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Auric Mining eyes second Goldfields mine after high-grade gold hits

Updated: 4 days ago

Auric Mining has returned high-grade results from grade control drilling at its Munda gold project. Credit: File

Auric Mining has recorded multiple high-grade intercepts from grade control drilling at its Munda gold project near Widgiemooltha in Western Australia’s Goldfields region, including a 1m hit at a stunning 184.6 grams per tonne gold.

The company has drilled 351 holes to complete the campaign at the operation, with assays already received from 244 holes sunk representing about 70 per cent of the program back from the laboratory.

Highlights include a 9m section grading 21.37g/t gold from 18m including the impressive 1m at 184.6g/t from 24m. Additional high-grade results show a 4m section going 20.13g/t gold from 28m including 1m reading 77.18g/t from 29m and 4m at 18.84g/t from just 11m including 1m at 68.94g/t from 13m.

Wider assays include a 16m hit grading a solid 12.54g/t gold from just 8m, in addition to 11m going 4.51g/t from 40m including 2m reading 18.11g/t from 42m.

Management says a resource model will be developed for the volume defined by the grade control drilling once all results are received, which will then lead to a refined model for the deposit and further assessment of development options.

A recently-released scoping study on Munda outlined a cashflow surplus of $76.9 million under a base-case scenario, using an assumed gold price of $2600 per ounce. Today’s gold price in Australia is still hovering up near $3070 an ounce.

The drill pattern of the company’s latest campaign covered the starter pit outlined in the recent scoping study within a larger area of near surface mineralisation and was completed by Kalgoorlie-based Total Drilling Services.

Auric has plans to have a starter pit at Munda producing gold as early as this year, before expanding the mine in 2025 and beyond.

A seven-hole reverse-circulation (RC) drilling campaign has kicked off to test several targets about 1km to the east of the Munda gold deposit and within the mining lease. The rig, operated by Kalgoorlie-based Kennedy Drilling, will then drill 10 grade control holes at Munda to add further detail to two areas of mineralisation defined by the previous program.

Management says metallurgical sampling is ongoing with several ore types well represented in the grade control drilling.

Only 70% of the assay results have been received, so we don’t have a complete understanding, but we are excited with the gold results so far. It will take more time to fully analyse the data from the 10,985 samples collected and then to define the way forward. We believe that Munda will become a sizeable cash producer for Auric. Last year’s Scoping Study showed of the order of 112,000 to 129,100 ounces of gold can be mined from Munda. Auric Mining managing director Mark English

The company was established in 2020 to explore for gold and other deposits in WA’s Widgiemooltha and Norseman areas. It has 640 square kilometres of tenements in four project areas. The Munda project sits just 3km south-west of Mincor Resources’ Widgiemooltha gold project, which has a mineral resource of 4.3 million tonnes at 2g/t gold for 273,600 ounces.

Auric recently confirmed it was set to again start mining at its Jeffreys Find gold mine near the Munda deposit as soon as March following a successful finish to last year. The company produced more than 9740 ounces during two mining campaigns with joint venture (JV) partner BML Ventures in 2023, returning a total gold revenue of $29.28 million for the first stage of the two-year project.

Management says its total cash surplus for the company during the two stage-one mining operations came to more than $4.7 million after GST and splitting the proceeds with BML.

With impressive results from its grade control program at Munda and with cash to splash from its successful mining campaign at Jeffreys Find – plus more to come – Auric looks primed to kick off 2024 with the same success as it finished 2023.

John “Hannibal” Smith, the team leader in the hit 1980s action-adventure series The A Team, became famous for the saying, “I love it when a plan comes together”. And that appears exactly what is happening for Auric.

Despite raking in those millions from the short-term Jeffreys Find operation, the company has always said Munda would be its big play. And with the early numbers revealed, it is hard to argue that it won’t be.

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