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Plutonic manager is named top prospector

THURSDAY 10 October 1996 stands out as a date to be remembered by Plutonic Resources Limited exploration manager Wally Bucknell.

On this day the company announced the discovery of a world-class ore body located near its Darlot gold mine in the southern part of the Yandal belt, about 300 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie.

About 1.2 km east of the Darlot open pit, drillhole 362 intersected a previously unknown gold mineralised zone of considerable thickness and high grades.

The discovery at 330 metres vertical depth led to subsequent deep diamond and RC drilling which proved up an ore body with a resource of 2.1 million ounces of gold.

That discovery has now had its sequel with Mr Bucknell winning the 1999 Prospector of Year Award

sponsored by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC).

The award is given in recognition of individual achievements that have made a significant contribution to the development of the mineral exploration and mining industry in Australia.

As Plutonic’s exploration manager, Mr Bucknell has an outstanding record of mineral discoveries. The award particularly recognised his significant contribution to the Centenary discovery in 1996. Centenary is now a major underground gold mine.

Mr Bucknell is also recognised for a number of discoveries around the Plutonic gold mine throughout the 1990s.

His peers describe him as a ‘hands on’ geologist who conceived, initiated, directed and closely managed the programmes that led to the discoveries.

Mr Bucknell said he was pleased to be recognised by his peers.

“It’s a bit of thrill to win the award,” he said. “It was unexpected.”

The geologist, who is now a director of Diamond Ventures NL, said the discovery of the Centenary ore body was entirely blind.

“We were doing fairly bold step-out drilling from the Darlot open pit, drilling diamond holes to depths of 700 metres, when we made the discovery,” he said.

“It was just sitting there.”

The AMEC Prospector of the Year Award was inaugurated in 1993.

Previous winners have included Mark Creasy, Bruce Nisbet, Craig Williams and Jeff lon and Brett Keillor.

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