The Company’s Bryah Basin and Gabanintha Projects are located in central Western Australia.
The Bryah Basin project is located approximately 100-150km north of the town of Meekatharra in Western Australia. The Company’s tenements cover 720km² over parts of the western Bryah Basin. Active and historic mines located close to the Company’s tenements include the Fortnum, Labouchere, Horseshoe, Peak Hill, Hermes and Harmony gold mines and the Horseshoe Lights copper/gold mine.
The Bryah Basin also hosts a number of historical Manganese mines, the largest being the Horseshoe South Manganese mine.
Gold and Copper Exploration
Historical exploration during the 1980s and 1990s primarily focused on gold targets that could be mined by shallow open pit methods. Deeper exploration was generally limited to the immediate vicinity of the then operating mines. Exploration and mining activity in the Bryah Basin declined substantially during the late 1990s and 2000s.
With the discovery of the DeGrussa copper/gold deposit by Sandfire Resources NL (Sandfire) in 2009, a renewed phase of exploration across the Bryah Basin commenced, targeting deeper volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) style mineralisation.
In June 2015 Sandfire discovered the high-grade Monty copper/gold VMS deposit. Details of Sandfire’s exploration results are available online from ASX.
In 2014, deeper drilling by RNI NL (now Auris Minerals Limited ASX:AUR) to test beneath the Forrest gold prospect in the western Bryah Basin identified significant copper/gold mineralisation at depth.
In 2017 AUR completed a number of drilling programmes at the Wodger Prospect with a best intersection of 50 metres @ 1.55% Cu. Further details of AUR’s exploration results are available online from ASX.
The Wodger and Forrest Prospects are located less than 2km west of the Company’s tenements. The Company considers that the recent exploration success at AUR’s Big Billy, Wodger and Forrest prospects is highly encouraging and confirms the excellent potential for similar copper/gold mineralisation to be discovered on the Company’s neighbouring tenements and elsewhere within the western Bryah Basin.
The Horseshoe Range area has been the main manganese producing region within the Bryah and Padbury Basins, with production dominated by the Horseshoe South Mine, and a smaller satellite deposit at the Horseshoe North Mine. The first production period for these 2 deposits was from 1948 to 1971, when 490,000 tonnes of manganese ore was mined at a reported average grade of 42% Manganese. Process Minerals Limited, a subsidiary of ASX-listed Mineral Resources Limited, produced a further 400,000 tonnes of manganese ore from the Horseshoe South Mine between 2008 and 2011.
Other historical manganese mines within the area are at Mudderwearie, Elsa Mary and Mount Padbury with each reported to have yielded grades exceeding 40% Mn.
Since 2000 only limited manganese exploration has occurred. However, drilling in 2010-2011 identified a number of new manganese deposits under shallow cover. One such discovery, the Horseshoe Flats deposit is located less than 1 km south of the Horseshoe South mine. Manganese mining operations commenced at the Horseshoe Flats in late 2017 with ore being trucked to Port Hedland for export. The deposit has been described as a talus-style deposit which lies near the foot of the Horseshoe Range under shallow transported cover. Exploration for talus-style manganese deposits under shallow cover represents an opportunity for Bryah Resources Limited, which has control of over 40 kilometres of the prospective Horseshoe Range.