Through the careful and innovative design of our exploration activities, we reduce our footprint, minimise the impact on habitat and remediate using best-practice environmental management.
Between August 2017 and April 2018, we completed approximately 16,200 metres of drilling for the Martha Underground Project from two underground drill drives. That represents approximately 30% of the planned exploration drill metres required to adequately test the Martha Underground target. The drill program is expected to continue throughout 2019.
The Martha Underground exploration target has a potential size of between 5 million and 8 million tonnes at a grade of between 4.0 g/t and 6.0 g/t gold, for approximately 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 ounces of gold, inclusive of the Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources.
We commenced the permitting process for the project in March 2018 and continue to work with our community and all other stakeholders to advance the project.
We commenced exploration of the WKP prospect in August 2017 and by end July 2018 have drilled approximately 8,000 metres. While it is still early in the exploration process, WKP presents an exciting target.
We are taking great care to manage our exploration activities in the Coromandel so habitat disruption is kept to a minimum.
We do not enter an area without approval from the Department of Conservation, regional and district councils, and continually report on our activities and results. A Kauri Dieback Management Plan and Wildlife Act Authority set out our operating requirements, including extensive detailed flora and fauna surveys by qualified ecologists in optimal climatic conditions.
Independent experts conduct baseline ecological surveys to map all areas we identify as potential drilling targets. These ecological surveys specifically search for threatened or at risk native flora and fauna species including Archey’s and Hoschstetter’s frogs, Coromandel Striped Gecko’s, Paua Slugs, Bats and King Ferns. In the last 18 months we have ruled out 40 potential drilling sites.
Our exploration activities are helicopter-supported to minimise surface disruption. We utilise raised platforms with a small footprint to store all equipment, which minimises surface disruption and further-protects flora and fauna.
We actively support efforts to limit the spread of Kauri Dieback. Kauri dieback is a pathogen spread through soil particles that is threatening kauri trees. With some bushwalking tracks in the region already closed, we are ensuring our activities don’t contribute by thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting any footwear and other equipment (including our helicopters and drilling equipment) upon entry, exit or passage between sites in the area.
In the Hyde-Macraes Sheer Zone (HMSZ) we have conducted detailed geological mapping, geophysical surveys (including seismic surveys, magnetic and electromagnetic surveys), geochemical surveys (including stream sediment sampling, soil sampling and trenching), remote sensing and aerial photography.
Target areas with favourable characteristics for gold mineralisation have been systematically tested with approximately one million metres drilled to date.
Current exploration is aimed at a combination of infill and extensional drilling adjacent to the operational mining area and drill testing satellite targets along strike to the NW and SE along the HMSZ.
With a significant resource defined at the Round Hill Project, exploration has focussed on growing this resource base and identifying higher grade zones following encouraging drill results at the Golden Point target.
Discovery and resource expansion through exploration has led to the production of over five million ounces of gold (as at March 1, 2017).
You’ll find detailed exploration results updates on our news releases page.