In 2014, the Company reported an updated Life of Mine Plan ("LOM Plan") for the Mineral Ridge Operation that included the Drinkwater, Mary, Mary LC, and the five satellite deposits, Brodie, Bluelite, Solberry, Wedge and Oromonte (see July 21, 2014
news release and Mineral Reserve & Resource Estimates
). Mining of the Drinkwater deposit was completed in Q3 2014. Production in 2015 came from the Mary, Mary LC, Solberry, Wedge, Brodie and Bluelite deposits.
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Operations Area Map
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Operations Area Map with Drill Hole Locations
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Mary - Mary LC Deposit
The Mary deposit is located immediately southeast of the Drinkwater pit. Scorpio Gold commenced pre-stripping operations in the Mary pit in December 2011 and initial ore production in Q2 2012. Exploration drilling in 2011 indicated that the gold mineralization extended further southeast from the Mary zone to the adjacent Mary LC zone, encompassing a strike length of 780 meters. Subsequent work determined that the Drinkwater, Mary and Mary LC zones were not isolated deposits but represented one continuous zone of mineralization.
Drilling in 2012 and 2013 was designed to support modification of the original Mary pit design to the southwest to include the continuation of mineralization into the Mary LC zone. A highly successful program led to completion of a mineral reserve and resource estimate for the Mary - Mary LC and incorporation of the expanded pit design into the updated LOM Plan. Infill and step-out drilling on the Mary LC post the March 31, 2014 cut-off date of the LOM Plan focused on increasing the total mineral resources, upgrading resource categories, lowering the strip ratio.
Pre-stripping of the Mary LC pit commenced in the first quarter of 2014 and commercial production was achieved in 2015.
Mary LC Drill Plan
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The satellite Brodie, Bluelite, Solberry, Wedge and Oromonte deposits are situated west and southwest of the Drinkwater pit and lie in close proximity to the leach pad. These deposits are part of a semi-continuous trend of mineralization within a shallow-dipping stratigraphic horizon. They lie on the western flank of an anticlinal fold structure and are considered to be related to mineralization within the Drinkwater-Mary trend, which lies on the eastern flank.
Drilling on the satellite deposits post the LOM Plan cut-off date included infill, development and exploration drilling to expand and upgrade the mineral reserve and resource base and potentially extend life of mine.
Brodie & Bluelite Deposits
The Brodie and Bluelite deposits are located 975 meters (3,200 feet) and 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) southwest, respectively, of the Drinkwater pit. Previous operators thought the Brodie and Bluelite deposits were separate mineralized bodies; however, drilling by Scorpio Gold demonstrated they are one semi-continuous zone.
The mineralized corridor, known as the NW Brodie trend, encompasses a strike length of some 1,370 meters (4,500 feet) and is situated immediately adjacent to the leach pad. Commercial production in both the Brodie and Bluelite pits was achieved in 2015.
Brodie Drill Plan
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Bluelite Drill Plan
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NW Brodie Trend Drill Plan
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The Solberry deposit lies west of the Drinkwater pit and 600 meters (1,970 feet) northwest of the leach pad. Drilling in 2014-15 successfully upgraded the resource base at Solberry and commercial production was achieved in 2015.
Solberry Drill Plan
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The Wedge deposit is located 225 meters (740 feet) southwest of the Drinkwater pit and immediately adjacent to the leach pad. Positive results from the 2014-15 expansion drilling program successfully upgraded the resource base at Wedge and commercial production was achieved in 2015.
Wedge Drill Plan
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The Oromonte target occurs over a 300 x 500 meter area situated between the Solberry and Wedge deposits. A small mineral resource estimate for the deposit based on 53 RC drill holes was reported in the 2014 LOM Plan. Follow-up drilling in 2014-2016 intersected significant mineralization at vertical depths ranging from near surface to 150 meters depth across the target area.
The mineralization at Oromonte is interpreted to be a continuation of the mineralized horizon(s) between the Solberry and Wedge deposits that have been offset by normal faulting. The occurrence of a higher-grade zone of mineralization at depth is thought to be related to a rheological contrast between the basement granite and a later intrusion of alaskite (leucogranite). The difference in deformational behaviour of the two rock types under stress may have caused greater structural damage and fluid flow within the mineralizing structures in this area, resulting in a higher-grade zone of mineralization. The Oromonte deposit was subsequently down-dropped by late-stage normal faulting. A generalized geological model of the mineralization is presented in the Oromonte Cross Section.
Although not accessible by open pit mining, the deeper mineralization at Oromonte may be amenable to underground extraction should further results support underground development. Historical underground workings occur in the Wedge deposit area approximately 180 meters to the east.
Oromonte Drill Plan
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Oromonte Cross Section
(PDF 350 Kb)
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