Saturn Metals (ASX:STN) has added 1,334,000 ounces to the Apollo Hill mineral resource in just over 5 years from listing with 140,689m of reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling.
In an updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE), the company reports that that is 9.5 ounces of gold added for every metre drilled.
Saturn’s exploration strategy moving forward is to target further expansion of the Apollo Hill gold deposit and look for new deposits across its regional land package.
The company’s development strategy is to progress the Apollo Hill asset towards production by finishing and publishing its Preliminary Economic Assessment and continuing Prefeasibility level studies. Saturn is collecting data to progress social, environmental, economic, metallurgical, geotechnical, and engineering matters in these studies.
Saturn has completed an updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the Apollo Hill gold deposit at its 100% owned Apollo Hill Gold Project near Leonora in the Western Australian Goldfields. The upgraded MRE totals 105Mt at 0.54g/t Au for 1.839m ounces. This is an increase in contained ounces from the previously published resource.
It incorporates the results of a highly successful 142-hole 11,765 m extensional and in-fill drilling campaign completed within the model area after the last Mineral Resource upgrade, which was published in early.
Considering additional drilling, a total of 4.7Mt @ 0.55g/t Au for 82,000oz is classified for the first time as measured mineral resource representing 4% of the total mineral resource.
A total of 54Mt @ 0.53 g/t Au for 912,000oz is classified as indicated representing 50% of the total mineral resource.
Commenting on the MRE upgrade, Saturn Managing Director Ian Bamborough says: “This Mineral Resource upgrade is the fifth in as many years for the company at its flagship Apollo Hill Asset. We have made a significant step forward by fully embracing a conventional bulk mining and heap leach processing trajectory.
The results of our 2023 metallurgical test program have demonstrated the ability to achieve higher gold recoveries across the deposits full grade range under an improved heap leach processing scenario. Our ongoing mining and engineering studies have leveraged off the deposit’s economies of scale and consistency to be able to consider efficient bulk tonnage mining and scheduling practices. This mineral resource is published within a single, simple, large ‘Whittle’ pit shell with a significantly improved stripping ratio.”
Bamborough says that consistent improvements in the quality of the resource, its overall size, and to the mineral resource classifications, through efficient drilling continue to bode well for the advancement of the business. Importantly, he says with the many inherent strengths as noted above, the Apollo Hill deposit has surpassed a critical juncture for development and we look forward to publishing our Preliminary Economic Assessment in the near future.
“As our geological understanding of the deposit continues to grow so does its potential for growth”
“As our geological understanding of the deposit continues to grow so does its potential for growth. The system is open along strike and drilling continues at the deposit, camp, and district scales with 2 rigs on site testing for additional mineralisation. As the company moves towards a Prefeasibility Study, the next stage of metallurgical test work has commenced to search for additional processing and recovery refinements.”
Apollo Hill is located some 60km south-east of Leonora in the heart of WA’s goldfields region. The deposit and the Apollo Hill project are 100% owned by Saturn Metals and are surrounded by good infrastructure and several significant gold deposits.
Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au
Images: Saturn Metals Ltd