ABM's Resource Base Hits 3.3Moz Gold
It is with great excitement that today we announced our resource upgrades.
This Company has reached 3.3Moz in total resources after only 2 years of exploration (since the re-structuring of ABM) and we did this from a standing start. We are especially pleased and excited about the resource at Old Pirate with 427,400 ounces of high grade material averaging 7.95g/t gold (top cut!) being an outstanding result. If we don’t statistically top cut Old Pirate (and there is good argument not to) we infer 565,000 ounces averaging 10.50g/t gold including 290,400 ounces at 18.60g/t gold.
Two years ago when we first looked at Old Pirate we knew we had our work cut out. This system has a high nugget effect driven by coarse, and unevenly distributed gold within quartz veins. With the knowledge that this may be one of the last systems with visible gold in veins sticking out the ground (with no old workings) in Australia we were confident that the prize was there, but we had to innovate to unlock the value. In many ways this is similar to the kind of system that was mined in the old gold rush days in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Hence we had to start to think “old school” and to go back to basics with detailed mapping and sampling. The longitudinal trenching following the veins simulates what the old time prospectors may have done as they excavated their prized reefs. This allowed a new level of robustness in our geological and grade distribution models.
We now believe we have cracked the code at Old Pirate. What is exciting is that the resource is currently confined to just the central part of Old Pirate. We have extensions to the currently sampled veins as well as at least 6 other key shale horizons containing high grade veins that are yet to be tested with trenching and drilling. We will begin this work within a few weeks.
We are also very pleased with outcomes at the Buccaneer Porphyry Gold Deposit (located only a couple of kilometres from Old Pirate) with an overall increase of 60% in resource ounces, to a total of 2.67 million ounces. We believe Buccaneer has the scale potential to become a major long-term mining operation similar to highly profitable mines such as Fort Knox in Alaska and Boddington in Western Australia. We plan to commence scoping studies to assess the economic feasibility of such a scenario during over the next 12 to 18months.
The additional 202,400 ounces of gold in a maiden resource at Hyperion demonstrates we have extensive optionality throughout our portfolio, especially given its proximity to Tanami Gold’s Groundrush deposit.
So where to next? Our enthusiastic and passionate exploration team will shortly be mobilising into the field. It is hard to imagine a more hard-working group of scientists and field technicians who deal positively with the hardships and isolation of the Central Desert in pursuit of a dream on behalf of our shareholders and other stakeholders. The first priorities for this year is to extend the Old Pirate system with further bulk-trenching and drilling. The short-term mining scenarios for Old Pirate and its potential milling at the nearby Coyote Gold Mine will also be investigated over the coming months. We will also be following up on extensions to Buccaneer and Hyperion. Last, but by no means least, ABM remains committed to regional exploration, and intends to test multiple other targets in 2012 in our quest to unlock the potential of Australia’s final frontier.
Once again, should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Published: 16 April 2012