Pilbara gold explorer Artemis Resources has secured a 20,000-tonne excess tonnage permit from the Western Australian Government for extraction of bulk samples from the Purdy’s Reward project.
Artemis, which formed a joint venture with Novo Resources at Purdy’s Reward earlier this year, filed an application for the permit with the WA mines department prior to signing the agreement with the Canadian company.
The partners now plan to use the permit to undertake systematic bulk sampling for grade purposes at Purdy’s Reward, where Witwatersrand-style gold nuggets have been discovered.
Novo considers bulk sampling to be the best method for evaluating grade and potential viability of the deposit given the nature of the gold mineralisation that has been identified.
Artemis chairman David Lenigas said the company fortuitously applied for the permit before the deal was negotiated with Novo.
“The ability to now take bulk samples of this size is potentially very important for the Novo/Artemis exploration efforts determining the actual recovered grades of this nugget gold-bearing conglomerate at Purdy’s Reward,” Lenigas said.
Novo envisions collection of bulk material from multiple sites and positions within the Purdy’s Reward conglomerate package will provide the greatest understanding of the unusual gold system.
Quinton Hennigh, Novo chairman, said the company was fully aware from day one that the project was a coarse gold system.
“The fact that numerous prospectors have been detecting gold here since its discovery is compelling evidence,” Hennigh said.
“While the ability to recover consistent, quality sample material using large diameter drilling has not yet been accomplished, trenching appears to yield acceptable bulk samples for test work.
“Bulk sampling at surface will be the most critical means of determining the grade, processing characteristics and viability of this deposit.”
Meanwhile, Artemis “turned the lights back on” at its Radio Hill treatment plant at the nickel-copper-cobalt mine on the weekend. The mine and plant had been shut since 2008 due to a slump in base metals prices.
The company acquired the Radio Hill assets in April to provide it with processing capability in the region.
Artemis has also ordered a $3 million Gekko gold recovery plant, which will be installed at the site by the end of first half 2018.
The fully permitted Radio Hill mine and plant are 15km west of Purdy’s Reward.