ASX-listed junior explorer Aruma Resources says it is finally “locked and loaded” and ready to set off an avalanche of drilling starting in August at its pipeline of key projects in Western Australia after securing a series of state regulatory approvals for its planned programs. The company plans to punch out an impressive total of about 9,000m of reverse circulation drilling across its quartet of assets.
ASX-listed junior explorer Aruma Resources says it is finally “locked and loaded” and ready to set off an avalanche of drilling starting in August at its pipeline of key projects in Western Australia after securing a series of state regulatory approvals for its planned programs. The company has been busy preparing for a drilling push at all four of its WA projects, after its drilling campaign kicked off with a successful first phase at the Saltwater gold project in the Pilbara, with results released earlier in the year pointing to a potential new gold camp.
Now, with approvals completed or nearing completion, Perth-based Aruma will get the drill rods again spinning across its quartet of assets over the next few months to the tune of about 9,000m of reverse circulation drilling.
The first cab off the rank looks likely to be the company’s Saltwater gold project about 100km south-west of Newman in WA’s Pilbara region.
Its forthcoming drilling blitz will also take in maiden 3,000m RC campaigns at the Melrose gold project near major Australia gold producer Northern Star Resources’ Paulsens mine in the west Pilbara and at the Salmon Gums gold project – formerly Scotia South – about 60km south of Norseman, one of WA’s most significant historical gold mining centres.
Aruma first hit the drilling scoreboard earlier this year with an inaugural RC program for an aggregate coverage of 4,518m at Saltwater that vectored in on the auriferous Saltwater dome, a 60 square-kilometre magnetic and airborne electromagnetic-defined domal structure.
More than 25 per cent of the initial 40 drill holes at Saltwater encountered gold values above 0.3 grams per tonne and the company says the results indicated the presence of a supergene blanket more than 200m wide at the northern end of the project where assays up to 1.26 g/t were recorded.
The planned follow-up drilling at Saltwater totalling 2,000m will be aimed at probing widespread gold anomalies detected at either end of a 4km-long trend just off the key regional Nanjilgardy fault crustal suture.
Nanjilgardy is interpreted to host the primary source of gold mineralisation at Northern Star’s Paulsens gold mine and Kalamazoo Resources’ Mt Olympus deposit at its Ashburton gold project to the west.
Aruma has also applied for a contiguous exploration licence area that covers the potential new electromagnetic Spinifex domal structure north-west of the fertile Saltwater dome or ring structure following a detailed review of available geophysical data sets over the Saltwater project area.
Uncovering the Spinifex dome has prompted the company to conduct an electromagnetic survey to fill in gaps in the existing geophysical data for Saltwater.
Aruma says Spinifex is similar in size to the Saltwater ring structure and will be a target for future drilling. It has been mapped on the Mt McGrath-Duck Creek dolomite contact with the same stratigraphy in the region as the Mt Olympus gold deposit.
At Melrose, Aruma’s other Pilbara gold project about 180km west of Paraburdoo that also abuts the Nanjilgardy fault, the company aims to bed down a heritage survey next month ahead of the phase-one, 30-hole round of RC drilling that is slated to begin during the current quarter targeting the Gossan Hill prospect.
The interpreted splay trend north of the Paulsens mine, combined with the eastern extension of the Merlin stratigraphic trend, now extends for more than 13km within the Melrose project area.
According to management, historical drilling provides a glimpse of the untested potential of the Gossan Hill target.
Aruma recently pored over past drilling data turning up encouraging shallow intersections at its Salmon Gums gold project about 60km south of Norseman in WA’s Eastern Goldfields region. They included 7m grading an average 2.71 g/t gold from 36m including 5m at 3.48 g/t, 3m at 3.02 g/t from 9m and 1m at 5.6 g/t from 51m down-hole.
The company unearthed the old drill intercepts in its review of past data sets generated by Pan Australian Exploration’s RC drilling in the latter part of the 1990s. These historical drill hits reinforced the original three priority targets for its maiden RC drilling program, earmarked to commence in September, pending the program of works approval.
Salmon Gums sits about 30km south along strike of the high-grade Scotia gold discoveries by ASX-listed Pantoro Limited.
The inferred and indicated near-surface mineral resource estimate for the multi-deposit Scotia project, towards the southern end of the Norseman-Wiluna greenstone belt, currently stands at 3.07 million tonnes at an average grade of 2.8 g/t for 280,000 ounces of contained gold.
Scotia also has a high-grade inferred and indicated underground resource of 1.06Mt going at 5.2 g/t for 180,000 ounces of contained gold.
Aruma Resources Managing Director Peter Schwann said: “The time taken for the approvals has allowed Aruma to appoint an exploration manager who has assembled and constructed a powerful database. We have also just appointed a new exploration geologist which will give us the manpower and basis for the coming work.”
Aruma is also gearing up to sink an initial 12 RC drill holes totalling 1,000m into the Mt Deans lithium project about 10km south of Norseman.
Previous rock chip samples collected by the company returned high-grade lithium oxide intercepts averaging 1.4 per cent as well as tantalum occurrences that went an average 275 parts per million.
Aruma says its drilling will zero in on an interpreted cauldron or pegmatite chamber at Mt Deans.
The program of works approval for the proposed drilling at Mt Deans is pending and the company hopes to be firing up the drill rig in September.
Mr Schwann said: “Aruma is of the view that the previous lithium results plus the high-grade tantalum and rare earth elements results … make Mount Deans a highly exciting lithium exploration opportunity.”
Whilst waiting on the green light for its programs of work applications to drill, Aruma has also been carrying out an array of geophysical and geochemical survey programs, mapping, and soil sampling to help hone its drilling targets, with the aim of delivering better results from its upcoming programs.
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