Bendigo-Ophir covers 251 square kilometres (“the Project Area”) in the Central Otago goldfields, 90 kilometres northwest of Oceana Gold’s world-class Macraes gold mine where previous production and Mineral Resource total in excess of 8 million ounces gold.
Bendigo-Ophir Mineral Resources
The project contains a new Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE2021) of 643K ounces of gold @ 1.0g/t (0.25 g/t Au lower cut-off grade, no top-cut), an estimate based on drill results to June 2021 and reported in September 2021 which the Company interprets has the potential to be further expanded and developed into a low cost per ounce heap leach operation, with ore from bulk tonnage open pits.
The Bendigo-Ophir resources occur in 4 deposits that are inferred to extend in a northerly direction within the RSSZ which hosts gold mineralization over a recognised strike length of >20km.
The RSSZ occurs at the contact with TZ3 and TZ4 schist units separated by a regional fault (Thomsons Gorge Fault-TGF) and dips at a low angle (25°) to the north-east. The RSSZ is currently interpreted to have upper shear hosted gold mineralization (HWS) 10-40 metres in width above quartz vein and stockwork related gold mineralization extending >120 metres below the HWS which is largely untested down-plunge and at depth.
The Company embarked on diamond drilling (DD) and reverse circulation (RC) drilling programmes in November 2020 with the immediate objective to increase the existing resources by drill testing the down plunge extensions of known mineralisation.
Santana considers the Bendigo-Ophir Project to be significantly under-explored by modern exploration techniques. The Company sees the Project Area as having significant exploration upside and the potential to materially add to the existing Mineral Resources by testing several un-drilled exploration targets identified within the Project Area . These exploration targets leverage off previous geochemical sampling programs (including soil sampling and portable XRF data collection) that have highlighted a strong relationship between arsenic anomalism and gold mineralisation.
A significant target outside the currently defined resources is the Shreks SE Prospect, where limited wide-spaced drilling returned anomalous results located outside the existing Mineral Resource and is a high priority drill target. The Shreks mineralisation is terminated in the south by a north-east trending feature (Norm’s Fault), and it is interpreted that the Shreks East Prospect may represent an offset of the Shreks resource by this structural feature, with mineralisation continuing to the south and down-dip and plunge at this location.
Regional geochemical targets include Orkney, Dans, and Matakanui (concealed below cover) in the south of the project area, which display anomalous arsenic results and warrant further exploration. No drilling has been undertaken at Orkney or Dans Prospect, with only shallow drilling defining alluvial gold mineralisation undertaken previously at Matakanui, with the primary gold source of this mineralisation un-defined.