Asia Pacific RegionEMX's most recent business unit initiative covers Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia-Pacific region. Eurasian's focus has been on the Koonenberry gold belt in New South Wales, Australia, as well as the acquisition and option to sell the Neavesville gold-silver property in the Hauraki goldfield of New Zealand's North Island. Additional early-stage exploration opportunities have been identified by EMX in the Australia and Asia-Pacific region.
Australia -- Koonenberry Project
Eurasian Minerals has consolidated over 1,735 square kilometers of mineral rights in the 100 kilometer long Koonenberry gold belt in New South Wales, Australia. EMX's Koonenberry project consists of contiguous exploration licenses acquired either directly by staking, or through agreements with other parties. Koonenberry's potential to host a district scale discovery is underscored by widespread eluvial gold occurrences, coherent gold geochemical anomalies, and exposures of gold in bedrock, all within a recently recognized regional-scale structural geologic setting.
There are no records of previous hard rock gold mining at Koonenberry, despite the fact that much of the gold recovered through surface prospecting occurs as coarse specimens with attached "reef" quartz, suggesting a nearby primary source. Reconnaissance rockchip samples from mineralized bedrock returned 8.71 g/t gold from veins than contain visible native gold, 4.07 g/t gold from quartz-sulfide veining, 1.13 g/t gold from a stockwork zone exposed along the margin of a mafic intrusion, and 0.56 g/t gold from a quartz vein reef up to five meters wide (see Company news release dated October 6, 2011 for more information).
Koonenberry Project Background. The Koonenberry project lies adjacent to the northwest trending, through-going Koonenberry fault that bounds the eastern edge of the Precambrian "Broken Hill Block". The Koonenberry fault is a major crustal scale lineament that forms the leading edge of the Dalamerian Orogen (500-515 Ma). A transpressional stress regime prevailed late in the Dalamerian event, and led to the development of a series of northwest striking fault splays that locally occur on the eastern margin of the Koonenberry fault zone. The splay faults form several local half-grabens filled with turbidite sediments and minor limestone which are preferred host rocks for gold mineralization.
The geological features of the Koonenberry belt are remarkably similar to the orogenic deposits of the Victorian Goldfields, also located in southeastern Australia. The Victorian Goldfields have produced more than 2,500 metric tonnes of gold (80 million ounces Au) (Phillips and Hughes, 1996).
Koonenberry Exploration Programs. The bedrock sources of coarse eluvial gold occur in a corridor measuring 25 by 10 kilometers in the south-central portion of the property. The northwest trend of gold occurrences is broadly parallel to the regional structural fabric, and is associated with soil, BLEG (Bulk Leach Extractable Gold) and stream sediment gold anomalies, as well as pervasive alteration and abundant quartz veining. The majority of the prospective terrain at Koonenberry remains untested, with about 50% of the project area having undergone first pass, reconnaissance level evaluation.
The Company has been conducting a systematic, project-wide exploration program of regolith mapping from satellite imagery, geological mapping, stream and bedrock geochemical sampling, and airborne geophysical surveys. The results from these programs are currently being integrated and analyzed to select priority follow-up targets for scout drill testing.
New Zealand -- Neavesville Property
The Neavesville gold-silver property is located in the Hauraki goldfield of New Zealand's North Island. Eurasian signed a definitive agreement in November 2012 to sell the wholly-owned EMX subsidiary that owns the Neavesville property to Glass Earth Gold Limited (TSX Venture: GEL; NZAX: GEL) for staged payments, work obligations, and reimbursement of the Company's exploration costs. EMX acquired the Neavesville exploration licenses by staking, and with minimal cost.
The Neavesville property consists of two exploration permits totalling over 30 square kilometers that cover two main centers of epithermal gold-silver mineralization (Neavesville and Chelmsford). One of the mineralized centers, named Trig Bluffs, has a historic near-surface inferred resource of 3.2 million tonnes averaging 2.7 g/t gold and 8.9 g/t silver, and containing 289,000 ounces of gold and 944,000 ounces of silver reported to JORC stanadards (R. Brathwaite, IGNS report, 1999; 2001). In addition, a separate higher-grade historic inferred mineral resource of approximately 0.47 million tonnes at 7.1 g/t gold and 20.7 g/t silver, and containing 107,000 ounces of gold and 312,000 ounces of silver, was reported for mineralization at depth beneath Trig Bluffs (R. Brathwaite, IGNS report, 1999; 2001).
