West Australian gold explorer Focus Minerals (ASX: FML) has announced a significant Mineral Resource increase for the Karridale Gold Deposit to support the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) into a Stage 1 mining operation at the Laverton Gold Project.
CEO, Zhaoya Wang, said Karridale is a core asset of the company’s 100%-owned Laverton Gold Project, where Focus is well advanced in identifying sufficient open-pit mineral resources across its highly prospective Laverton tenements for a Stage 1 mining operation.
Focus has also updated the Exploration Target for Karridale and the broader Karridale-Burtville mine corridor for significantly changes to the initial Karridale Exploration Target announced in 2019.
The updated Karridale Exploration Target is 33-45Mt at 1.3-1.6g/t for 1.4Moz to 2.3Moz. Across Karridale-Burtville mine corridor, the updated Exploration Target is 71-115Mt at 1.2-1.5g/t for 2.9Moz to 5.3Moz.
Our technical team has delivered a significant increase to the Karridale Mineral Resource,” Mr Wang said.
“The process towards this outcome started in 2018 and was made possible by sustained effort to improve the geological understanding of this deposit and the potential of the Laverton district.
“The increased mineral resource will be used to support the Laverton PFS activities.”
Karridale extends across four mining tenements, 2km south of the Focus-owned Burtville Open Pit. Tenements M38/8 and M38/1281 are wholly owned by Focus. M38/73 and M38/89 are held under the Merolia Joint Venture between Focus Minerals (Laverton) Pty Ltd and GSM Mining Company Pty Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Gold Fields Ltd).
Substantial expenditure by Focus in 2018 and 2019 has reduced GSM to an interest of 5%, which shall be free carried until the completion of feasibility and a decision to mine.
Karridale was historically mined in places to 40m below surface as part of the Burtville mining centre. Gold was discovered in the area in 1897. Between 1899 and 1922, there was recorded production of 6,315 tonnes at 80.6 g/t. The most extensive historic workings were the Karridale/Boomerang Mines, where between 1900 and 1905 1,628 tonnes of ore were mined to produce 4,882oz of gold. Since the 1970s, various companies have conducted drilling campaigns at Karridale. During the 1990’s Sons of Gwalia explored the area and mined an oxide open pit at Burtville.
The updated Karridale Mineral Resource estimate will be used to inform the Laverton PFS work, which is underway and due for completion by the end of this year.