Central Tanami Project Joint Venture (Tanami Gold 50%)
The Central Tanami Project (“CTP”) is located 650 kilometres northwest of Alice Springs in the Tanami Region of the Northern Territory.
It 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 CTP area is possible on well formed, partly sealed, private mine haulage roads, pastoral station tracks and exploration tracks.
Geology and Mineralisation
The Central Tanami Project Joint Venture (“CTPJV”) tenement holding encompasses a zone of Proterozoic volcanic and sedimentary rocks that display lower greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphism. It overlies an Archean basement and was intruded by granites.
The identified gold deposits within the CTP are predominantly hosted within the Neoproterozoic Mt Charles Formation, an interbedded sequence of fine to coarse grained sedimentary rocks and basalt up to 1.5 km thick. This Formation is interpreted to be the lateral equivalent of the Dead Bullock Formation, which hosts the world class Callie gold deposit to the southeast and the Stubbins Formation that hosts the Bald Hill deposits to the northwest. The Mt Charles Formation however, forms a broad syncline sandwiched between and wrapping around the Coomarie and Frankenia granite intrusions with a dominant moderate to steep west-northwest dip within the CTP area.
The key CTP deposit, the Groundrush Gold Deposit (“Groundrush”) sits in an almost arcuate belt of sediments between two major granitoid intrusions. It represents a reverse fault orogenic system, with mineralisation typically hosted in stacked vein sets with a variety of orientations, as well as sub-vertical quartz-filled shear zones, within a fractionated dolerite sill. Minor mineralisation also extends into the adjacent turbiditic sediments. Along with the various orientations of veining, there also exists a variety of types, which has been identified over a collective strike length of 1,900 metres, with mineralisation predominantly occurring as free gold with variable amounts of 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 Groundrush in 1999, with mining carried out from 2001 to 2005 with ore processed at the Central Tanami Processing Plant. Mineralisation was discovered at the Ripcord Gold Deposit (“Ripcord”) in 2001.
Tanami Gold NL (“Tanami Gold” or the “Company”) acquired the CTP 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 CTP, with options to increase their 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%.
On the 15 September 2021, Tanami Gold completed a transaction with Northern Star to establish a 50/50 joint venture covering the CTP with the transfer of a 10% interest from Tanami Gold to Northern Star. A Joint Venture management company was registered, through which both Tanami Gold and Northern Star jointly fund all future exploration and development activities on the CTP.
Joint Venture Activities
The CTPJV resumed field activities on the CTP in May 2022, during the periods between May and October 2022 (the “2022 Field Season”) and May and October 2023 (the “2023 Field Season”), with the undertaking of both diamond core drilling (“DD”) and reverse circulation drilling (“RC”). Since the resumption of field activities 155 drill holes have been completed for a total of 33,496.8 metres. This drilling has been directed at the Groundrush Gold Deposit (Groundrush”), Ripcord Gold Deposit (“Ripcord”), Western Dolerite Gold Prospect (“Western Dolerite”), Jims Gold Deposit (“Jims”), Beaver Gold Deposit (“Beaver”), Tandem Prospect (“Tandem”) and the Groundrush-Ripcord Link (“Groundrush-Ripcord Link”) and the Groundrush North (“Groundrush North”) targets. .
A campaign of drilling commenced at Groundrush during the 2022 Field Season on a program designed to further assess the down dip and down plunge extensions of known mineralised structures down to a vertical depth of approximately 600 metres with a view to expanding the projects mineral resources. It was completed during the 2023 Field Season.By the cessation of drilling 7 holes had been completed and a further 12 RC pre-collars drilled for a combined total meterage of 6,011.5 metres. Final results remain pending for the 7 completed holes. 12 diamond core tails remain to be drilled.
The RC pre-collar/ DD tail campaign comprised a total of 15 of the original 20 holes planned. Four diamond core tails (GRRCD0001, GRRCD0002, GRRCD0007 and GRRCD0018) were excluded from the program due to excessive movement of RC pre-collars. A fifth hole (GRRCD0020) could not be drilled due to its proximity to the historic Groundrush open pit bund wall. Core logging and sampling proceeded as planned. Results are pending for all holes.
Groundrush drill hole plan
Groundrush is located on Mining Lease ML22934 approximately 45km northeast of the Central Tanami Mill site. Groundrush was subject to mining activities between 2001 and 2005, yielding 611,000 ounces of gold at a reconciled grade of 4.5 g/t gold through open-pit mining.
The Groundrush deposit represents a reverse fault orogenic system. Mineralisation is typically hosted within stacked vein sets of various orientations and sub-vertical quartz-filled shear zones, found within a fractionated dolerite sill. Minor mineralisation extends into turbiditic sediments. Alongside the diverse orientations of veining, various types like shear, extensional and a shear-extension hybrid style of veining exist.
Mineralisation has been delineated over a cumulative strike length of 1900 metres. Individual lodes extend from 50 to 970 metres in length and vertically from 50 to 250 metres. These steeply dipping lodes have a true thickness ranging from 1-2 and up to 35 metres and plunge to the south at around 10° while remaining open.
A 41 hole RC campaign commenced at Ripcord during the 2022 Field Season and was completed during the 2023 Field Season. The campaign was designed to infill historic drilling along the northerly strike extensions of the Ripcord deposit with view to expanding the projects mineral resources.
Results have been received for all holes, yielding a series of significant intercepts based on a 0.5 g/t gold cut-off levelincluding:
- 10.0 metres @ 0.99 g/t gold from 34.0 metres in RCRC0002
- 14.0 metres @ 7.47 g/t gold from 96.0 metres in RCRC0002
- 14.0 metres @ 1.81 g/t gold from 117.0 metres in RCRC0002
- 4.0 metres @ 2.79 g/t gold from 55.0 metres in RCRC0003
- 4.0 metres @ 3.79 g/t gold from 120.0 metres in RCRC0006
- 5.0 metres @ 3.50 g/t gold from 110.0 metres in RCRC0016
- 4.0 metres @ 3.27 g/t gold from 97.0 metres in RCRC0021
- 9.0 metres @ 1.65 g/t gold from 70.0 metres in RCRC0022
- 10.0 metres @ 1.61 g/t gold from 56.0 metres in RCRC0030
- 17.0 metres @ 1.50 g/t gold from 38.0 metres in RCRC0035
The intercepts primarily occur within quartz-sulphide (pyrite) bearing veinlets in dolerite and have confirmed the presence of mineralisation over 450 metres along strike of the northerly extension of the Ripcord deposit.