The 178km² Higginsville project is located between Kambalda and Norseman in the eastern goldfields of Western Australia.
The Higginsville area was successfully explored and worked first by Samantha Gold NL and then Resolute Ltd, who between them produced over 600,000 ounces of gold from open pit operations and approximately 25,000 ounces of gold from underground operations. In 1999 Resolute sold the exploration rights to WMC who later sold them to Gold Fields Ltd as part of their overall gold business divestment.
Avoca acquired the project in June 2004 for $4.5 million in cash and shares with additional staged payments totalling $1.75 million on delineation of 150,000 ounces of reserves. At the time of acquisition, the project had Inferred Resources of 4.89Mt @ 2.8g/t for 445,000 ounces including 389,000t @ 7.59g/t for 95,000 ounces (above a 5 g/t cut off grade) at Poseidon South Extended.
Since acquisition, Avoca has had considerable exploration success with the discovery of a new ore position – Trident – 200m north of the underground workings associated with the previously mined out Poseidon South open pit. Two steeply oriented lodes define the Western and Eastern Zones of Trident, along with a new, high grade lode discovery called the Athena Lode. The Athena Lode is generally sub-horizontal in attitude broadly similar to that of the rich Two Boys underground deposit (82,000ozs at a recovered grade of 14g/t) that is located 2km south of Trident. The flat nature of the Athena Lode is markedly different to the Western and Eastern Zones and Avoca believes that there is substantial potential for additional high grade mineralisation further to the north and west of existing drilling.
Avoca believes that with ongoing drilling and detailed geological work, Trident will be proven to be a major new gold deposit. The Company, together with its independent consultants is currently in the process of completing a pre-feasibility study that will form the basis of a Bankable Feasibility Study to examine alternative development scenarios.
On 2 August 2005 Avoca released its initial resource statement for Trident. The total resource at Trident stands at 2.99 million tonnes @ 5.0 g/t gold for 485,000 ounces. Significantly over 90% of this resource is in an Indicated Resource classification which can immediately be assessed for possible reserve conversion. The resource table is shown below:
|Indicated Resources||Inferred Resources||Total Resources|
|cut-off grade||tonnes (Mt)||grade (g/t gold)||ounces (Koz)||tonnes (Mt)||grade (g/t gold)||ounces (Koz)||tonnes (Mt)||grade (g/t gold)||ounces (Koz)|
|¹ Western Zone||2.0 g/t||2.13||5.1||348||0.19||3.9||24||2.32||5.0||372|
|¹ Eastern Zone||3.5 g/t||0.60||5.3||101||0.05||4.1||7||0.65||5.2||108|
|¹ Athena Lodes||3.5 g/t||–||–||–||0.02||7.0||5||0.02||7.0||5|
|¹ Trident subtotal||2.73||5.1||449||0.26||4.3||36||2.99||5.0||485|
|² Near Surface Resources||0.8 g/t||–||–||–||2.65||1.7||147||2.65||1.7||147|
|³ Near Surface Resources||1.0 g/t||0.31||2.8||28||0.03||3.3||4||0.34||2.9||32|
|¹ Quantitative Geoscience Pty Ltd July 2005
² JORC compliant resources reported in Avoca ASX announcement 5 April 2004
³ Hellman & Schofield Pty Ltd July 2005
|Rounding errors may occur|