Saturn Metals is endeavouring to be fully conversant with its 100 per cent owned Apollo Hill gold project in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, before commencing full mining operations.
The Apollo Hill gold project is already large, with a current mineral resource estimate of 76.6 million tonnes at 0.6 grams per tonne of gold for approximately 1.47 million ounces of gold – with an update expected soon.
Saturn Metals has commenced preparatory work for detailed studies on the Apollo Hill gold project as it builds towards establishing a pilot heap leaching operation, and an associated bulk sample pit that is planned to be run in concert with a definitive feasibility study for the full-scale project.
Recent drilling programs, both project and regional, have returned results that are enabling Saturn Metals to continue to de-risk the Apollo Hill deposit, and improve confidence in the mineral resource within the optimised pit shell.
A reverse circulation–grade control program was completed on the planned bulk sample pit location. It returned impressive results, including:
AHAC0849: 13 metres at 2.53 grams per tonne of gold from 53 metres
AHAC0931: 64 metres at 1.06 grams per tonne of gold from zero metres, including 18 metres at 2.63 grams per tonne of gold from nine metres
AHAC0926: 15 metres at 2.45 grams per tonne of gold from zero metres, including seven metres at 4.99 grams per tonne of gold from zero metres.
‘These results exceeded our expectations,’ Saturn Metals Managing Director Ian Bamborough told Future Mining.
‘By stepping out north and underneath of the pit model, we have kept stretching the boundaries and leveraging that resource.
‘We confirmed potential for a significant amount of gold in a relatively small portion of the deposit.’
Saturn Metals’ confidence has grown, with the data from recent test work and drilling results combining to provide an excellent foundation from which it can move forward with the design of its planned pilot heap leach operation.
‘Geological learnings from this more detailed look at the asset have been invaluable, and are being applied to the greater Apollo Hill deposit to help guide our ongoing exploration and resource development activities,’ says Bamborough.
Other drilling at the Apollo Hill project successfully targeted extensional opportunities in areas of wider-spaced drilling by stepping beneath the current reported mineral resource pit shell to provide improved confidence in grade, geology and mineralisation continuity.
Further good news heralded from regional air core drilling campaigns on previously untested terrain, close to the mineral resource area.
‘Our regional exploration program has achieved some highly encouraging results in a new terrain east of Apollo Hill, where we have encountered some new intrusive terrains, different rocks and nice geology – hitting intersections of 20 metres at 1.44 grams per tonne of gold in greenfield exploration drilling,’ says Bamborough.
‘This has opened a new, exciting zone, which is just seven to eight kilometres from Apollo Hill, and really adds to our camp-scale opportunity.’