Saturn Metals is orbiting a “massive gold system” at Apollo Hill
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Special Report: Saturn Metals (ASX:STN) is a young WA gold explorer with an exciting multi-million-ounce exploration story.
Saturn’s flagship asset is Apollo Hill; a big, thick, easy-to-mine deposit with multi-million-ounce potential surrounded by 1000sqkm of gold-fertile ground.
This underexplored landholding runs along Keith-Kilkenny, a shear zone that feeds a world-class multimillion-ounce gold province in the heart of WA’s Eastern Goldfields.
Saturn managing director Ian Bamborough is an experienced geologist who did a long stint with major gold miner Newmont, both in Australia and overseas.
He said he immediately recognised Apollo Hill as more than just a gold desposit.
“I’ve personally seen some huge gold systems around the world — this is a big one ,” Bamborough told Stockhead.
“And when you’re in a gold system like this, the deposit or deposits just keep getting bigger.”
Saturn listed in March last year, raising $7 million in an oversubscribed IPO, and immediately hit the ground running.
By November it had upgraded the Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource for Apollo Hill to 20.7mt grading 1 gram of gold per tonne for 685,000oz.
This represented a 14 per cent improvement in grade on Apollo Hill’s previous resource, which was 17.2 million tonnes at 0.9 grams of gold per tonne for 505,000oz.
These early improvements in grade, ounces, tonnes, quality and JORC category were all achieved with very minimal drilling and at a low discovery cost per ounce.
At the last Resource, the gold system was 40m-70m wide and more than 1.2km long. But still open in all directions, which meant Saturn had barely scratched the surface.
In May, Saturn made a step-change discovery; a new high-grade hangingwall lode at Apollo Hill, outside the current resource (in pink above).
Bamborough says he saw the big, 1g/t high tonnage Apollo deposit as an alteration ‘halo’ which masked the higher-grade potential around it.
Hits like 4m at 9.8g/t from 74m, inside a larger 13m section grading 5.g/t, could significantly increase the scale and quality of the current mineral resource.
“We are essentially bringing more higher grade material into the resource area, which could have leverage and a positive impact on the overall resource grade,” says Bamborough.
“The beauty is that it’s shallow, it’s much higher grade, it’s underexplored – so we’ve immediately gone in with an aggressive 10,000m of planned drilling,” he says.
Saturn will be releasing results from this major drill program all the way up to August, ahead of another major resource upgrade in the last quarter of the year.
Bamborough says eventually Apollo Hill has potential to be a major, low strip open pit operation defined by simple metallurgy – which means lower processing costs.
“It’s free milling, very accessible gold in quartz veins,” says Bamborough.
“It just doesn’t get any simpler.
“I’d love a nice big mill there chomping through our baseload ore, and any new discoveries we made in the region, especially the higher-grade feed, would be cream on top.”
Last year, Saturn flew a 750sqkm of hi-res geophysics over the wider Apollo Hill land package, which highlighted some anomalous trends at Bobs Bore, Bull Terrier Area, Hermes, and Atlanta.
Incredibly, this had never been done before.
“When I first arrived in Australia everyone was flying geophysics and putting the geology of the belts together,” says Bamborough.
“This just hasn’t been done at Apollo Hill on a regional scale, which already tells you that this particular neck of the woods is underdone.”
Saturn is sitting on 30km of completely untested Kilkenny shear — which is arguably responsible for a number of major multimillion-ounce discoveries in the region.
“Earlier this year, some first pass drilling told us that there is plenty of mineralisation out there,” says Bamborough.
“So come September, we are planning to go in again with a very broad aircore program to look for major new gold systems.”