Britannia Gold NL - Exploration Projects
Britannia Gold NL holds a 100% interest in the Jervois Copper Project in the Northem Territory and majority interests in thirteen separate mineral properties in Westem Australia, which are prospective for gold and base metals.
A number of Joint Ventures are in place including Lynas Gold Nb (at Lionel), Tectonics Resources NL (at Mt Elvire), Desertstone NL and Anaconda Nickel Ltd (at Camperdown) and Tulloch Resources NL (at Kookynie).
A summary of exploration activities over the past twelve months and current status of the Company's prospects is provided below.
Jervois Project - Britannia Gold NL 100%
The Company acquired the Jervois Range base metals project on 6 January 1997. Previous owners of the Project had reported significant copper mineralisation over 1,000 metres of strike at the Marshall-Reward Prospect and over 300 metres strike at the Bellbird section of the Project area some eight kilometres to the south west.
Based on original data fiom earlier workers and Britannia drilling to check width and grades, the indicated copper resource at Marshall-Reward is cuffently 1.5 million tonnes at 2.7% copper to 200 metres below surface with silver, lead and gold accompanying the copper in significant but variable amounts.
At the Green Parrot Prospect, Anc and lead are prominent with generally lower copper grades. An indicated resource figure for Green Parrot to 200 metres below surface is 50Q000 tonnes at 3% Zinc, 8% lead, 1.5% copper and 150 grams per tonne of silver. Additional copper resources occur at Belibird and lead-zinc at Killeen. The Beilbird Prospect contains an inferred resource of approximately 300,000 tonnes at 2% copper to a depth of 200 metres.
The multi metal mineralisation at Jervois occurs in a series of overlapping, discontinuous lenses of garnet magnetite quartzite and calc-silicate skarn rocks within a thick sequence of sericite quartz schists belonging to the Proterozoic Arunta Complex. Varying grades of copper, lead, zinc, silver and gold have been intersected over a strike length of approximately 10 kilometres around a J-shaped truncated Synform. The rocks are unconformably overlain by flat lying quartzites and shales of Adelaidian age in the west. Drilling by previous workers and by Britannia in the mine vicinity indicate a vertical to steep west dipping mineralised horizon on the east limb of the synform.
Following the acquisition of the Jervois tenements in January 1997, the Company immediately conducted a survey of the mine site area and pickup of all visible drill hole collars. This enabled previous and current data to be plotted on AMG co-ordinates and corrected several anomalies in the available database. A reverse circulation (RC) drilling program of 24 holes for 1,618 metres was undertaken in February 1997 to test several gaps in mineralisation previously reported for the Marshall-Reward Lode and a new target at the Green Parrot Mine. A number of excellent base metal intersections obtained are shown in the accompanying table and sections.
Towards the end of the period a flirther 8,000 metres of RAB drilling were completed over previously untested soil anomalies and possible mineralised zones under cover.
Initial results of the RAB program confirm the very widespread nature of copper mineralisation over approximately 10 kilometres of strike within the Jervois structure. Of particular interest were intersections of 4 metres at 1.7% copper and 4 metres at 1.13% copper at the Bellbird Prospect indicating an extension of the previously reported zone of mineralisation in this area to approximately 400 metres strike length. The zone remains open ended. Intersections of four metres at 1.16% and 4 metres at 1.84% copper approximately 500 metres north east of the Reward zone are also of interest indicating potential for a new zone of mineralisation at this location. Reverse circulation drilling will continue at the Jervois Project to improve the definition of the mineralisation present. This will include establishment of oxide copper resources with a view to heap leach SXEW recovery of copper metal. A limited number of gold assays undertaken following the February RC drilling campaign suggest that gold credits may be significant in some areas of the Jervois System. For example hole B97- 15 assayed 1 .8~/o copper and 1.19 grams per tonne gold over the interval 3 to 8 metres while hole B97-29 assayed 0.52% copper and 0.65 grams per tonne of gold over eleven metres from 45 to 56 metres. Routine fire assays for gold will be incorporated in all fliture programs.
Blue Bar - Britannia Gold NL 100%
A Measured Gold Resource of 45,000 tonnes grading 3.42 grams per tonne (Continental Resource Management) has been defined at this prospect to a vertical depth of 30 metres using a lower cut off of 1 gram per tonne gold.
