AGGRESSIVE Papua New Guinea minerals explorer Frontier Resources Limited has announced a range of activities as it continues to progress its Bulago project in the Southern Highlands.

Frontier recently commenced a drilling campaign, with the first two drill holes testing high grade gold targets at the Swit Kai East Creek Central Lower Zone (for a total of 150m).

Ok Tedi Mining Ltd previously targeted the depth extension to the Central Upper Zone, returning intersects of 1.3m grading 27.0g/t gold from the moderate south dipping zone located underneath the Central Lower Zone high-grade gold mineralisation.

Frontier will target the plunge, conformable and the dipping mineralised zones, then intends to target the same zones again in East Creek, followed by the Bulago Valley porphyry copper.

Earlier this year Frontier completed three diamond core holes at the East Creek Upper Zone and assay results show all holes intersected significantly elevated gold grades when associated with intrusives, quartz veining and brecciated zones. The best intercept was a 5.0m section grading a weighted average of 13.92 g/t gold, from surface. This includes an intercept of 1.0m grading 29.7 g/t gold + 6.5 g/t silver, from 3.0 to 4.0m downhole.

New track

As part of its Bulago programme, Frontier recently submitted a proposal to the Hela Provincial Government to partner with it in the cutting of a track from the end of the Highlands (Okuk) Highway to the Bulago Valley.

The track would cover up to 50 to 60 ground kilometres, depending on the starting location – which is to be decided in consultation with the Acting Governor of Hela, Provincial Government public servants and MPs.

Frontier has offered the use of its dozer, excavator, crawler and crane truck, with the Provincial Government proposing to pay the actual operating costs (fuel, oil, mobilisation, personnel wages, compensation to landowners and agreed ‘consumable’ machine parts etc).

Frontier chairman Peter McNeil said the proposed partnership has been well received by the Acting Governor of Hela, adding however, that it will require significant discussion and future funding assistance to accomplish.

Budget boost

Mr McNeil said the construction of the track would be a major budget boost for Frontier, with air support the company’s largest exploration cost centre (about 50% of each budget).

“The proposed track would be very good for Frontier’s exploration in PNG, the people of the Bulago Valley, plus the Provincial Government, as the Bulago Valley is one of the most isolated regions in PNG,” Mr McNeil said

“The proposed route would traverse the Eastern Block of the Bulago EL that covers the Tumbudu Intrusive, that has not been explored.

“Win-Win’

“The Bulago landowners are ecstatic with the track proposal and the possible partnership markedly strengthens Frontier’s social licence to operate in the region. It could be a ‘Win – Win’ undertaking for all involved.

“The company hopes that this partnership can be achieved after agreement is reached and when/after the Provincial Government receives its next round of infrastructure funding.”

The track would likely follow much of what the Bulago landowners refer to as the ‘lapun’ or old peoples walking track out of the valley.

Study results

Frontier Resources Limited have also announced that an Aster satellite alteration and structural evaluation and report has defined 22 targets for follow-up in the Bulago EL.

Eight gold related targets have been identified at Swit Kai and 14 porphyry copper-gold targets in the Bulago Valley.

Two Aster satellite imagery scenes were analysed to outline areas of alteration related to potential mineralisation.

The Short Wave Infa Red (SWIR) bands were processed in order to help highlight equivalent absorption peaks similar to the clays in illite, propylitic and alunite alteration type assemblages.

Structural lineaments have also been interpreted from the Aster imagery, which may indicate conduits for mineralisation in both epithermal gold and porphyry copper and base metal environments.

Significantly, the interpretation highlighted several different anomalies along strike both east and west of BOTH the conformable and moderate / steep south dipping mineralised zones.