In October 2018, the Company announced the terms of an Earn-In and Joint Venture Agreement with St Barbara Limited (ASX: SBM) over the Lake Wells Gold Project (nee Yamarna Gold Project).
Under the terms of the Agreement, St Barbara will spend up to a total of A$5.5m on exploration across the Lake Wells tenure, to earn a 70% interest in the ground. Australian Potash's 30% interest will be free-carried until the conclusion of a bankable feasibility study into the development of any deposit identified by SBM's exploration. APC retains 100% of the potash and associated mineral rights.
For the full terms of the Agreement, please refer to the announcement here.
A significant bedrock gold anomaly over a 2,500-metre strike length was identified at Target 15a. It remains open and is similar in scale to early AC drilling at neighbouring Gold Road Resources Ltd's (ASX: GOR) high-grade Ibanez prospect 2 kilometres to the south. The northern line of the 2018 drill-program at Target 15d returned anomalous bedrock gold results over a 500-metre width, and 5 of the 6 lines drilled for a total of 7,027 metres returned anomalous bedrock gold.
For the full details of the drill-program, please refer to the announcement here.
The prospective bedrock lithology exhibited at southern neighbour Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR) Pacific Dunes – Corkwood Camp continues into APC held ground where aircore drilling has returned anomalous gold results. The number of gold targets immediately south of the APC tenement boundary, and the continuity of the prospective host rocks through the Company land holding make this a high priority target area for systematic exploration.
Figure 1: APC’s ground position at Lake Wells extends to and is contiguous with the North Yamarna project and the Pacific Dunes – Corkwood Camp being explored by Gold Road Resources Limited.
Following the recognition of mineralisation outside APC held tenure, a review began of the gold potential within Company ground. In the first instance, a comprehensive independent review of the tenement package has been completed , and a range of new and high priority targets have been generated. Importantly the structural review noted similarities between this tenement package and the world-class Timmins district of the southern Abitibi in Canada. Timmins, and the southern Abitibi, hosts a number of world-class Archaean gold deposits, that have been mined since the early 1900s with total gold production of over 170 million ounces of gold.
Figure 2: Subset of the Abitibi geology map, rotated 90o, (left had side) showing the Timmins gold mining camp as a comparative structural setting to APC’s Yamarna Gold Project (simplified reproduction of full CSA Global interpretation, right hand side)
Covering 65km strike length of under explored and highly prospective greenstone rocks the APC tenement package offers significant potential to host gold mineralisation. As part of the review a number of targets have been generated and a program of target verification has been implemented. Tasks completed to date include the acquisition of updated and reprocessed magnetic data, and the submission of bottom of hole (BOH) pulps for detailed litho-geochemical analysis. Submitting BOH pulps for further analysis is a cost-effective exploration step where samples that have been collected previously are analysed in a different and more precise way with the aim of identifying alteration and hydrothermal systems related to mineralisation.
Why is this tenure considered underexplored? Primarily as no significant gold was discovered by prospectors in the 1890’s and little systematic exploration has been conducted since. Sporadic interest for gold and base metals has occurred over the ensuing 120 years, however recent cover, changing economic parameters, and lack of focused exploration has resulted in anomalous results being left open, and whole areas of interest going unrecognised. As has been demonstrated by the successful exploration and discovery of mineralisation along strike within the Yamarna belt, revisiting this under explored area and applying current technology and exploration thinking is paying dividends by leading to new discoveries of gold mineralisation. By combining the latest in geological and geochemical practices in target generation with focused exploration, the joint venture partners are giving shareholders the best chance of making mineral discoveries and unlocking the inherent value of the Lake Wells Gold Project.