Kaiser Reef continues to bullseye the high-grade Queens Lode within the A1 gold mine with diamond drilling returning wide intercepts of mineralisation, including an impressive 19.1 metres at 11.9 grams per tonne gold, which includes 7m at 20.8 g/t gold, from only 48.6m off the access drive. The drive is more than 600m below surface.
The company is also preparing to open up exploration on a second front as it looks to spin up the drill rods at its Maldon project in central Victoria.
The company is kicking goals across its suite of historically significant projects in Victoria, with exploration and development steaming ahead at the A1 mine. Whilst work is underway on the access decline for the new Queens Lode, drilling continues to delineate the rich ore shoot, with additional drill results including 9.6m at 7.4 g/t gold, which includes 3.2m at 12 g/t gold from 113.5m and 5.3m at 4 g/t gold from 50.7m off the access drive.
Kaiser is currently ramping up operations at its A1 mine near Jamieson in Victoria’s high-country, with the development of the Queens Lode signalling a move from high-grade, narrow vein airleg mining into larger scale, mechanical mining designed to increase ore production volume trucked 190km to the company’s wholly-owned Porcupine Flat milling operation near Maldon in central Victoria.
The Porcupine Flat operation has a name-plate capacity of 150,000 tonnes per annum, which is only being partially utilised in milling the A1 ore. As a consequence, Kaiser is now taking a closer look at the Maldon goldfield, immediately adjacent to the milling facility, as a potential source for supplementary feed for its hungry gold plant.
Interestingly, the Maldon goldfield occupies a relatively small footprint, covering only 4km of strike but it has produced more 1.74 million ounces of gold. Historical production across the goldfield dates back to the 19th century and has come from a series of shallow open pit and underground mines, with much of the ore being sourced from less than 200m below surface – relatively shallow in modern terms.
However, the average grade of the Maldon field is what makes it exceptional, with past production weighing in at 28 g/t gold or close to one ounce per tonne of the precious metal.
In recent times, previous developers have established an extensive underground network to access the deeper gold lodes at Maldon, with the Union Hill mine in the field’s centre forming the operational hub. A decline has been established in the base of the Union Hill open pit, accessing the northern extensions of the Union Shoot and then tracking south for over 1,500m and dropping down to more than 400m below surface to access the Alliance shoot in the south of the goldfield.
Despite the capital invested in the Union Hill decline little of the mineralisation adjacent to the underground access has been developed, presenting an enviable opportunity of Kaiser as it looks to ramp up exploration and establish a second feed source for its Porcupine Flat mill.
The company has now appointed an exploration team to oversee Maldon’s development, with a detailed review of the goldfield underway and drilling likely to commence in the weeks ahead.
With Kaiser moving to larger scale mechanical mining at the A1 mine and exploration scheduled to kick off at Maldon in the weeks ahead, the company looks set to reap the rewards of a structured development program and increase its gold production as it steams into the second half of 2021.
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