Open Pit Potential Big Nugget Hill Deposit
Drilling targeting high-grade shallow mineralisation in the southern part of the Big Nugget Hill Deposit at Hargraves will test potential for open pit mining.
- Further encouraging high-grade gold results.
- Targeted drilling program to assess open pit potential.
- Update of resource estimate underway.
The Hargraves Project is 100% owned by Hill End Gold Limited and is located approximately 30km south west of Mudgee, New South Wales. Considerable exploration work has been completed on the project to date and an update of the resource estimate at the Big Nugget Hill Deposit is currently being prepared.
As announced in October 2010 the Project’s Big Nugget Hill Deposit contains 234,400 ounces of gold in a combined inferred and indicated resource of 1,439,000 tonnes averaging 5.1g/t gold. This initial resource estimate relates to an 800m portion of the Big Nugget Hill Deposit to a depth of approximately 200m.
Since October 2010 ten additional holes have been drilled principally to further test the Big Nugget Hill Deposit below 150 metres. Results were described in the December Quarterly Report released to the Australian Securities Exchange on 31 January 2011.
Importantly, initial mining optimisation studies have indicated that open pit mining of the near surface portion of the Deposit is potentially economic, although further work is required to confirm this potential.
Several of the more southerly holes so far drilled into the Deposit intersected some very high gold grades at shallow depth particularly near Section 9000N where previously announced intersections include:
- 672.5 g/t Au over 0.8m downhole at a depth of 40.6m
- 694.5 g/t Au over 0.3m downhole at a depth of 48.8m
- 132.8 g/t Au over 0.2m downhole at a depth 38m
A new hole HGD43 at 8900N, which is the southernmost hole on the structure to date, also intersected strong mineralisation at approximately 40m depth with 8.7g/t over 0.3m at 39m and 28.2g/t over 0.3m at 44m downhole. These intersections occur within Reef 1, which has been defined at shallow depth throughout the whole 800m of trend of the Big Nugget Hill Deposit so far drilled (see Figure contained in the ASX announcement). In the northern part of the Deposit Reef 1 is also very strongly mineralised so this shallow reef would be the focus for any future open pit development.
In early May the Company will commence a program of close-spaced reverse circulation drilling targeted at delineating a shallow mineable resource centred on the high-grade intersections in the 9000N area. The program, which will total 2000m in 36 holes averaging 55m in depth, will primarily test the Reef 1 position. The proposed drill holes will test a 300m section of the trend of the Deposit on 25m–spaced sections, with some 12.5m-spaced sections.
Hill End Gold Managing Director, Philip Bruce said, “We expect the results of the RC drilling program to be released mid-year. Successful delineation of a well-defined shallow mineable resource in this portion of the deposit would confirm the considerable potential for open pit mining of much of the Big Nugget Hill Deposit.”
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