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Horizon Minerals targets high-grade gold resource growth

Updated: Mar 28

Horizon Minerals drilling in the famed Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia. Credit: File

Horizon Minerals is targeting extensions to its known resource at depth and in a new lode system to the north at its high-grade Penny’s Find gold deposit, 50km north-east of Kalgoorlie.

The company plans to drill 2400m of RC with diamond core tails and aims to increase its existing resource of 270,000 tonnes at 4.99 grams per tonne gold for 43,000 ounces, with 81 per cent in the indicated category. Penny’s Find is now scheduled to follow the company’s Cannon gold mine that is under development, with production set to start in the second half of the year.

Horizon expects results from its Penny’s Find drilling to arrive in the current quarter and an updated mineral resource estimate will follow in the September quarter. It is also scheduled to this year update mine optimisation and design studies before generating ore reserve calculations.

Management is planning an underground mine development with a decline from the existing open pit at Penny’s Find. The deposit sits on granted mining leases and underground work is permitted at the mine.

Horizon has a significant 1100-square-kilometre tenement position centred around Kalgoorlie and a current resource base of 1.24 million ounces of gold at an average grade of 1.7g/t spread over 13 separate deposits. The company sees the 448,000-ounce Boorara gold deposit as the base load, complemented by high-grade open-pit and underground gold mines within a 50km radius.

In the world-renowned WA Goldfields, Horizon also owns the Nimbus silver-zinc deposit that contains 20 million ounces of silver.

The company’s sequential development plan is projected to bring early cash flow, long project life and is expected to reduce external funding requirements by growing organically as production profits flow in.

The late 2021 drilling at Penny’s Find demonstrated the growth potential of the high-grade mineralised system to the north and at depth, according to the company, and those areas are the focus of the current drilling. Results from the 2021 program included 5.0m at 5.27g/t gold from 180.3m, 3.7m going 7.46g/t gold from 215.3m and 1.7m grading 17.91g/t gold from 178.9m.

The drilling also enabled assessment of the most suitable portal location from the base of the open pit at 85m depth, for optimal decline development to access the underground resource while reducing capital cost and time to first ore production.

Two of the deeper northern holes in 2021 returned encouraging gold results that Horizon says give indications that the high-grade Penny’s Find mineralisation may simply be offset to the north of the fault. The current drilling will test that hypothesis.

As we focus on the development of the Cannon mine in 2023, the follow up drilling at Penny’s Find will enable updated resources and reserve studies to be completed so we can have the mine ready to develop in sequence for continuous gold production at a time of record A$ gold prices. Horizon chief executive officer Grant Haywood

Previous open-pit mining at Penny’s Find returned 18,300 ounces of gold at a head grade of 4.47g/t to a depth of 85m. Gold recovery was more than 90 per cent. High-grade gold mineralisation was hosted in quartz veins at the contact between footwall sediments and hanging wall basalt. Veins dip to the north-east and average 1m to 5m in width.

Drilling at Penny’s Find started on May 1 and will continue for the majority of the month.

Six holes will have diamond core tails and four holes will be drilled beneath the pit and planned underground mine to test the down-plunge extent of the high-grade mineralisation. Pending observations during drilling, Horizon says it may drill 500m below surface.

Both Cannon and Penny’s Find will deliver high-grade gold ore to the Greenfields Toll Treatment plant in Coolgardie, where a production agreement for 200,000 tonnes per annum has been made with FMR Investments. Horizon is then likely to start generating the cash it needs to fund its much bigger production and exploration ambitions.

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