Exploration company Meteoric Resources (ASX: MEI) will embark on a stage one drilling program next month at the recently-acquired Palm Springs gold project in Western Australia’s Kimberley to confirm and extend known high-grade gold mineralisation in the region.
The 6,500m reverse circulation and diamond drilling program will utilise two rigs to target shear-hosted mineralisation at the mine, which is associated with a plunging anticline to the south of an abandoned open pit at Butchers Creek, 35km south-east of Halls Creek.
The Palm Springs project – which includes the Butchers Creek pit – produced 73,063 ounces of gold until it was suspended in 1997 due to low gold prices.
Butchers Creek accounted for 52,000oz grading 2.1 grams per tonne gold.
Mineralisation in the area is believed to be confined to a “tight, slightly-overturned anticlinal fold hinge within a volcanic trachyte unit” and strongly associated with pyritic zones around late-stage quartz veins.
Mining at Butchers Creek was completed to the first stage of a two‐stage pit design and significant volumes of high‐grade gold are believed to exist at the pit floor, providing ready access to high‐grade ore.
Meteoric said limited drilling along strike south of the open pit has previously intercepted 73m at 2.26g/t gold from 169m, and 36m at 2.5g/t gold from 168m and remains untested to date.
Historic holes in unmined zones immediately below the open pit have also intercepted 17m at 9.31g/t, 17m at 4.2g/t and 10m at 17.65g/t gold.
Meteoric managing director Dr Andrew Tunks said the unmined ore at Butchers Creek will be a priority target for the company’s drilling program.
Meteoric submitted a program of works to the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety to commence on completion of the project’s acquisition.
“Extensions to the known high‐grade gold mineralisation occur immediately below the abandoned open pit and also to the south,” Dr Tunks said.
“In particular, the area to the south of the pit remains relatively untested, with only a few historical drill holes sitting outside the pit,” he added.
Understanding structural controls on gold mineralisation will be key to unlocking the true potential of the Palm Springs project.
“We have constructed a model for gold mineralisation in the southern end of the deposit and we really like what we are seeing,” Dr Tunks said.
“The data paints a very clear picture, with high‐grade gold mineralisation sitting in the existing pit floor and the southern extension of the orebody is virtually untested.”
Palm Springs history
Palm Springs is an advanced exploration play with past production, strong drill intercepts and historic resources.
Meteoric’s $750,000 acquisition of the project in June included 20km of prospective strike covering more than 125sq km with more than 60 known gold occurrences outside Butchers Creek.
Mining at Butchers Creek ceased amid historically low gold prices in the late 1990s and there has been little to no modern exploration since that time.