CRATER Gold Mining Limited is planning to resume exploration within the “Mixing Zone” at its Crater Mountain project in the Highlands of PNG.

The company said it is looking to undertake diamond drilling in a broad 300m zone between the HGZ and the Mixing Zone for which there is no historical data due to the difficult terrain in the area.

However, Crater Mountain said that development at the HGZ gold mining project since 2013 at the 1960m Level now provides the infrastructure and underground access to be able to construct underground drill platforms.

This will require an extension of the existing underground HGZ drive for approximately 250m east placing it in the middle of the

“Mixing Zone” and passing through the zone with no data.

Immediate benefits of this development will arise from mapping and sampling of fresh rock exposures and hence fresh interpretation of controls to mineralisation. It will also provide an accurate cross section of the hitherto unmapped or drilled zone. Interpretation will allow formative decisions to be made regarding future drilling and the potential to identify the higher grade gold mineralisation within the MZ project that could be exploited concurrently with HGZ.

Great opportunity

“This is a great opportunity for us to gain additional benefits from the HGZ development mining of the past few years allowing us to further increase the potential of the Nevera prospect and increase mine life,” Crater Mountain managing director, Russ Parker, stated.

“There remains potential to increase the current JORC compliant resource of 24Mt at 1.0 g/t Au for 790,000 ounces at the Mixing Zone project at Crater Mountain.”

Crater Mountain is located 50 km southwest of Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province of PNG. Formerly a tier-1 BHP asset, there has been in excess of 14,500 metres of diamond drilling to date, the majority focussed on the Nevera prospect, which hosts the HGZ mine.

Crater Mountain commenced production from the HGZ mine in the June quarter and achieved gold sales of A$351,000 from the recently installed and commissioned custom made gold processing plant at the project.

The gold sale was from processed material that was largely sourced from stockpiled material derived from initial development work at the HGZ project.

Early production

Recent gold production has been predominantly from development material on the 1980m level including material beyond the limits of the central high grade block to confirm the interpretation of the zone and to ensure that high grade gold would not be left behind when stoping began.

Crater Mountain believes that with the improved understanding of the geology and controls to mineralisation, production is expected to ramp up rapidly over the next few months as new material is sourced from the higher grade material of the central high grade gold block of the HGZ mine.