Astral Resources strikes ‘outstanding’ gold mineralisation at Mandilla Project, WA

Perth-based gold explorer Astral Resources (ASX:AAR) is re-logging 50 previously completed diamond drillholes to better understand the controls of mineralisation at its Mandilla Gold Project in Western Australia.

The company reports this work will further improve targeting in subsequent drilling programs at the Theia deposit, while a further structural review of the diamond drillcore is planned for the September quarter to improve gold mineralisation targeting.

Additionally, Astral says a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) update is progressing and is expected to be completed early in the September quarter. Work is also continuing as part of a Scoping Study at Mandilla.

Technical work streams have begun on process plant infrastructure, non-process infrastructure, and tailings disposal infrastructure. Meanwhile, detailed design and mine scheduling will begin once the MRE is completed. 

The Scoping Study remains on track for delivery in the second half of the 2023 calendar year, and RC drilling remains on track to restart early in the September quarter.

Speaking to Mining.com.au in June, Astral Resources Managing Director Marc Ducler said the four key deposits within the Mandilla Project — which is the largest gold project in the surrounding area — are yet to be fully understood.

Nevertheless, Astral reports ‘outstanding’ assay results from recently completed diamond and reverse circulation (RC) drilling at Mandilla demonstrate drilling intersected multiple mineralised zones. At the Theia deposit, results have been received for 5 diamond drillholes.

The ‘best’ results recorded here include hole MDRCD751 with 7m @ 3.1g/t Au from 82m, including 1m @ 18.25g/t Au from 87m; 98m @ 1.15g/t Au from 149m, including 0.4m @ 127.95g/t Au from 185.6m, 1m @ 11.84g/t Au from 199m, and 1m @ 12.08g/t Au from 205m; and 15.6m @ 3.45g/t Au from 288.4m, including 0.3m @ 142.2g/t Au from 289.4m.

These additional zones of gold mineralisation, combined with a recently reported intersection from the bottom-of-hole in MDRCD675 of 28m @ 2.61g/t Au from 296,6m, have the potential to increase the grade and resources by converting the existing unclassified mineralisation into mineral resources at depth on this longitudinal projection.

Astral also reports assays from the final 18 RC drillholes completed at Theia have been received. This work was focused on infilling and extending the optimised pit shell towards the southeast.

The ‘best’ results recorded here include MDRC786 with 2m @ 21.2g/t Au from 18m, including 1m @ 41.6g/t Au from 18m; MDRC799 with 8m @ 4.28g/t Au from 110m including, 1m @ 26.45g/t Au from 115m; and MDRC798 with 8m @ 2.9g/t Au from 124m, including 1m @ 20.85g/t Au from 124m.

The company says the infill and extensional RC drill program at Mandilla will restart during the September quarter, with about 25 holes for 3,500m remaining to be completed.

Commenting on the results, Ducler says: “MDRCD751 is an exceptional hole by any measure, and it’s really exciting to be able to finish the financial year with the program delivering some of the best results we’ve ever seen at Mandilla.

Stepping out further to the northeast, drilling has continued to increase the extent of known mineralisation, with multiple high-priority targets still remaining to be tested at depth.

The diamond drilling at the Theia deposit has targeted gold mineralisation at depth by drilling perpendicular to the interpreted maxima stress field of the mineralisation. The final diamond hole in the program has delivered an exceptional 344 gram-metres of gold along the length of the hole, which will both enhance the upcoming MRE upgrade and extend the mineral resource at depth.

The MRE update is well advanced, and we look forward to updating the market as soon as it becomes available. In parallel, we have multiple work streams for process plant, non-process infrastructure and tailings disposal infrastructure currently progressing for the Mandilla Scoping Study. 

Detailed mine design and scheduling work will commence on the completion of the MRE. The Scoping Study is expected to be delivered in the second half of this calendar year.

we now have a much clearer picture of the potential for the presence of significant mineralisation at depth”

Moreover, we now have a much clearer picture of the potential for the presence of significant mineralisation at depth, with drilling to resume later in the September quarter to unlock this potential.

Astral continues to advance the high-quality Mandilla Gold Project on multiple fronts, and we look forward to demonstrating its potential as a significant stand-alone gold operation in the Kalgoorlie/Kambalda region of WA.”

Astral Resources is a Perth-based gold and base metals explorer focused on its flagship Mandilla Gold Project near Kambalda in Western Australia. Along with Mandilla, the company also holds the Feysville and Carnilya Hill projects in the Kalgoorlie region.

The company had $5 million cash at hand on 31 March 2023, according to its latest presentation published on 16 May 2023.

Write to Harry Mulholland at Mining.com.au

Images: Astral Resources NL
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.