Rockfire Resources plc, a gold and base metal exploration company, has announced that a preliminary scoping study has returned positive results for a small-scale, opencast mining operation at the company's 100%-owned Plateau Gold Deposit in North Queensland, Australia. This study lays solid foundations for in-fill and extension drilling, which is expected to result in an expanded scoping study later in 2021.
Preliminary scoping study results
- A modest, net positive cash flow, ranging from AUS$6.8 million to AUS$19.4 million (£3.7 million to £10.7 million), results from a small-scale, opencast mine. The range of anticipated cash flows dependents on technical and operational variables, however five differing scenarios all resulted in positive cash flow outcomes.
- Multiple targets within the proposed pit outlines are yet to be drilled and the scoping study has identified numerous opportunities to increase gold ounces with additional shallow drilling.
- Only the top 70 m has been incorporated into the scoping study, yet gold up to 16.9 g/t gold (Au) has been intersected more than 400 m below surface. There is therefore significant potential to increase the economic outlook of the project based on continued exploration success at depth.<,/li>
- The study assumes utilisation of one of the nearby existing processing facilities. There are several processing plants within commercial trucking distances of Plateau and, for this reason, capital costs are deemed to be minimal.
- 69% of the scoped production originates from JORC Indicated Resources from both the Central and Eastern Breccias.
- Average mined grades range between 1.26 g/t Au and 1.94 g/t Au from within the optimised pit outlines, with grade variations depending on the pit shape and depth.
- A spot gold price of AUS$2220 (US$1718) per ounce was used and the current study excludes any contribution from recovery of silver.
- Metallurgical test work will form part of the next drilling phase to provide important information regarding the expected metal recovery from processing.
- Several excellent targets within 250 m of Plateau will be drilled to explore for additional near-surface gold ounces, which are not yet included in Rockfire's JORC resources.
David Price, CEO of Rockfire, commented: "We are very pleased that this preliminary scoping study has returned results indicative of a small-scale, opencast operation, delivering a range of net positive cash flow outcomes. At an early stage of a project's exploration history, it is prudent to focus on the possibility for eventual economic extraction and a positive result at this stage is a very significant achievement and a promising start for Plateau. As more work is completed, the understanding of the financial and operational parameters of a project become apparent and more confident. With numerous opportunities identified by the study for further drilling, Management is excited by Plateau's growth potential to improve the economics to achieve a larger production profile.
"Rockfire's preliminary scoping study included multiple cost and technical scenarios and concludes that Plateau is cash-positive on a small-scale, assuming minimal capital costs, and based on toll treatment of trucked ore. The purpose of this preliminary study was to identify areas throughout the project where more work is required to drive our on-going exploration. This has been successfully achieved. Work required in the next exploration phase includes metallurgical test work, infill drilling to close gaps in the drilling pattern and extension drilling to test areas within the pit outline with little or no drilling.
"Only five holes have been drilled into the target zone at 400 m below surface and these holes have all been successful, intersecting 16.9 g/t Au, 2.46 g/t Au, 9.3 g/t Au, 3.53 g/t Au and 5.03 g/t Au, respectively. There are also multiple, shallow exploration targets surrounding Plateau which are within 250 m of the designed pit outline. Rockfire intends to drill these targets and any success from this drilling would be expected to add ounces to our JORC resources. Management is confident that the input parameters for the project can be improved on multiple fronts and work over the next 6 months will be aimed at increasing resources.
"A comprehensive programme of in-fill and extension drilling at Plateau and exploration drilling at the nearby targets will commence shortly and the market will be updated on a regular basis once drilling commences."
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/exploration-development/08042021/rockfire-resources-announces-plateau-scoping-study-results/