Great Southern Mining Ltd (ASX:GSN) has set a development pathway for gold operations at Mon Ami in Western Australia after completing an in-house preliminary economic evaluation of the potential for an open-pit development.
Results are sufficiently positive for the company to initiate the full suite of requisite preliminary activities targeted at obtaining a mining approval under the Mining Act 1978 (WA) in 2021.
This progression towards development is expected to add significant underlying value to Mon Ami and the company’s gold strategy.
Development of the deposit offers a potential source of cash flow for ongoing funding of aggressive exploration plans across the gold portfolio - including Cox’s Find, at depth at Mon Ami and the Edinburgh Park Gold Project in North Queensland.
Testing high-grade extensions
Great Southern Mining chief executive officer Sean Gregory said: “We are pleased to announce that our in-house preliminary economic review has identified a potential low-cost development pathway for an open-pit mining operation at Mon Ami.
“The planned drilling program seeks to expand on this opportunity and test for higher grade extensions to the deposit at depth.
“Rapid development at Mon Ami has the potential to deliver a robust source of cash flow for GSN, allowing the further acceleration of the aggressive exploration plans across our Australian gold portfolio.”
Near-surface high-grade gold hits
Recent drill results at Mon Ami included several near-surface high-grade results - 11 metres at 7.9 g/t gold from 26 metres including 4 metres at 15.9 g/t and 4 metres at 12.4 g/t from 80 metres.
Initial technical studies have been scoped at the project to support a mining approval and include a review of the existing drill core and optical televiewer data by the company’s geotechnical consultants to recommend pit design parameters.
GSN believes that the high grades could extend to depth in an analogous fashion to the Ida H deposit 14 kilometres to the north of Mon Ami along the same regional shear zone, the Barnicoat Shear.
The metallurgical characteristics of Mon Ami were tested in 2018 where the recoveries averaged 95% in the fresh and transitional rock, which will be the focus of any open pit development.
The maiden inferred resource of 1.1 million tonnes at 1.7 g/t for 59,000 ounces was estimated in 2018 and since then 2,073 metres of reverse circulation (RC) drilling has been conducted with further drilling is planned.
As a part of upcoming drilling, GSN plans to upgrade the resource to the indicated status based on an improved understanding of the deposit from the quality assured drilling and improved confidence around modifying factors.
Drill rig secured
The company has secured the services of its preferred RC drilling contractor to resume drilling operations at Laverton from the first week of December 2020.
Drilling will test these targets at Mon Ami as well as the targets at Cox’s Find.