The Belara Project is a JORC compliant inferred resource, a base metal project (copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver). The Belara Project comprises one exploration licence that lies 100km north northeast of Orange in NSW (Figure 1). Singta Resources considers the resource to be significant and is encouraged by the geology and plans to expand the resource by conducting further drilling; targeting extensions to the current mineralisation.
In 2007, a maiden JORC 2004 compliant resource estimate was reported of:
1.0 million tonnes at 5.0%, Zn, 0.4% Cu, 1.5% Pb, 0.2g/t Au & 50g/t Ag at a 4% Zn cut off
Within a larger lower grade resource of;
3.8 million tonnes at 3.1% Zn, 0.4% Cu, 1.0% Pb, 0.2g/t Au and 34g/t Ag at a 1% Zn cut off
The Belara project is located 100km north north-east of Orange and 30km to the east of Wellington. The Project is well accessed by gazetted sealed roads, with direct access to the centre of the license via Goolma Road that runs between the towns of Wellington and Gulgong . The Project is held within Exploration Licence 6576, which covers an area 11.6km2 and was granted on the 20th June 2006. Two historic mines are located within the licence, Belara and Native Bee, which both produced copper intermittently between 1885 and 1914.
The Project is located at the northern end of the Silurian Hill End Synclinorial Zone, which is part of the Lachlan Fold Belt. This zone is host to a number of strata bound massive sulphide deposits. The tenement is situated on the Cobbora 1:100,000 map sheet, within the 1:250,000 Dubbo map sheet.
The Belara and Native Bee lodes are interpreted to be VMS style base metal deposits. The mineralisation is believed to have been deposited as a stratiform deposit in a deep subaqueous setting. The significant metal association for stratiform exhalative ores such as VMS deposits are variably iron, copper, zinc and lead with minor cadmium, arsenic, antimony and bismuth, typically with trace quantities of silver and gold. The dominant economic metal at the Project is zinc, although historic production was based on supergene enriched copper ores.
There are no metallurgical records from the historical operations. Mineralisation is observed from diamond drill core shows a massive and disseminated, sulphide-rich mineralisation style, with sphalerite, chalcopyrite, galena, pyrrhotite and pyrite present. A series of quartz-muscovite-albite phyllites and schists appear to host the mineralisation. These overlie dacitic volcanics near the top of the Chesleigh Formation. East of the main hosting phyllites is a zone of coarse to very coarse acid porphyries. The contact between these two units is well defined. A similar porphyritic group of rocks appear to also exist to the west.
At Belara a gossan outcrops along the line of historic workings. It contains a boxwork with typical iron staining and some slickensides suggesting shearing. The Native Bee deposit occurs along strike from Belara, with the two deposits made up of a seemingly discontinuous lode of mineralised material.
During the life of the mine Belara had yielded some 260t of metallic copper from 8,000t of ore. The maximum vertical depth of the Belara workings was recorded as 60m, with drives on three levels. Lode widths varied from 0.5 to 3 metres. Reported average mining grades were up to 3-5% Cu, 2.0-4.5g/t Au and 2-3oz Ag. Mining at the time did not produce Zn or Pb from the ores although these elements were known to be present in the ore.
The Native Bee workings opened the lode through four shafts over a length of 137m and to a depth of 27 meters. Reported lode widths were from 1.0-6.0 meters. The Native Bee mine yielded approximately 25t of metallic copper from 500t of ore. It is understood that the mineralisation and metal association at Native Bee is similar in type to that of Belara.
No further production for either mine is recorded after 1914. The Belara workings are present over at least 500m, with stope production over 100m. The underground levels show a dip 75° to the east and the strike is about 340° magnetic, parallel with both the cleavage and regional bedding. Early workers interpreted the mineralisation to be in a shear or fault.
During 1967-68, Placer Exploration Pty Ltd conducted some IP surveys over Belara and Native Bee deposits. The work resulted in weak to moderate anomalies being found with associated coincident geochemical anomalies. Limited diamond drilling defined mineralisation between 91 and 122 metres depth. Placer relinquished the tenement in 1968.
