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Aug 2016 - Buyer or Finder?

Buyer or Finder?

Delta Gold (DGD) was a classic finder, eg Granny Smith, Kanowna Belle, Wallaby, and the Zimbabwean Great Dyke. One of the  Delta geos (Alastair Cowden), then went on to discover the Nimbus silver mine under Archaean, next to Kalgoorlie (now owned by MRP) and establish Vulcan (VCN) and then Altona adjacent to Outokumpu in Finland, and is now developing Little Eva near Cloncurry in Queensland, and interestingly VCN once held the Lords prospects' tenement (Lord Henry and Lord Nelson) at Sandstone; while another DGD geo discovered Nimary when he was with Eagle Mining.

In gold exploration, companies are either buyers or finders. For some companies, no matter how much they spend, they simply do not make new discoveries, and have instead to buy them.

Delta Gold (DGD) was a classic finder, eg Granny Smith, Kanowna Belle, Wallaby, and the Zimbabwean Great Dyke. One of the Delta geos (Alastair Cowden), then went on to discover the Nimbus silver mine under Archaean, next to Kalgoorlie (now owned by MRP) and establish Vulcan (VCN) and then Altona adjacent to Outokumpu in Finland, and is now developing Little Eva near Cloncurry in Queensland, and interestingly VCN once held the Lords prospects' tenement (Lord Henry and Lord Nelson) at Sandstone; while another DGD geo discovered Nimary when he was with Eagle Mining.

Whereas Troy Resources has clearly been a buyer, as was Normandy. To some degree Evolution has mostly been a buyer : being North Queensland Metals (for Pajingo), Catalpa (for Edna May and Cracow), a restructure for the remains of Cracow plus Mt Rawdon, La Mancha (to some degree, for Frogs Leg / Mungari), Phoenix Gold, and Cowal. While Northern Star has made significant progress over most of whatever it has acquired (eg Kundana, Kanowna Belle and Jundee) in addition to what it originally discovered at Paulsens.

In contrast, Gold Road is and has been a finder (Gruyere etc), in the Yamarna greenstone belt, which had acquired a reputation of "too many sniffs, doesn't tie together". Another clear finder is Dacian, after all how many companies (including the majors such as Barrick) had Mt Morgans and Jupiter and walked away from them. The last holder (Range River) of Mt Morgans imploded. And yet Dacian has applied sound geology and re-interpreted the orebodies there, resulting in significant discoveries.

Admittedly , the Dacian team is mostly ex-Avoca who discovered Trident at Higginsville, and re-interpreted Copler in Turkey to become Alacer's major operation.

But what makes a company a buyer or a finder ? It has often been commented that the successful geos are those who were chief geos trained by Western Mining under Roy Woodall, partly because they were exposed to international orebodies and hence encouraged to think laterally.

As a general observation, both Gold Road and Dacian empower their geologists regardless of what seniority they have to be responsible for a project, or part of an orebody, or an area, and meet regularly to cross-pollinate ideas.

But sometimes such geos simply observe. Take one of the ex-Avoca geos Glen Brown who was contracted to Dacian to help with core logging (because he is very knowledgeable, fast and efficient). Anyway, Glen noticed that there appeared to be regularities in the BIF (banded-iron-formation) package that he was logging at Mt Morgans' Westralia, especially at Millionaires.

As Dan Baldwin (a Dacian geo, previously Avoca) described to me, Brownie put up these black and white drillhole logs for 4 holes and we thought so what. Glen then marked them with coloured pens and did the same on the plan (I was shown the examples), and as Dan said at the time, "no way, it can't be that easy".

But yes, the BIFs at Westonia have identifiable colours and the rock units between the distinctly coloured or located BIFs are common from drillhole to drillhole as shown in the Figure. I was also shown other drillholes and the regularity amongst the BIF package, and hence it can be determined where the higher grades are likely to be.

