The value of historic mine maps was emphasised in one of the two presentations given to the AusIMM NZ Mining Conference in Christchurch by New Talisman Gold Mines Ltd (NZX & ASX: NTL).
Director and long-time geologist and consultant to the mine redevelopment, Murray Stevens, told NZ Resources that when NTL acquired old mine records he was not sure of the value of the acquisition.
However, in taking on the exploration role as a director of the company he soon appreciated the value of the data in allowing New Talisman to establish new reserves and resources on targets such as the Dubbo Deeps. He appreciated the importance of these old records.
Stevens and chief operating officer Wayne Chowles gave a joint presentation on the history and acquired data on the Talisman mine at Karangahake on which it has, in recent months, significantly lifted the resource and reserves potential.
Murray Stevens detailed the mine’s history. Gold was discovered on the Coromandel in 1852 and the Maria vein was discovered in 1882 and the following year the Crown mine then Woodstock was found and Talisman was outlined the following year. In 1904 Woodstock and the Talisman mine were integrated to become one of the major gold mines in the country.
In 1919 Talisman closed and Crown closed in 1928. In its heyday Talisman employed 600 and it produced 3.5 million ounces of bullion in 687,000 tonnes of ore grading 27.8 grams/tonne.
In 1971 Southern Cross Minerals and then NZ Goldfields began exploration at Talisman in partnerships with Cyprus Minerals and Freeport of the US.
In 1995 the forerunner to New Talisman, Heritage Gold NZ, took over the project.
Wayne Chowles told delegates that in recent times the exploration-development work was split into three zones – Dubbo, Woodstock and Talisman-Bonanza.
He said there was now a total resource of 752,339t grading 17.7 g/t gold equivalent for 427,599 ounces.
In a later corporate overview, Chowles pointed to a new capital raising aimed at raising up to $NZ13.7 M from shareholders, and he pointed out that in $NZ terms the gold price has ranged between $NZ1,603 and $NZ1,844/oz in the past month.
Chowles said Talisman was one of the highest grade gold deposits in NZ and that a bulk sampling programme was set for early 2018. At this stage the project has direct access to all three significant vein systems through the mine’s No 8 level.
He pointed out that the nearby Rahu prospect was a potential clone of the Talisman mine and was 80% owned by Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) with 20% of the project held in trust for NTL.
The company “has opportunities to explore and implement initiatives” to gain a greater interest in Rahu.
Chowles was asked by NZResources if the company would consider treating Talisman ore at the nearby Waihi gold plant owned by OceanaGold Corporation (TSX & ASX: OGC). He said it was too early to detail options which included a proposal to upgrade ore from within the mine.