Central Tanami Project Joint Venture
The Central Tanami Project Joint Venture (”CTPJV”) is located 650 kilometres northwest of Alice Springs in the Tanami Region of the Northern Territory. The CTPJV comprises a series of near contiguous Mineral Leases, Mining Leases Southern, Exploration Licences and Exploration Licence applications that collectively encompass an area of approximately 2,211 km².
The CTPJV area is accessible via the public Tanami Road that runs between the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory and the great Northern Highway in Western Australia. Accessibility within the CTPJV area is possible on well formed, partly sealed, private mine haulage roads, pastoral station tracks and exploration tracks.
Geology and Mineralisation
The CTPJV tenement holding encompasses a zone of Palaeoproterozoic volcanic and sedimentary rocks that display lower greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphism. It overlies an Archean basement and was intruded by granites.
Gold mineralisation to date has been identified at a number of locations on the CTPJV area and includes the key Groundrush, Ripcord and Jims deposits.
The Groundrush deposit sits in an almost arcuate belt of sediments between two major granitoid intrusions. The sediments dip steeply to the southwest and host three major dolerite intrusions of which the Groundrush Dolerite, a 200 metre thick sill that contains the majority of gold mineralisation identified to date. The deposit is interpreted as a reverse fault orogenic system with mineralisation hosted within stacked vein sets with a variety of orientations, sub-vertical quartz-filled shear zones and in the surrounding sediments. Mineralisation occurs predominantly as free gold with variable amounts of pyrite and arsenopyrite.
Trending parallel to the Groundrush Dolerite is the Western Dolerite, which is similar in size and fractionation characteristics. It also hosts gold mineralisation, in the southern part of the Groundrush area.
The Ripcord deposit is located 3 kilometres south of the Groundrush deposit and occurs within a 130 to 160 metre thick, weakly to moderately fractionated dolerite, which is bound by turbiditic metasediments. The dolerite sill is interpreted to be sub-parallel to stratigraphy, strikes north-northeast and dips steeply to the west. The Ripcord Dolerite is the primary host to gold mineralisation. Sulphides associated with mineralisation include pyrite, arsenopyrite and accessory pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite and sphalerite.
The main deposit at Jims is situated 65 kilometres southwest of the Groundrush deposit. Mineralisation is found in strongly silicified hydraulic breccias that are hosted by basalts and sediments. Units strike northwest and dip shallowly to the northeast. Mineralisation is found as free gold associated with quartz veining and related silica flooding with alteration. Sulphides associated with mineralisation include pyrite and arsenopyrite.
Gold was first discovered in the Tanami Desert in 1898 and small-scale mining dates back to the early 1900’s. Operations in the region were sporadic until the 1980’s when the underground Tanami Gold Mine was developed by Normandy Mining (now Newmont), with first gold production in 1983.
Various companies and joint ventures have explored and operated in the region subsequent to this time. In 1987 the Tanami JV operations operated by Zapopan NL commenced but were discontinued in 1994. Otter Resources and Shell Australia then acquired the Tanami Plant and established a multi-pit operation in 1995 that ceased production in 2001.
Normandy Mining seeking additional ore to sustain its Tanami Operation discovered the Groundrush deposit in 1999, with mining carried out from 2001 to 2005 with ore processed at the Central Tanami Processing Plant. Mineralisation was discovered at Ripcord in 2001.
Tanami Gold NL (“Tanami Gold” or the “Company”) acquired the Central Tanami Project in 2010 conducting resource drilling over the subsequent years to support studies into the potential recommissioning of mining operations.
In 2015, Tanami Gold entered a Joint Venture agreement with Northern Star Resources Limited (“Northern Star”), with Northern Star acquiring an initial 25% interest in the Central Tanami Project, with options to increase a further 35% interest up to 60%. In September 2018, Northern Star had settled the first option resulting in it acquiring an additional 15% increasing Northern Star’s equity to 40%.
Joint Venture Activities
On the 15 September 2021, Tanami Gold completed the transaction to establish a 50/50 joint venture covering the Central Tanami Project, following the transfer of a 10% joint venture interest by the Company to Northern Star, for a A$15 million cash payment to Tanami Gold.
A joint venture management company has been registered, through which both Tanami Gold and Northern Star will now jointly fund all future exploration and development activities on the CTPJV. Mr. Joe McDiarmid has been appointed to the position of General Manager of the CTPJV by the CTPJV Management Committee.
Following the distribution of a scope of work and drill tender to drilling contractors, a drilling contractor has been secured to complete a diamond core drill program at the Jims Gold Deposit. This initial program is designed to target the down-plunge extension of known mineralisation at Jims, with view to providing pertinent information that will establish a platform from which future resource definition drilling campaigns in this area can rapidly advance. The drill rig is expected onsite during the coming month with the program scheduled to be completed before the end of 2021.