02/07/2021 - 16:11

Kula groundwork backs greenstone theory at WA gold play

02/07/2021 - 16:11

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Kula Gold says it has achieved a “major technical breakthrough” in its hunt for significant new Archean lode-style gold deposits in unexplored terrane next to gold mines between Southern Cross and Nevoria in WA that have underpinned regional production of 15 million ounces of gold at grades between 3 and 5 grams per tonne. Drilling has picked up Archean greenstones where none were previously mapped.

Amphibolite outcrop with banded iron formation float inside the Ghooli Dome on a new licence application at Kula Gold’s Southern Cross gold project. Credit: File

Kula Gold says it has achieved a “major technical breakthrough” in its hunt for significant new Archean lode-style gold deposits in unexplored terrane next to the gold mines between Southern Cross and Nevoria in WA that have underpinned regional production of 15 million ounces of gold at grades between 3 and 5 grams per tonne.

The company says its recent drill program picked up Archean greenstones where none were previously mapped, setting the scene for an exploration program across those greenstones which are known to typically harbour mineralisation.

Kula says recognition of amphibolite and banded-iron formation, or “BIF” rocks in the Ghooli granite dome adjacent to the historically prolific gold-producing Southern Cross greenstone belt has prompted it to expand its ground position at the Airfield project nearly sixfold to 690sq.km via an application for a further 570sq.km of tenements.

The junior explorer was drawn into the area by its world-class gold endowment and current under-utilised milling infrastructure.

It has also had one eye on the tiny waft of exploration smoke generated by former major regional operator, Sons of Gwalia, some 30 years ago. Sons of Gwalia’s auger regolith sampling picked up a low-level gold anomaly in what looked at the time to be just moose pasture in the middle of a large granite dome.

Prevailing wisdom on barren granite and the rich gold pickings available in standard greenstone shear-hosted deposits at Marvel Loch, Yilgarn Star and Frasers and also in so-called fold-hinge BIF deposits such as Copperhead, Golden Pig and Bounty, have steered exploration away from Ghooli Dome for three decades.

Enter Kula.

The company’s desktop and field investigations indicated the Sons of Gwalia anomaly might be linked with “previously unknown” greenstones with good potential host rocks such as BIF and mafic volcanics.

Kula’s geophysics and auger-drilling based groundwork highlighted numerous greenstone prospects and subsequent field verification of amphibolite/BIF in several areas inside the Ghooli Dome has confirmed over 25km of strike length to date according to the company.

Management said: “The new information will focus Kula’s next Southern Cross exploration program targeting totally unexplored greenstones in this prolific gold producing region.”

While multi-million-ounce granite-hosted gold deposits such as those in the area north of Kalgoorlie and now the granite-intrusive gold era spearheaded by De Grey Mining and its world-class Hemi discovery in WA’s north have changed exploration thinking in WA and elsewhere, however those theories still need to be tested on the ground.

Kula Gold Chairman Mark Stowell said the process leading to the drill intersection of previously unrecognised greenstones over such a large area at Southern Cross represented an application of “good geoscience, hard work and some luck” that the company was applying elsewhere in WA.

The formerly Papua New Guinea-focused gold company has built substantial ground positions at Southern Cross, at Westonia near Ramelius Resources’ Edna May gold operations, at Burracoppin and at Brunswick. It also has its foot on interesting looking ground at Kurnalpi near Apollo Consolidated’s million ounce Lake Rebecca gold resource.

Brunswick is a copper-gold-platinum group element target in the Chalice Mining-Julimar mould. The rest of the portfolio has been assembled to position Kula to make significant new gold discoveries in the shadows of existing headframes as the saying goes. Mr Stowell said major discoveries obviously developed a life of their own, however even lesser finds around established mining and processing infrastructure threw up strategic options.

He said experience at Southern Cross was helping Kula refine its auger sampling approach for upcoming work at Westonia and other targets.

Mr Stowell said: “We now have the knowledge of the geophysical signature we need to see and the geochemical response. So we’re using that to identify other unmapped greenstones. Those we have found we have pegged and then we have confirmed some on ground in the field.”

Kula has completed auger drilling along about 51km of lines on its Marvel Loch licence at Southern Cross, with lab results pending.

Several drill holes testing a geophysics target intersected circa-40m thick vertical zones of kaolin which have been separately sampled and sent to labs in South Australia for kaolin testwork.

Meanwhile, a new period of Southern Cross gold exploration may have been kickstarted by Kula.

If standard greenstones to the west of its expanding Airfield block have produced 15 million ounces and absorbed perhaps a million metres of drilling over 120 years, what might the virtually undrilled ‘shadow’ belt that was once thought to be just barren granite reveal?

The next round of drilling for Kula will no doubt attract a decent crowd of market and industry onlookers.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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