Recent drilling has increased the mineral resource estimate at the Steam Engine project in North Queensland to 112,000 ounces of gold.
A scoping study into potential mining at the site is expected to be released during mid-January 2021 after being set back due to delays in assay results.
It comes as project owner Superior Resources highlights expectations of a bull market for gold continuing in 2021, with analysts predicting average prices above $US2000/oz – or about $AU2600.
Superior Resources this week announced a revised mineral resource estimate of 1.6 million tonnes at 2.2 g/t gold for 112,000 ounces at the project.
The new figure, following a Stage 1 drilling program, represents a 19 per cent increase in total contained gold and 26 per cent in total resource tonnes compared to the previous estimate in May.
It includes measured resources of 180,000 tonnes at 2.6 g/t gold (15,000 ounces), indicated resources of 470,000 tonnes at 2.4 g/t gold (36,000 ounces), and inferred resources of 950,000 tonnes at 2 g/t gold (61,000 ounces).
A Stage 2 drilling program, focused on extending the mineral resource, commenced on November 11 and is nearing completion.
“The revised mineral resource has delivered on the main objective of the Stage 1 drilling program of upgrading the geological confidence of the resource to a level that can be fed into a prefeasibility study,” Superior managing director Peter Hwang said.
“Whilst the Stage 1 program was not focused on expanding the mineralisation envelope, we are pleased to see a 19 per cent
increase in total ounces.
“We are also pleased to see the completion of two drilling programs within the 2020 field season at Steam Engine.”
The company expected a busy quarter ahead, including finalisation of the scoping study and commencement of a prefeasibility study, he said.
“In addition to Steam Engine, Superior is set for an exciting 2021 with the first ever drilling program at the new and potentially transformative Dinner Creek Lode, field work including drilling at the Greenvale nickel targets and advanced programs on the company’s copper prospects.
“Amid a continued bull market for gold, the company anticipates strong gains in market value in the year ahead as we deliver on these milestones.”
Superior said analyst forecasts pointed to a bright year ahead for gold, with ANZ Research adopting a 12-month price target of $US2100 per ounce and investment bank Goldman Sachs predicting $US2300 amid rising inflationary expectations and strong consumer and investor demand.