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 an Inferred Resource reported in accordance to the 2012 JORC Code of 10.1Mt @ 0.8g/t for 252,000 Oz Gold (Uncut), within the Come In Time, Rise and Shine, and Shreks Deposits. Preliminary metallurgical test-work (Column) on oxide mineralisation (Come In Time and Shrek Prospects) and transitional mineralisation (Shreks) returned gold recovery results of 73% (transitional) up to 94% (oxide – Come In Time). Gold recovery utilising the Leachwell (Bleg) method on fresh RC-drilled chips returned results between 84-85%. These results are indicative of a possible future low-cost heap leach open pit operation giving Santana encouragement to complete an expanded exploration program at the project.
Santana interprets a material increase in the project’s resource base with further drilling, with all three deposits open at depth, down-plunge and along strike within the mineralised Rise And Shear Zone that hosts all three deposits. Santana’s initial drill program at the project will commence November 2020.
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.