The Laloki Cu-Au-Zn-Ag Massive Sulphide Project in Papua New Guinea offers significant value potential for Torrens shareholders.
The newly acquired project covers all of the historical Astrolabe Mineral Field in PNG, better known as “Laloki” after the largest historical mine and the nearby Laloki River, is some 180km² in area, and comprises a large number of relatively small but high-grade copper gold deposits. The Astrolabe Mineral Field was gazetted in 1906 and has been mined intermittently from the late 1890’s, principally in the 1920’s by The New Guinea Copper Company Limited, with most of the sulphide ore being treated at a substantial smelter near the coast, which served by an aerial ropeway and a railroad to deliver ore from the mines. The field is strategically located just outside Port Moresby, PNG’s capital, offering significant infrastructure and logistics benefits, and is easily accessible, largely via sealed roads.
Laloki is a typical volcanogenic-massive sulphide (VMS) field, with mineralisation scattered throughout the field. There are 40 known mineralised occurrences within a 75km²area. Historical mining was held back by the discontinuous nature of the orebodies, typical of VMS fields throughout the world and by the need for direct smelting before the advent of modern sulphide flotation metallurgical methods. The Project was revisited in the 1980’s and 1990’s, however it has been dormant since that time, with no modern geophysics or drilling.
The historical Laloki deposit is one of the better defined in the field, and it has been partly mined. It was drilled in 1987, showing an estimated Mineral Resource of 373,000t at 3.93% Cu, 3.75g/t Au, 2.51% Zn and 10.7g/t Ag (non-compliant with JORC-2012). The very high grade of the deposit indicates that there is potential for a successful small scale mining and processing operation at Laloki.
Planned exploration during the first two years following listing will include a low-level helicopter-borne geophysical survey, re-evaluation of all historic exploration and mining data, and re-opening of historical mine access roads. Laloki, and other known deposits, will be drilled to provide metallurgical samples for test work, and to upgrade the historical Mineral Resource estimates to JORC-2012 compliance. This will be followed by a Scoping Study on potential development options.