- New JORC compliant resource estimate increases contained gold by 93% and gold grade by 23%.
- New Inferred resource estimate of 1.8Mt at 5.2 g/t gold for 302,000 ounces of gold, including;
o A higher grade zone of 244,000 tonnes at 9.5 g/t gold for 75,000 ounces of gold and an;
o Inferred resource of 608,000 tonnes at 0.64% copper for 3,870 tonnes of contained copper
- Mineral resources outcrop at surface and have only been drilled to 100 metres vertical depth.
- Mineral resources remain open at depth and along strike.
- Mineral resources represent less than 5% of identified mineralised faults
- 95% of mineralised (sampled and assayed) faults identified to date remain to be drilled
- Mining optimisation study and metallurgical test work underway
Importantly the new resource contains a very high grade zone (Quartz Zone) of 244,000 tonnes at 9.5 g/t gold containing 75,000 ounces of gold, which starts at surface. Surface extensions of the high grade Quartz Zone have been identified and will be drilled in the coming field season.
This latest resource estimate also identified a new inferred copper resource, using a lower cut of grade of 0.25% copper, of 608,000 tonnes at 0.64% copper, containing 3,870 tonnes of copper.
The new gold and copper resources start at surface, have only been drilled to 100 metres vertical depth and remain open along strike and at depth. The reported gold resources represent less than 5% of mineralised faults identified by rock-chip sampling to date. Approximately 95% of the mineralised faults identified by rock chip sampling are still to be drilled. The gold bearing mineralised structures extend beyond the current resource estimate area over a length greater than 3,000 metres and occur as multiple lodes (Figure 1).
Managing Director Todd Hibberd commented that "The Company is very pleased to announce that its inferred gold resource has almost doubled from its recent drill program which combined with a significant lift in the average grade of the defined resource is a clear indication of the enormous potential of the Aucu gold project.
The current gold resource outcrops at surface and has only been drilled to 100 metres depth. The high grade encountered in the deeper holes indicates that mineralisation will continue at depth. Gold mineralisation is still open in both directions and at depth. The Company expects further drilling in 2017 to substantially expand the high grade (9.5 g/t average gold grade) Quartz Zone. Significantly, gold mineralisation has also been identified in outcrop in several locations along strike from the existing inferred gold resource at the Lower Gold Zone (LGZ) and on the adjacent hill to the Southeast. Shallow drilling of these structures in 2017 is also expected to substantially grow the resource base.
The quality of the current resource combined with the rock chip sampling of the extensive mineralised systems shows that the Aucu gold project has significant potential for substantially more gold resources to be identified from further drilling."
The Company is currently conducting a mining optimisation study to establish how much of the current resource could potentially be extracted via an open pit mining operation. This study will consider the relevant capital expenditure required to build an economic mining operation. The study results will be reported once complete.
Resource Estimate: Aucu Gold Deposit
The new Inferred Mineral Resource for the Aucu gold deposit above a cut-off grade of 1 g/t gold consists of 1.8 Million tonnes grading 5.2 g/t gold for 302,000 ounces of contained gold. The new resource represents a 93% increase in contained gold and a 23% increase in average grade over the previously reported April 2015 inferred gold resource. Table 1 provides a breakdown of the updated resource estimate by area.
Table 1: 2017 JORC Inferred gold resource estimate
Area Category Tonnes Gold (g/t) Gold (Ounces) Lower Gold Zone Inferred 693,000 4.44 99,000 Upper Gold Zone Inferred 495,000 4.02 64,000 Sandstone Zone Inferred 179,000 6.84 39,000 Quartz Zone Inferred 244,000 9.49 75,000 Quartz Zone Halo Inferred 89,000 1.55 4,000 Camp Gold Zone Inferred 48,000 6.83 10,000 Eastern Gold Zone Inferred 66,000 4.95 11,000 ----------------------------------------------------------- Total Inferred 1,813,000 5.18 302,000 -----------------------------------------------------------Importantly the new resource contains a very high grade zone (Quartz Zone) of 244,000 tonnes at 9.5 g/t gold containing 75,000 ounces of gold which starts at surface. Surface extensions of the Quartz Zone have been identified and will be drilled in the coming field season. Additional near surface high-grade gold resources are expected to be outlined from this program.
The estimate also identified a new inferred copper resource above a cut of grade of 0.25% copper of 608,000 tonnes at 0.64% copper containing 3,870 tonnes of copper. This new copper resource is contained within the new gold resource areas and would be mined as part of an open pit gold mining operation.
The project also contains an inferred resource for the Chanach copper deposit which consists of 10 Million tonnes grading 0.41% copper for 41,000 tonnes of contained copper (using a cut-off grade of 0.25% copper), unchanged from 2015 (Table 2).
Table 2: 2017 and 2015 JORC inferred copper resource estimate
Area Category Tonnes Copper % Copper (tonnes)
Quartz Zone Inferred 608,000 0.64 3,870
Chanach Porphyry Inferred 10,000,000 0.41 41,000
Total Inferred 10,608,000 0.42 44,870
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About White Cliff Minerals Ltd
White Cliff Minerals Ltd (ASX:WCN) is a Western Australian based exploration company with the following main projects:
Kyrgyz Aucu Gold Project (90%): The Project contains extensive porphyry related gold and copper mineralisation starting at the surface and extending over several kilometres. Drilling during 2014 has defined a major gold discovery with an initial inferred resource of 1.15Mt at 4.2 g/t containing 156,000 ounces of gold. Additional drilling in 2015 identified extensions of known high grade gold mineralisation with intersections as high as 8 metres at 55 g/t gold. In addition drilling has also defined a significant copper deposit at surface consisting of 10Mt at 0.41% copper containing 40,000 tonnes of copper. Extensive mineralisation occurs around both deposits demonstrating significant potential to increase the existing resources.
The project is located in the Kyrgyz Republic, 350km west-southwest of the capital city of Bishkek and covers 83 square kilometres. The Chanach project is located in the western part of the Tien Shan Belt, a highly mineralised zone that extends for over 2,500 km, from western Uzbekistan, through Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic and southern Kazakhstan into western China.
Merolia Gold and Nickel Project (100%): The project consists of 771 square kilometres of the Merolia Greenstone belt and contains extensive ultramafic sequences including the Diorite Hill layered ultramafic complex, the Rotorua ultramafic complex, the Coglia ultramafic complex and a 51 kilometre long zone of extrusive ultramafic lava’s. The intrusive complexes are prospective for nickel-copper sulphide accumulations possibly with platinum group elements, and the extrusive ultramafic rocks are prospective for nickel sulphide and nickel-cobalt accumulations.
The project also contains extensive basalt sequences that are prospective for gold mineralisation including the Ironstone prospect where historical drilling has