Australian explorer Kalamazoo Resources (ASX: KZR) has commenced a maiden drilling campaign at the Mallina West (formerly known as Sisters) gold project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The 2,500-metre campaign is targeting the high-priority Wattle Plains and Hockey prospects interpreted from soil geochemistry, geophysics, and ground traverses.
The company will also test a coincident geophysical and soil geochemical trend thought to be associated with a mapped sanukatoid intrusive to the south.
Permitting and cultural heritage surveys are progressing on another three targets.
Mallina West covers 240 square kilometres and is considered prospective for sanukitoid intrusion hosted gold mineralisation as well as additional styles of mineralisation associated with the regional Wohler Shear Zone, which is a prospective splay of the Tabba Tabba, Mallina, Withnell and Berghaus Shear Zone complex.
The Pilbara region has seen a renewed focus on gold exploration following the recent 9 million ounce Hemi gold discovery by De Grey Mining (ASX: DEG) which highlighted the economic potential of gold mineralised sanukitoid intrusions.
Kalamazoo’s project is located directly along strike of De Grey’s deposits, within the same structural corridor as Hemi, 50km to the northeast.
Kalamazoo continues to advance its other Pilbara assets, including the Ashburton (gold) and DOM’s Hill and Marble Bar (lithium) projects.
In its March quarterly, the company reported “outstanding” gold recoveries from initial test work on four metallurgical composites from the large Mt Olympus open pit within Ashburton, located within the prospective Nanjilgardy Fault Zone.
Testing aimed to determine if the Mt Olympus resource would be amenable to the production of a high-grade gold sulphide concentrate using an industry-standard crush-grind-float processing circuit, commonly used on refractory-style gold deposits.
It was also used to confirm results from past exploration completed in 2011 by previous owner Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST).
Initial results indicated that production of a high-grade gold concentrate is likely to represent “the most straightforward, technically least challenging and lowest capital-intensive method of extracting significant value” from Ashburton.
The project has a current mineral resource estimate of 20.8 million tonnes at 2.5 grams per tonne gold for 1.65 million ounces, hosted largely in down-plunge extensions of historical mined open pits.
DOM’s Hill deposits
The DOM’s Hill project area has historically been considered prospective for gold, nickel, cobalt, and base metal deposits.
Past exploration has highlighted the potential for shear hosted lode gold mineralisation with numerous advanced targets identified.
Along with the Marble Bar lithium project, DOM’s Hill forms a key part of Kalamazoo’s joint venture with Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile SA (SQM) — one of the world’s largest producers of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, accounting for approximately 19% of global lithium chemical sales in 2020.
A geochemical sampling program in the December quarter identified 30 highly-prospective areas of interest which could be related to potential lithium-cesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatite mineralisation.
Samples have been submitted to Kalamazoo’s laboratory for verification of these areas via a four-acid multi-element analysis and the company is awaiting results.