I always thought that BIFs were BIFs, but after this experience, I then looked more closely at the BIFs while visiting Altos (AME's) Indomitable prospect at Sandstone and noticed that they appeared to closely resemble the same colour and banding style in the spoil of the historical Indomitable mine, and an outcrop ~3km further west. (see Figure 10b on page 7 of ERA's July 2016 Alto Minerals report that is available on www.eagleres.com.au).

However, the "game changer" for Dacian has been the discovery of a shallow northerly plunging thrust earlier this year (2016) by a Dacian geo using stereonets in the Morgans Underground that the higher grade ore shoots within Westralia could be plunging shallowly north instead of steeply south. And has since been proven through drilling, and announced with high grade intersections by Dacian.

Shallow plunging north directions had been identified by Dominion in 1995 and later Plutonic based on the behaviour of the Millionaires shoot in the open-cut, and even Barrick in 2009 noted a "Possible High Grade Shoot", but it conflicted with the historical perceived steep southerly shoots.

Apart from plunging north downwards, the perceived higher grade shoots are being tracked up plunge southwards, which has opened up potential links through to the Millionaires pit, towards the old underground workings of Westralia, and above Morgans Underground.

The announcement on 25 July 2016 of infill and extension drilling with 10m @ 11.6g/t from 5m, 1m @ 128g/t from 32m, 34m @ 3.7g/t from 139m & 17m @ 2.2g/t above the known Underground areas adds further potential and illustrates the shallow plunging ore shoot concept, together with quartz veins in HW basalt above the target BIFs.

Dacian has also been measuring the magnetic susceptibility of its drillholes at Jupiter for the possiblity of the syenites extending at depth, as similar work at Wallaby apparently resulted in Wallaby being extended to depths of >1km (it extends to ~2km). The broad mags in 3d show a gap under Doublejay partly because the historical drillholes were obviously not measured.

However, the syenites of Doublejay and Heffernans hence appear to link at ~500m deep as shown in Figure 20a on page 11 of ERA's July 2016 Dacian report (available on www.eagleres.com.au).

There also appears to be a fairly close visual correlation between the syenites and the magnetics as can be seen in the dark blue demag pools correlating to Doublejay, and the red mag highs to Heffernans and Ganymede, illustrating that the syenites can also be non-magnetic. The reason for non-magnetism is because it is thought that the syenites were intruded at a time when the earth's magnetism was switching from the North pole to the South pole and vice versa, which would result in apparent demagnetised zones.

This consequently makes both the demag & mag areas prospective with 3d mags generating a number of additional targets in three corridors, NW/SE (Corridor A), NE/SW (Corridor B), and E/W.

While more detailed 3d mag shows Heffernans potentially plunging steeply to a depth of ~800m below surface, there are drawn sections of Heffernans (1120N) with ~100m wide syenite extending to a depth of 600m, and of Doublejay (2040N) with ~100m wide syenite extending to a depth of >600m. The deepest diamond drilled syenite at Jupiter appears to be ~300m to 400m below surface.


However, one of the most spectacular presentations I encountered relating to new discovery at this years' "buzzing" Diggers was by a Canadian listed company called Newmarket Gold, who had discovered the Eagle zone at a depth of ~800m with visible gold intersections such as 9m @ 386g/t, and 3.4m @ 645g/t at ~1000m, all at Fosterville in Victoria.

For those that do not know, Fosterville had a reputation for having refractory gold in its sulphide/fresh rock that was almost unprocessable, until a chemical process was developed in addition to the autoclave. Now, whoever would have thought that the refractory Fosterville ore could change to conventional visible gold in quartz at depth, with the Lower Phoenix and Harrier areas being depth extensions of existing workings ?

So are you an exploration buyer or a finder, and if you are a buyer, can you change ?

Disclosure and Disclaimer : This article has been written by Keith Goode, the Managing Director of Eagle Research Advisory Pty Ltd, (an independent research company) who is a Financial Services Representative with Taylor Collison Ltd (AFSL 247083).


Figure. The Stratigraphical BIF sequence at Dacian's Millionaires / Westralia Area of Mt Morgans
fg1aug16 buyer

  • Written by: Keith Goode
  • Wednesday, 12 October 2016

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