rett Keillor has significantly been awarded the AMEC “Prospector Of The Year” award on two occasions, in 1998 for the Plutonic Discovery and jointly with Bruce Kendall in 2012 for the discovery of the Tropicana Gold province. Brett Keillor graduated from the Kalgoorlie School of Mines program in the early 1980’s and soon after formed a prospecting syndicate which focussed on small scale alluvial and hard-rock gold prospects in the region.
He commenced work with Resolute from 1986 in the Plutonic – Marymia Greenstone Belt which culminated in the discovery of the Plutonic gold deposit and was also part of the discovery team that found the K1 and K2 gold deposit trend.
While at Resolute Brett also worked in the Pilbara on the Radio Hill Ni-Cu complex and was leader of the discovery team that found the Indee Gold Project system. During the late 1990’s he was involved in the Golden Pride Gold Project feasibility and managed regional exploration in Tanzania. Resolute acquired WMC and BHP gold assets in West Africa in 1998 and Brett looked after regional gold exploration in Burkina Faso.
Independence Group (IGO) started in 2002 and Brett was part of the start-up team with his main role of gold project generation. He was involved in securing the Tropicana Gold province which led to a major gold discovery, along with other discoveries including the Karlawinda Gold Project. Brett spent some 14 years with IGO reviewing projects on a global scale before joining Rumble Resources in late 2016 as Technical Director.
You are highly regarded amongst your peers for identifying company-making projects along with having a high success rate in making significant discoveries. Can you talk us through the technical approach in identifying these projects and the exploration strategy to discover these outstanding deposits?
Like all project generation geologists, a sound understanding of geology and mineralising systems is needed, however, having a memory bank of various projects and specific deposits and a spatial awareness of where deposits sit on a regional/continental/tectonic basis helps target prioritisation. Having a network of professional and private/prospector associates also is a big factor.
Having 35 years experience in exploration teaches one to apply a systematic/staged approach to targeting and exploring. Sometimes shortcuts may help with the bottom line and marketing sentiment, however, the shortcut taken, may have missed the prize. During the exploration stages always be aware of new techniques that may further aid in finding a discovery.
This is your first and only ASX directorship. Why did you choose Rumble?
Before joining Rumble I spent time consulting on various project reviews for them and it gave me a chance to assess Rumble’s management and their view on the exploration strategy which I feel would lead to a discovery and hence change the company’s dynamics.
Rumble has highlighted a clear strategy of organic growth by generating a pipeline of high-grade base and precious metal projects. These projects are critically reviewed against stringent criteria and then systematically explored, targeting high-grade, world-class discoveries. All projects acquired are low-cost exploration to test for discovery. Is this a strategy you developed while at IGO and Resolute?
As part of Rumble’s project generation model, the projects we have in our portfolio fit our due diligence criteria, but more importantly for a small exploration company, the leverage to a discovery versus the up-front costs for an option and a modest amount of exploration for these projects is very high. Our strategy is to find (and promote) projects that fit our thresholds and capacity to explore. The strategy involves a pipeline approach of projects that offer significant leverage rather than hanging our hat on a single large and likely expensive project that may ultimately fail to meet expectations.
The methodology is similar to what I learnt in Resolute and IGO, however, the current exploration environment is totally different nowadays as there has been a significant lag in small and large companies generating and finding new discoveries. In addition, the numerous restrictions and compliance piled onto exploration and mining companies doesn’t allow the freedom of unencumbered exploration we had some 20 years ago. Unencumbered exploration found many new deposits all those years ago, however, with the current environment, I feel that the same basic principles learnt still apply.
Rumble recently completed its maiden drill programme in late 2017 on the Company’s flagship Braeside high-grade Zinc-Lead Project, which significantly identified a new high-grade zinc discovery in the first ever RC drill program on the project. What makes you so excited about the potential at Braeside and what has been the approach?
The style of mineralisation and results from the first round of drilling helped confirm the geological model (porphyry related). The model type has the potential for significant base metal mineralisation that may lead to a deposit or a camp of deposits. This model style is not well known in Archaean rocks as the style is considered high level (rarely preserved) and the crustal dynamics during Archaean behave differently than the well known younger arc related systems (Proterozoic to recent). Apart from defining significant base metal mineralisation in the first drill programme, the exciting aspect for me is exploring for discoveries based on a new/modified/unknown mineralisation style, and if successful, the implications for other provinces worldwide with respect to new discoveries.
The systematic exploration fundamentals are:
- Staged exploration – always review and if a target or an anomaly is not explained, explain it by further work.
- Allow enough time to consider what the results mean. Additional data such as petrography, multi-element analysis, SEM, etc. all help to understand what the potential is, and these methods take time.
In line with Rumble’s clear strategy of generating and drill testing a pipeline of high-grade projects, Rumble recently added the Barramine high-grade Cu-Pb-Zn-Ag Project, Earaheedy high-grade Zn Project, Munarra Gully high-grade Cu-Au Project and the Nemesis high-grade Au Project. Why are you excited about these geologically and have all projects undergone your rigorous selection process?
These projects have been critically reviewed against our stringent criteria and all have the key fundamentals that Rumble is looking for:
Earaheedy high-grade Zn project
- The target is 10Mt at >10% Zn equivalent.
- Significant intercepts have been defined on wide spaced drilling.
- Style of mineralisation has known favourable metallurgy.
- Relatively low-cost with respect to targeting joint gravity and geochemistry drill targets
Barramine high-grade Cu-Pb-Zn-Ag Project
- Strong evidence that the Braeside base metal mineralisation extends into the project.
- Standalone low-cost geochemical targets ready for drilling.
Munarra Gully high-grade Cu-Au Project
- Current ue dilligence has highlighted a previously unknown ultramafic intrusive with potential magmatic copper mineralisation.
Low-cost exploration with ground TEM to aid in delineating a conductive drill target.
Nemesis high-grade Au project
- Very high-grade shoot/structural controlled mineralisation with significant high-grade gold production that has not been tested down plunge.
- Although likely small to moderate tonnage, the potential high value and the location with respect to surrounding operations with mills fits Rumble’s project thresholds with the low-cost exploration.