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Stratum Metals Identifies Potential To Join East Menzies Gold Open Pits

Stratum Metals (ASX: SXT) has identified the potential to join the existing Aunty Nellie and Granny Venn gold open pits at its East Menzies Goldfields Project in Western Australia.

This is as a result of a Masters thesis from the School of Mines in London.

Intriguingly, it could open a new zone of mineralisation for the company that extends 400 metres between the two pits.

The company had in September received a post graduate thesis outlining the results of the detailed study into the controls on mineralisation in the two pits and had also received soil geochemistry results indicating an extensive zone of gold anomalism in the area south west of the Granny Venn pit.

Stratum will now move to open up the potential 400 metres of gold mineralisation by developing a drilling program to test the mineralisation model north of the existing CSR mineralisation.

Aunty Nellie and Granny Venn

The Granny Venn and Aunty Nellie open pits are located on M29/189. They were discovered in the late 1990s by Money Mining and mined in 1999.

Efforts by previous explorers to expand the pits were unsuccessful and Stratum has since found that limited information was available on the controls of the mined mineralisation.

It then decided to undertake a detailed mapping project, supported by sampling and petrology, aimed at understanding the controls on mineralisation.

This was undertaken as a Masters Project in conjunction with Camborne School of Mines with the resulting thesis delivered to Stratum at the end of September.

Project wide geophysics work was also commissioned including acquisition and interpretation of electromagnetic and magnetics data. This identified a structure extending from the north end of the Aunty Nellie pit and along the western side of the Granny Venn pit, running past the CSR prospect. A structural zone of this orientation can be seen in the northern end of the Aunty Nellie pit.

Initial inspection of the Aunty Nellie pit walls identified a structural zone trending northwards towards the CSR prospect.

Past exploration was set to a north-northeast orientated baseline about 30 degrees off the structural trend visible in the pit wall. The structures in the pit wall are dipping steeply to the west.

While previous drilling was dipping towards the west-northwest, this now appears to be poorly orientated to define mineralisation.

The company's drilling in April 2013 to test this concept successfully intersected mineralisation associated with this trend with six of the nine holes drilled north of Aunty Nellie intersecting gold.

This included a 7 metre at 2.65 grams per tonne gold from surface, 15 metres at 1.79g/t gold from 23 metres and 13 metres at 1.55g/t gold from 31 metres, highlighting potential for open pit mining.

The detailed mapping and associated sample analysis work further supports this concept, generating an understanding of the deformation history of the area and concluding mineralisation to be associated with N-S to NNW - SSE trending D3 structures, structures, which have been truncated by NNE-SSW trending D4 (Springfield-Venn Fault orientation) shearing.

In some instances D3 structures may have been reactivated during the D4 deformation.

The thesis study also confirmed that gold mineralisation was hosted in variable lithology's though it noted the dacites within the predominantly ultramafic package that have been impacted by the D3 event, display brittle fracturing which hosts gold and sulphide mineralisation.

For this reason the more robust 'ore' mineralisation is expected to be within D3 structural zones where brittle rocks, such as the dacites in Granny Venn, are found.

Interestingly review of the historic CSR logging indicates dacite is likely to be hosting the better grade gold mineralisation.


Stratum will be well-placed to generate cash flows at East Menzies if the potential to expand the historically mined area is realised.

In the late-1990's the Granny Venn and Aunty Nellie were mined for a total of 532,000 tonnes of ore grading 3.52g/t, which was milled at the Paddington Gold Mill.

This was achieved at a time when the gold price was around US$300 - and even lower.

If Stratum can identify ore tonnage at this similar grade between these pits and join them together, and there are early indications that this is possible, then not only will Paddington's be interested in the plus 3g/t ore, but also other mills in the area.

This provides Stratum with the opportunity for milling agreements, at a time when the gold price is more than four-times higher than during the time of past production.

Stratum could therefore look to transition into a self-funded explorer.

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