A site visit by WWI’s geology team confirmed the presence of conglomerates of the Bellary Formation stratigraphically below the Mt Roe Basalt within the Lower Fortescue Group, which is a lateral equivalent as the gold bearing conglomerate of Novo Resource’s (TSX-V:NVO) Beatons Creek Project
Leveraging West Wits geology team’s Witwatersrand Basin experience, the Board expects to understand the full extent of mineralisation across the Tambina Project quickly with bulk sampling scheduled start in 1Q 2018
The Tambina Project has three mining leases, within which the Geology Team have mapped conglomerates where previous exploration reported rock chip sampling of up to 4.7 g/t Au trenching of 5.7 g/t Au over 4 metres (refer WWI ASX announcement 21 November 2017)
Potential gold hosting conglomerate package is at least 50m true thickness which is very substantial, the area mapped is potentially large enough to support a modern mining operation if gold mineralisation is proved up
Brief prospecting with a metal detector during the visit resulted in the discovery of an approximately 2g gold nugget (see figure 2) which could only have come from the surrounding conglomerates within the mining leases
Access to the Tambina project is supported via a well maintained road and exploration tracks
The Tambina project is located in the east Pilbara, circa 150km southeast of Port Hedland and, like West Wits’ Mt Cecelia project area, is part of the Lower Fortescue Group (Figure 1). Access to the Tambina project is via a well maintained road and exploration tracks.
FIGURE 1: TAMBINA AND MT CECELIA PROJECTS
The Tambina project is located in an Archaean fault bounded synclinal sub-basin infilled with coarse grained, shallow to moderately dipping clastic rocks of the Bellary Formation (Lower Fortescue Group). Notably, it contains an extensive area of gold and pyrite mineralised conglomerates, while the formation is a similar geological setting to Novo Resources’ (TSX-V: NVO) Purdy’s Reward asset in the west Pilbara.
Figure 2 is a geological map that shows the sub-basin Fortescue Group sandstones and conglomerates of the Bellary Formation (pale brown). The location of the Tambina project is shown as a small yellow box within the black circle – BLACK CIRCLE APPEARS TO HAVE MOVED AWAY FROM THE YELLOW BOX
FIGURE 2: TAMBINA PROJECT RELATIVE TO UNDERLYING GEOLOGY
Figure 3 shows the detailed legend highlighting the stratigraphic location of the Bellary Formation conformably underlying the Mt Roe Basalt.
FIGURE 3: STRATIGRAPHIC LEGEND LINKED TO FIGURE 2 ABOVE
Source: GSWA; Footnotes cited in source: 2. T.S. Blake et al., 2004, Precambrian Research, v133, p143-173; 3. N.T. Arndt et al., 1991, Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, v 38, p261-281.
Drilling down further, the lowermost stratigraphy is a basal conglomeratic unit within the Tambina project’s footprint that is circa 30m thick and contains boulders up to 2m in diameter. The remainder of the sequence comprises medium to coarse grained feldspathic / quartzfeldspar sandstones, with subordinate conglomerates, diamictites and minor mudstones.
Clasts in the conglomerates include silicified shale, sandstone and less commonly chloritic schist and black chert derived from greenstone protoliths. Heavy mineral placer deposits (including chromite, pyrite and gold) occur in association with the coarse clastic units. The coarse conglomerates were deposited on proximal alluvial fans, with sandstones and pebbly sandstones deposited as more distal alluvial fans and braided stream deposits.
Internal faulting of the sequence is minimal and generally restricted to basin margin parallel faults, while the sequence is intruded by several dolerite/gabbro dykes.
Tambina was established to secure highly prospective tenements in Western Australia to explore and develop gold producing assets. The Tambina project comprises three mining leases (M45/988; M45/990; M45/991), granted between 2004-06, covering a total area of 102 hectares. A small-scale gold mining operation was in progress at the time of acquisition, focused on areas of outcropping mineralized conglomerate.
Historical exploration on the Tambina project includes mapping, rock chip, stream sediment and bulk sampling, RC drilling, and eluvial and colluvial prospecting.
