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BETA HUNT UNDERGROUND MINE

Beta Hunt Mine

Karora Resources owns 100% of the Beta Hunt Mine, a producing gold mine located in the prolific Kambalda mining district of Australia.

Beta Hunt Mine Overview

The Beta Hunt Mine, located 600 km from Perth in Kambalda, Western Australia, is a deposit with the very rare feature of hosting both gold and nickel resources in adjacent discrete mineralized zones. The mining tenements on which the Beta Hunt Mine is located are held by Gold Fields Limited. Karora Resources operates the Beta Hunt Mine by virtue of a sub-lease agreement with Gold Fields Limited.

History

The Kambalda mining district in Western Australia is a long-established major mining centre with excellent existing infrastructure, a skilled local workforce, and nickel and gold processing mills nearby. Beta Hunt was originally developed and operated by Western Mining Corporation (WMC) in the 1970's and the mine was sold to Gold Fields in 2001. In 2003, Reliance Mining Limited (RML) acquired the nickel rights and resumed production. 

Consolidated Minerals Limited acquired RML in 2005 and invested in both increasing resources and expanding production. The mine operated continuously until the end of 2008, when it was placed on care and maintenance due to the financial crisis and associated collapse in metal prices.

Transactions during the period 2001 - 2003 resulted in the separation of nickel rights from the gold rights. Salt Lake Mining subsequently acquired the property in 2013 and succeeded in re-combining the nickel and gold rights. Nickel operations were re-started in 2014. Initial gold production occurred in June to July 2014 then ceased and recommenced at the end of 2015. The mine has been in continuous operation since then. Karora Resources acquired 100% of SLM in 2016 under its previous business name RNC Minerals.

Exploration Opportunities

The Beta Hunt land package includes significant exploration opportunities at Beta Hunt to add to the resources alongside production. There are four main shear zones at Beta Hunt – Western Flanks, A Zone, East Alpha and Fletcher – providing significant potential for resource expansion at low cost and near mine infrastructure. 

Geology

Beta Hunt is situated within the central portion of the Norseman-Wiluna greenstone belt in a sequence of mafic/ultramafic and felsic rocks on the southwest flank of the Kambalda Dome. Gold mineralization occurs mainly in subvertical shear zones in the Lunnon Basalt and is characterized by shear and extensional quartz veining within a halo of biotite/pyrite alteration. Within these shear zones, coarse gold sometimes occurs where the shear zones intersect iron-rich sulphidic metasediments in the Lunnon Basalt or nickel sulphides at the base of the Kambalda Komatiite (ultramafics).

Nickel mineralization is hosted mainly by talc-carbonate and serpentine altered ultramafic rocks (Kambalda Komatiite) that overlie the Lunnon Basalt. The primary sulphide minerals are typically pyrrhotite > pentlandite > pyrite with trace chalcopyrite.

Mining

Beta Hunt is owner operated using conventional underground mining methods. 

Milling

Processing is conducted through Karora Resources’ Higginsville processing plant.

Beta Hunt Gold Mineral Reserves and Resources

Beta Hunt Gold Mineral Resource as at September 30, 2020

Mineral Resource Measured Indicated Measured & Indicated Inferred
  Kt g/t Koz Kt g/t Koz Kt g/t Koz Kt g/t Koz
Western Flanks 451 2.4 35 8,816 2.8 800 9,267 2.8 835 4,133 2.7 360
A Zone 180 2.4 14 2,553 2.5 206 2,733 2.5 220 2,013 2.7 177
Total 630 2.4 49 11,369 2.8 1,006 11,999 2.7 1,055 6,146 2.7 537

 

Beta Hunt Gold Mineral Reserve as at September 30, 2020

Mineral Reserve Proven Probable Proven & Probable
  Tonnes
kt
Grade
g/t
Ounces
koz
Tonnes
kt
Grade
g/t
Ounces
koz
Tonnes
kt
Grade
g/t
Ounces
koz
Western Flanks 245 2.4 19 4,411 2.7 381 4,657 2.7 400
A Zone 84 2.5 7 1,039 2.3 75 1,123 2.3 82
Total 329 2.4 25 5,451 2.6 456 5,780 2.6 482

 

Beta Hunt Nickel Mineral Resources as at September 30, 2020

Mineral Resource Measured Indicated Measured & Indicated Inferred
  Kt % Ni Nits Kt %Ni Nits Kt % Ni Nits Kt % Ni Nits
Beta - - - 286 2.6% 7,480 286 2.6% 7,480 216 2.7% 5,830
East Alpha - - - 276 3.1% 8,620 276 3.1% 8,620 98 2.9% 2,850
Total - - - 561 2.9% 16,100 561 2.9% 16,100 314 2.8% 8,680

 

Detailed Footnotes relating to Mineral Resource Estimates as at September 30, 2020

  1. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that all or any part of the Mineral Resources estimated will be converted into Mineral Reserves.

  2. The Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources are inclusive of those Mineral Resources modified to produce Mineral Reserves.

  3. The Mineral Resource estimates include Inferred Mineral Resources that are normally considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There is also no certainty that Inferred Mineral Resources will be converted to Measured and Indicated categories through further drilling, or into Mineral Reserves once economic considerations are applied.

  4. The Gold Mineral Resources are estimated using a long term gold price of US$1,600/oz with a US:AUD exchange rate of 0.70.

  5. Gold Mineral Resources were estimated using variable cut-off grades taking into account variable operational costs: underground - 1.3 g/t; open pits, 0.4 g/t to 0.5g/t.

  6. To best represent “reasonable prospects of eventual economic extraction” the mineral resource for open pits has been reported within an optimized pit shells at A$2,285 (US$1,600) and, for underground resources, areas considered sterilized by historical mining are depleted from the Mineral Resource.

  7. The Nickel Mineral Resource is reported above a 1% Ni cut-off grade.

  8. Mineral Resource tonnage and contained metal have been rounded to reflect the accuracy of the estimate, and numbers may not add due to rounding

Detailed Footnotes relating to Mineral Reserve Estimates as at September 30, 2020

  1. The Gold Mineral Reserves are estimated using a long term gold price of US$1,400/oz with a US:AUD exchange rate of 0.70.

  2. Cut-off grades for open-pit mineral reserves vary from 0.50g/t to 0.85g/t . The cut-off grade takes into account dilution, mine recovery and operating mining, processing/haulage, sustaining capital and G&A costs. Dilution and recovery factors varied by deposit.

  3. At Beta Hunt, underground mineral reserves are reported at a 1.6g/t incremental cut-off grade.At Higginsville, underground mineral reserves cut-off grades vary between 1.6g/t (modified and diluted grade) to 2g/t (modified/diluted grade). The cut-off grade takes into account Operating Mining, Processing/Haulage and G&A costs, excluding capital.

  4. The Mineral Reserve is depleted for all mining to September 30, 2020.

  5. Mineral Reserve tonnage and contained metal have been rounded to reflect the accuracy of the estimate, and numbers may not add due to rounding.
Technical Reports

Technical Report Higginsville-Beta Hunt Operation Eastern Goldfields, Western Australia