A review of the Quinn’s mining lease which hosts several historical mines has proved a boon for Alt Resources (ASX: ARS) at its Mt Ida gold project in Western Australia.
As part of Alt’s strategy to advance Mt Ida into production within two years, the company undertook a comprehensive review of Boudie Rat, Forrest Bell and Quinn’s Hill deposits, which are about 17km from the project’s primary target Bottle Creek.
Alt spent several months validating and reviewing historical drill hole data at the deposits which are located on the Quinn’s mining leases.
According to Alt, the mining lease has numerous historic gold workings scattered throughout, but the main mining focus was Boudie Rat and Forrest Bell open pits.
Underground mining was carried out at intermittently between 1899 and 1942 at Forrest Belle, Boudie Rat and Quinn’s Hill.
Historic records reveal about 4,000t of ore was mined from Forrest Belle grading 27.3 grams per tonne gold for 3,454 ounces of gold. At Boudie Rat, 3,450t was extracted at 6.5g/t gold to produce 721oz gold.
Over at Quinn’s Hill, underground operations generated 481oz gold grading 6.8g/t.
Open pit mining was then carried out at Forrest Belle and Boudie Rat in the late 1990s, with 28,234t of ore mined at Forrest Belle grading 3.4g/t for 3,086oz. At Boudie Rat, 42,681t of ore was extracted to produce 5,709oz at an average grade of 4.16g/t gold.
From its historic data review, Alt has noted that remnant resources remain beneath both pits.
The company anticipates there may be a number of unmined higher-grade ore shoots that extend below the pit floors, with previous drilling intersecting up to 159g/t gold at both pits along with other “significant gold values”.
Commenting on the Mt Ida potential, Alt chief executive officer James Anderson said “We see the Quinn’s project area as having potential to develop not only to improve the existing resource but for new discovery, the magnetics and the recent structural interpretations indicate there are other areas contained in the mining leases that look very interesting. No work has been done on these areas by previous explorers. Finding new deposits and improving the current resource will boost the Mt Ida projects viability”
Potential for near-term gold production
The previous owners Sipa Resources and Wild Acre undertook resource modelling of Forrest Belle and Boudie Rat, and based on these models, Alt believes there is an opportunity to develop a short-term open pit toll treatment operation on the Quinn’s mining lease.
As a result, Alt is in discussions with mine contractors to evaluate the economics of establishing small scale mining operations.
To confirm the potential for this style of operation, Alt has planned a drilling program to improve the existing resource and further test the high-grade ore shoots.
Current JORC resources
Current JORC resources for Forrest Belle total 160,000t at 2.7g/t gold for 13,600oz, while Boudie Rat hosts 130,000t at 3g/t gold for 12,200oz and Quinn’s Hill has 20,000t at 5.7g/t gold for 3,900oz.
Additionally, because previous drilling focused on historic mining areas, Alt is optimistic there is opportunity to discover new mineralised zones within the Quinn’s mining leases.
As well as Boudie Rat, Quinn’s Hill, and Forrest Belle, the Quinn’s project comprises the Boudie West, Boudie Beach and Belvidere targets.
The Quinn’s mining leases form part of the Mt Ida project, which has a global resource of 6.8Mt at 1.85g/t gold for 406,000oz gold and 3.8Moz silver.