Cervantes Corporation Limited (ASX:CVS) has started a drill campaign at its Albury Heath Gold Project near Meekatharra in Western Australia as it raises funds for drilling and plans further exploration at its flagship Primrose multi-metallic project.
Cervantes has previously encountered bonanza-grade gold at Albury Heath, a project found near established infrastructure in the Mid West-Murchison region town of Meekatharra.
The drilling at Albury Heath and upcoming deep drilling at Primrose form part of a wider corporate strategy to pursue “fast wins” at low-sovereign-risk projects, in WA.
Cervantes executive chairman Collin Vost spoke to Proactive Investors today and said the spring-and-summer drilling program launched this week was following up the company’s drilling earlier this year.
Vost said, “We wanted to follow-up our previously very-high-grade bonanza hits that we had put in our previous drilling program.”
A drilling contractor is in the area and started reverse circulation (RC) drilling work at the project this week.
The company is waiting on a rotary air blast (RAB) drilling permit from the Western Australian Department of Mines and expects to start that side of the latest campaign early next year.
Vost said, “We want to do RAB drilling of at least four, five other interesting targets around the area within our permits.”
The project covers 10.8 square kilometres and includes the historical Albury Heath mine and its surround — with the exploration allowed under six prospecting licences P51/2937 and P51/2997-3001.
Highlighted intersections returned in the May-July 2018 period were: 2 metres grading 67.2 g/t from 27 metres, including 1 metre at 129.3 g/t from 27m; and 5 metres grading 63.1 g/t from 32 metres, including 1 metre at 202.8 g/t from 33 metres.
The Western Australian project is just 20-25 kilometres from two mills that Cervantes has reported it has signed confidentiality agreements with.
The project’s good location near mills and town infrastructure means it could avoid some of the costs incurred at fly-in, fly-out mine sites where workers need to be housed in specially-built mine camps.
Cervantes chairman Vost said the company expected Albury Heath could be an “early cash” opportunity, either through development and processing through the mills, or a sale to another party such as a mill operator.
The chairman noted the company was undertaking a small $700,000 capital raising to fund drilling at Albury Heath and Primose.
Cervantes sent two directors out to its Primrose Pit project on the edge of the 8-kilometre long Primrose Fault in September 2018, to undertake a field visit at the project it acquired in July 2018.
Primrose project and the Paynes Find pit in Western Australia
Vost told Proactive the company was aiming to follow up Paynes’ past efforts, “The previous explorer did a lot of shallow drilling in the area and some mobile metal ions (MMI) soil testing.
“We had a lot of old reports that we worked on from CSA and others.
“We also did an aircore drilling program over three areas that had not previously been drilled along the Primrose Fault, which is an 8-kilometre shear zone.
“We got elevated gold grades, nickel and cobalt grades all along the areas that we drilled, so we have now planned a deeper drilling program to be drilled over those areas, hopefully as soon as we get Mines Department approval for the drilling programs.”
The company, therefore, expects those stages of the drilling program will not take place until the new year.
Vost said, “The deep drilling and the Albury Heath RAB drilling will all be done as soon as possible in the new year.”
When asked which project was the company’s lead project, Vost indicated it was likely Primrose.
Vost said, “The Primrose project is the flagship, in as much as that’s got the potential for a lot more ounces and tonnages than the other projects.”
The chairman acknowledged the Cervantes’ Pansy Pit project was another project in the company’s portfolio but indicated it was essentially part of Primrose shear zone.
Vost said, “The Pansy Pit is really just a previous historical little mine that hangs off the end of the Primrose Fault, so it’s all part of the Primrose project.”
The company argued in August 2018 there was sufficient gold mineralisation remaining at the pit to extract at low cost with a heap-leach operation, given its position in the oxide zone and shallow depth.
Vost said, “The second project, the Albury Heath, we believe could very well be subject to further extensive drilling further beyond the resources that are already there and be available for processing in one of the local two mills that are only within 20-25 kilometres of the pit or may very well be sold if necessary to either of those mills.
“With a bit of luck and more drilling, Albury Heath could be an early cash earner.”
Vost highlighted a core strength of the company’s projects — they are in a mining state of very low sovereign risk, near infrastructure.
“In Australia, and particularly, in Western Australia, the mining sovereign risk is minimal and everything is fairly available.
“Both our projects, the Meekatharra project with Albury’s Heath and our Abbots project, are all very close to Meekatharra township.”
Vost believes the location of Albury Heath project bodes well for its economics.
Primrose project holds similar appeal.
Vost said, “The advantage of the Primrose project is in a little town called Paynes Find.
“That’s only 4.5 hours out of Perth on a bitumen road. It has got an existing roadhouse alongside it, an earthmoving contractor alongside it.
“The roadhouse has accommodation, and fuel and all other facilities.
“That means as we develop it, we don’t need accommodation, we don’t need to develop canteens or fly-in, fly-out facilities for the workers and it means that we have an earthmoving contractor right alongside which means we can utilise all of those services.”
Cervantes will hold its annual general meeting this Friday, November 30 at Royal Perth Golf Club in South Perth at 2.30pm.
Subscriptions to Cervantes’ capital raising are pencilled in to close this Friday, November 30.