Neavesville Commercial Terms. The Definitive Agreement with GEL is structured with a) in-ground spending requirements to further develop the asset's value, b) a pre-production revenue stream denominated in terms of gold ounces, and c) a revenue stream based on production, all to the benefit of EMX. The Commercial terms are summarized below.
- Up-front reimbursement of EMX's exploration costs (C$85,567);
- Payment of 850 troy ounces of gold* prior to the earlier of acquisition of surface access or December 31, 2013;
- A total of 5,000 meters of drilling and the filing of a Technical Report with updated NI 43-101/JORC resource estimates before the earlier of (a) 24 months after the gold payment above or (b) December 31, 2015, at which time GEL can exercise the option;
- Additional payments ("Additional Payments") prior to exercise of the purchase option at the rate of 75 troy ounces of gold* per annum and, after exercise of the purchase option, at the rate of 100 troy ounces of gold* per annum, which payments may be credited against the Deferred Consideration as set forth below;
- Agreement to pay amounts ("Deferred Consideration") equivalent to 2% of net smelter returns from production from the exploration licenses; in any given year, Additional Payments made prior to production may be credited against up to 80% of the Deferred Consideration payable in that year;
- Beginning with a decision to construct a mine based on a NI 43-101 / JORC feasibility level Technical Report that supports a positive production decision, payment of 0.01 troy ounce of gold for each of the first 500,000 ounces of contained gold in proven and probable (P&P) reserves*. For any contained ounces of gold in P&P reserves that exceed 500,000 ounces over the life of the project, the gold payment to EMX will be reduced to 0.005 troy ounces of gold per contained ounce.
* Gold payments may also be made in equivalent US dollars at the then spot price of gold or in equivalent Glass Earth fully paid ordinary shares -- the mode of payment to be at Glass Earth's election. Payment using Glass Earth shares would be subject to TSX Venture approval.
The land position consists of the Pakirarahi No. 1 and No. 2 exploration permits, which cover the historic underground and shallow open cut workings of the Neavesville "gold-silver field". These mines produced intermittently from 1875 to 1940. Neavesville's history of gold-silver mining attracted a number of exploration companies that were active from the 1970s through 2007, including Amoco (Cyprus), CRA, Homestake, City Resources, Normandy, and Newmont. Work conducted by previous operators includes 63 diamond holes totalling over 8,900 meters of drilling, more than 1,400 rock samples, soil sampling grids, and numerous campaigns of geophysical surveys (i.e., magnetics, gravity, EM, etc.).
The largest of the gold systems defined by the historic drilling and surface geochemistry is centered on Trig Bluffs, and measures approximately 2.5 by 1.5 kilometers. Epithermal gold-silver mineralization is developed in a large multiphase breccia complex that cuts faulted volcanic and minor sedimentary sequences, as well as along steeply dipping quartz-adularia veins, and as stockworks in breccias and dacite porphyry. Further, the historic exploration datasets, as augmented by EMX geophysical surveys, identified additional targets that include the Chelmsford and Oneura prospects.
Historic inferred mineral resource estimates for Trig Bluffs reported to JORC standards were produced in 1999 (and amended in 2001) by the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences ("IGNS"), a government research institute (R. Brathwaite, IGNS report, 1999; 2001). A near-surface, historic resource estimate for the "upper zone" mineralization was based upon cross-section polygons at 50-meter spacing and a cutoff grade of 0.7 g/t gold. This near-surface inferred resource was reported as 3.2 million tonnes averaging 2.7 g/t gold and 8.9 g/t silver, containing 289,000 ounces of gold and 944,000 ounces of silver. In addition, a historic inferred mineral resource for deeper, potentially underground mineable mineralization was also estimated with the polygonal method, assuming a maximum projection of 25 meters, a minimum width of one meter, and a cutoff grade of 10 gram-meters (i.e., the product of the gold grade and true width thickness of the drill hole intercept). This historic resource was reported as 0.47 million tonnes averaging 7.1 g/t gold and 20.7 g/t silver for mineralization occurring at depth beneath Trig Bluffs (R. Brathwaite, IGNS report, 1999; 2001).
A Qualified Person has not performed sufficient work to classify the historic estimates as current mineral resources, and EMX is not treating the estimates as current mineral resources. The historic estimates should not be relied upon until they can be confirmed. However, the drill-delineated Trig Bluffs gold-silver mineralization described by the IGNS report is considered relevant (Please see Company news release dated November 19, 2012 for more information).