Southern Cross Projects
Marvel Loch-Airfield Gold Project
Kula Gold Limited applied for EL77/2621 over the south-central part of the Ghooli Dome near Marvel Loch in the Southern Cross region of Western Australia, and it is known as the Marvel Loch-Airfield Gold Project.
RC drilling in 2021 discovered large areas of previously unmapped nor recognised amphibolite/BIF (greenstone) belts in the Marvel Loch-Airfield Project. The Company recognised a geophysical signature associated with the results and has identified numerous repeats of similar greenstone prospects in the region, so Kula has applied for new applications adding to Marvel Loch-Airfield covering 570km².
The Company completed RC drilling at the Marvel Loch-Airfield Project near Southern Cross WA intersected thick >42m vertical kaolin clay development over the 300m drilled length at the Boomerang Kaolin Prospect (more on this below). The holes were drilled to test a magnetic anomaly and intersected the deep white kaolin zone.
Prior exploration at the Airfield Project was completed by Sons of Gwalia Ltd (“SOG”) in the late 1980’s. The exploration reports at the time showed auger gold in soil anomalies in the Ghooli Dome which had not been followed up. An auger drilling and follow-up aircore and RC drilling program was completed in April 2021.
The Marvel Loch-Airfield Gold Project is located 5km east of the town of Marvel Loch, a major gold mining centre in Western Australia. This locality has a number of current and historical mining operations nearby, providing valuable infrastructure and services for potential future development including the Marvel Loch mine and mill, which are in production under the ownership of Minjar Gold.
⛏️ The Southern Cross Greenstone Belt itself is a strongly deformed, metamorphosed synformal remnant of a once larger greenstone assemblage.
It has been shaped and attenuated by the emplacement of syn-tectonic granitoids (Gee, 1995). These granitoid domes include the Ghooli, Parker and Rankin Domes (Gee, 1982; Keats, 1991).
On a regional scale, sheared lithological contacts are the primary control on the distribution of gold mineralisation. Most of the belt’s production has been derived from shear-hosted deposits (Marvel Loch, Yilgarn Star and Frasers) and to a lesser extent fold hinge deposits, usually in Banded Iron Formation (Copperhead, Golden Pig and Bounty).
Kula Gold’s Sahara Mobile Auger Rig in action at Marvel Loch-Airfield Gold.
G-Star Gold Prospect
Kula Gold Limited announced the identification of the G-Star Gold Prospect at its Marvel Loch-Airfield Gold Project (KGD 100%) in November 2021.
- G-Star Gold Prospect identified from first pass Auger geochemistry sampling.
- 217 follow up auger geochemistry samples recently completed.
- Results of up to 18ppb gold define a northwest- southeast striking geochemical anomaly that extends over 2,200m and is open to the northwest.
- Located 3.5km north of the Nevoria Gold Mine (+600,000oz gold), and 9km east of the 3 Moz Marvel Loch Gold Mine, the G-Star Prospect sits within the Ghooli Dome.
- Kula geologists consider the possibility that G-Star is underlain by amphibolite and BIF greenstone (the predominant host rock of most of the gold deposits in WA).
Sahara Operations (Australia) Pty Ltd completed first pass auger geochemistry sampling on behalf of Kula in April 2021 (refer ASX releases 12th April 2021 and 2nd July 2021), with 215 samples taken over the G-Star area (Figure 1).
Samples were taken at a median depth of 2m and targeted the interface below the transported cover. Results of up to 18ppb gold define a northwest- southeast striking geochemical anomaly that extends over 2,200m and is open to the northwest (Figure 2).
Kula engaged Sahara’s Mobile Auger Rig to complete a further 217 infill auger geochemistry samples at G-Star during October 2021.
Company geologists were onsite for the start of the program to ensure sampling of the correct horizon via appropriate sampling technique. Haematitic lateritic soils and saprolite clays—a favourable sampling medium—were observed. Sample locations are provided in Figure 1.
Kula geologists consider the possibility that G-Star is underlain by amphibolite and BIF greenstone (the predominant host rock of most of the gold deposits in WA).
G-Star may be much like the previously unmapped greenstone discovered by Kula in a major technical breakthrough during RC drilling at the nearby Crayfish Gold Prospect (refer ASX release 2nd July 2021).
