Alkane Resources Limited (ASX:ALK) has received approval from the NSW Government Resources Regulator to develop an exploration drive from the existing Wyoming One underground operations at Tomingley Gold Project to Roswell and San Antonio deposits, around four kilometres to the south.
The company believes this is an important milestone towards a future potential underground mine at Roswell and San Antonio that could be developed independently of an open cut operation.
While being an exploration drive, it will be sized such that it could also accommodate production in the future.
Alkane managing director Nic Earner said: “Alkane has the equipment purchased, personnel recruited and land acquired to allow this development to proceed and we will now incorporate the timing of the drive development into the Tomingley Gold Operations’ budget schedules, as well as our regional exploration plans.
“Given the prospectivity of the region around our existing operations, this approval provides Alkane with all the exploration and, in time, production options, to extend the life of mine at Tomingley well into the future.”
Tomingley regional exploration
The Tomingley Gold Project (TGP) in Central West NSW contains Alkane’s Tomingley Gold Operations (TGO), an open pit mine with a 1 million tonnes per annum processing facility that is transitioning to underground.
Over the past two years, Alkane has conducted an extensive regional exploration program around the TGP with the objective of defining additional resources that have the potential to be mined either via open pit or underground operations and fed to the TGO processing facility.
This program has yielded broad, shallow, high-grade intercepts that demonstrate potential for material project life extension in excess of 10 years, and show that a return to open pit mining and/or underground extension is possible with appropriate resource confirmation, landholder agreement and regulatory approvals.
The drive is conceptual in nature to allow visualisation of the potential development.
Inferred resources defined
At both the Roswell and San Antonio prospects, inferred resources have been defined of 7.02 million tonnes at 1.97 g/t gold for 445,000 ounces and 7.92 million tonnes at 1.78 g/t for 453,000 ounces respectively.
The resources are now being prepared into conceptual mine plans that can be used to progress NSW Government mining approvals.
Development of the underground exploration drive will allow drilling positions, bulk-sampling and assessment of the corridor between the existing operations, as the Roswell and San Antonio deposits are not as readily accessible from surface.