From the Yass Tribune:
A mining exploration and development company has started prospecting a mineral project northeast of Yass.
The Red Hill Project by Duke Exploration covers an area of some 180 square km, from about Rye Park down to Manton.
Duke’s managing director Eugene Iliescu said the area showed many of the geological characteristics common to sites with copper and gold deposits in the larger Upper Lachlan area.
Red Hill Project location and prospects
“It was chosen from desktop studies, which use statistical relationships between geology, geochemistry, structure and known mine sites,” he said.
“This does not mean that there are any potential mine sites in the area. The area has previously been the site of exploration activities and warrants additional information being collected.”
The Red Hill mine was first worked in 1881–1889 for gold and copper. Since the mid-1960s, the project area has been the subject of exploration by a number of companies.
Resident Jill McGovern, who resides in the project site, said she was concerned about its effects.
“Like many folk who have come to Yass, our journey involved a change from an urban environment into the challenges of rural life.
“Over the past eight years, we have built sheds, a house, cattle yards, fences, shelter belts and a new life in this wonderful town.
“We are concerned about this enterprise, how it will impact our land and our future lives, and would like to know more,” she said.
Ms McGovern said she knew of the matter when “our neighbour mentioned that he had been approached by executives of an exploration mining company who had been geologically surveying the land between Manton and Blakeneys Creek for a possible gold mining lease.”
Mr Iliescu said there has been little consultation at this stage, but stakeholder consultation was one of the initial steps they would take.
“This includes landholders, council, indigenous groups and any other interested parties,” he said.
“Feedback so far has been mixed – some landowners expressed a lack of support for exploration and, in these cases, their land will be excluded from any planning.
“Some, reasonably, want more information, which will be provided as part of seeking land access permission,” he said.
Mr Iliescu said that they would not directly contact most landowners in the area of the licence.
“This is because we will not request to access their land at all,” he said.
Exploration would focus on developing a comprehensive picture of the mineral potential.
After modelling, field visits to confirm results and confirmation, mapping will be carried out and drill programs developed.
“In terms of initial exploration, it would likely consist of a geologist on foot mapping the rock types, possibly collecting rock samples by hand to test, or sampling the soil horizon for geochemistry,” Mr Illiescu said.
“Depending on the outcome of initial reviews, a geophysical study might be warranted.
“This could be an aerial survey, or smaller ground surveys, measuring magnetic and gravity fields and would be low impact.”
The company has also proposed the budget ($30,000 in total) and works for Red Hill, as outlined below:
Access negotiation: $2000
Data compilation/detailed prospectivity-analysis targeting: $5000
3D geological mapping and targeting: $3000
Ground truthing critical sites and results: $5000
Geological mapping: $5000
Geochemical sampling: $9000
Management and tenement costs: $1000
However, substantial work and expenditure will not be undertaken until after Duke lists on the ASX, aimed for Q3 2018.