Genesis Minerals (ASX: GMD) has achieved a 55% increase to its contained gold resource at its wholly-owned Ulysses gold project in Western Australia.
In the updated estimate, Ulysses now has a measured, indicated and inferred resource of 3.3 million tonnes grading 3 grams per tonne gold for 321,000 ounces of the precious metal.
According to Genesis, the resource includes three main high-grade ore shoots below the open pits, which have been separately modelled.
The higher-grade shoot mineralisation remains open at depth and has a resource estimate of 1.2mt grading 5.5g/t gold for 215,000oz.
“The significant gold endowment within these plunging high-grade shoots clearly has the potential to form the core of a significant long-term underground mining operation,” Genesis managing director Michael Fowler said.
“Importantly, we now have a clear understanding of the geometry and controls on the mineralisation, which has allowed our exploration team to focus on the next phase of drilling,” he said.
He added the next drilling program would begin later this week.
“All three gold shoots have significant plunge extents, extending some 300m, but which have only been drill to about 200m below surface,” Mr Fowler noted.
“This gives us great confidence in our ability to add significantly to the current resource with ongoing drilling.”
He said the project had similar attributes to other gold systems in the eastern and north-eastern goldfields region, particularly because the gold grade improves and is more prolific at depth.
The upcoming drilling program will involve 4,000m of resource expansion drilling to test the depth of the ore shoots.
A feasibility study into developing the underground mineralisation kicked-off in September last year following a positive scoping study that confirmed the viability of an underground operation.
The study is also evaluating toll processing the ore and is due for completion by the end of March.
Open pit mining was carried out at Ulysses in 2002, and Genesis undertook two phases of open pit mining at the project during 2016 and 2017.
The second mining campaign began in March last year and extracted around 8,000t of ore grading on average 4.9g/t gold from the base of the open pit, generating about A$1.5 million in revenue for Genesis.
Shares in Genesis had slipped more than 6% to A$0.046 by early afternoon trade.