Chalice Gold Mines identified two 12km+ gold-in-soil anomalies at the 100%-owned Pyramid Hill Gold Project, located within the highly endowed Bendigo Goldfields region of central Victoria.


Image: A gold mineral. Photo: courtesy of carlos aguilar/

The two largest anomalies are approximately 12km long and have significantly upgraded the exploration potential of the project. The areas of anomalism will be the initial focus of the Company’s large-scale, ground-based exploration campaign, which is now underway.

Chalice has validated historic gold-in-soil anomalies through a program of Bulk Leach Extractable Gold (BLEG) soil sampling. Given the success of this initial geochemical program, Chalice is planning additional geochemical sampling along strike of the western anomaly which is currently open to the north and south, to test continuity, and to cover other highly prospective fault trends which have limited historical exploration work.

Chalice has also reprocessed regional geophysical datasets to better define the location of the key regional faults which are important controlling structures for the major gold deposits of the region. The Sebastian, Muckleford and Campbelltown Faults which localise the Bendigo, Castlemaine and Ballarat gold deposits are interpreted to trend through the Company’s tenure.

In addition to the expanded geochemical sampling program currently underway, Chalice will shortly commence ground-based gravity surveys over granted tenure to refine targets for a planned initial phase of Aircore drilling scheduled to commence in October 2018, subject to approvals.

The West anomaly is open along strike to the north and south and Chalice plans to complete infill sampling in this area to better define the limits of the soil anomalism.

Three of the four BLEG soil anomalies were originally identified by Homestake Gold of Australia (Homestake) in the late 1990s, with the fourth discovered by Chalice. Chalice has also successfully verified a large portion of the ~20 year old historical sampling results, which is highly encouraging.

Homestake undertook one traverse of aircore drilling comprising five holes at 300m spacings along an east-west line located north of the West anomaly. Four holes appear to have terminated in Murray basin sediments (70-90m depth) and the most westerly hole intersected bedrock at 48m depth. No anomalous gold was reported from this drilling however four of the five holes are interpreted to have stopped short of the target Bendigo Zone basement.

Chalice will commence a follow up program of BLEG geochemical sampling on granted tenement EL6661 immediately, and thereafter on EL6737 (which is expected to be granted shortly). The Company will continue with sampling north and south of the West anomaly, while also extending coverage into other unsampled areas which overlie the Sebastian, Muckleford and Campbelltown Faults.

Gravity Geophysics

Ground and airborne gravity surveys have defined the position of important regional faults where they trend under Murray Basin cover. Public domain ground and airborne gravity surveys have been reprocessed and the current interpretation shows that three significant sub-parallel NNW trending mineralised structures (the Sebastian, Muckleford and Campbelltown Faults) extend through the Company’s tenure (Figure 2).

Chalice has identified a prospective three-way convergence of these structures in the northern part of its tenement holding and this will be further investigated with detailed ground gravity surveys and follow-up soil geochemical sampling.

Most of the orogenic gold deposits and occurrences (i.e. non-alluvial deposits) in the Bendigo region show a strong spatial association with large-scale regional faults including the Sebastian, Muckleford and Campbelltown Faults and more specifically, within second-order west-dipping faults and splays that develop along anticlinal hinge zones in the hanging wall of the regional faults. The position and continuation of these gold bearing structures and the Chalice tenure is shown in Figure 3, demonstrating the potential of the Project.

The Bendigo Zone

The Bendigo region is currently enjoying a significant renaissance in gold exploration and development with the continued success of several nearby projects. These include the outstanding exploration results reported recently by Catalyst Metals’ (ASX: CYL) at its Four Eagles Project, where Catalyst recently announced the best gold intersection ever recorded at the Boyd’s Dam Zone – 16m @ 63.0g/t Au including 12m @ 83.7g/t Au including 1m @ 810.0g/t Au from 43m in FERC222)1. The Four Eagles Project is located ~20km to the east, directly adjacent to Chalice’s tenure.

Renewed interest in the area has been driven by the >7Moz Fosterville Gold Mine, owned by Canadian-based Kirkland Lake Gold (NYSE / TSX: KL | ASX: KLA). The mine is one of the world’s highest-grade gold mines and is currently the largest gold producer in Victoria. Kirkland Lake recently reported updated 2018 guidance for Fosterville, with production of 260-300koz Au and operating cash costs of US$270-290/oz2 – demonstrating that it is currently one of the lowest cost and most profitable mines in the world.

The Pyramid Hill Project extends to the north-west of the world-class >22Moz Bendigo Gold Field. From 1850 to 1890, Bendigo was the largest gold producer in the world. The deposit’s surface footprint is approximately three times the size of the Kalgoorlie Superpit, and every 100 vertical metres contained a prolific 3-5Moz of gold.

The Project is also well placed to leverage off the Victorian Government’s ‘Gold Undercover’ initiative, which estimates a potential ~32Moz of undiscovered gold endowment in the Bendigo Zone under Murray Basin cover3, where Chalice now has granted Exploration Licences and applications over a total area of 3,080km2.

The success of undercover exploration techniques employed by other operators in the region highlights the significant potential to make new gold discoveries. Chalice has extensive experience with these innovative undercover exploration techniques from ongoing exploration activities at its East Cadillac Gold Project in the prolific Abitibi region of Quebec. This experience gives Chalice a unique skillset in exploring the Bendigo region and will prove valuable as it ramps up exploration activities over the coming months.

Next Steps

EL6661 is granted, while three additional Exploration Licences at the Project are expected to be granted shortly (EL6669, EL6737 and EL6738). Additional regional soil geochemical sampling programs are underway and extended ground gravity work will commence immediately on granted tenure. The results will be used to plan shallow Aircore drilling, scheduled for October 2018, subject to approvals.

Chalice’s Chief Executive Officer Alex Dorsch said: “The Bendigo region is now firmly back on the radar for gold investors around the world, thanks to the exceptional exploration results which have been reported recently in the area. Despite this growing level of exploration activity, the region is surprisingly under explored undercover, which creates a huge opportunity for Chalice.”

“We established the Pyramid Hill Gold Project based on our confidence in applying modern exploration techniques to unlock the true potential of an area within an earshot of world-class gold deposits. We now hold a strategic ground position of over 3,000km2 and we have delivered some exciting early results from our initial exploration activities.”

“The four large gold anomalies identified by our initial work are exciting indications of prospectivity at this early stage, and we are looking forward to seeing what our systematic and accelerated approach to exploration can deliver.”

Source: Company Press Release