The highly prospective greenstone belts of the Southern Cross Region have produced over 15m ounces of gold to date, at an average of 3-5g/t gold and are the reason Kula staked this region as its lead project.
Boomerang Kaolin Prospect
Kula Gold Limited made a significant discovery of Kaolin and Halloysite during RC Drilling on the Airfield Gold Project tenement in April 2021, when drilling intersected thick >42m vertical kaolin clay development over the 300m drilled length, creating the Boomerang Kaolin Prospect.
The company believes the Exploration Target for planned follow up RC Drilling in August 2021 is between 30 and 100Mt of kaolin material based on the current thickness and the nature of the process that forms the wide zones of kaolin in weathered granite. It lies in a favourable location, being ~25km from the Kalgoorlie water pipeline and Highway 94 Perth to Kalgoorlie, and 42km to the Southern Cross rail yard. Whilst Kula’s results are preliminary, the Company believes that the initial assays are significant in grade and extent and require further drilling. (ASX announcement 13 July 2021).
Cannacord Genuity published an Australian Equity Research paper on Kaolin and High Purity Alumina in August 2021 – you can read the PDF here:
BOOMERANG DISCOVERY HIGHLIGHTS:
• Drillhole 21BMRC001 intersected 10m @ 7% Halloysite from 40m depth downhole (8.8m true thickness) within an intersection of 55m of kaolin downhole;
• All three RC holes intersected +42m average vertical thickness white kaolin clays near the centre of the licence- (the Boomerang Kaolin Prospect) only 5m from surface;
• Initial lab sample analysis confirms high ISO brightness, high kaolin % and low impurities;
• HPA sighter leach test in progress;
• RC drill rig secured for immediate resource definition drilling program commencing this quarter.
The holes were drilled to test a magnetic anomaly and intersected the deep white kaolin zone shown in Figure 2.
A total of 28 five metre composite samples were sent to Bureau Veritas (“BV”) in Adelaide for sieving, XRF and ISO brightness analysis.
The samples were wet sieved to remove quartz and mica to produce a coarser -180µm +45µm fraction and a finer -45µm fraction which were both assayed by XRF.
The -45µm samples were then sent to CSIRO for XRD analysis to determine the kaolin-halloysite content.
The results have been received and are shown below in Table 1. A sighter HPA leach test is in progress for the Boomerang Kaolin Project.
Results for the 28 Boomerang composite kaolin samples show approximately 47% of the sample reports to the -45µm fraction which grades 37% Al2O3 with very low levels of impurities (Fe2O3 and TiO2) and high ISO brightness results. Results are very consistent across the three drill holes, and comparable to some of the higher quality deposits in the industry, albeit early stage as only three holes have been drilled to date.
An RC Drilling Program is planned to define and test the extents of the kaolinized zone in August.
World Markets for Kaolin.
Kaolin is a white, soft, plastic clay composed mainly of kaolinite, Al4(OH)8[Si4O10], and other related clay minerals such as nacrite and dickite (Baker & Uren 1982). Primary kaolin tends to be well-ordered, with a high degree of crystallinity, forming a dense texture of semi-plastic clay. It forms in response to anhydrous aluminium silicate alteration in feldsparrich rocks by weathering or hydrothermal processes.
Many kaolin deposits have been significantly upgraded by post-depositional weathering and diagenesis that have removed much of the original impurities — such as carbonaceous material and iron minerals — and have allowed extensive recrystallisation of the kaolinite to take place. Kaolin is produced by more than 50 countries.
The main exporters of refined (filler-grade) kaolin for high-quality markets, including paper, plastics and paints, are the USA, Great Britain, Brazil, and Germany. Major suppliers of low-to medium-quality kaolin used in applications such as refractories and ceramics include China, Colombia, South Korea, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
This is similar to kaolinite but with variable amounts of water (H2O) between the layers and composed of long, slender, tube-like crystals.
Chemically inert, nonabrasive and in possession of a number of characteristics make this commodity highly desirable for use in a broad range of industries including paper and paperboard, ceramics, fibreglass, paints and coatings, plastics, rubber, pharmaceuticals and medical, cosmetics, concrete and agriculture.
High Purity Alumina (“HPA”)
HPA is a non-metallurgical premium alumina product characterised by a minimum purity of 99.99% (4N). It is produced from Kaolin processing it through a variety of metallurgical processes to produce a 4N product.
