exploration sites at ballarat
There are four key areas that have Exploration Licences over them.
There are four key zones for exploration at Ballarat Gold Mine with eight Exploration Licences, all in the Bendigo Zone in Central Victoria, which has historical production of over 60 Moz gold. These Exploration licences are held by Castlemaine Gold Pty Ltd or its subsidiaries Balmaine Gold Pty Ltd and Ironbark Pty Ltd.
In Ballarat, Exploration Licence EL3018 and Exploration Licence EL006442, as well as an application to the northeast of the Mine (EL006851) cover the entire historic Ballarat Goldfield, including the Ballarat East, Ballarat West and Little Bendigo fields – the three main historic production centres. In addition to these proven areas, multiple additional exploration targets are identified.
Exploration Licence EL006036 and Retention Licence RL2027 (the Tarnagulla Project) cover an area from Dunolly to Kingower and from Newbridge to Bealiba. Multiple mineralised trends are identified within the EL, many remain poorly tested. RL2027 centres on Poverty Reef and includes a decline and associated mining infrastructure from mining in the 1990’s. The mine produced 53,000 oz gold from 58,000 tonnes of ore at 29 g/t gold. Additional gold mineralisation may occur beneath (and adjacent to) the historic mine.
Castlemaine Gold Pty Ltd holds an Exploration Licence (EL5266) at Raydarra. The EL is currently the subject of a Joint Venture with Catalyst Metals Ltd. In addition, Castlemaine Gold Pty Ltd has tenement applications over prospective areas of the Avoca Fault, and other parallel faults, at Linton, Snake Valley and Smythesdale.
An Exploration Licence (EL) grants exclusive rights to the tenement holder to explore for minerals in the licence area. Prior to ground intrusive work being undertaken on the licence a number of conditions are required to be met.
Mining is NOT permitted on an Exploration Licence – this requires a separate Mining Licence which includes increased levels of consultation and additional licence conditions. Prior to undertaking mining on a Mining Licence a series of consultative measures, monitoring, programs of work, rehabilitation and community engagement must be developed.with
An Exploration Licence may be granted for a period of up to five years, with the option to apply for renewal for a further period not exceeding the original term.
Work permitted on an Exploration Licence initially involves low-impact geological assessments, which determine the location of prospective sites. This may be followed by more intrusive exploration which may involve ground disturbance through drilling techniques, prior to the commencement of ground disturbing exploration a company must comply with conditions as outlined by Earth Resources Regulation.
Exploration Licences are regulated by the State Government of Victoria through the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (MRSDA).
Visit “Mining Licences Near Me” for more information on actual locations of mining and exploration sites.
The Berringa exploration tenement is located approximately 25 kilometres southwest from the Ballarat Gold Mine and Mill, ideally located to transport ore for processing to the Ballarat site should exploration identify economic ore.
Between 1898 and 1911, the historic mines at Berringa produced a minimum of 293,000 ounces of gold from 1,080,000 tonnes of ore (8.4 g/t gold) from four main operating mines. The maximum depth of 300 metres. Mining re-commenced from 1937 to 1952 and again during the 1970’s and 1980’s as small scale gold mining operations.
The Company holds an exploration licence (EL5535) over the main historic mines at Berringa. On-going review and exploration will prioritise areas for follow up exploration.
Berringa Site showing historic workings in green
The Tarnagulla tenements (Exploration Licence EL006036 and Retention Licence RL2027) cover an area of approximately 944 square kilometres and includes multiple historic goldfields – both alluvial gravels and high grade quartz reefs in the bedrock. The tenement areas are located in the heart of Victoria’s Golden Triangle and surround many of the large alluvial gold nuggets located in the State. The project area is approximately 80 kilometres from the Ballarat Gold Mine and processing facilities. Historical production totals over 750,000 ounces of gold.
Most production was from the Poverty Reef at Tarnagulla – including the Bonanza and Nick O’Time shoots. These produced 360,000 oz at 92 g/t gold and 53,000 oz at 29 g/t gold respectively. The Nick O’Time was discovered in 1994, 130 years after mining ceased at Bonanza. Other high grade shoots may occur along the Poverty Reef and other parallel structures.
The Nick O’Time shoot was mined by Reef Mining NL until a combination of factors, including a much lower gold price at the time, shut the mine in 2000. An Inferred Mineral Resource (60,000t at 12g/t gold for 12,000 oz contained gold) occurs immediately beneath the deepest modern workings (275m). Exploration on structures parallel to the Poverty Reef have identified an Exploration Target at Mother Chisholm as well as multiple additional near-surface targets.
Regionally, Tarnagulla is characterised by high-grade historic mining and thin cover sequences overlying the bedrock. Several major north-south trends, including over 40 kilometres of poorly tested, shallow, gold-prospective targets are identified. In addition to gold, there has been previous exploration for Copper and Molybdenum mineralisation associated with granitic intrusions, and potential for Tin – extracted from the multiple localities.
The Company plans undertaking further exploration over the tenements through the use of Low Impact Exploration and through other methods, including drilling and trenching in suitable locations.
Castlemaine Goldfields Pty Ltd holds the exploration licence for the tenement EL5266 (Raydarra) which is located approximately 40 kilometres north of Bendigo. The Company is currently involved in a Joint Venture with Catalyst Metals Ltd with Catalyst as the operator exploring the tenement in conjunction with the surrounding tenements.
The tenement covers 13 square kilometres along the prospective northern extension of the Bendigo Goldfield, buried under variable depths of Murray Basin sediments. The tenement includes a portion of the Tandarra Fault, which, to the north, is associated with encouraging mineralisation along the structure at Tandarra.