Millennium Minerals (ASX: MOY) has uncovered gold grading up to 62.17 grams per tonne at its Bartons deposit, part of the Nullagine gold project in Western Australia’s east Pilbara.
Exploration at Bartons aims to develop the current open pit into an underground mine, which would make it the Nullagine project’s first underground operation.
The company claims the latest drilling results have revealed “exceptionally high-grades” with multiple intercepts returning over 10 grams per tonne gold.
“The impressive thick, high-grade intercepts bode very well for our mining schedule, which will see open pit ore sourced from this area for the next four months,” Millennium Minerals chief executive officer Peter Cash said.
“At the same time, drilling is continuing to strengthen and cement the long-term future of mining at Bartons, with drilling to upgrade the maiden underground mineral resource continuing to generate impressive results,” Mr Cash added.
An initial underground resource estimate of 475,900 tonnes grading 5.3 grams per tonne gold for 80,400 gold ounces for Bartons was announced in August.
An underground feasibility study is currently underway at Bartons, with results due by the end of the year. Millennium Minerals is targeting underground development in the first three months of 2018.
Once the Bartons underground deposit has been developed, Millennium Minerals anticipates is total annual production across the project will exceed 100,000 gold ounces.
The company is currently producing around 80,000 ounces of gold from open pit operations across the Nullagine project which has a total resource of 1.3 million ounces of contained gold.
Due to its Pilbara location, Millennium Minerals has also begun exploring for conglomerate-gold mineralisation which has been the centre of a gold frenzy in recent months. This mineralisation is different to the company’s currently mined ore which is shear-hosted and structurally controlled.
In recent months, Western Australia’s Pilbara region has been the site of a modern gold rush, with several explorers in the area reporting hundreds of gold nugget discoveries, which are part of the conglomerate-style mineralisation.
The reason behind the attention is the conglomerate gold mineralisation’s likeness to the world’s largest gold deposit in South Africa, which has produced 1.5 billion ounces, with much more to come.
Millennium Minerals’ shares were up more than 6% in early morning trade on news of its latest high-grade discovery.