Monument own a well maintained and centrally located 260ktpa gold processing plant, that is currently on care & maintenance. The Burnakura plant circuit was reviewed and a three stage crushing circuit was rebuilt and refurbished and transported to the plant site ready for installation. Continuous mine planning work, pit designs and optimizations have been prepared and are periodically reviewed.
Since acquisition, extensive development work has been carried out to organise the site and upgrade camp facilities. The onsite laboratory has been expanded and upgraded, the stores area was organized and the access road construction was completed. Site accommodation and catering facilities are fully functional and used for exploration drilling and are ready for a potential near-term re-start of production.
The majority of the Burnakura Property area covers Archaean basement rocks assigned to the 2814-2800 Ma basal Norie Group of the Murchison Supergroup within the eastern margin of the Meekatharra-Wydgee greenstone belt. The Norrie group comprises: a thick succession of pillowed and massive tholeiitic basalts of the Murrouli Basalt; and conformably overlying felsic volcaniclastics with interbedded Banded Iron Formations (BIF’s) and felsic volcanic rocks of the Yaloginda Formation.
The Burnakura gold deposits are situated along a northeast trending splay (Burnakura Shear Zone) that parallels and is linked to the north-northeast trending regional scale Mt Magnet fault. The Mt Magnet fault is the major east bounding structure to the “Meekatharra structural zone”, a major regional, northeast-trending shear dominated zone, about 50 to 60km wide, incorporating the Meekatharra area and extending through the Cue region as far south as Mount Magnet (Spaggiari, 2006). The Meekatharra structural zone is dominated by north and northeast-trending folds and shears, including refolded folds with approximately coplanar fold axes. Many of the folds are truncated by shears or faults, and the structural zone is interpreted as a major zone of shear-related deformation.
Gold mineralisation is thought to have extended from 2,660 to 2,630 Ma during predominantly strike-slip D4 shearing and coincident with the peak of granitic magmatism. The Burnakura Shear Zone gold mineralisation is typical of a brittle to semi-ductile shear zone forming semi-continuous dilational veins. The mineralisation is dominated by steep dipping quartz (±minor sulphides) veins orientated parallel to the foliation of the fault zone. Minor sulphides are present and little alteration of the host lithology is also observed.
Since acquisition, drilling programs from March 2014 to May 2020 focused on Burnakurra, where multiple historical open pits and underground mines are situated. A total of 674 holes and 53,803 meters of RC and diamond drilling have been completed by Monument for exploration and to convert and increase the historical resource to NI 43-101 resource standards. A drill hole map is presented in the map below.
The drilling focused on the NOA, Alliance, New Alliance and Federal City deposits and included infill drilling as well as extensional drilling close to existing pits. A series of metallurgical holes were also drilled to support the resource classification. The drilling confirmed the continuity of mineralisation and highlighted the potential for future underground development at deposits including NOA 7/8, which has over 600m of high grade strike length open at depth and to the north.
In July 2018 the Company released a NI 43-101 Report “Updated Mineral Resources, Burnakura Gold Project, Western Australia produced by SRK Consulting, Perth, and filed on SEDAR. This report increased the Indicated Resources to 293koz from 98.4koz and increased the Inferred Resources to 88koz from 4.4koz. The 2018 Updated Mineral Resources have incorporated 46,847m of RC drilling and 1,797m of diamond drilling completed by Monument between 2014 and 2016 combined with over 180,000m of historical drilling.
The Company’s strategy is to focus on an aggressive two-year exploration program to increase its mineralization footprint, discover new gold and upgrade the existing gold inventory. The exploration plan is under review.
Monument has completed the following exploration programs in the past two years in addition to the exploration carried out since acquisition as detailed below:
- A 3D structural study was completed in September 2019 which confirmed near mine down-plunge potential and also highlighted regional prospectivity at the Murchison Project. The study was undertaken by principal structural geologists, Dr. Jun Cowan and Dr. Oliver Kreuzer (X-plore GeoConsulting).
- A 1,974m RCDD drill program was then successfully completed in May 2020 which included testing several targets that were identified in the 3D structural study. A total of 8 holes for 1,577m of RC and 397m of DD were drilled to test down plunge extensions of high grade gold mineralization at Alliance (806m), New Alliance (557m), NOA 1 (264m) and NOA 2 (346m). The drill holes targeted high grade gold mineralization with the potential to be mined underground as part of Monument’s strategy to delineate additional resources.
- A total of 30 regional exploration targets were identified at the Burnakura project as part of the regional review. High potential exploration targets that were identified includes greenfield targets with no known first pass sampling and potential strike lengths of over 3km, and brownfield targets along strike from and adjacent to known deposits such as New Alliance and the NOA group.
Drill programs are currently being planned to test high priority targets including underground at NOA 7/8 and NOA 1 as part of the 2-year exploration program. Drill programs have been planned in conjunction with deposit reviews that have included modelling new faults that control mineralisation. In addition, greenfield exploration programs are currently being planned to enable the early identification of potential new resources.