Great Boulder Resources (ASX:GBR) listed on the ASX in November this year after consolidating a high quality portfolio of five exploration gold projects in the world-class gold camps of the Eastern Goldfields in Western Australia.
Its flagship Balagundi gold project located 20 kilometres from Kalgoorlie is the target of Great Boulder’s early-production strategy through low-cost open pit mining.
The first phase drill program comprised of 41 holes for 3,574 metres was recently completed at Balagundi, which was following up historical intersections of 24 metres at 19.1 g/t gold.
The drilling confirmed significant near surface gold mineralisation along the existing 220 metre trend and follow-up drilling has already commenced given the successful results.
Stefan Murphy, managing director, commented: “In line with our early-production strategy for Balagundi, drilling was concentrated in the top 100 metres with an average down-hole drill depth of only 87 metres.”
Great Boulder listed on the ASX on November 18, 2016 after raising $6.1 million through the issue of 30.7 million shares priced at $0.20.
The company has a portfolio of five exploration gold projects in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia:
- Balagundi: Significant historical workings and high grade drill intersections;
- Jundee South: 10 kilometres along strike from the 7+ million ounce Jundee gold mine;
- Tarmoola: Large-scale regional geochemical anomaly near operating gold mines;
- Broadwood: Interpreted to host extension to nearby Kalgoorlie Super Pit; and
- Yamarna: Underexplored belt near recent 6 million ounce gold discovery with gold and nickel-copper potential.
The company has acquired 100% of the Jundee South project and has the right under joint venture agreements to acquire an initial 75% interest in each of the other four projects.
At the flagship Balagundi project the company is working towards resource definition drilling prior to assessing stand-alone or toll-treatment development options.
Tarmoola and Jundee South offer high quality, large scale exploration targets in mature and active gold mining camps.
Broadwood and Yamarna are early stage prospects in regions that are receiving significant exploration and development activity from gold mining majors.
At the core of the company’s exploration strategy is a focus on working within well-endowed gold districts, preferably in close proximity to major gold mines.
Balagundi gold project
Great Boulder has the right to earn a 75% interest in Balagundi by funding exploration expenditure of $1 million over a 5 year period.
Several historic gold mines are located on and around the project area, including the high-grade Mount Bellew underground gold mine.
This project has been privately held since 1986 and only been partially drill tested, with significant drilling intersections including:
24 metres at 19.1g/t gold from surface;
4 metres at 40.4 g/t gold from 99 metres; and
12 metres at 15.2 g/t gold from 36 metres.
Recent drill results
An initial 41 hole reverse circulation drill program totalling 3,574 metres was recently completed at Balagundi with compelling results received from the Mt Bellew North trend.
- 4 metres at 5.64 g/t gold from 135 metres including 2 metres at 10.4 g/t gold;
- 4 metres at 3.47 g/t gold from 26 metres including 1 metre at 8.98 g/t;
- 4 metres at 3.50 g/t gold from 75 metres including 1 metre at 12.6 g/t;
- 4 metres at 4.50 g/t gold from 116 metres;
- 27 metres at 1.42 g/t gold from 21 metres including 4 metres at 2.54 g/t;
- 8 metres at 1.52 g/t gold from 35 metres including 2 metres at 2.96 g/t;
- 15 metres at 1.25 g/t gold from 17 metres including 2 metres at 5.21 g/t;
- 6 metres at 1.86 g/t gold from 15 metres including 2 metres at 2.76 g/t; and
- 20 metres at 1.21 g/t gold from 60 metres including 4 metres at 2.06 g/t.
Due to the extensive mineralisation identified in this initial program, a drill rig has been mobilised back to Balagundi to undertake extensional drilling ahead of the seasonal break.
Results from the Mt Bellew East and South trends are expected shortly once all results are returned.
Balagundi’s infrastructure advantage
Balagundi is located in the heart of the world renowned Kalgoorlie mining district, located 20 kilometres from the Super Pit and many operating processing facilities.
