Exploration success backs Greenstone’s new strategy to transform Burbanks into a mean green gold machine
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Greenstone Resources has taken back full control of the Burbanks gold operations near Coolgardie in WA’s Goldfields and increased their global mineral resource for the Coolgardie Mining Centre by 128% to 332,114oz in a major development for the historic gold mines.
The Burbanks mine alone is now the 11th largest pre-development resource at 2.5g/t or above on the ASX, boasting 3.44Mt at 2.5g/t for 277,547oz of gold, while Phillips Find now boasts 732,960t at 2.3g/t for 54,567oz.
And in a shift in strategy Greenstone (ASX:GSR) has ended a JV trial mining operation with Peter Bartlett’s FMR Investments, setting GSR up to return to drilling in a bid to turn Burbanks again into a major, long life gold mining operation.
An “aggressive extensional and infill drilling campaign” is now underway to target immediate additions to the resource outside its known boundaries, which remains open in every single direction.
The Burbanks resource has largely only been defined to around 200m, with high grade hits to more than 350m below surface pointing to the potential to substantially grow the orebody, including 4.7m at 462.1g/t from 244m, 7.55m at 13.73g/t from 399.8m and 6.6m at 9.85gt from 395.9m.
Greenstone managing director and CEO Chris Hansen said the company has sought to unlock the ‘latent value’ in its portfolio ‘through a fundamental shift in strategy’.
“This vision for sustainable production has been underpinned by an aggressive exploration campaign, which has not only served to double the Company’s Resource base, but also grow the mineralised strike horizon from 1.5km to over 3.5km,” he said.
“With the resource depth largely limited to the upper 200m, and mineralisation remaining open in all directions, we have the conviction to rapidly scale up exploration at Burbanks over the coming months, ahead of future resource and development updates.
“Our team is currently defining a dual-tracked exploration strategy, firstly targeting immediate resource additions through infill and extensional drilling in the upper 500m of the known 3.5km mineralised strike extent, building on the existing high-grade core of 476,610t @ 5.1g/t for 77,786 ounces.”
Hansen says another 2km of strike outside of this area remains unexplored and untested at depth.
Coolgardie was the beachhead for Australia’s biggest gold rush. Known as the Mother of the Goldfields, the town was founded in 1892 when the first gold nuggets were unearthed in its surrounds.
A year later Paddy Hannan, Dan Shea and Tom Flanagan found Kalgoorlie, where the Golden Mile and modern day Super Pit would come to dwarf all around it.
But 40km back along the highway, Coolgardie remains a great postcode, enjoying all of the benefits of Western Australia’s mining knowhow and infrastructure.
“Importantly, Burbanks is located in the epicentre of the Australian gold industry, surrounded by a network of existing infrastructure, including processing plants, grid power and sealed roads, serving to expedite our path to sustainable commercial production,” Hansen said.
“Outside of Burbanks, the team is growing increasingly excited about the exploration potential at Phillips Find, not only for future high-grade resource additions beneath the existing open pits, but also the wider potential for new greenfields discoveries.
“With this interim resource update, the foundations have now been set for Greenstone to join an exclusive list of successful explorers targeting historic high-grade mining centres, including Bellevue Gold (ASX:BGL), Auteco Minerals (ASX:AUT) and Spectrum Gold (~$200m takeover by Ramelius Resources).“
It is not the only place that rethink has paid off for Greenstone. The explorer is also excitedly drilling at its Mt Thirsty nickel and cobalt project, where it is thought a new palladium discovery by neighbour Galileo Mining (ASX:GAL) could continue across the tenement boundary to GSR’s 50-50 JV ground with Conico (ASX:CNJ).
As one JV picks up steam another ends, with Greenstone terminating its trial mining deal with FMR after its impressive exploration successes.
While GSR is looking at a far larger picture now, the past 18 months of its partnership have delivered some good insights, materially derisking future operations.
Over the past 12 months the JV processed 64,700t of ore, producing 2,671oz, including a July toll milling campaign that produced 2078oz.
The JV will end after the treatment of a final parcel of 25,000t of ore.
“Over the next six months the Company will seek to expand exploration activities at both Burbanks and Phillips Find, firstly targeting immediate resource additions through infill and extensional drilling in the upper 500m of the known3.0km mineralised strike extent at Burbanks,” GSR said.
“Secondly, outside of areas of known mineralisation the Company owns a further 2.0km of the highly prospective Burbanks Shear Zone which remains unexplored and untested at depth.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Greenstone Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.