EL4699 was granted to North Ballarat Pty Ltd on 6 September, 2006. The licence area covers 35.7km2 and measures 10km north-south and 5km east-west. The licence covers the historic goldfield of Little Bendigo or Nerrina (Nerrena, Neerena), 4.5km ENE from the centre of Ballarat. The historic gold town of Creswick is 4km north of EL4699.
Field mapping has been the focus of exploration within EL 4699. Good exposure can be gained from historical adits, open cuts, open shafts along the lines of reef and from adjacent sluiced bedrock. Field mapping using differential GPS has mostly concentrated on the workings of the Monte Christo and Grey Horse lines of reef where approximately 1,000 hard rock shafts have been mapped. Adits and the better exposed sluiced gullies have also been mapped. Older leads and more recent gullies have been traced in an attempt to delineate the source of the gold.
Drill targets have been defined, a Work Plan approved and drilling commenced in April, 2008.
Nerrina has a recorded production of 200,000oz of primary and alluvial gold. However, this relates to only 3% of the mapped workings. Within EL4699 there are numerous shallow, undocumented alluvial and hard rock workings. With minor exceptions, the field was worked in the 1800’s and population trends suggest the bulk of the work occurred in the 1860’s. About 80% of the workings are shallower than 10m but mapping of these has provided valuable insight into the potential of the field at depth.
The Nerrina Goldfield lies on the west limb of the Monte Christo Anticlinorium. Mineralisation on the Monte Christo line is fault- and fold-related with quartz veins up to 9m thick developing between two walls 24m apart. The Grey Horse line comprises up to 8 smaller lines of stratabound quartz that lie within shales up to 30m thick. Quartz is bedded as well as following axial-planar cleavage in the shales and the reefs widen where flexure occurs on a fold limb. Extensions to both main lines were found to the north and combine to form approximately 4km of almost continuous workings.
EL4834 was granted on 13/7/05 and covers an area of 21.6km2. Exploration has been conducted jointly with EL4699 and EL4834. Little production came from the western side of the EL and the eastern side of the EL is either exposed granites or covered with basalt. A modest sampling programme was undertaken in 2007 to test the potential for intrusion-related gold mineralisation. The granites have a suitable composition to be gold hosts, however, values for gold and associated elements were low. Regional geology is still being developed and it is considered that EL4834 maybe of strategic importance.
EL4993 was granted on 17/1/07 and covers and area of 33.6km2. Exploration has been conducted jointly with EL4699 and EL4834. EL4993 lies on the proposed extension of the Grey Horse line of reef from EL4699. Field mapping of surface workings and exposure has begun and follows an extensive literature review of the region.
The company’s general exploration strategy for EL4993 is to evaluate it prospectively in regard to its regional setting. In particular, reviewing its relationship with EL4699 (encompassing the Nerrina Goldfield) and with the Ballarat East Goldfield in general. In order to develop a more regional geological model it was decided to concentrate initially on Nerrina and utilise that information to undertake specific exploration work at Glen Park.