The Bannockburn Gold Mine is located approximately 30km south west of the Thunderbox Gold Mine adjacent to the Old Agnew Road. Mining at Bannockburn was first recorded in 1908 and continued intermittently through to the 1980's over which time ~16koz were recovered. It wasn't until the 1990's that larger scale operations were established, with open pit and underground mining realising ~312koz up until closure in 1998.
Bannockburn is a complex gold deposit with multiple controlling factors. The majority of the mineralisation is hosted within highly silicified and altered mafic schists associated with the gently west dipping Central Thrust. The mineralised zone is bounded on the west by the regional scale NNW trending Bannockburn fault. A series of steep east dipping lodes in the hangingwall of the Central Thrust are interpreted as extensional veins associated with progressive movement on the thrust.
The gold assets at Bannockburn were acquired by Saracen in 2014 from Norilsk Nickel and had been on care and maintenance since 1998. Importantly this means that the operations have not been subject to depletion since the gold price was last approximately A$500/oz. The intervening period saw the gold price rise to approximately A$1,800/oz in 2011. During the same period many gold producers lowered cut-off grades and expanded operations to maximise gold production to take advantage of the higher gold prices.
Since taking possession of the Bannockburn deposit, Saracen have issued an updated JORC2012 compliant resource and reserve statement, totalling 13.3Mt @1.7 for 731koz in resource and 5.2Mt @ 1.8g/t for 297koz in reserve.
Saracen's first steps in the development of a mining strategy for Bannockburn will be to initiate a Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") and commence applications for key environmental approvals. Saracen will also conduct some further resource extension exploration activities to optimise the DFS and mine plan.