Impact Minerals Limited (ASX:IPT) has completed a trial bulk sampling program at the Blackridge conglomerate-hosted gold project in central Queensland with about 8.5 tonnes of samples collected.
The samples cover the likely range of ore processing properties with suitable examples to be wet processed in a facility in Queensland within a month.
They were collected at or near the gold-bearing contact (unconformity) between an upper younger unit of Permian conglomerates and a lower unit of schist, part of the older Anakie Metamorphic Group.
Samples were chosen on the basis of the presence of gold nuggets discovered by prospectors and also for their rock mechanics properties to help determine likely processing routes for larger sampling programs.
Three main sample types have been identified – free-digging samples; hard indurated (solid) rock; and clay-rich samples – with the majority comprising free-digging material of friable conglomerate.
It is evident that large volumes of this material are present on Impact’s licences.
Examples of sample sites at Blackridge including samples taken from previous workings.
Impact said that further consideration would be given to the other sample types in due course.
Work in the emerging conglomerate-hosted gold province of the Pilbara in WA has shown that very large samples may need to be processed in order to overcome the significant ‘nugget effect’.
This is a major factor in the exploration for this style of deposit and Impact has shown that the nugget effect was an important factor in previous Blackridge exploration drilling.
Blackridge now includes a granted mining lease and four mining lease applications.
An appropriate plan of operations and approval of the applications will allow the collection of very large samples and early trial mining if results warrant.
Scientific research confirms gold mineralisation comprises hydrothermal fine gold as well as larger transported nuggets suggesting conventional resource calculations may be possible.
The 91 square kilometre project also includes a newly acquired mining lease, ML2836, which lies in the centre of the project area.
Location and geology of the Blackridge project, north of Clermont.
This lease, which is fully granted, will be acquired from a local prospector for a cash payment of $30,000 and replacement of environmental bonds of around $7,000.
It is subject only to Ministerial consent, which is expected within about four weeks.
Progress on applications
Progress has also been made on the grant of the four MLA’s under option from Rock Solid Holdings Pty Ltd as well as the compensation agreement with the landowner.
Native Title negotiations are also underway.
Work will begin on these leases and the exploration licences as soon as these arrangements are completed.
Impact’s work at Blackridge is concurrent with drill programs at the flagship Commonwealth project in NSW.