Talga Gold Limited (ASX: TLG) (now Talga Resources Limited) (“Talga Gold”) previously held an option to acquire the Tambina project.
The following previous exploration results were included in Talga Gold’s 2012 Annual Report, which was released to ASX as an announcement on 24 October 2014 and which can be downloaded from the ASX website www.asx.com.au under the code “TLG”. Those exploration results were reported under the 2004 Edition of the “Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” (“JORC Code”), as identified in a competent persons statement which accompanied those results. The reporting of the exploration results may not conform to the requirements in the JORC Code 2012. See also the following Important Note and the information under the heading “Status of prior results and intentions for evaluation and/or exploration work”, below.
- Texasgulf Exploration Limited (1976): 50g gold from four 8 tonne bulk samples taken from two ferruginious gold bearing conglomerate horizons. The 32 tonne sample gave an average grade of 1.56g/t Au;
- Goldstream Mining NL (1986 – 91): extended Texasgulf’s results by carrying out further work, identifying four gold mineralised heavy mineral placers. Of 283 rock chip samples taken, 33 returned greater than 1g/t Au, (maximum assay of 55g/t Au). 22 trenches were also dug, with results including 15m @ 1.45g/t Au, 5m @ 2.27g/t Au and 15m @ 2.66g/t Au. RC drilling beneath these trenches was reported as returning best results of 1m @ 3.1g/t Au from 28m and 1m @ 5.4g/t Au from 10m. Reporting by Goldstream to the WA Mines Department (A31676-1990-Report on Operations Tambina project A98274 dated May 2013) disclosed the program included 20 RC holes drilled with best intercepts of 1m @ 3.29g/t Au from 28m (T104) and 1m @ 4.33g/t Au from 10m (T107), and that it was believed bulk samples processed by the State Battery were diluted colluvial material not the targeted primary gold bearing horizons; and
- Talga Gold (2011): close spaced soil sampling (100m x 25m) over the Tambina project (1,096 samples). The soil geochemical survey was reported as having defined a number of robust gold anomalies (>100ppb gold) individually up to 500m strike length situated on or adjacent to conglomerate horizons.
WWI’s geology team visited the Tambina conglomerate gold project and filed a preliminary report, which highlighted the following key takeaways:
- The three mining leases cover conglomerates of the Bellary Formation at the Base of the Fortescue Group stratigraphically below the Mt Roe Basalt;
- There is gold at surface which is documented in historic rock chip, soil and trench sampling results within all three mining leases;
- Within the mining leases, the conglomerate package is a minimum of 50m true thickness;
- The conglomerates are gently folded into a syncline and probably with increased thickness near the centre of this structure;
- Notably, the area of conglomerate with surface mineralisation is approximately 1,600m north-south and 350m east-west which is large enough for a modern sized operation if gold mineralisation can be proved up;
- Within the area of exposed conglomerates previous exploration sampling has returned results from rock chips of up to 4.7g/t Au and trenching 5.7g/t over 4 metres (refer WWI ASX announcement 21 November 2017); and
- Brief prospecting with a metal detector discovered a gold nugget weighing approximately 2g that could only have come from the surrounding conglomerates within the mining leases (Figure 2).
FIGURE 2: GOLD NUGGET FOUND DURING BRIEF METAL DETECTING SESSION (20 mins) WITHIN TAMBINA MINING LEASES
Importantly, the Company recently obtained access to an extensive database of the field work and results from exploration activity previously performed which were not known to be available at the beginning of the acquisition process. This opportunity to mine historical data mirrors the Witwatersrand Basin Project which enabled the expediting of exploration activity and the proving up of the JORC compliant resource at WBP to 3.216Moz.
With the acquisition soon to be completed, the Company now intends to move quickly to implement the Exploration Plan with bulk sampling scheduled for 1Q 2018. In accordance with the recommendation of the preliminary geology report, the Company will also continue to closely monitor exploration activities at Novo’s Beatons and other relevant Pilbara conglomerate gold projects.