Ora Banda Mining should be a leading player in the reinvigoration of WA’s Eastern Goldfields mining region over the next decade. Following a corporate restructuring and a brief period in Administration under previous management, the company has been busy scrubbing up its Davyhurst gold project as it builds a robust ore inventory, finalises its mine approvals and completes the economic modelling necessary for the restart of production.
If everything goes to plan, ASX listed Ora Banda Mining should be a leading player in the reinvigoration of Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields mining region over the next decade or so.
Since a corporate rebadging in the middle of the year following a period in administration under previous management when it was called Eastern Goldfields Ltd, the company has been busy scrubbing up its Davyhurst gold project in preparation for it to spring back into life sometime soon.
The rebadged and restructured company, now led by former WMC mining engineer and veteran mining man, David Quinlivan, has been building a robust ore inventory, finalising mine approvals and completing the economic modelling necessary for the restart of production.
Located 120 kilometres north east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Davyhurst – with its mothballed 1.2 million tonne per annum processing plant – will be at the heart of a mining operation that will initially target five gold deposits.
As it stands Ora Banda Mining, who boasts 1,336 square kilometres of highly prospective greenstone belt exploration ground in the region, is planning to complete a definitive feasibility study during the second half of 2020.
If the feasibility study checks out, the company says it will only take 24 weeks to get the Davyhurst mill restarted at a cost of just $8.5 million.
Meanwhile it is rapidly adding new ounces to the project, courtesy of the drill rig, after banking close to $50 million in new equity money post the restructure.
Amongst its key exploration targets has been the Riverina prospect which has already enjoyed a 36% jump in total contained gold ounces after Ora Banda completed an initial 6,267 metre resource definition drilling program earlier this quarter.
During the latest field campaign, the rigs returned a whopping 245% increase in measured and indicated resources, with 64% of the ore body’s gold ounces now sitting in the measured and indicated categories.
As it stands, Riverina, which sits some 48 km to the north of Davyhurst and has the potential to host both open cut and underground deposits, now has a total resource endowment of 3.8 million tonnes at 2.3 grams/tonne gold for 278,000 contained ounces.
This includes an open pit mineral resource of 3.1Mt at 1.8g/t gold for 183,000 ounces.
In determining the open pit-able figures, Ora Banda not only subjected the ore body to considerable additional drilling, including close-spaced RC grade control drilling, but it also wrapped a conceptual open pit shell around the resource, based on a gold price of $2,400/ounce, to help it determine the reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction – something that historical owners had failed to do over the years.
Following this, the company’s total mineral resources across all areas rose from around 21Mt at 2.6g/t gold for 1.8 million ounces to 22.2Mt at 2.6g/t gold for 1.85 million gold ounces.
Ora Banda’s current drilling campaign is also targeting Waihi and Callion, which have existing resources of 914,000t at 2.4 g/t gold for 71,000 ounces and 169,000t at 2.6g/t gold for 14,000 ounces respectively.
Waihi, which sits just 3km to Davyhurst’s west, also has the potential to host new open pit and underground deposits. In particular, Ora Banda is encouraged by some of the area’s significant historical intersections, including 23m at 9.1g/t gold from 128m, 23m at 6.2g/t gold from 57m, 17m at 6.7g/t gold from 77m, 5m at 19.2g/t gold from 38m and 8m at 4.2g/t gold from 36m.
Meanwhile, at Callion, where main vein surface expressions outcrop over a 1.2 km strike length, drilling is focussing on increasing the open pit reserve, extending high grade and underground targets in addition to looking for down dip and down plunge depth extensions of the historic underground workings.
Like Waihi, Callion is easily accessible to Davyhurst, sitting around 5km to the mill’s south west.
Following this, Ora Banda’s two next exploration priorities are Siberia and Golden Eagle.
Located 37km south east of Davyhurst, Siberia has a resource inventory of 4.8Mt at 3.2g/t gold for 498,000 ounces, with an open pit reserve inventory of 2.8Mt at 2.3 g/t gold for 210,000 ounces.
Meanwhile, Golden Eagle, an underground mine previously developed to 150m vertical depth that sits just south of Davyhurst, has an existing resource of 656,000t at 2.5g/t gold for 54,000 ounces.
Ora Banda’s other main resource base is at Mt Ida, located around 124km north of Davyhurst, where the company has total indicated and inferred resources of 318,000t at 13.8g/t gold for 141,000 ounces.
In addition to already owning a plant which would cost $100 million or so if built from scratch, the company also has other significant mining infrastructure in place, including a tailings dam, an underground mine development, established mains power to the site, an extensive road network, a 160 room camp, a core shed, administration buildings, workshops, an airstrip and a large bore field, to name just a few.
With $20 million currently in the bank, access to mining infrastructure that would be the envy of any junior explorer and a large land holding that covers some 200 km of strike for upside, Ora Banda looks well set to get Davyhurst to ride again.
With plenty of grades going over 2 grams per tonne gold, ok depths and a rapidly growing quality mineral resource inventory in a gold bull market, the new Davyhurst ride might just provide some cause for excitement for Ora Banda shareholders.
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