Saturn bumps up Apollo Hill resource by 36pc; targets 1m ounces
Special report: Emerging gold company Saturn Metals has put an exclamation mark on its first eight months of listed life by delivering a 36 per cent increase in resources at its flagship Apollo Hill gold project near Leonora in the Western Australian goldfields.
Saturn, which debuted on the ASX in March after completing a well-supported $7 million IPO, announced on Monday an upgraded Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource for Apollo Hill of 20.7 million tonnes grading 1.00 grams of gold per tonne for 685,000 ounces of contained gold.
The new resource estimate also represents a 14% improvement in grade on Apollo Hill’s previous resource, which was 17.2 million tonnes at 0.9 grams of gold per tonne for 505,000 ounces of contained gold.
And for the first time, a portion of the Apollo Hill resource – 3.3 million tonnes at 1.1 grams of gold per tonne for 116,000 ounces – has been declared in the higher confidence “indicated” category.
“This resource upgrade is a significant step for the Company and the Apollo Hill asset only a short while after listing,” Saturn managing director Ian Bamborough said.
“Improvements in grade, ounces, tonnes, quality and JORC category, all with minimal drilling and at a low discovery cost per ounce, bode well for the development of our business.”
Saturn completed some 10,000 metres of infill and extensional drilling at Apollo Hill to achieve the resource upgrade. The company said this equated to a discovery cost of just $9.40 (US$6.77) an ounce, which compared “extremely favourably” to the global gold industry average.
Drilling has already resumed as Saturn eyes further, rapid expansion of the Apollo Hill system, with the company suggesting another resource upgrade may be forthcoming next year.
Some of the best intersections have been returned from the northernmost and southernmost holes drilled at the project, giving Saturn confidence that more ounces can be added relatively quickly.
Ultimately, the company is targeting resource of at least one million ounces, which may provide the critical mass for it to proceed with pre-feasibility and development studies on a mining operation.
While the 6km-long Apollo Hill trend has been the main focus of Saturn’s activities to date, significant exploration upside exists within the company’s broader 1,000km2 tenement package along the Wiluna-Norseman greenstone belt.
Despite being located in the heart of the WA goldfields, Saturn believes its ground is underexplored and still has a lot more secrets to give up.
Listed explorer Peel Mining made the decision to spin out Saturn as a separate vehicle late last year in order to ensure Apollo Hill received more attention.
Within Peel, it ranked down the list of priorities due to the company making several promising discoveries in New South Wales’ Cobar Basin, where it is one of the dominant landholders.
Saturn Metals is a Stockhead advertiser.