“Our strategy, operations and activities around flagship Sandstone Gold Project remain relatively unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic”, reports Middle Island Resources Limited (ASX:MDI) in its latest corporate update.
Middle Island is a gold exploration company headquartered in Australia, exploring gold frontiers at the Sandstone Gold Project, which has an existing gold processing plant on site. The Company’s immediate objective is to recommission the Sandstone processing plant at the earliest opportunity.
In its recent update, the Company has communicated over the exploration progress at its Sandstone project and highlighted the steps it is taking amidst the existing COVID-19 virus environment.
Exploration Progress at Sandstone
Sandstone Processing Plant (Source: Company Website)
Middle Island notified that despite the latest regional travel restrictions imposed by Western Australia (WA) government, the exploration and site-based development activities at Sandstone stay unaffected at the current stage. This is due to the fact that the WA Government has categorized mining and exploration under essential services.
Besides, the Company underlined that the exploration is continuing swiftly at Sandstone, largely in line with advice.
The Company also informed about the completion of its 12,300m Phase I RC drilling program, being conducted at Sandstone project as part of its major 17,900m drilling campaign. The Company is in the process of compiling the assay results of the completed drilling program and will release the outcomes soon.
Moreover, the Company highlighted that it intends to commence the planned Phase II RC drilling program and oxide diamond coring program simultaneously in the middle or end of this month, subject to any additional travel restrictions amid COVID-19. The Company looks forward to making progress on these drilling programs at an accelerated pace.
The Company still expects the completion of its updated pre-feasibility study by late June 2020, underpinning a positive Sandstone recommissioning decision.
On the other hand, Middle Island does not expect the grant of its last ten exploration licence applications comprising the NT’s Barkly copper/gold super-project until at least August 2020. Also, it is not anticipating the effect of existing NT Government’s stringent travel restrictions on its exploration activities until later in 2020.
Steps Taken in the Wake of COVID-19
Considering the health and well-being of its regional communities, contractors, employees and the broader public as a priority, Middle Island has taken some preventive measures to deal with COVID-19 pandemic.
The Company has closed its Perth office as a precautionary measure, enabling its employees self-isolate and operate efficiently at home. Moreover, the Company has closed its Contractor’s Camp, offering it to the Shire as a potential facility for quarantine purposes (if needed) and/or virus isolation. The Shire, the Company and the local communities are cooperating closely to ensure rigorous hygiene, social distancing and medical practices, in line with government requirements.
The Company also notified that its regular drilling contractors are currently able to carry out scheduled programmes. However, they will remotely camp to lessen the risk of community exposure to COVID-19. The Company added that in the meantime, geological mapping of Sandstone’s Ridge/ Macintyre/McClaren prospect area, in addition to Jew Well and Telegraph permits, is continuing.
In spite of COVID-19 pandemic, Middle Island is progressing considerably well with its exploration activities at the Sandstone gold project. Moreover, the Company seems to be ideally positioned to take its flagship project in the production phase by early 2021.
MDI last traded on 1st April 2020 at $0.008.