BIRD IN HAND PROJECT
Bird in Hand Project – Gold
A Mineral Claim over 196 hectares surrounding the Bird in Hand gold mine was accepted by Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) on 12 November 2008, consolidating a multiple block previous application made over the same area.
At the Bird in Hand Project, which is now extended to exploration of the mineral claim area (Figure 2), Maximus continued drilling through most of the year. Ten holes were completed in and around the main Bird in Hand resource (Figure 3), for a total of 3,353 m and an additional two exploratory holes (307 m) were completed at the nearby Ridge Mine, 400 m to the southwest (Figure 2).
During 2008 Maximus has progressively upgraded its estimated Inferred Mineral Resource (see Figure 8, Table 2 and ASX report dated 8 August 2008). The latest resource estimate consists of an Indicated Resource from 340 to 220 metres RL and an Inferred Resource from 220 to 20 metres RL, which totals 598,000 tonnes at an average gold grade of 12.3 grams per tonne. The contained gold content represented is 237,000 ounces, which is 46% above the previously released estimate of 421,000 tonnes at 12 grams per tonne (162,000 ounces of contained gold). The components of the resource are summarised in the table below.
At the Ridge Mine (Figure 2), hole RDH1 traversed a wide zone of broken rock containing some gold and an interval of 0.8 metres assayed 2.8 grams of gold per tonne. A second hole, RDH2, was drilled as a vertical hole to follow up the intersection made in RDH1. RDH2 intersected further breccia containing some altered marble, without significant gold, before finishing in footwall siltstones at 159.6 metres total depth.
Negotiations for access to complete drilling at other historic mine sites within the mineral claim application area were progressed through the year, but are yet to be finalised.
Regular independently-chaired public meetings have been held in Woodside at quarterly intervals, to gain input from the community on concerns about possible mine development and to provide feedback on Maximus’ proposed responses to these concerns. The main concerns expressed, mainly through the local Woodside Ground Water Focus Group, have been about the potential effects of depressurisation of the aquifer at a possible mine site. The concerns relate to the possible deterioration of quantities and quality of water used by nearby irrigators as a result of this depressurisation. A proposed response to this issue is outlined below.
Maximus is seeking a way to further explore and resolve water and other issues through the establishment of a more formal, transparent community engagement structure, and this proposal will be progressed at future meetings. Such processes are recommended by PIRSA and have been successful in guiding other recent project developments in the region, including the new Angas Mine at Strathalbyn and the recent mining lease approval at Kanmantoo.
Mining Pre-feasibility Studies
After having completed a positive scoping study during the year, Maximus is now carrying out a pre-feasibility study into the possible redevelopment of the Bird in Hand Mine.
At a recent public meeting, a possible solution to community concerns about depressurising the aquifer in the mine area was proposed. This involves re-injecting groundwater under a Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) process.
Exploration and resource drilling at BIH was suspended at the beginning of the 4th Quarter 2008, pending completion of ground water testing programs which form part of the pre-feasibility investigations.
A water pumping test has also been proposed to test depressurisation and recharge of the aquifer by the MAR process. The MAR test would reinject water pumped from the mine area into the aquifer around the mine, thereby returning all water to the aquifer. If these tests demonstrate the groundwater aquifer can be depressurised with minimal impact on its water quality and quantity, then Maximus is of the opinion that a “water neutral” mining operation will be possible.
A decision of the Department of Water Land and Biodiversity Conservation on applications submitted during the 4th Quarter for approval of pumping and MAR tests is awaited.
* Exploration Target Definition
In accordance with clause 18 of the JORC Code, an Exploration Target does not imply that an economic resource exists in these areas. The quantities and grade of gravels is conceptual in nature and there has been insufficient subsurface exploration to define a Mineral Resource. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of some or any Mineral Resource.
Click on maps to enlarge
Location of Maximus' exploration targets for gold and Kapunda JV in the Adelaide Hills Gold Province.
Mineral Claim area and recent drillholes, Bird in Hand Project.
Long projection showing Bird in Hand resource status.
Rehabilitated drill site.