The identification of further resources at Havilah Resources’ Portia Gold Project in South Australia is likely to extend the mine life by another 12 months. The southern extension mineralisation is expected to yield similar returns to the current operations.
Meantime, bedrock assay results for drilling carried out on the open pit floor more than two months ago, shows gold mineralisation extends more than 20 metres into the bedrock below the current open pit floor. The best reportable result so far is 23 metres of 6.8 g/t gold from the pit floor to 24 metres vertically below.
Havilah says as is typical of Portia, this gold mineralisation is patchy with localised high grades, and it is necessary to wash the entire weight of each one metre drill sample in order to obtain a representative gold assay result that can be relied upon. Other nearby holes contain potentially economic gold mineralisation based on conventional gold assays but are considered to be too unreliable to report.
Additional drilling on the pit floor is planned once mining operations have ceased there and it is safe to do so.
A portion of this gold mineralised material has been mined and delivered to the ore stockpile at the processing plant. It is anticipated that the bulk of the remainder of this material, comprising extensively altered and veined soft clayey saprolite (or weathered bedrock), will be mined over coming weeks.
Havilah’s mining partner Consolidated Mining and Civil (CMC) is approaching the final stages of exposing the open pit floor in accordance with the original mine design. Accordingly, within the next month the remainder of the original target in pit resource of 355,000 tonnes of ore material will be delivered to the surface.
This will be largely within the original 18 month time frame estimated by CMC, despite several abnormal rain delays and the geotechnically driven pitwall re-profiling. Processing of the stockpiled ore will continue for several months.
A significant extension to the Portia mineralisation was previously discovered by drilling in the south wall of the open pit. Based on internal non-JORC gold resources estimated for this mineralisation, Havilah and CMC have agreed in principle to proceed with a 120 metre cutback of the south wall. An MoU and formal legal documentation are being prepared.
In the meantime, Havilah has been working closely with the South Australian Department of State Development to secure approvals for this extended operation, which will entail expansion of the overburden waste dump and tailings storage facility. The full 120 metre cutback will potentially extend the mine life by a further 12 months.
Havilah will continue to maintain a drilling program within and adjacent to the current open pit with the aim of expanding the resource. It is also advancing planning to commence a PACE (Program for Accelerated Exploration) regional drilling program in the vicinity of Portia on several promising targets.