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Riverina gold corridor stretches wider for Ora Banda

Updated: Apr 23

Ora Banda Mining is using some targeted drilling to beef up its numbers at two of the company’s projects. Credit: File.

Ora Banda Mining has unveiled a swag of new drilling results, including an 8.1m hit at 13.4 grams per tonne gold from 515m, expanding its Riverina project beyond its current resource boundaries to the south and at depth.

The company says other headline results from its latest work include 3.7m going 7.4g/t gold from 155m, 7m grading 3.5g/t from 100m and 2m running 10.6g/t gold from 29m. It also went below the British Lion deposit at its Riverina project in an effort to extend the mineralisation to the south and landed 4m at 9.8g/t gold from 465m and 0.6m going 39.8g/t from 437m.

Management argues that the drilling carried out so far has confirmed that its high-grade strike at the project extends for more than 1.5km with a depth of more than 500m and is open in all directions. Notably, it believes the new southern extension of 700m greatly expands its exploration window and supports an extra decline corridor with the potential to increase production.

The exciting part is the drilling is not only improving the size of the system, but also demonstrating that good widths and high grades go well beyond our current resource with intercepts of 4 metres at 9.8 grams per tonne to the south, and 6 metres at 17.1 grams per tonne at depth. We still consider this very early days in exploring Riverina, and these impressive results support our expectation that Riverina could be a very big system with the potential to support both mine life extension and production growth as we continue to explore. Ora Banda Mining managing director Luke Creagh

Management says separate exploration at its Siberia project is targeting below the current pit floors of the Missouri and Sand King open-pit mines.

The Siberia project is about 37km south of its Davyhurst processing plant and includes the company’s Missouri and Sand King open-pit operations, which are both being mined in this financial year. Both orebodies are open at depth and the current program is aiming to test the pair’s down-dip continuity.

The miner has kicked off an eight-hole exploration program at Missouri and is following up on a previously-uncovered 2m going 7g/t gold which was discovered about 200m below the planned final pit floor. The program will test mineralisation in about 750m of strike at a depth of 250m below the open pit.

Results from the first hole contain 2m going 4.4g/t from 327m and management believes the result is consistent with the current open-pit mining that is averaging more than 1750 ounces per vertical metre.

Exploration at Sand King will also target high-grade extensions at depth and will follow up on previous drilling results of 4m going 17g/t gold from 79m and 6.1m grading 13.1g/t from 81m.

“A key value driver for the business is commencing a second high-grade underground, and our next exploration program is targeting underground potential at our current mining area of Missouri and Sand King,” Mr Creagh said. “The phase 1 program is testing the down dip extension of the Missouri open pit that is averaging up to 2,000 ounces per vertical metre, as well as the continuity of the high-grade lodes of Sand King at depth.”

Ora Banda hailed a strong finish to the financial year after producing a record 16,700 gold ounces at its Missouri open-pit mine in the June quarter – a 49 per cent increase from the previous period. It churned through more than 229,000 tonnes at a grade of 2.3g/t gold from Missouri, with higher volumes based on the back of the operation’s WMC and Monarch lodes being exposed and mined.

The open-pit mine has been a significant improver for the company after it produced 9200 gold ounces in the first quarter of the past financial year to record an impressive increase of 82 per cent a year later. Mined grades at Missouri also increased by 42 per cent during the year, from 1.7g/t gold in the first half, up to 2.4g/t in the second half.

Clearly, Ora Banda is out to build on that momentum to further fuel its “DRIVE to 100” project, which is aimed at a production target of 100,000 gold ounces per annum by 2025. Should the company’s latest drilling continue to unlock more ounces, then its target could suddenly seem well within reach.

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