Success to date includes the greenfields discovery of a 15sq.km gold camp at Triumph under very shallow cover, where drilling and geophysical work has identified numerous targets and high-grade results, including last month’s 18m at 4g/t gold and 15g/t silver from surface at the Big Hans prospect.
These results follow on from last year where the company put discovery holes into the Bald Hill and New Constitution prospects, intersecting 15m at 10.3g/t gold and 76g/t from 9m; and 10m at 26.9g/t gold and 165g/t silver plus 6% zinc from 51m, respectively.
For managing director Tony Schreck, the pivotal step on the project has been demonstrating a link between the widespread high-grade results and bulk tonnage style mineralisation, which has the potential for multi-million ounce deposits similar to others in eastern Australia such as Kidston (3.7Moz), Mt Leyshon (3.5Moz) and Mt Wright (1.3Moz).
The company is embarking on a further RC drilling programme to follow up on multiple high-grade gold discoveries made in the past 12 months and to close in on the gold-copper-molybdenum bulk tonnage targets described as having company-maker potential.
The experienced team behind Metal Bank has built a portfolio deliberately targeting overlooked, historic goldfields to create organic growth through discovery success.
The company’s major shareholders are former executives and founders of Citadel Resource Group, which developed a copper project in Saudi Arabia before the company was acquired in 2011 for A$1.3 billion.
Metal Bank is chaired by Citadel’s founding shareholder and former managing director Inés Scotland, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the mining industry including the role of CEO for Ivanhoe Australia.
Schreck also has vast industry experience, having managed large exploration projects including greenfields discoveries over a career spanning 25 years in major and junior resource companies.
“We’re an experienced team with a lot of skin in the game,” he said.
Metal Bank and its potential was validated through the interest demonstrated in an over-subscribed placement and rights issue late last year that raised about A$5.4 million.
“Securing support from the Sprott Investment Group in North America as part of that raise was a fantastic endorsement,” Schreck said.
“They could see exactly what we could see – an overlooked high-grade gold camp in an established gold district with significant upside.”
The prudent company had more than half the cash left on hand at the start of July to move the next phase of exploration forward.
Schreck said the company ran a lean operation and kept its overheads exceptionally low by not maintaining a head office and running the project from site, which had high-speed internet and was only 80km from the industrial hub of Gladstone.
The company has also benefitted from its counter-cyclical approach, after investing in greenfields exploration against the market cycle over the past 5 years.
“This has certainly paid off now as we have already completed a lot of the higher-risk exploration phases that have outlined a large gold camp and are now achieving exploration success through drilling on multiple prospects across the project,” Schreck said.
“I think we have demonstrated that we are onto a very large gold system and are just starting to unlock it now.
“We are moving towards a JORC resource in 2018 and I think we have quite an exciting pipeline of prospects from which to build a substantial resource.”
Metal Bank said the widespread occurrence of zinc associated with the high-grade mineralisation was interpreted as the “outer halo leakage” similar to other large intrusion-related gold deposits in eastern Australia.
“Whilst we are getting some phenomenally high gold grades, some of the other metal pathfinder elements suggest we’re on the edge of something much, much larger,” he said.
Schreck cited the Mt Wright gold deposit in the state’s north as a good example of discovery by defining an outer zinc halo above the gold deposit.
“We are confident we’ll build a JORC resource based on our existing near-surface, high-grade targets as we move in on the causative intrusive driving the project,” he said.
“It’s the bulk-style mineralisation that we believe has the ‘company maker’ potential.”
He said the initial opportunity for Metal Bank was that the shallow cover concealing the widespread mineralisation had not previously been recognised and by using modern exploration techniques, they were able to easily able to see through the cover to generate new targets where they have had early discovery success.
Another factor in Metal Bank’s favour is additional areas of the project being opened up to exploration after the environment and heritage department removed a buffer zone around a national park.
At Bald Hill East, recent soil sampling following the removal of the buffer defined a 1.7km long extension to the Bald Hill gold system including a 500m long >100ppb gold soil anomaly.
Schreck is also particularly pleased by the recent results from the Big Hans and Super Hans prospects, both part of a new 400m by 1km target corridor identified by geochemical and geophysical data, in another area also recently opened up for exploration.
The recent RC drilling at Big Hans and Super Hans was the first modern gold exploration in the zone with near surface high-grade gold intersected at both prospects illustrating how under-explored the gold system was, Schreck noted.
“Our exploration so far has focussed on the outcropping areas which represents only 5% of the entire gold camp,” he said.
“We’ve now developed the confidence on the mineralisation styles and controls to complete systematic exploration under the shallow cover and plan to embark on a large bedrock drilling program, in parallel with following up our recent high-grade successes.”
In the background, the equally promising Eidsvold project ticked similar boxes to Triumph, Schreck explained.
He said Eidsvold had produced 100,000oz at high grade around 100 years ago and was targeted by the company for having further potential under cover.
“It’s taking second priority at the moment but we are quite passionate about it and there will be some drilling results from Eidsvold out this month,” he said.
Metal Bank’s share price has been on the rise, no doubt boosted by the series of recent drilling results from Triumph, including further near-surface mineralisation at New Constitution with 3m at 9.5g/t gold, 41g/t silver and 0.2% copper from 23m among the highlights.
“I think technically we are quite strong with a discovery track record and well-funded to deliver,” Schreck said.
“We’re in an 18Moz gold district and we are on the verge of a large gold discovery.”
Metal Bank - at a glance
REGISTERED OFFICE: Suite 506, Level 5, 50 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9078 7669
DIRECTORS: Inés Scotland, Tony Schreck, Guy Robertson
QUOTED SHARES ON ISSUE: 712.4 million
MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS: Directors/management 25%; Top 20 67%