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Alto Metals breathes new life into Bulls Oak gold mine

Updated: Mar 25

Alto Metals’ open-pit historic Bull Oak mine from a drone. Credit: File

Alto Metals has shone the miner’s torch on more gold in the historic Bull Oak mine after a data review at its Sandstone project in Western Australia turned up a bonanza intersection of 1m at 275 grams per tonne and reports of visible gold.

The company will now whack in 18 reverse-circulation (RC) holes for 2400m into the host granodiorite intrusive and surrounding mafic rocks in a bid to extend the known limits of gold mineralisation.

The data assessment shows the style of gold mineralisation is one of multiple stacked quartz reef lodes within the host granodiorite and the surrounding mafic rocks while remaining completely open both up and down dip, in addition to both along strike and at depth.

The lack of recent exploration, untested mineralisation and the significant gold intercepts noted in historic drilling, testifies to Alto’s contention that much of the precious yellow metal is still to be revealed in the maiden drilling program.

The drilling will comprise four 300m depth holes to delineate the dip extensions of the multiple stacked gold lodes, while the remaining 14 holes will range in depth from 70m to 100m to test strike extensions within and outside the boundaries of the granodiorite.

Mineralisation at Bull Oak is multiple stacked lodes hosted within a granodiorite, similar to that at Lord Nelson and Lord Henry. Most of the historic drilling at Bull Oak has been relatively shallow, however two historic holes drilled to 300m depth intersected multiple lodes and reported numerous instances of visible gold. A follow up deep hole drilled by Alto returned a wide zone 260m @ 0.4g/t gold from 36m, including 14.1 g/t gold and ended in mineralisation. The mineralisation is completely untested up and down dip of these intercepts, as well as at depth, and we are excited to have an RC rig arriving shortly to test these outstanding targets, that have the potential to drive near-term growth. Alto Metals managing director Matthew Bowles

The Bull Oak mine is within the area known as the Hancocks Mining Centre that consists of mostly historical shafts of less than 10m in depth. It covers an area of 3 square kilometres within the company’s 100 per cent-owned Sandstone gold project that sits 5km south-east of its namesake WA town.

Production from 1904 to 1943 amounted to some 40,000 ounces, with an average grade of 38g/t. The Bull Oak mine was originally mined underground for its gold-bearing quartz reefs and yielded 10,617 ounces at a grade of 27g/t, but was worked by open-pit to 60m by Herald Resources in 1997 to offer 9701 ounces at 1.87g/t.

Limited historical drilling in the Hancocks area showed a best intersection of up to 1m at 29g/t.

Currently, the mineral resource for Bull Oak is 65,000 ounces on a 1.9g/t grade, with a cutoff of 0.5g/t within a constrained $2500 pit shell to 160m.

Alto’s total Sandstone gold resources stand at an indicated and inferred open-pit gold resource of 832,000 ounces at 1.5g/t from 17.6 million tonnes, with 90 per cent recoverable within the top 150m. The total unconstrained mineral resource estimate boasts a sizeable 23.5 million tonnes at 1.4g/t for 1.05 million ounces.

But Alto’s latest disclosures beg the question – are we about to see it resurrect the Bull Oak mine with the application of meticulous data assessment and strategically-targeted drilling to ultimately become another gold producer in a renowned tier-one gold province?

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