of Drilling Campaign
The drilling campaign comprises an initial aircore program (~2,300m), followed by two phases of RC drilling (~11,300m & ~3,000m respectively) and a limited program of oxide diamond coring (~800m).
The Company has initiated the first phase of the drilling campaign, AC drilling program this week, which has the following purposes:
- To confirm and quantify two mineralised laterite occurrences.
- To extend defined geochemical targets resting beneath up to 20m of transported sheetwash cover in the southern portion of mining lease M57/129.
Though the AC program has commenced, weather permitting is likely to take 1-2 weeks to complete.
Subsequent to the receipt and compilation of the AC results, the Company will initiate the second program (first phase of RC drilling) to assess AC geochemical anomalies and validate and quantify extensions to current open pit targets and deposits. The Phase 1 RC program is expected to begin in early February 2020 and will take around 3-4 weeks to complete.
The Company has planned a Phase 2 RC program to infill any Inferred Resources identified by Phase 1 RC drilling to an Indicated status. The program has been designed in a way that these Inferred Resources can be assessed as potential Ore Reserves in the PFS.
There is also a provision for ~800m of HQ3 diamond coring for metallurgical, geotechnical and waste characterisation purposes and for further oxide bulk density identification on any new deposits.
Middle Island has commenced its 2020 drilling campaign at the time of near-record Australian dollar gold prices. The Company is well funded to progress with the drilling programs, with $2.8 million in cash and underwritten commitments.
MDI closed the trading session at $0.004 on 15th January 2020.
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