Proximate facilities include:
- Kanowna Belle (Northern Star (ASX:NST)): 1.8 million tonnes per annum CIL and roaster;
- New Celebration (Metals X (ASX:MLX)): 1.2 million tonnes per annum CIL;
- Randalls (Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR)): 1.2 million tonnes per annum facility;
- Paddington (Norton Gold Fields (ASX:NGF)): 3.3 million tonnes per annum carbon-in-pulp;
- Mungari (Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN)): 1.5 million tonnes per annum CIL; and
- Boorara (MacPhersons Resources (ASX :MRP)): Toll treated through Greenfield’s mill.
Next steps at Balagundi
The next steps for Great Boulder at Balagundi include:
- A follow-up reverse circulation drill program testing the north and south strike extensions of the Mt Bellew North trend, along with western up-dip near surface extensions;
- Results from the Mt Bellew East and South trends are expected shortly, and will be released following receipt and review of all results;
- Where 4 metre composite samples have returned material grade intersections, 1 metre split samples will be collected and submitted to the laboratory for additional fire assay gold analysis;
- Results from the initial and follow-up drill programs will be used to plan further extensional drilling at Balagundi in Q1 2017; and
- In addition to the Mt Bellew trend, other prospects identified within the Balagundi project will be tested in Q1 2017 in order to determine the scale potential of the project.
Other planned exploration activities
Outside the Balagundi project, Great Boulder has a number of other pending exploration activities planned including:
- A reverse circulation program has been planned at Jundee South to test targets generated from recent surface gold and geochemistry programs with timing subject to various approvals being granted;
- A 983-hole auger program has been completed at Tarmoola with results expected in December and a follow-up reverse circulation program will be planned for Q1 2017;
- Approvals are being sought for a first pass auger geochemistry program at Broadwood; and
- Data compilation and desktop analysis continues on Yamarna ahead of field activities later in 2017.
With five gold projects located in proven gold mining jurisdictions and a funded multi-project exploration program, Great Boulder offers investors a compelling opportunity.
Importantly, Great Boulder has assembled a specialist team in the identification and discovery of gold systems with particular experience and success in the Eastern Goldfields
Results from the first phase of drilling at the Balagundi gold project have exceeded expectation, with confirmation of high grade mineralisation and thick near-surface oxide mineralisation attractive for an early start-up strategy.
Much of the gold mineralisation intersected is within the deeply weathered saprolite which is a soft, friable horizon amenable to low-cost, free-dig open pit mining methods.
Of particular note are the high-grade zones open to the north and newly discovered thick zones of oxide mineralisation to the south and west.
Gold mineralisation has been intersected along the entire Mt Bellew North trend and remains open in all direction.
One of the key benefits of the Balagundi project is its close proximity to Kalgoorlie and related infrastructure.
The project is within haulage distance of many operating or idle processing facilities and is well serviced by bituminised road, power and water infrastructure, potentially reducing start-up capital and accelerating development timeframes.
Great Boulder’s strategy is to implement targeted exploration programs to ensure optimal drilling and cost effective exploration.
As this current program has identified several areas of open mineralisation, a follow-up drill program has commenced keeping Great Boulder and investors leveraged to exploration based news flow.
At Jundee South, the discovery of surface gold nuggets, coincident with a strong geochemical anomaly similar to that at Northern Star’s Jundee mine, is highly encouraging.
Also of note is the nearby exploration being undertaken by Northern Star where drilling has returned high grade gold immediately to the south of Great Boulder’s Jundee South project.
Results from the 983-hole auger program at the Tarmoola project are also expected imminently.
Tarmoola is located within a large regional arsenic geochemical soil anomaly which also encompasses the Gwalia, King of the Hills, Bannockburn and Thunderbox gold mines, collectively hosting over 15 million ounces of gold.