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Aurumin chases magic million gold ounces at Sandstone

Updated: May 3

An Aurumin drill rig on-site at Sandstone. Credit: File

Aurumin (ASX: AUN) is looking to join the ranks of Western Australia’s coveted million-ounce gold club after completing its latest reverse-circulation (RC) drill program at its Central Sandstone project, 520km north-east of Perth.

Drilling was completed for 38 holes and tested seven new open-pit targets, as part of the company’s bold push to extend its current 946,000-ounce gold resource.

Management says it drilled 3888m in the latest program at its Central Sandstone deposit that has a current resource of 881,000 gold ounces and forms part of its wider Sandstone operations.

The total existing resource from its three Sandstone projects, including the 64,700-ounce Johnson Range project, is tantalisingly close to the magical one million-ounce mark and the company will be looking for solid results to help it burst through that level with its next resource update.

Aurumin’s drilling followed up on structural and geochemical targets derived from previous exploration programs. It targeted multiple styles and models of mineralisation, including banded iron-hosted and porphyry-intrusive vein-style systems.

The company drilled five holes testing for extensions to two existing open-pit resources and will be hoping to find additional mineralisation to further its resource base. Importantly, all drilled targets sit on highly-prized mining leases, with another positive being that they are all within 3km of processing plant operations.

We are investing into our flagship 946koz Sandstone Gold Operations, and this work aligns directly with our focus on generating the critical mass required for future production, starting with open pits.
Aurumin managing director Brad Valiukas

The Central Sandstone project’s two main deposits are Two Mile Hill and Shillington.

Two Mile Hill has an open-pit resource of 2.116 million tonnes at 1.3 grams per tonne gold for 89,900 ounces. The underground resource is 10.829 million tonnes going 1.6g/t for 573,900 ounces.

Nearby, Shillington’s resource is 1.913 million tonnes at 1.5g/t gold for 90,600 ounces. Management believes there is about 500m of strike of prospective lithology at Shillington that was not adequately tested by previous rotary air-blast (RAB) drilling.

The Two Mile West prospect, about 500m west of the Two Mile deposit, is a 600m-long gold anomaly generated by auger geochemistry sampling in 2022.

The broad gold-in-soil anomaly tracks east–west across the northern slopes of two banded-iron formation (BIF) ridges that are believed to be an exposure of the same lithological units – but offset by structural movement – that host the Shillington deposit and intersect and form part of the Two Mile Hill lode.

Aurumin adds that subject to positive results from the latest program, it plans follow-up drilling as a priority in its push to build on the already impressive tally of gold ounces at Sandstone.

The company’s Johnson Range project has a 64,700-ounce gold resource at a healthy 2.51g/t sitting midway between Sandstone and the regional historical mining town of Southern Cross.

The third project within the Sandstone operations is the Birrigrin play, but it contains no resource as yet. Added to the gold portfolio in 2022, it sits 70km north of the Central Sandstone project and has 39 mapped shafts dating back to the early 1900s.

Aurumin says recorded production resulted in grades up to a stellar 196g/t gold. The company will now be hoping that successful results from its new program can lead to a bigger resource and propel it through the million-ounce mark and beyond.

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