Fresh eyes put Torian on the path to joining WA gold success stories
Special Report:In recent years, successful explorers such as Bellevue Gold (ASX: BGL) and Spectrum Metals (ASX: SPX) have put paid to the notion that the Western Australian goldfields have given up all their best secrets.
Now, Torian Resources (ASX: TNR) is looking to add its name to that group by bringing a fresh perspective to old ground in the region and producing the type of discoveries that deliver big returns for shareholders.
Torian has for several years held a large portfolio of tenements in two of WA’s most prolific goldfields, Kalgoorlie and Leonora.
By the admission of the new management team, the portfolio was probably too large for a company of Torian’s size to effectively manage.
“It is phenomenal ground, but no thought was given to how the company would afford to hold on to it,” executive director Paul Summers told Stockhead, referring to the annual expenditure commitments that must be met to maintain ownership of tenements.
This year, in a bid to reduce those holding fees, Torian has joint ventured two of its projects in the Kalgoorlie region, Zuleika and Credo Well, to Dampier Gold (ASX: DAU) and entered an option to sell its non-core Malcolm tenements in the Leonora region.
It has also adopted a renewed focus on its remaining project in the Leonora region, Mt Stirling/Diorite, following a review conducted by the geological team associated with Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA).
Nova, which is progressing the 2.5Moz Estelle Gold Project in Alaska, emerged as a backer of Torian in March when it extended $413,325 in funding to the company through a convertible note.
The Stirling and Diorite blocks that make up the Mt Stirling project border Red 5’s King of the Hills project to the west, which itself has been given a new lease of life through exploration that has bolstered the combined open pit/underground resource to 3.1 million ounces at 1.5 grams of gold per tonne.
Torian’s Stirling/Diorite project is also proximal to St Barbara’s flagship Gwalia mine and Saracen Mineral Holdings’ Thunderbox operation, giving Torian plenty of confidence that it is in the right neighbourhood to make a multi-million ounce discovery.
The review by the geological team uncovered data from historic drilling from the Stirling block that has helped shape new geological theories that Torian intends to test through an aggressive exploration program.
“There’s a real feeling that the company has a much greater asset on its hands than originally thought,” Summers said.
“During re-examination of the data, we realised there was a number of deeper intersections in the Stirling system that had not been followed up and that are open at depth.
“It has become evident that these intersections contain broad envelopes of halo gold mineralisation associated with higher-grade intersections.”
The best of the historic intercepts was 35m at 2.99 g/t gold from a depth of 106m, which included 2m at 48 g/t from 106m. Another was 39m at 0.71 g/t from 114m including 4m at 2.09 g/t.
Based on the new observations, Torian is planning a round of RC drilling along strike and down plunge to test the mineralisation at depth. Positive results would likely lead to resource drilling.
The company’s theory is the Stirling system may run to depth in a similar manner to the Gwalia mine, which is currently producing from 1600 metres below surface.
The Diorite block to the south of Stirling has been the subject of minimal modern exploration as far as Torian is aware, but hosted high grade gold production at the Diorite King and Diorite Queen mines around the turn of the 20th century.
Torian plans to map out the Diorite King and Diorite Queen mines in detail before conducting additional geophysical and geochemical work to define and prioritise drilling targets.
Depending on the company’s assessment, a drilling campaign would commence shortly thereafter.
At a share price of 1.4c, the company has a market capitalisation of $5.2 million, meaning it is highly leveraged to any exploration success at Mt Stirling or at its 100%-owned project in the Kalgoorlie region, Mt Monger-Wombola.
This is in addition to its 50:50 farm-in JV at Credo, which awaits the results of a recent drilling program, and its 75:25 farm-in interest in the Zuleika project.