An Exploration Joint Venture with CRA Exploration Ltd (CRAB) covering the Blue Bar tenements lapsed during the year when that Company reviewed its Australian operations. Before terminating the Joint Venture, CRAE completed a single drill hole to 172 metres depth to test below the central pit area. Anomalous gold mineralisation was recorded within the eight metre interval 94-102 metres grading 0.25 grams per tonne gold including 2 metres at 1.09 grams per tonne. Results were insufficiently encouraging for CRAE to continue exploration.
Following the withdrawal by CRAB, Britannia Gold NL reviewed the database and commenced discussions with potential Joint Venture partners for mining of the gold resource remaining at Blue Bar. At time of reporting, viable treatment of the ore is precluded because of the distance to available milling facilities.
Callina Creek (E4511466 and E4511442) - Britannia Gold NL 100%
Compulsory partial surrenders within these blocks during the year have reduced the area to 4 blocks and 6 blocks (1120 and 1680 hectares) respectively covering the main alluvial resource in Callina Creek and Virgin Creek.
During the year a number of bulk samples were taken and tested for gold recoverable by gravity methods. The test work undertaken indicated that the size and grade of the deposits are inadequate for a Company operation and the right to mine alluvials within the tenements has been granted to a local prospector subject to Mines Department requirements and a royalty of 5% of any gold recovered.
Lionel (E4511831) - Lynas Gold Earning 70%
This area of 51 blocks (143 km2) was applied for to cover an area of Afchean ultramafics on the western side of the McPhee dome north of ~ullagine in the East Pilbara Mineral Field. The area includes the old Lionel copper workings and is prospective for copper, nickel, gold and platinoid group elements. Lynas Gold NL retains the right to earn a 70% interest in the tenement by expenditure of $250,000 over a four year period with a minimum commitment of $20,000 by 15 November 1997. In addition, Lynas and Britannia have entered into an Option Agreement with Stockdale Prospecting Ltd whereby Stockdale have six months to assess the diamond potential of the licence area. Should Stockdale elect to continue exploration they retain the right to earn 51% in the diamond potential by expending $250,000 over a three year period.
At the time of reporting, Lynas had carried out literature research and initial field activities but the details of these activities have not yet been reported.
Camperdown (P2413061-62) - Britannia Gold NL 100%
(P2413080-82) - Desertstone Joint Venture
The Camperdown Prospect comprises two prospecting Licences (Prospecting Licences P2413061 -62) of 234 hectares, I 00% owned by the Company and three Prospecting Licences (Prospecting Licences P24/3080-82) of 499 hectares in which the Company is earning an initial interest of 60% from Desertstone NL by exploration expenditure of $240,000 over a three year period.
The Camperdown area is prospective for gold and nickel. Britannia has previously outlined a small gold resource within P2413061 of 49,000 tonnes grading 5.06 grams per tonne to a depth of 70 metres. The area lies immediately to the north of the former Sand King gold mining area previously operated by Western Mining Corporation and now controlled by Gilt Edged Mining NL. Recent drilling by Gilt Edged has added to their resource base which is reported at 3,251,5000 tonnes grading 2.7 grams per tonne within 100 metres of surface.
During the year the Company conducted a program of shallow drilling to establish bedrock geochemistry. The drilling covered the complete tenement area with holes at 50 metre spacing on lines 200 metres apart (380 holes). Elevated nickel values ranging from 800 to 2,400 parts per million were encountered over ultramafics within P2413062 in the eastern sector of the project. Low level but anomalous gold values 2-3 times background were encountered in five separate areas within the tenement area and require follow up.
Kalgoorlie Metals Pty Ltd (KMPL), a subsidiary of Anaconda Nickel Ltd who are farming into P2413062 at
Camperdown have reported that AMG gridding on 200 metres by 100 metre spacing has been completed and that
RAB drilling is scheduled for August 1997.
Britannia retains the right to test all KMPS drill hole samples and will complete gold analysis on these samples when they become available. Further work is also planned to test the gold in soil anomalies outlined by Britannia in the recent work at Camperdown.
