ANGLO SAXON GOLD MINE – TROUSER LEGS JOINT VENTURE
The project is part of the Trouser Legs Joint Venture (TLJV) with Gel Resources Pty Ltd with Hawthorn owning 70% of the JV and Gel 30%, with Hawthorn as manager. The TLJV controls an extensive tenement package of Mining Leases (MLs) and surrounding Exploration licences (Els) on and around the Pinjin fault which hosts the main Anglo Saxon orebody.
The Anglo Saxon mine is located on the South Laverton Tectonic Zone (SLTZ), 140 kilometres north east of Kalgoorlie and 35 kilometres east of the Carosue Dam mill, formerly operated by Saracen Minerals and now owned by Northern Star (ASX:NST). The project is connected to Carosue Dam via a dedicated haul road.
In 2017, the Anglo Saxon project received board approval for development of an open pit along with construction of a haul road linking it to the Carosue Dam mill. A toll treatment agreement, in the form of an Ore Purchase Agreement (OPA) was completed with Saracen and site infrastructure established, including a 50 man camp. Earlier exploration by the TLJV, including an extensive program of reverse circulation and a limited amount of diamond drilling, confirmed the potential for an open pittable Ore Reserve of 730,000 tonnes grading 2.66 g/t gold for 62,000 ounces.
In 2018 open pit mining operations commenced and the first ore was mined and trucked to Carosue Dam for processing following the execution of the OPA with Saracen. In the financial year 2018,the TLJV mined 183,731 tonnes of high grade with an additional 37,492 tonnes of low grade ore stockpiled on the ROM pad. In the following financial year, a further 328,166 tonnes of high grade was mined at an average grade of 2.4g/t and 115,149 t low grade stockpiled on the ROM pad. Ore mining and haulage continued until December 2019 with the final parcels of ore processed at Carosue Dam in the first quarter 2020.
At the commencement of open pit mining, Anglo Saxon had been modelled on a gold price of A$1650/oz and a head grade of 2.4g/t, but the gradual rise in gold price over the operating period enabled the company to report a strong earnings performance for the 2020 financial year of $13,921 million. During operations. the gold price varied from a low of A$1639/oz in August 2018 to a high of A$2220 in September 2019 versus the project model which was done at A$1650/oz.
Comparing the pre-mine modelled Probable Ore Reserve of 730,000 tonnes at 2.66 g/t for 62,000 ozs, the open pit yielded 49,694 ozs indicating a successful mine operation for a geologically complex ore body. From grade control drilling, Hawthorn understood that the stacked, high grade ladder vein quartz lodes varied in thickness both down dip and along strike resulting in the modelling and mining of the deposit being challenging. Nevertheless, the TLJV were able to successfully mine Anglo Saxon, producing 49,694 ozs and generating significant profits from the operation at the time.
Furthermore of the 150,000 tonnes of low-grade stockpiles placed on the ROM pad, just over 50,000 tons have been treated at Lakewood’s Golden Mile mill in Kalgoorlie, generating significant additional cash flow and bringing the reconciliation of the pre mine model and final gold production even closer .The treatment of the remaining low grade stockpiles of both fresh and oxide material, are currently under discussion with nearby mills and should generate further cash flow at the prevailing higher A$ gold price, but this will ultimately depend on grade.
The TLJV tenements and the underlying Anglo Saxon underground remains a viable asset for Hawthorn with considerable optionality, constrained by the current size of the underground orebody and lack of a nearby processing facility. The current Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) is 785,000t at a grade of 6.1g/t (cut) for 154,000 ozs, using a cut off grade of 4.5g/t (see Hawthorn’s quarterly report of March 2020 )
Corporate activity and recent discoveries to the south of Anglo Saxon, most notably that of Global Lithium (ASX:GLI) at its Manna project and consolidation of nearby gold assets by Ramelius Resources (ASX: RMS) at Lake Rebecca and Lake Roe, confirms the prospectivity of the TLJV’s extensive tenement package on granted Mining Leases and surrounding Exploration Licences.
With this potential in mind, Hawthorn and its JV partner have embarked on an extensive drilling campaign to meet expenditure commitments and follow up on a number of anomalies that have been overlooked and revealed in a recent review of earlier soil analysis and drill data.