HPA is used as a base material in the manufacture of a variety of products including:
• Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s);
• Electronic displays;
• Separator between cathode and anode in EV and rechargeable batteries -specifically the growing EV market. This is a highly important consideration for EV batteries, as HPA purity is critical to prevent battery ageing.
HPA demand is forecast to increase substantially in the next decade.
Westonia Gold Project
Kula Gold Limited have four new exploration licenses adjacent to the Edna May Gold Mine to create the ‘Westonia Gold Project‘, making it an additional focus for Kula’s Southern Cross exploration programs in 2021.
The licenses cover an area of ~357km² and contain gravity and magnetic targets identified by Kula from reprocessing publicly available data.
This acquisition continues Kula’s focus of drilling near to operating gold mines as geologically proven areas for discovery, and importantly the development and mining of any discovery is potentially much quicker and any development of future projects would require far less capex than a green fields new mine development.
The Edna May gold mine is a substantial producer in the Southern Cross region, owned by Ramelius Resources Ltd (ASX:RMS). It has a notable production history as detailed later in this release, including historical production 1911-1991 of 700,000 Oz, Since re-starting in 2010 has produced approximately 80-100,000 Oz p.a. and hosts resources of 28mt @1.0 g/t gold for 930,000 Oz as at 31 December 2020. (Ramelius Resources Ltd Annual Report 31 December 2020).
In total, the Edna May gold mine has an endowment of over 2 million Oz gold.
Read the history of Edna May here.
No historical gold drilling has been undertaken on the southern section (E77/2766), as per the WAMEX database.
Kula plans to test the gravity anomaly shown in Figure 2 below with deeper auger drilling to adequately test for gold anomalism below the interpreted transported soil cover.
The gravity anomaly of interest is similar in tenor to surrounding anomalies which host gold mineralisation (yellow triangles in the figure below) and include the Edna May gold deposits.
The licences, to the northeast of Edna May, were acquired based on magnetic targets which suggest a potential northern extension of the greenstone belt as shown in Figure 3 below.
Previous exploration in Kula’s Northern Westonia license has consisted of surface sampling which did not reveal any significant gold anomalies. Kula’s concept is that the previous surface soil sampling work was ineffective in testing the areas for gold mineralisation, therefore Kula will employ deeper auger type geochemical sampling to better test the gold potential of the licences at low cost.
Further work on the Westonia project is in progress, and results will be reported in due course.
⛏️ The acquisition of the Westonia Gold Project brought Kula’s projects at Southern Cross to a total of three – alongside Airfield Gold at Marvel Loch and Rankin Dome.
Rankin Dome Gold Project
Kula Gold Limited also has a project located 10k west and 26km north west (respectively) of Southern Cross known as the Rankin Dome Gold Project.
Rankin Dome 1’s ELA77/2709 was applied for in July 2020 which covers approx 160km2 and is located 10km west of Southern Cross.
A field trip was completed in September 2020 which successfully located a 1988 water bore drill hole which had been assayed for gold, and identified gold values of 0.46g/t Au over 2m from 10m vertical downhole in amphibolite. 3 historic RC drill holes were located during the field visit which are not in the DMIRS database.
The drill cuttings were logged as amphibolite (greenstone possibly meta High Mg Basalt) unit with a soapy feel, although the area is mapped as granite. The amphibolite is over 1km wide which adds significantly to the prospectivity of this project. The amphibolite is not obvious in the open file magnetics which show a granite signature suggesting the amphibolite is overlying the granite in this area.
Landowner agreement has been secured over a significant portion of the licence including the area with amphibolite. On granting of the license, the initial work plan will comprise of a shallow geochemical air-core drilling program over each target area totalling approximately 200 holes.
Rankin Dome 2 (E77/2753) was acquired in February 2021 after a field visit in late 2020 showed ultramafics outcropping in the north-west corner of the licence application.
The magnetic interpretation shows about 6km of potential Ultramafic strike and a further 3.5km of strike in the south-east corner of the licence which require testing. Historical drilling in 1972 by International Nickel Australia intersected 27m @ 0.17% Ni validating the prospective nature of the Ultramafics which trend SE into the new licence.
This licence abuts and extends the company’s existing Rankin Dome 1 Project (E77/2709).
Rankin Dome 3 will cover other ultramafic potential identified by the company’s geological team and is worthy of follow-up exploration.