Artemis Resources Ltd (ASX:ARV) is advancing precious and base metals focused projects in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, as well as working towards bringing the Karratha area’s only processing plant Radio Hill back online.
The company is engaged in a joint venture (JV) with Novo Resources Corp (CVE:NVO) to explore conglomerate and paleo-placer gold deposits on 38 Artemis tenements within 100 kilometres of Karratha.
Drilling to grow base and battery metals inventory
Drilling and other programs are defining resources among Artemis’ other projects including: high-grade cobalt attended by gold and copper intersected at Carlow Castle; high-grade nickel at Ruth Well and Radio Hill; and high-grade cobalt-copper-zinc at the Whundo Mine.
It also has the Munni Munni project, which along with conglomerate gold targets hosts Australia’s largest platinum group elements (PGE) resource.
Artemis' holdings in the Karratha region
Strong cash position
Artemis is in a strong cash position since ending the financial year with $27 million cash on hand.
Artemis’ chief executive officer Wayne Bramwell said: “Excellent drilling results from our Carlow Castle, Whundo, Radio Hill and Ruth Well deposits should see growth in our base metal and battery resource inventory.
“We are very excited about what the remainder of this year will bring as Novo increases its exploration efforts at Purdy’s Reward.”
Artemis is up to date on all Novo JV expenditure commitments and the JV partners have agreed to a $5.4 million exploration and work program budget for the new financial year.
In the first four months the JV will focus on bulk sampling, diamond drilling and costeaning activities, primarily at Purdy’s Reward.
Large bulk samples will be collected and treated to provide necessary gold grade data for a mineralisation report, an important step toward converting the current exploration licence to a mining lease.
Watermelon-seed gold nuggets
The company has now confirmed gold extends from its Purdy’s Reward prospect through Novo Resources’ Comet Well and into Artemis’ Comet Well West tenements.
The defined zone runs for 8 kilometres and is highly prospective for conglomerate gold mineralisation considered analogous to the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa.
Over four days of prospecting in August 2017, Artemis recovered 547 grams of gold nuggets shaped like watermelon seeds, a unique feature of the deposit.
A conglomerate gold sample from surface near Comet Well on Novo Corp's tenement
Artemis is rapidly advancing its Carlow Castle cobalt, gold and copper project, with extensional and infill drilling planned for the current quarter.
Earlier this year the company revealed an indicated and inferred JORC resource for Carlow Castle of 2.3 million tonnes at 1.3 g/t gold, 0.11% cobalt, 0.5% copper and 1.6 g/t silver.
Recent assay results indicated high-grade cobalt at the prospect, with one hole returning 6.5 metres at 23.44 g/t gold, 2.32% cobalt and 10.35% copper from 47 metres.
Bramwell said: “These latest shallow cobalt, gold and copper assays from Carlow Castle are outstanding by any measure.
“The mineralisation remains open along strike and at depth and as such the drilling program will be expanded to further test this growing resource.”
Carlow Castle is around 35 kilometres by road from Artemis’ 100% owned Radio Hill plant.
To better assess the region’s geology, Artemis is drilling two super-deep holes on the southern outskirts of its Karratha tenements.
The holes are designed to test the many rock sequences in the Pilbara Basin from surface, reaching a depth of over 3,300 metres.
These rock sequences are not known or are interpreted or inferred to exist based on sparse data that does not explain observed surface mineralisation for diamonds, cobalt, zinc, lead and gold.
Initial interpretation shows the basement hard rock is undulating and dips north from the drill hole, with sediments filling in the topography that once would have been hills and valleys.
This means there are potential fertile sites and areas across the Fortescue Basin topography where mafic gold-rich conglomerates can form.
The first hole was terminated at 1,348.5 metres in a diorite-granodiorite, with 800 metres of core to be sent to CSIRO for analysis.
The 425,000 tonne per annum Radio Hill Treatment Plant near Karratha
Radio Hill restart
Artemis’ portfolio represents the first time the Radio Hill processing plant and resource in the Karratha region have been consolidated into one company.
Work towards Radio Hill’s restart is ongoing, with the first of three key approvals to install a new gold circuit received in July.
READ: Artemis Resources’ drilling continues to target potential gold-rich conglomerates in west Pilbara
Bramwell said that the planned Gekko gold circuit will provide Artemis the ability to bulk-sample gold targets within its regional holdings.
He said: “Artemis remains totally focused on bringing the Radio Hill plant back into production as soon as possible.
“[We are] ready to install the new gold circuit, subject only to receiving the final Western Australian Government approvals to do so.”
Radio Hill is a 425,000 tonne per annum sulphide capacity flotation plant and full flotation refurbishment with a gravity gold circuit is estimated to cost $5.25 million.