Golden Star Resources reported a new discovery along the Ashanti Trend on its Prestea concession in Ghana.
Highlights include drill intercepts of 26.3 m grading 3.71 g/mt gold and 23.6 m grading 4.03 g/mt gold in different holes. The discovery outcrops on surface 300 m south of the southernmost boundary of Golden Star’s currently active Buesichem pit, 6 km south of the company’s Bogoso processing facility. Two drill rigs are currently running step-out and in-fill drilling on 50-m sections.
The discovery was made as a result of a drilling program testing VTEM geophysical targets in proximity to Golden Star’s operating pits that began in the fourth quarter of 2009. The VTEM targets were prioritized based on a combination of favorable geology and structural trends coinciding with high-conductivity zones. A total of 28,000 m of drilling has been budgeted for the VTEM drilling program in 2010. Only a portion of the new discovery has been tested along strike, and the trend remains open at depth and to the south.
Molycorp Minerals has initiated an exploration program to be carried out during 2010 and 2011 to better delineate the extent of various bastnasite, monazite, and other rare earth-bearing mineral deposits known to exist outside the current mining area on the company’s property and claims at Mountain Pass, California. Molycorp reports that it has been known for decades that rare earth mineralization occurs on other areas of its property. However, the need was never felt to further delineate the extent of these deposits due to the mineral content in the primary Mountain Pass rare earth orebody, which has been mined for the past 57 years.
The primary orebody is basically a bastnasite deposit that contains some economically recoverable heavy rare earth elements such as dysprosium and terbium. Molycorp’s preliminary testing has shown that the dysprosium content in the monazite deposits on the property is substantially higher than in the bastnasite deposits.
Molycorp is currently producing finished rare earth products from feedstocks that were stockpiled at the site from previous mining campaigns, while it prepares to modernize its processing facilities and restart active mining of fresh ore (E&MJ, October 2009, p. 10). The company plans to be in full production in the second half of 2012, when it will begin producing at the rate of 40 million lb/y of finished rare earth products.
Argo Exploration has signed a farm-in and joint-venture agreement with Xstrata Copper for exploration of Argo’s Intercept Hill project in South Australia. The project is located 70 km south of BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam operations and covers a total area of 423 km2 considered to be highly prospective for the delineation of iron oxide copper-gold-uranium, stratabound copper-lead-zinc, secondary uranium, and lode gold mineralization. Based on geophysical surveys, previous drilling, and structural interpretations completed by Argo, a number of high-priority prospective targets have been identified. Xstrata Copper plans to commence work on the project immediately.
Under the terms of the agreement, Xstrata Copper can earn a 51% interest in the Intercept Hill project by spending A$4 million within 3.5 years and must spend a minimum of A$600,000 in the first year. Upon earning a 51% interest, Xstrata Copper may elect to solely fund an additional A$12 million of exploration within a further four years to earn an additional 24% interest in the project.
Xstrata Copper will undertake all exploration carried out during the earn-in period and will manage the joint venture while it maintains a joint-venture interest in excess of 50%.
OZ Minerals has entered into a joint-venture agreement with Azure Minerals, an Australian exploration company, to explore Azure’s San Eduardo property in Sonora, Mexico. The property is prospective for porphyry copper deposits with associated high-grade breccias and skarn copper, lead, and zinc mineralization. Old mine workings are present on the property, including a 27-m-deep shaft and a small open-cut mine. Historical sampling by the Mexican Geological Survey collected a total of 40 channel samples of wall rock, returning an average grade of 25 g/mt Ag, 7.34% Pb, and 1.89% Zn, with maximum values of 80.9 g/mt Ag, 20.04% Pb, and 5.45% Zn.
Azure will initially manage and staff the joint venture. Phase 1 field work will include geological mapping and surface sampling, an airborne magnetic and radiometric survey, IP surveying, and drilling.
To earn an initial 51% participating interest in San Eduardo, OZ Minerals will spend $3 million over the next three years, with a minimum commitment of $300,000 to be spent within the first year. OZ Minerals can earn an additional 19% participating interest in the project by spending a further $10 million, taking its total equity to 70%.