ASX-listed Horizon Minerals has added 200,000-plus resource ounces to its global gold inventory within trucking distance of the company’s Boorara gold project 10km east of Kalgoorlie that is already teeming with satellite deposits. The Perth-based gold producer has picked up the potentially lucrative historic Kalpini project from private syndicate, NBT Metals, for only $2.75 million in cash.
Kalpini is located 50km north-east of Horizon’s Boorara project.
It consists of the Gambia, Camelia and Atlas deposits on a granted mining lease and Horizon says the deal is in line with its strategy of further regional consolidation and the acquisition of advanced development assets within a 75km radius of the proposed stand-alone Boorara mill.
A contract mining and toll treating campaign at the Gambia open pit by the previous owners last year yielded production of 38,800oz of gold from the processing of 485,000 tonnes of ore at a reconciled head grade of 2.62 grams per tonne gold and average gold recoveries of 95.1 per cent.
Several years prior to that reserves depletion, KalNorth Gold Mines – who sold the project to NBT in 2017 – had estimated a mineral resource at Kalpini of 4.61 million tonnes going 1.7 g/t for 255,600oz of contained gold.
If Horizon can prove up reserves of anywhere near 200,000oz of gold at Kalpini, the project acquisition cost will look ridiculously cheap.
The company now intends to undertake a technical review of the geological models and further drilling with a view to updating the resource at Kalpini. It is planning to commence infill, validation and extensional drilling in the current quarter that will build on its massive 70,000m drilling campaign in the 2020-21 financial year.
Horizon says significant exploration potential remains at Kalpini along strike and at depth and future drilling work will be aimed at unearthing extensions along strike and at depth.
Together with a plethora of brownfields and greenfields open-cut and underground exploration targets across its 850sqkm landholding in the Goldfields, Kalpini will seriously add to Horizon’s blue-sky prospects.
The company will also be looking to Kalpini to help bolster the gold production profile, mine life and economics of a proposed Boorara development near Kalgoorlie. The newly acquired project’s deposits now join the company’s core deposits that include Boorara, Rose Hill, Binduli/Crake and Teal.
All of which are currently under evaluation as part of a consolidated definitive feasibility study on Boorara, earmarked for completion in June 2021.
Horizon’s core focus remains firmly set on developing a stand-alone gold production business in the Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie regions and this acquisition aligns with this focus and our strategy of further regional consolidation of advanced development assets in close proximity of the proposed Boorara mill.
The Kalpini gold project has had considerable work completed in the past, including resource modelling, mining, processing and environmental studies which enables rapid advancement of the deposits for inclusion into the consolidated feasibility study.
Horizon is about halfway through a six-month gold production trial stemming from the contract mining – which has now concluded – and toll milling of ore sourced from three trial open pits at Boorara.
Two of the three batches of ore treated so far have seen almost 2,900oz of gold produced, with 1,845oz sold for an average of $2,654 an ounce and just over 1,000 ounces fetching $2,791 an ounce.
Total gross revenues from the tolling campaign to-date amount to about $7.82 million.
Boorara is slated to provide the bulk of baseload ore feed for a proposed larger-scale operation. It accounts for about half of the company’s one-million-ounce resource base in the area, not including Kalpini. Horizon is targeting full-scale gold production at Boorara in the second half of calendar 2022.
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