(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Strategic Elements (ASX: SOR) has been granted a prospecting permit over the historic Golden Blocks Goldfield region on the northwest tip of the South Island of New Zealand.
The area is one of the most prospective regions of New Zealand as a result of its geological history, and Strategic will be the first modern explorer to systematically explore the area.
Despite its high mineral potential, past workings have been on a small scale, and little exploration has been carried out in the last 20 years.
Charles Murphy, managing director, commented: "The grant of this permit is quite significant for the company as the ground contains intrusion related potential as well as having former producing gold mines.
"Modern 'under cover' exploration approach using geophysics data means the prospectivity of many intrusive areas in New Zealand are wide open.
"Most of the company's focus to date has been on identification and analysis of a significant number of intrusion related projects across New Zealand whilst these opportunities were still available. These projects reflect that work with both owned 100% outright.
"The company's main focus remains on rare metals, however intrusion related projects in other commodities have also been secured to spread commodity risk.
"This activity was prioritised when capital markets experienced a serious decline, the next phase of work is clearly focused on exploration in the field."
The area contains the Golden Blocks project and the West Wanganui project.
Golden Blocks Project
The Golden Blocks project covers the entire Golden Blocks Goldfield, which comprises a number of high grade gold mines that produced around 39,000 ounces of gold up to 1913.
The main mine was the Aorangi Mine, which was the largest single mine in the goldfield and produced about 30,000 ounces of gold at a high average grade of 36 grams per tonne (g/t).
Gold was produced from a strike length of 400 metres, but only to about 100 metres depth.
As well as potential at depth, there is also strike potential of the Golden Blocks lode, including gold remaining in historic mines " Aorangi, Anthill, Fault Adits, Golden Ridge, New Find, the area between historic workings, and possible extension south beyond historic mines to Sandhill Creek.
The more significant mines lay within or close to the mine fault and are found along a strike length of 2.4 kilometres.
In 1972, Newmont Pty Ltd mapped the Golden Blocks lode as extending for 2 kilometres along the line of historic mines.
Strategic Elements will focus initial exploration on identifying a high grade underground gold resource beneath Level 3 of the Aorangi gold mine (creek level).
The company will then look to extend the strike towards other gold mines along the line of lode.
Fieldwork to inspect mine shafts and plan a geophysical survey to identify gold mineralisation beneath the Aorangi mine will begin in December 2012.
West Wanganui Project
The southern part of the 131 square kilometre West Wanganui Project covers an area of gold mineralised rocks derived from granite dykes with potential for intrusion related gold.
The potential of West Wanganui is enhanced by recent work nearby at the Sam's Creek gold deposit owned by Oceana Gold and MOD Resources.
At Sam's Creek, a resource of over 1 million ounces of gold has been defined in granite dykes, and a recent airborne geophysics survey has potentially identified the source intrusion buried below.
At West Wanganui, in 1987 granite dyke related gold mineralisation was discovered by then CRA, now Rio Tinto.
CRA believed the gold mineralisation had strong similarities to the type they also discovered at Sam's Creek, but a corporate decision caused the company's withdrawal from New Zealand in 1989.
No one has followed up CRA's discovery of gold bearing granite dykes at West Wanganui.
CRA reported that rocks from granite dykes in the Anatori/Frazer stream area are similar to those which host the important gold mineralisation at Sam's Creek, and the occurrences indicate potential for a similar system.
CRA identified several drainages with rocks derived from granite dykes, some outcrops of dyke with a true width of up to 20 metres, and reported rock chip assays from float up to 1g/t gold.
They reported that considerable potential existed for significant gold mineralisation to occur in this anomaly.
Gold was also found in other rock types, including 7.15g/t in a pyritic quartz vein and 13.7g/t in quartz-veined siltstone.
Strategic will target CRA's Frazer Stream anomaly with a helicopter assisted sampling program, and is also commissioning the first airborne magnetic survey focused on this area to detect any buried potential intrusions.