Kincora’s Fairholme project has various hallmarks to the neighboring world-class Cowal mine
Looking for another Cowal deposit, following in the footsteps of significant growth achieved by Evolution
The Fairholme project is located in the southern sector of the Junee-Narromine Belt of the Macquarie Arc in the Cowal block with license contiguous to Evolution Mining’s flagship Cowal project.
The Cowal mine hosts a cluster of epithermal, quartz-carbonate-base metal-gold mineralization deposits across a 7.5 x 2km north-south oriented “gold corridor”, located on the western edge of Lake Cowal.
Modern exploration in the Cowal region commenced following the discovery of porphyry mineralization in Goonumbla district (Northparkes), seeking to test a similar geophysical profile under generally shallow post mineral cover, with the large low grade E39 porphyry discovery and then Newcrest’s discovery of the Marsden porphyry deposit (>0.5Mt copper and >1Moz gold). Newcrest undertook the majority of drilling at Fairholme, total prior explorer drilling 62,768m for 641 holes, between 1990-2005.
The last exploration prior to Kincora’s involvement at Fairholme was by Kaizen Discovery earning into the project (a High-Powered Exploration group company, chairman and CEO Robert Friedland). Despite Kaizen recognizing the potential for Cowal style gold deposits its focus was the copper porphyry potential and undertook exploration to moderate-deep depths (including Typhoon Induced Polarization survey, magnetics and drilling). Kaizen left the project at the start of the last commodity cycle downturn (March 2016).
In 2015, Evolution Mining acquired the Cowal mine from Barrick and has since grown gold inventory from 3.4Moz to 9.7Moz (net of 1.7Moz mine depletion), with a target total endowment of 15Moz Au (noting total historical production of 4Moz gold).
Previous explorers have largely underestimated the scale potential of the gold corridor at Cowal, and no drilling has taken place at Fairholme since Evolutions rapid resource growth with the regions higher level gold endowment now far outshining the deeper copper porphyry potential (the latter generally the focus of previous explorers).
Evolution has recently approved the A$380m development of an underground mine within the gold corridor at Cowal from the GRE46 deposit to provided increased grade to supplement existing open pit operations (from E42). This approval underpins the planned expansion to 350,000/oz pa production at Cowal (and extends mine life out beyond 17 years). Drilling activities have also commenced at the E39 porphyry target, south of operations, and also within the gold corridor.
The Fairholme project is host to a number of advanced to early stage exploration prospects across a 16km north-south mineralised strike, with relatively limited effective previous drilling having identified multiple and large intrusive related mineralised systems.
Kincora’s initial focus with a maiden 5-hole diamond drill hole program (completed in 2021), was the Gateway prospect located less than 15km along strike from the five epithermal, carbonate base-metal deposits that comprise the Cowal mine.
This diamond drilling was the first program at Fairholme since Evolution Mining acquired the Cowal project in 2015 and grown the resource inventory from 3.4Moz gold to 9.6Moz (net of 1.6Moz mine depletion).
Kincora’s diamond drilling program identified zonation and controls to mineralisation, with the Gateway system covering over 600m in strike. These results assisted with the design of a second phase and follow up air-core drilling program (completed in 2022), which successfully both extend the southern mineralised trend and strike, and confirmed higher-grade potential.
Anomalous gold and copper results were returned in all nine air-core holes across a ~900m strike including the 5th highest grade air-core interval to date at the Fairholme project (3.35 g/t gold over 2m, from 52m in hole FDAC008).
The first phase diamond drilling and second phase air-core program have confirmed a zoned and structurally controlled mineralised corridor across a greater than 1.6km strike, and open at Gateway.
Kincora was awarded a A$200,000 project drilling grant for the diamond and air-core drilling programs at the Gateway prospect under the latest New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling program from the NSW Government. The grant follows a competitive expert panel review process, monies are non-dilutionary and fund direct per meter drilling costs on a matched dollar-for-dollar basis.
The 2022 Kincora air-core program also tested four other prospects, being the first drilling at these prospects since 1997. The program was analogous to the original Geopeko reconnaissance RAB drilling to bedrock program over many targets, largely selected on the basis of geophysical data and insufficiently followed up geochemical data. That program by Geopeko ultimately led to the discovery of the Cowal gold-base metal deposits and is an exploration strategy Kincora is looking to further replicate.
The air-core program successfully converted two of the four anomalies drilled to highly prospective targets. All holes drilled at the Driftway C target returned broad anomalous copper, including end of hole primary mineralisation. At the Anomaly 2 target all holes drilled returned anomalous copper, with intrusion related anomalous copper and gold noted in half the holes.
Follow up air-core and diamond drilling is now being planned to expand the open near surface footprints and evaluate the untested potential for underlying porphyry gold-copper related systems at shallow to moderate depth at the Gateway, Driftway C and Anomaly 2 targets.