Mt Elvire (E291266 and E301148) - Tectonic Resources Joint Venture
The Mt Elvire gold exploration project is located approximately 210 kilometres north of Southern Cross, in the northern part of the Southern Cross Greenstone Belt of Western Australia. The Southern Cross Greenstone Belt is host to many significant gold deposits such as Marvel Loch, Transvaal, Frasers, Yilgarn Star and Copperhead.
The Mt Elvire prospect comprises two Exploration Licences of total area 291 km . The Mt Elvire tenements are
being explored under the terms of a Joint Venture agreement between Britannia Gold and Tectonic Resources NL. Tectonic may earn 51% equity in the Mt Elvire tenements by spending $250,000 on exploration within five years. A flirther 24% may be earned by spending an additional $200,000 within the same five year period. Tectonic may withdraw afier spending a minimum of $50,000. Upon Tectonic earning a 75% interest in the Tenements Britannia is required to contribute its 25% of project expenditure or a dilution clause will apply. If Britannia dilutes to below 10% its equity converts to $1.25 royalty per tonne of ore mined.
The Company's tenements cover a series of banded iron formation units, schist's and amphibolites, intruded by dolerites, serpentines and peridotites which are partly obscured by recent alluvium and lake sediments.
Joint Venture partner Tectonic Resources NL reported the completion of a significant soil sampling program at the Mt Elvire prospect during the year. A total of 1,315 samples were collected covering over seven kilometres of regional strike. The sampling confirmed the presence of at least five significant gold anomalies in the area. Further soil sampling including Mobile Metal Ion analysis is planned to flilly delineate the gold anomalies. RAB/aircore drilling will follow the infill soil sampling.
Lake Barlee (E771637) - Britannia Gold NL 100%
This tenement lies in a similar geological setting to the Mt Elvire tenements and also lies partly beneath lake sediments. However strong geomagnetic features in this highly prospective part of the Southern Cross
Greenstone Belt make it a very attractive target for gold in fractured Greenstone and felsic volcanics. The Company is currently involved in negotiations with a third party interested in a Joint Venture on this property.
Kookynie (M401116 and E40157) - Tulloch Resources NL earning 75%
During the year 50% of the Exploration Licence was surrendered under compulsory partial surrender provisions reducing the area held to 872 hectares. An additional area of 58.2 hectares is held under Mining Lease 40/116.
Following consideration of a number of Joint Venture proposals the Company decided to proceed with a proposal by Tulloch Resources NL whereby.
1. Tulloch pays the Company $40,000 prior to 30 September 1997 (amended from 30 June 1997)
2. Tulloch expends $510,000 over a period of not more than three years to acquire a 51% interest in the tenements and by expending a flirther $240,000 over two more years Tulloch can earn an additional 24% interest.
The agreement is subject in part to a successful capital raising by Tulloch Resources NL.
During the year a new airborne survey was conducted over the tenements in addition to combined Landsat Thematic Mapper and SPOT Panchromatic image interpretation of coincident argillaceous and structural anomalies which have provided several new targets for follow up. Recent studies indicate that the region has geological features and rare earth element geochemistry compatible with VMS deposits found in other areas of the world.
Sylvia (ML45I607 and P4512280), Jo Jo (M45I515) - Britannia Gold NL 100%
During the year a shallow RC drilling program tested the down dip extensions of West dipping auriferous quartz veins in Archean mafic schists on these tenements near Marble Bar. Gold Assays to 4.45 grams per tonne over 4 metres established some down dip continuity but the small size of the tenements preclude deeper drilling of the target zone. Negotiations with adjacent tenement holders are continuing.
Ravensthorpe (E74I1 76)
Early in the year the Company acquired the tenement for the sum of $25,000 plus an issue of 125,000 BNA shares. A royalty of $1 per tonne up to $500,000 was payable on any ore mined. Shortly afier the acquisition the company was approached by Greenstone Resources NL seeking to acquire the tenement to complement their ground holdings in the Ravensthorpe area.
Britannia agreed to sell the licence to Greenstone for the issue of 500,000 flilly paid shares in that company. The shares are subject to a twelve-month escrow period. Greenstone is required to meet the Royalty obligations applicable to the tenement. Documentation has been executed and the shares issued to Britannia Gold NL.