Silver City Minerals has identified more than 40km of potential gold-bearing structures during geophysical work at its soon to be acquired Austin gold project in WA.

The project, in which Silver City (ASX:SCI) recently struck a binding agreement to acquire an 80% stake, is directly adjacent to Musgrave Minerals’ Cue gold project – home of the high-grade Break of Day deposit and the Starlight discovery.

Work carried out by Musgrave (ASX:MGV) on its project indicates that northwest-trending cross structures are the key geological parameter of gold deposits in the region. Some of these structures that host Musgrave’s Big Sky discovery which lies close to the tenement boundary, are thought to extend into the Silver City ground.

That work checks with recent analysis carried out by SCI, which demonstrated that high-grade gold, including rock chips which returned up to 1050 grams per tonne gold, are also controlled by similar northwest trending gold-bearing quartz veins at Austin.

Now, a significant breakthrough in the interpretation of reprocessed airborne magnetic imagery has identified multiple, extensive northwest-trending cross structures spanning more than 40km at Austin – a feature which Silver City believes highlights the potential massive scale of the project.

Four highly prospective structural corridors were interpreted from the review, with the details as follows:

  • The Black Gold Fault complex – a total of 12km strike of multiple northwest-trending structures directly associated in part with high-grade intersections of 6m at 15.6g/t gold at the Brunswick Hill prospect and 2m at 20.1g/t at the Brians prospect.
  • The Mt Sandy Fault complex – a total of 15km strike of multiple northwest-trending structures directly associated in part with high-grade gold recently sampled by Silver City that returned up to 10.2g/t gold.
  • The Teds Fault complex – a total of 7.5km strike of northwest-trending structures that are in part directly associated with high-grade gold recently bulk sampled by Silver City that returned up to 57.1g/t gold.
  • The Shadow Fault complex – A total of 10km strike of northwest-trending structures that SCI believes may be related to the southeast extension of the high-grade discoveries made by Musgrave Minerals, including the nearby Big Sky discovery.

Combined, the corridors comprise a total of 13 significant faults with a total strike length of more than 40km which have essentially been unexplored using modern techniques, including drilling.

Reprocessed airborne magnetic image (RTPLAP) showing the most prominent interpreted northwest trending structures (black dashes), BGFC: Black Gold Fault complex, MSFC: Mount Sandy Fault complex, TFC: Teds Fault complex and SFC: Shadow Fault complex, primary mineral occurrences and deposits in the district and license outlines. Resource estimates by Musgrave Minerals are total combined Indicated and Inferred JORC 2012 estimates. Pic: Supplied

Extensive soil sampling programs are now underway to cover both the Shadow and Teds Fault complexes to assist with additional drill target identification.

Next steps for Austin

In addition to that soil sampling, work programs are currently underway at Austin to assist with drill targeting work. These include:

  • Regolith mapping using high resolution satellite Sentinel imagery to incorporate into the reprocessing, relevelling and interpretation of the historic soil geochemistry data from the 15km trend between the Lady Zena and Mt Brunswick prospects to identify subtle gold-in-soil anomalies.
  • The digitisation of all historic drill data into a comprehensive database.

Other work programs planned for the coming months include a gradient array IP survey to cover the area from Mt Brunswick to Brians; the completion of a targeting matrix across the project to rank each of the targets; and a preliminary maiden drill program at the Brunswick Hill and Brians prospects where highly mineralised gold intersections have never been found at depth.

Silver City also plans to complete strategic diamond drill holes to accurately define the orientation of gold-bearing veins and sulphide alteration.

A transformational acquisition

Silver City struck the deal to acquire 80% of Austin in April, adding a substantial project of great promise to its books.

The project had been held privately by a number of companies for more than 20 years, and will be held under a joint venture between SCI and the vendor, privately-owned Gardner Tenements Pty Ltd.

The latter will be free-carried in the JV to explore and develop the tenements until SCI makes a decision to mine or terminate the agreement.



This article was developed in collaboration with Silver City Minerals, 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.