MNN Awards: Carnaby homing-in on ‘very particular’ IOCG hall

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A drill hit of late final yr of 41m grading 4.1% copper on the Nil Desperandum prospect and 27m at 2.8% copper and 0.8 grams per tonne gold early this yr on the Woman Fanny goal instantly illustrate the potential Carnaby thinks the general Higher Duchess undertaking is displaying.

Given its normal location, why has it been neglected till now?

“The breakthough at Higher Duchess was IP but in addition cracking the geology as nicely,” Carnaby managing director (and geologist) Rob Watkins informed MNN.

“At Nil Desperandum there was earlier IP and drilling concentrating on historic workings which have been hanging northwest. All of the earlier drilling and IP strains have been concentrating on this orientation.

“We accomplished a single IP line at proper angles to that as we believed there was a SW shoot orientation, which we had been intersecting in current drilling.

“This IP line produced a powerful IP anomaly which we drilled the invention gap into intersecting 41m at 4.1% copper.

“We predict the IP is a superb screening instrument and permits you to shortly hone-in on the goal.

“Nonetheless, geology and particularly geophysics has a behavior of throwing up curve balls and due to this fact simply because IP works in a single space doesn’t suggest it’ll work in all places.

“We do know it’s working at Nil Desperandum and Woman Fanny and we don’t see any cause why the IP will not proceed to be a vital exploration instrument by means of the IOCG hall that we’re concentrating on.”

A “booming” IP anomaly at Mount Hope is at the moment within the body.

Carnaby’s current historical past appears to be like comparatively typical fare for the extra completed, skilled explorers within the sector.

It got here to Higher Duchess after falling flat looking for the remainder of the fabulous gold deposit on its close by Tick Hill floor.

Tick Hill was one of many highest grade and greatest gold deposited ever mined in Australia, with the worth of gold produced being nicely over A$1 billion (at current costs), from a tiny 70m-deep pit and small 165m deep spiral decline.

The orebody is faulted out fully at solely 235m beneath floor and the good debate has been the place the remainder of the deposit is.

“We utilized a powerful structural evaluation and geophysics (SAM) strategy to attempt to find the extension and accomplished a number of phases of drilling, nevertheless so far, we now have not positioned ii,” Watkins mentioned.

“A tremendous side in regards to the Tick Hill gold mineralisation is that outdoors of the orebody, which itself has a particularly tight common strike size of solely 80m, there isn’t any lateral dispersion … gold values drop of from 1 ounce/t to 10-20 elements per billion inside metres and that makes it a tough goal to drill.

“Nonetheless, that additionally implies that we’d have solely missed the following Tick Hill by just a few metres and there might simply nonetheless be one other Tick Hill hiding between the drilling accomplished so far.

“I now assume we have to invoke some new applied sciences that may crack the code and that is more likely to be a mixture of geochemistry and construction.

“So, till we now have some clear new concepts and vectors the cue is within the rack for now as the danger in persevering with to drill is just too excessive even given the reward.”

For Watkins, an exploration geologist has to have a powerful ardour for the enterprise, “a really thick pores and skin”, and be snug with the truth that most exploration packages will not result in something greater than a technical success.

“I do just like the saying that when you’re in a mineral system then hold going and persist so long as it takes if you’re nonetheless getting encouragement.

“When it comes to information, we are inclined to get overwhelmed with information as of late and it’s simple to get misplaced within the forest. In some methods I believe its higher to maintain it easy and hold telling your self to easily go to the place the gold is, do not take the lengthy route, do systematic work but in addition do not get too technical or overengineer the goal by way of needing one thing to suit right into a mannequin earlier than you drill it.

“In exploration I believe there are not less than 4 sorts of geologists: pessimists, realists and optimists and the best degree of all, an optimist who thinks he is a realist.

“I am an optimist.”

Carnaby Assets is a nominee for Explorer of the 12 months within the 2022 MNN Awards.


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