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Aurumin out to turn new targets into gold deposits

Aurumin are itching to fire up its processing plant from care and maintenance. Credit: File

Aurumin is primed for another stint on the rig at its wholly-owned Sandstone gold project, 520km north-east of Perth, in a bid to turn its new targets into sparkling gold deposits.

The 5000m campaign will chase the targets gleaned from geochemical and structural work at the project and is expected to kick off early next month. Management says the 44 holes of exploratory work will cover nine open-pit targets that all sit within a 3km radius of its processing plant.

The explorer says the work on its mining leases and holes will be drilled between 40m and 150m as it aims to sniff out multiple depositional models and styles including intrusive-hosted vein-style, banded iron-hosted and structural shear-style-hosted mineralisation in mafic and ultramafic units.

With drilling permits already sitting in its back pocket, site preparation has begun for the upcoming geological inquisition.

The previously completed auger program successfully demonstrated the prospectivity of the tenement package that we have at Sandstone, by identifying multiple new targets, while exploring just a couple of kilometres from existing infrastructure. This drilling programme announced today is a direct follow on from that work, as we now seek to turn those targets into new deposits. We continue with a clear focus on generating the critical mass for future production and on the mining leases is a great place to add ounces. Aurumin managing director Brad Valiukas

The company’s 44 holes will be divided across the nine targets, with each likely to include between three and eight holes depending on the data from previous geochemistry programs. While the start date for the campaign has been locked in, management is still evaluating further holes for potential drilling.

The gold explorer is tantalisingly close to joining the magic “million-ounce club” after revealing a gold inventory of 946,000 ounces in WA’s Mid West region last year. The figure comes after resource updates for the company’s Central Sandstone deposits and incorporating its nearby Johnson Range project into one operation.

Aurumin officially acquired the 784,000-ounce Central Sandstone project in March last year after striking a $12 million cash and scrip deal with Middle Island Resources in 2021. Following a successful reverse-circulation (RC) campaign, it was able to include an additional 97,000 ounces at the site. The company also boosted the gold grade of the operation’s Two Mile Hill underground deposit from 1.1 grams per tonne to 1.6g/t.

Johnson Range hosts a mineral resource of 64,700 ounces at a grade of 2.51g/t gold and sits between Sandstone and Southern Cross – historic Western Australian towns built on the thirst for finding the precious yellow metal. Aurumin wants to bring its processing plant out of care and maintenance and make the leap into the producer category to add to the area’s rich history.

The company’s plant was constructed in 1994 with a capacity of 250,000 tonnes per annum before being upgraded to a 500,000 tonnes per annum facility by Troy in 1999. Troy operated the plant from 1999 to 2010, processing a total of 4.4 million tonnes of ore to produce about 508,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 3.6 grams per tonne. The plant was mothballed in September 2010 and has not operated since.

With nearly $5 million stuffed in its saddlebags from a recent capital raise, Aurumin is keen to get back on the ground with the drill bit and break through that million-ounce barrier.

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