Limited underground exploration development by Crater Gold Mining has intersected a number of narrow gold-bearing mineralized structures with grades up to 109 grams/tonne gold similar to those previously mined from surface by local artisanal miners.
Commenting on the progress of the underground exploration, Crater Gold’s mining engineer and PNG country manager Richard Johnson says, “Exploration development has made excellent progress since the mid-August commencement. It is confirming the controls to mineralization observed in the surface workings of artisanal miners providing our geologists with fresh exposures to map and sample.
“Bulk sampling of mineralized structures has commenced and will be followed by driving on selected veins. We have also mobilized an underground diamond drill rig to provide detailed coverage to around 120 metres depth.”
Drilling will further delineate the HGZ to a depth of about 100 metres below current development allowing a clear 3D model to be developed with the object of defining a resource estimate.
Underground exploration development has now progressed more than 50 metres in the main adit and 2 cross cuts with combined 40 metre advance are being developed to provide underground diamond drill platforms. Development is being carried out using simple rock drill, blasting and hand mucking methods. It is envisaged that the main adit will advance a total of up to 250 metres with several sets of cross cuts for diamond drill platforms. This is planned to more than adequately cover the HGZ target delineated by independent geological consultant Andrew Vigar, of Mining Associates.
There are a number of other localities around the Nevera prospect covering an area at least 3.5 by 2.5km which have potential for hosting high grade gold. These localities will be the focus of detailed surface follow up including possibly mechanical benching and perhaps shallow drilling with a man-portable rig to establish their prospectivity.
Local prospectors have reported widely separated areas other than the HGZ where gold has been recovered by dish prospecting. One of these areas is on the eastern side of the Prospect ridge and is presumed to be related to the low-sulphidation Mixing Zone style mineralization, however it and the others have not yet been properly examined.