The Attunga Project is located about 20km north of Tamworth and 330km north of Sydney, NSW. Exploration licence (EL) 6884 covers an area of approximately 48km2, encompassing the Peel Fault, adjacent Central Block accretionary wedge sediments to the east, and forearc sediments of the Tamworth Belt to the west. The project area is considered prospective for tungsten-molybdenum skarn-type mineralisation, base/precious metal skarn-type mineralisation, and gold (+/- tungsten) intrusive-related gold system type mineralisation.
Three specific areas are of interest within this project; the Attunga Tungsten Deposit area, the Attunga Copper Mine prospect, and the Kensington gold-tungsten prospect. Many of the mineralised systems are hosted in reactive rocks of the Tamworth Group, exhibiting skarn-like alteration structures; this is in part related to the intrusion of the Inlet Monzonite, a small ovoid pluton that has uniquely intruded entirely to the west of the Peel Fault, into sedimentary rocks of the Middle Devonian Tamworth Group.
Discovered in 1968, the Attunga-Tungsten Deposit is classified as a skarn deposit formed by the intrusion of the Inlet Monzonite. Tungsten and molybdenum mineralisation occur as fine disseminations and veinlets of scheelite, powerllite and molybdenite, primarily within skarn, monzonite and a fine-grained contact rock termed scheelite rock. Minor mineralisation also occurs in hornfels, cal-silicate hornfels and marble. The deposit remains open in several directions and future exploration will comprise infill and extensional drilling. At least five other outcrops of tungsten mineralised skarn contact with the Inlet Monzonite have been identified and Peel believes strong potential exists for the discovery of additional resources.
Drilling by Peel at the Attunga Tungsten Deposit has encountered very high-grade tungsten-molybdenum mineralisation confirming historic results that indicate the deposit has numerous high-grade zones. An interval of 2m at 24.21% WO3 and 1.71% Mo from 22m downhole was obtained from the RC drillhole ATP1-D; this interval was part of a larger mineralised interval of 42m @2.09% WO3 and 0.17% Mo from 21m downhole. Additional mineralisation was also encountered in RC drillhole ATP1-G returning 10m @ 0.27% WO3 and 0.04% Mo downhole. ATP1-D and ATP1-G were Peel’s first drillholes at the Attunga Tungsten Deposit and were drilled to provide material for first pass metallurgical testwork.
In April 2008, an independent JORC-compliant resource estimation for the Attunga Tungsten Deposit by Geos Mining Mineral Consultants was reported. A high-grade tungsten-molybdenum inferred resource was defined with results including 1.29 Mt at 0.61% WO3 and 0.05% Mo for 9,400t contained WO3 equivalent using a 0.2% WO3 equivalent cut-off. An in-house conceptual study completed in 2010 indicates the deposit’s small, high grade nature and proximity to excellent infrastructure and services bodes well for its future advancement and potential development.
Attunga Copper Mine
Discovered in 1902, the Attunga Copper Mine has been worked over various periods up until WWII, and total recorded production equates to 1,600t ore grading approximately 6% copper, 8 g/t gold and 150 g/t silver. Workings at the mine extend to about 80m below surface. Mineralisation occurs in garnet-rich calc-silicate skarn with sulphide minerals including chalcopyrite, bornite and molybdenite. The attractiveness of the Attunga copper-gold skarn lies in the high Au grade (~8 g/t) and high Cu grade (up to 6%) of historic production; targets of this grade could have excellent potential for underground mining. The sparsely drilled nature of the prospect and the potentially significant level of molybdenum encountered at a relatively shallow depth are highly encouraging.
In April 2009, a transient electromagnetics (TEM) survey was completed by Peel over the area, and results suggested the presence of a moderate, shallow conductor centred approximately 200m north of the historic Attunga Copper Mine workings. Whilst thick clays prevented effective testing of this anomaly, drilling to the south of the historic workings confirmed the presence of strong molybdenum-gold-copper skarn mineralisation open in several directions, with 75m @ 1.02 g/t gold, 0.87% copper, 0.09% molybdenum, 0.06% bismuth, and 22 g/t silver from 136m including 27m @ 1.60 g/t gold, 1.66% copper, 0.18% molybdenum, 0.1% bismuth, and 39 g/t silver from 136m. This intercept by hole ACM-004 was the focus of a 6 diamond hole drilling programme conducted in March 2010 for 944m, testing for depth and strike extensions to the substantial gold-copper mineralisation.
The 2010 drilling programme again intercepted encouraging visible molybdenum-copper mineralisation over an approximate 8m zone, and final analysis confirmed a high grade molybdenum interval of 5.6m at 0.44% Mo, 0.70 g/t Au, 12 g/t Au, 0.45% Cu, 1.9 g/t Re from 48m in hole ACMD008.
These results provide encouragement that the Attunga skarn deposits are possibly part of a larger metalliferous system, perhaps including a porphyry/mineralised granite source.
Kensington Gold Prospect
The Kensington gold deposit, located about 5km north of the Attunga Tungsten Deposit, comprises a series of historic gold workings (pre-WW1) across 800m strike with mineralisation outcropping, and covered by a 1,500m long, +100 ppb gold geochemical anomaly, open in several directions. Peel believes Kensington represents an intrusive-related gold system; an economically important class of gold deposit with examples including Fort Knox in Alaska and Timbarra in northern NSW.
Two prospects are being examined at Kensington; the main Kensington system, and an additional anomaly about 1km NW, termed Kensington Northwest, where permeable Kensington Formation arenite/conglomerate has been intensely silicified. The main Kensington workings occur on a remarkably straight NW trending structure interpreted as a splay fault related to sinistral movement of the Peel Fault. The fault separates granodiorite to the north from bedded sediments to the south.
In July 2008, Peel completed a preliminary RC drilling programme encountering widespread gold mineralisation with better results including 9m @ 1.4 g/t Au from 15m, 5m @ 2.76 g/t Au from 60m, 14m @ 0.78 g/t Au from 24m and 13m @ 1.07 g/t Au. An additional RAB drilling programme was completed in July 2010 to target gold mineralisation; the results from this RAB drilling provide further encouragement to the possibility of substantial, near surface mineralisation at Kensington. Gold mineralisation was found to occur within a package of structurally deformed sediments and remains open to the northwest, southeast, and down dip.