Ora Banda setting stage for Sand King exploration

Ora Banda Mining (ASX:OBM) is set to spend the next 2 months working through a $2 million phase two exploration program at the Sand King deposit within its Siberia Project in Western Australia. 

The second-phase program comes as phase one drilling nears completion, with 30 holes now drilled out of a planned 33. 

Ora Banda, which has a $375.48 million market capitalisation, says the first 17 assay results from this drilling have returned ‘outstanding’ intercepts that demonstrate widths and grades conducive to underground mining. 

The top new results, reported today (6 February 2024), include 2.4m @ 35.8 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from the Sand King 060 Lode, including 1.5m @ 58.8g/t Au. Other top hits include 11.5m @ 6.1g/t Au and 4.3m @ 11.8g/t Au, also from the 060 Lode. 

Ora Banda says its first-phase exploration has extended the system at Sand King to 1km of strike and 300m below surface, and mineralisation remains open in all directions. 

Managing Director Luke Creagh says the success of this exploration program ‘cannot be understated’. 

“The assays received to date, coupled with the rapid growth in our geological knowledge and advancements in structural modelling, essentially means that Sand King is now presenting as highly prospective for our second underground mine. 

Encouraged by what we are seeing, Ora Banda has moved to accelerate our understanding of Sand King by rolling straight into a Phase Two drill program, which will run for 2 months.”

“Sand King is now presenting as highly prospective for our second underground mine”

He adds that this exploration work ‘dovetails’ into the company’s core 2024 business goal of finding and developing a second underground mine to support its Riverina project.

“If achieved, the business will be in a step-change position whereby the 1.2mtpa Davyhurst process plant will be full of high-grade ore and our production rate will increase substantially.”

The Siberia Complex, which is home to Sand King — and a number of other deposits — comprises published resources of 4.149 million tonnes @ 3.4g/t for 458,000 ounces of gold, with historical production of 293,000 ounces at a grade of 2.5g/t.

Since mining restarted in the complex in 2021, it has produced 118,000 ounces of gold. 

However, Ora Banda is now looking at the underground potential of the region given that 95% of the 12,700 holes drilled in the area to date do not reach further than 100m in depth — meaning, according to the company, that the underground exploration search window at Siberia is ‘largely unexplored’. 

Ora Banda had around $19.24 million cash and cash equivalents at hand at the end of December 2023, according to its latest quarterly report. 

Write to Joshua Smith at Mining.com.au 

Images: Ora Banda Mining
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Written By Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith has years of experience in the media sector, having worked as a markets reporter, features writer, and editor since completing a Communications and Journalism degree and a Creative Writing degree. Josh is an avid board game fan and a self-professed coffee snob.