The Belara and Native Bee deposits were explored by Cominco Exploration Pty Ltd during the late 1960’s. A later joint venture with Pacific Copper mines (Australia) Pty Ltd was entered into in 1968. The company conducted regional mapping, soil sampling and ground surveys prior to diamond drilling at Belara. The ground geophysical surveys comprised magnetics, IP and SP with some geochemical soil and steam sediment sampling also undertaken.
Four of the six holes initially drilled by Cominco intersected mineralisation, and whilst these were insufficient to outline the ore zone, a widening of mineralisation at depth was indicated. Subsequent drilling also showed the strike length to be approximately 600m, and the width to be variable but averaging 6 metres. The drilling located massive sulphide mineralisation south of the old Belara Mine with a pyritic halo. The determined strike of 340° with steep dips easterly at 70-85° was encountered. Some minor folding and possible shears were identified.
Neither total depth of the lode nor the continuation of sulphide mineralisation between the Belara and Native Bee prospects was established. From 1987 to 1990 International Mining Corporation Pty Ltd undertook exploration in the area. Initially the company re-examined work of early explorers, including core relogging.
Rock chip sampling was undertaken and from these results only Belara was deemed prospective for gold. Later, in response to strong base metal prices at the time, the company undertook a programme of geological mapping, geochemical interpretation and geophysical surveys.
From 1990, the company (International Mining) entered into a farm-in agreement with CRA Exploration Pty Ltd and the exploration was expanded to include three diamond holes. The best intersection from the first hole (to the north of Native Bee) was 3m @ 0.2% Zn, while the second hole (beneath the Belara workings) intersected mineralisation between 265 and 280m, the best of which was 4m @ 0.3% Zn.
In the period 1993-1994 Aztec Exploration Limited conducted a comprehensive review of previous exploration and identified new drill targets. Aztec drilled three holes, with the best intersection being at Belara, with 6m @ 6.9% Zn, 2.5% Pb, 0.6% Cu, 0.46g/t Au and 82g/t Ag from a depth of 307.9 metres. Aztec concluded that a wide- scale hydrothermal system, and therefore mineralisation at depth, existed.
Ironbark conducted a drill program during late 2006 with Anderson Drilling utilizing a UDR 650 multipurpose drill rig. Two reverse circulation (RC) drill holes were completed at Native Bee and seven RC drill holes with diamond core tails were completed at Belara. In total nine drill holes (B023-B031) for 1,819.8 meters combined were drilled.
Subsequent to Ironbark’s initial drill program Ravensgate Minerals Industry Consultants (Ravensgate) were commissioned to produce and independent resource estimate for the Project. Ravensgate were supplied with all available drill data (28 holes), 13 holes from Cominco, 3 holes from CRA, 3 holes from Aztec and 9 holes from Ironbark. From the supplied data a total of 20 holes fell within the lodes as interpreted by Ravensgate.
The JORC Code (2004) compliant (after Ravensgate, 2007) inferred resource estimated for the Belara Project was 1.0 million tonnes at 5.0% Zn, 0.4% Cu, 1.5% Pb, 0.3g/t Au and 50g/t Ag, using a 4.0% Zn cut-off (Table 4). This estimate was within a lower grade resource of 3.8 million tonnes at 3.1% Zn, 0.4% Cu, 1.0% Pb, 0.2g/t Au and 34g/t Ag, using a 1.0% Zn cut-off.
Ironbark completed a second round of drilling at the Project in February 2008. Tylor Drilling completed three holes utilising a UDR 650 rig, two of which intersected massive sulphides. The best result was drill hole B033 that targeted down-dip extension, with 7.5m at 4.9% Zn, 2.0% Pb, 0.6% Cu, 0.8g/t Au and 68g/t Ag. Subsequently it was deemed that whilst the results did add to the mineralised domain a second resource report was not warranted at that time. Figure 2 shows the drill hole locations and significant intercepts.