Ardea Resources Limited (ASX:ARL) has announced a maiden Inferred Mineral Resource estimate for its Big Four Gold deposit located within the Goongarrie Nickel Cobalt Project (GNCP), 70 km north of Kalgoorlie.
The company’s Inferred Resource is estimated to be 178 kt at 2.7 g/t gold, when using a 0.5 g/t Au cut off. The Resource is estimated to contain approximately 15,300 ounces gold.
Managing Director, Andrew Penkethman, said the initial resource estimate was derived following infill and extensional drilling completed by Ardea in January 2020 and historic data collated by the company.
Limited historic mining at Big Four during the 1920s to 1930s recovered and processed 571.5t of ore for 10.53kg gold (~339oz gold), at an average grade of 18.4 g/t Au. Treatment was through an on-site battery, with white tailings sand remnants still present.
The gold occurrence cropped out at surface so was discovered by prospectors. In contrast, most of Ardea’s tenure is covered by shallow alluvial cover and/or the development of a laterite profile which obscures the underlying basement gold potential.
“Ardea is highly encouraged by the maiden Big Four Gold resource, especially given that we only drilled the target for the first time in January this year. The resource confirms the gold prospectivity of the Bardoc Tectonic Zone (BTZ) within Ardea’s extensive tenement base,” Mr Penkethman said.
“The Big Four gold mineralisation was exposed in old workings at surface, but most of the BTZ structure on Ardea’s tenements is hidden by transported sediments and the development of the laterite profile.
“On- going exploration for gold within Ardea’s Eastern Goldfields tenements is expected to define multiple new zones of mineralisation.
With the Big Four Gold resource located on a granted Mining Lease, options will be considered as to how best to monetise this asset.
“This is in addition to unlocking the exploration and production potential of Ardea’s large Eastern Goldfields land holding for gold and nickel sulphide in parallel to de-risking the nickel-cobalt resources within the broader Kalgoorlie Nickel Project.
“Most importantly, potential future mining at Big Four Gold will provide valuable insights as to mine scheduling and geo-technical performance within the broader GNCP.”