The current PNG mineral portfolio consists of a number of prospective copper and gold projects. Many prospects have received little modern exploration attention. Prospects range from early stage porphyry and epithermal systems through to a 460,000oz JORC compliant inferred gold resource with additional exploration potential.
BALLYGOWAN, PACIFIC ARC & D’ENTRECASTEAUX EXPLORATION
EL2546 – Gameta
The Gameta Prospect is in the NE of Fergusson Island. Epithermal style gold mineralisation is hosted within and surrounding bounding faults of a metamorphic core complex. A total of 195 RC drill holes (10,179.5m) and 33 diamond drill holes (4,181.4m) have been completed at Gameta resulting in a JORC Compliant Inferred Minerals Resources estimate of 460,000 oz Au at a cut-off grade of 0.5g/t Au. There is potential for increasing the resource which remains open both down dip and along strike.
EL 2549 – Wapolu
The EL hosts the Wapolu gold prospect. The geology and mineralisation of Wapolu and Gameta are similar. At Wapolu, 202 reverse circulation (RC), 97 diamond core (DDH) and 94 air core (AC) holes have been drilled. The resource at Wapolu remains unclassified under the JORC code. Nevertheless, the pre JORC resources estimates was 7.5Mt @ 1.6g/t at Wapolu and ranged from 170-200k Oz Au.
EL 2572 – Oredi Creek
Located in southern Fergusson Island, the primary prospect is Oredi Creek. Gold mineralisation and associated widespread epithermal alteration is focused along the Oredi Fault Zone. Three drill holes have been completed with the best intercept being 70m @ 0.5g/t Au from a silicified ultramafic unit. Petrographical studies suggest the large structural zone is a target for bonanza-style epithermal gold mineralisation.
In addition, there are four known drainage anomalies that require follow up and assessment; Seliselina, part of Pagalolo, Mambomabona, and Gomwabila.
ELA 2657 – Bolubolu
Bolubolu is 64.4 sq km in size and lies on Goodenough Island. The application covers three gold prospects that lie on the shallow NE dipping, ESE trending Wakonai Fault. Mineralisation style is fault hosted epithermal gold similar to that found at Gameta.
The prospects are
- Bolubolu Nth where breccia exposed in a trench assayed 2.1g/t Au over 39m.
- Motouya (Yaheyaheya) prospect with float to 2.87 g/t Au lies 1.8km SE along strike of Bolubolu Nth
- Bolubolu Sth lying a further 2.7 km SSE where sampling of trenches yielded 5m at 1.06g/t Au
ELA 2656 – Mapamoiwa
Mapamoiwa is 118.5 sq km in size and lies on the SW part of Fergusson Island. It covers 3 epithermal gold prospects within volcanic terrain namely Iamalele, Igwageta and Unagala plus several anomalous areas. The Unagala prospect has had the most work with 13 RC drill holes, 10 diamond drill holes, and several bulldozer trenches. Best drill intersection was 2m @ 22g/t Au.
EL2408 – Sikut
Located in East New Britain, this license has three primary prospects;
- Warangoi Porphyry Copper-Gold Prospect: Recent exploration has confirmed float and chip samples containing up to 10.8% Cu & 11.2g/t Au within a 6km2 diorite intrusion. Drill targets were identified in the 1980’s but have yet to be drilled.
- Maragorik Gold Prospects: This cluster of three high sulphidation gold prospects has returned trenching grades of up to 21m @ 2.1g/t Au. Limited drilling in the early 1990’s failed to locate an inferred high-grade feeder zone but intercepted anomalous Au + Cu + Ag in multiple drill holes.
- Sikut Gold Prospect: The Sikut structure is a 4km zone of hydrothermal alteration immediately along strike of the Wild Dog vein hosted gold deposit. Early exploration success at the Wild Dog deposit resulted in the Sikut Structure receiving little historic exploration attention.
EL 2603 – HOTMIN
Located in the northwest of PNG, the license covers an area of 332.1km2. The license, adjacent to the giant Frieda River Project, has three main targets; Skirasia, Foya, and Mountain Gate. Drilling has already been undertaken at two prospects;
- Skirasia Prospect: 13 drill holes has been completed within the prospect. Intersections from the best three holes include; 96m @ 0.89g/t Au, 54m @t 1.83g/t Au and 109m @ 1.53g/t Au.
- Foya Prospect: 10 drill holes have been completed within the prospect. Intersections from the five best holes include; 77m @ 1.19g/t Au, 164m @ 1.23g/t Au, 24m @ 1.61g/t Au, 2m @ 37g/t Au and 10m @ 1.00g/t Au.
- Mountain Gate Prospect: This prospect has the best surface Au & Cu rock chip and soil anomalies but remains undrilled.
Several other drainage anomalies also occur within the license.
EL 2623 – MAY RIVER
The Application, surrounding EL 2603 in the northwest of PNG covers an area of 1,277km2. The application was based on the presence of eight historical drainage anomalies of visible gold in pan concentrates. Altered and mineralised float reported in some of the anomalous drainages yielded grades up to 0.98g/t Au & 0.67g/t Au.
EL 2583 – YAWAWA
Located in the Morobe area, the license covers part of a belt of mineralisation between the Hidden Valley mine and the giant Wafi – Golpu project. The license contains 3 main prospect areas; Nauwala Banda, Minawa & Merrie Creek.
- Nauwala Banda Prospect: This epithermal Au-Ag prospect occurs as E-W trending quartz-carbonate-pyrite veins hosting grades up to 4.81g/t Au in. Other assays from rock outcrops the area include; 3.1g/t Au & 32.9g/t Ag, 1.4g/t Au & 2.1g/t Ag and 1.1g/t Au & 17.4g/t Ag.
- Minawa Prospect: This porphyry Cu-Au target contains elevated Au, Cu ± multi-element from rock chips over a broad area. Trenches, located just north of a strong 450x200m ovoid aeromagnetic anomaly, yielded 2m@ 0.69g/t Au, 8m @ 0.33g/t Au & 22m @ 0.75g/t Au. Higher grade assays to 0.8% Cu and 58g/t Au occur in structures to 3m wide located about 900m NW of the trenches. Host rocks include meta-sediments, granodiorite and potassic altered diorite.
- Merrie Creek Prospect: This prospect is centred on the old Merrie Creek mine and lies along strike from the Otibanda, Ekuti and Minawa prospects. Mineralisation, similar to that observed at the Ekoato Prospect, occurs as massive arsenopyrite-pyrite-chalcopyrite hosted in a foliated, banded meta-sediment rock float. Rock chip assays from the area returned 3.7g/t Au and 0.59g/t Au.