The Exploration & Tenures Forum was held in Sydney on Monday 3 May.
The Exploration & Tenures Forum brings together the NSW exploration sector and supporting professionals to discuss regulatory and policy issues for exploration, case studies of successful exploration, stakeholder engagement, and the path from exploration to mining.
This event and all NSW Minerals Council events are held in accordance with all relevant NSW Government COVID-19 rules and restrictions to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.
For any questions regarding events, technical support or sponsorship queries, please contact our events team by email or on 02 9274 1417.
We’re pleased to announce the three finalists selected for the NSW Mining Explorer of the Year Award 2021.
Alkane Resources - Boda Discovery, Northern Molong Porphyry Project
Alkane Resources has discovered potentially world-class gold-copper porphyry mineralisation at its Boda prospect, part of the company’s Northern Molong Porphyry Project (NMPP) in the Central West Region of NSW, about 35 km east of Dubbo.
Alkane’s interest in the region began in 2004, after considering the area had potential for orogenic gold deposits. As part of a broader geological assessment, Alkane recognised the potential for world-class porphyry deposits similar to those found at Cadia mine and changed the exploration focus to porphyry systems in 2006.
Following extensive geological mapping, geophysical surveys and lithogeochemical characterisation over several years, the company’s drilling program has demonstrated an extensive mineralised system similar to Cadia. Mineralisation is open to north, south and at depth. Alkane believes the project has multi-billion dollar potential.
As an organisation, Alkane’s goal is to support resilient regional communities through the establishment of permanent infrastructure, the provision of training and career opportunities for local residents as well as supporting the local economy.
Aurelia Metals Limited - Federation Deposit
In mid-2018 Aurelia identified a small outcrop of gossan at the Dominion prospect, 15 km south of Nymagee in the Cobar Basin. The outcrop contained significant visible gold and rock chip assay results of up to 682 g/t gold. Initial RC drilling returned varying intercepts of mostly supergene copper and lead-zinc mineralisation with accessory silver and gold.
Follow-up investigations included a number of integrated exploration techniques including an induced polarisation (IP) survey and geochemical surveys. Drilling of targets identified has led to the release of some of the highest grade intercepts announced anywhere in Australia over the last two years, including 21.6 m at 44.8% lead and zinc with 31.9 g/t gold. The grade profile of the deposit makes it one of the highest grade discoveries in Australia over the last decade.
Federation remains open in multiple directions and is still being actively drilled. Aurelia is finalising a scoping study to examine development options for the project and will be applying for an exploration decline. Federation has the potential to extend mining operations in the Nymagee region by at least ten years, providing ongoing employment to up to 250 people, economic benefits to the region and a significant royalty flow to the NSW government.
Evolution Mining - GRE46 Deposit at Cowal Gold Operation
Evolution acquired Cowal Gold operations near West Wyalong in 2015. Following the acquisition, Evolution focussed on extending the life of the current operating mine, the E42 open pit.
In 2017 as part of a strategic review, the potential of the Galway, Regal and E46 zones and their extensions as underground targets was reviewed. As Evolution reviewed the targets, it became apparent that rather than being separate, Galway, Regal and E46 were in fact one contiguous target (GRE46), with significant exploration upside.
The key challenge was that the GRE 46 deposit is primarily located under Lake Cowal, the largest ephemeral lake in NSW. After overcoming some challenges due to flooding, drilling of the target commenced in 2018. A maiden resource of 5.9 Mt @ 3.07 g/t gold was announced in March 2018. Subsequent exploration work has included an exploration decline and comprehensive drilling programs.
As at February 2021, the updated total mineral resource for GRE46 underground was 37.53 Mt @ 2.5 g/t gold, for 3.02 million ounces of gold and an ore reserve of 12.55 Mt @ 2.59 g/t for 1.05 million ounces.
The exploration success of the GRE46 UG deposit involved the application of good fundamental geology and innovative utilisation of collaboration 3D modelling software. On the ground, the company has had to overcome the difficulties of exploring under the lake while ensuring good environmental management practices are employed. The discovery of GRE46 UG is a significant step in securing the long term future of Cowal Gold Operations.
The Exploration & Tenures Forum is proudly supported by NSW Minerals Council member company Hetherington.
The team at Hetherington and the wider Hetherington Group provide expert advice in the specialised field of exploration and mining tenement management.
Now comprising Hetherington Legal and Hetherington Environmental, the Hetherington Group provides a comprehensive range of services, including tenement management (applications, renewals and overall compliance), compliance audits, due diligence & VALMIN reports for prospectus listings, environmental and activity approvals, Native Title, land access & landholder negotiations and government liaison.
So if you need assistance with any of these services, get in touch at hetherington.net.au or catch up with David Salim and the team at the NSW Mining Exploration & Tenures Forum.