The past year was a slow and disjointed one for exploration activities. With the challenges in the mine and the consequent financial constraints, it was necessary to put field exploration on hold for the first half of the financial year. Subsequent improvements in mining operations and strong gold production allowed exploration activities to re-commence in December 2017.

During that first part of the year, time was used to re-rank targets and focus on exploration programs for future years. Additionally, business development reviews were undertaken and produced new ideas and potential targets for exploration work. The evaluation resulted in the decision to acquire the Ohio Creek Prospect from its Guyanese owners. The consensus was for future exploration work to concentrate on the highly prospective Goldstar-Gem Creek corridor which is to the north of, and broadly parallel to, the Smarts-Hicks corridor.

Previous drilling at Goldstar has returned more than 15 ore grade gold intercepts within a similar stratigraphy to that of Smarts and Hicks. Historical auger sampling data, received from XRF, confirm the continuation of the stratigraphy to the NNW along the Goldstar-Gem-Creek corridor. The Tallman Corridor, which is sub-parallel to the Goldstar-Gem Creek structure, consists of flatter EW structures intersecting NW oriented structures at Ohio Creek which has historically returned numerous good to very high grade gold intercepts and anomalous auger results. Along the strike extension of the Tallman and Gem Creek corridor to the NW, three major NW striking structures (Gem Creek, Tallman, Goldstar) become strained between two big batholitic intrusions and offset along a major EW structure. The area, known as Upper Itaki, has had intensive alluvial mining undertaken in the past. Stream sediment sampling and rock chip sampling by the Government in the past has provided very high gold values.


Ohio Creek

Late in the year an assessment of the Ohio Creek Prospect was carried out, followed by mapping and sampling of the main saprolite working – the Tallman pit. The main focus of the local miners was on a shear zone contact between a folded sedimentary unit and a foliated mafic unit. Within the shear zone, flat dipping quartz veining with visible gold was noticed. The shear zone is up to 10 metres in width.

Details of the acquisition of Ohio Creek are available in the ASX Release titled “Acquisition of Ohio Creek Prospect – Guyana” dated 12 September 2018.



During the year two near mine targets, Spearpoint and Larken, were infill drilled. The result of that drilling is a Reserve and Resource over Spearpoint and a Resource update on Larken.    

The completed near mine infill drilling totalled 6,391m for 95 RC drill holes

Spearpoint Infill Drilling

Spearpoint is located approximately 350 metres from the Karouni mill and is interpreted as the SE extension of the Smarts Hicks Shear, which hosts the Smarts gold deposit approximately 800 metres to the NW.

Historically, nine diamond holes and 73 RC drill holes had returned several intersections of high grade gold.

The first phase of the 2018 drilling program was designed to infill existing drill lines with nominal 30 metres by 20 metres drill spacing and to confirm the high grade character of the mineralisation. A small program of 34 holes was successfully completed and returned many significant high grade intercepts (refer to ASX announcement titled “Exploration Update” and dated 19 March 2018). This drilling intersected a hanging wall and footwall shear about 10 to 25 metres apart, which is interpreted as the continuation of the Smarts Shear Zone. Within the Shear, almost the same lithology exists as at Smarts with MgO basalts, fine basalt and a coarse mafic intrusive unit. In direct contact to the Shear, a porphyritic unit was also identified.

A follow up drilling campaign to infill to a 15 by 20 metre drill spacing and test for NS oriented quartz veining/mineralisation was commenced in May 2018. The drilling of 38 holes was completed for a total of 2,509 metres (refer to ASX announcement titled “Strong Exploration Results Confirm Potential at Spearpoint and Larken Prospects” dated 12 July 2018). The drilling confirmed several high grade shoots related to the coarse mafic unit and the NS quartz veining. The geological and block models have been created and initial Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources completed.

Larken Infill Drilling

The Larken prospect has previously been reported as an Inferred Resource. Larken is located about 2 kilometres to the SE of the Karouni Mill. At Larken, the Shear and shear related Quartz veining is outcropping at the surface which enabled an infill trenching program to be completed in March 2018 with good gold intercepts (refer June 2018 Quarterly Report).

The successful surface sampling program at Larken was followed by an infill drilling program on a nominal 15 by 20 metre drill spacing. The drilling was planned for 42 RC holes, from which 22 holes for a total of 1,221 metres were completed this financial year. The program was completed in July 2018.

Drilling has confirmed the high grade character of the Larken prospect. The mineralisation is related to the contact of sheared basalt and a Fe-rich mafic unit. Results for the program was reported in the ASX announcement titled “Full Results from Current Exploration Program at Larken Prospect” dated 11 September 2018.