Our current New Zealand mineral portfolio consists of four projects; Garnet sands in South Westland; Hard rock sands, heavy mineral sands and critical elements licences in the South Island.
The Smylers Gold project located in Central Otago, New Zealand is the main focus of our mineral activity. Through detailed surface mapping and geochemical sampling, we have extended the known strike length Hyde-Macraes Shear Zone strands by some five kilometers eastward within our licence area. The c.10 million-ounce Hyde-Macraes Shear Zone hosts the Macraes Mine, New Zealand’s largest producing gold mine.
Exploration work to date includes detailed structural mapping, channel and soil sampling, a large 3d resistivity and IP survey and trenching. This work has revealed multiple gold-bearing shear structures that display characteristic Macraes style mineralisation across seven key prospects.
A recent shallow scout drilling programme has tested near surface extensions to mapped shear outcrops, trench intersections and geochemical soil anomalies. Scout drilling confirmed continuous gold mineralisation at depth, within 5 prospects. We have commenced a diamond drill programme to test the down dip potential of mineralised structures and further characterise the structure and style of mineralisation. Regional reconnaissance style mapping and sampling work continues in surrounding areas. A diamond drill programme is planned for this summer in the Glenpark EP targeting the down dip potential of previously mined ore shots on the shear zone.
Our North Otago potash project is focused on the economic extraction of potash (K2O) from the mineral glauconite found within greensand. Exploration Permit 60335 (Herbert Block) is centred on the extensive Otepopo Greensand deposit near the township of Herbert. The greensand deposit has been mapped outcropping over 30km, dipping shallowly (~7°) towards the east and is up to 60m thick in places. K2O grades range between 4-8% throughout the greensand unit. The site is bisected by rail, State Highway 1, both linking direct access to the ports of Dunedin and Timaru, and cheap bulk hydro-power is readily accessible.
Exploration work to date includes extensive regional mapping and sampling programmes; with bulk sampling undertaken for process test work in both overseas and New Zealand laboratories. Results to date have are encouraging with the successful extraction of K20 from our greensand being achieved. Initial drilling planning is underway, whilst further chemical testing and other lab work on samples continues.
Following our successful involvement with garnet/ilmenite sands/REEs in Central Westland we sought to repeat this success in both North and South Westland.
In South Westland our Haast Road Project is targeting alluvial mineral sands proximal to their Alpine Schist source. Regional prospecting led to the discovery of several heavy mineral prospects within the permit. Our current exploration programme is focused on the Manakai Prospect, ~20km south of Fox Glacier situated on recently purchased freehold rural land. Coarse heavy minerals are found concentrated to economic levels within Holocene river gravels throughout the prospect. A combination of recycling of glacial moraine sediments and catchments being wholly comprised of highest grade schist result in higher than average HM concentrations within our prospects. Exploration work to date includes mapping, geophysical surveys, drilling and bulk sampling with encouraging results. We are now focused on process test work and resource definition and project feasibility studies.
In north Westland we hold three prospecting permits situated on Holocene shoreline placer deposits. These deposits have been historically evaluated for their ilmenite content. Our goal is to evaluate the combined potential of all known heavy minerals including garnet, ilmenite and REE minerals within all permits.
Critical elements are essential for modern society, economic growth and national security, but are vulnerable to supply disruption and have no practical substitutes. Demand for critical elements, such as rare earth elements, has increased in recent years with the spread of high-tech devices for personal and commercial use such as wind turbines, solar panels, and electronics such as tablets and smartphones. Critical elements are essential for a global transition to a greener economy.
Hardie Pacific has two projects in the north of the South Island focused on targeting critical element mineralisation; North Westland shoreline placers deposits and the Mandamus Igneous Complex in North Canterbury. Anomalous values of rare earth elements (REE), titanium (Ti), vanadium (V), tellurium (Te), scandium (Sc), zirconium (Zr), thallium (TI) and hafnium (Hf) have all been identified within the project areas. Recent prospectivity modelling for critical elements by GNS Science has highlighted the potential of all these project areas.
In North Westland we hold three prospecting permits covering Holocene shoreline placer deposits. These deposits have been evaluated historically for their ilmenite content. Recent academic work has highlighted the REE mineral potential of these deposits. Our goal is to evaluate the combined potential of all heavy minerals, including REE bearing minerals, garnet, ilmenite and gold collectively combined within the three permits.
The Mandamus Igneous Complex, a Cretaceous alkaline intrusion, hosts a large c.1km 2 hydrothermal alteration zone, containing abundant sulphide minerals and elevated critical elements. To date, no systematic exploration has been undertaken on the complex. We hold a prospecting permit covering the entire complex and associated outlying intrusives. Initial systematic geochemical sampling, mapping and geophysical surveys have been completed.