White Rock’s cornerstone asset is the 100% owned Mt Carrington project where shallow Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources totalling 341,000oz gold and 23.2Moz silver have been defined.
Mt Carrington is 5 km from the township of Drake in northern NSW. It is located on the Bruxner Highway, approximately 4 hours by car south west of Brisbane and 2 hours west from Byron Bay.
Gold was discovered in the district in 1853 with a number of small prospects worked over the next 25 years. In 1886 gold and silver were found at Drake, Mt Carrington, White Rock and Red Rock. Prospecting and small-scale mining continued into the 1920s.
Between 1974 and 1976 Mt Carrington Mines Ltd extracted a small tonnage of high-grade silver (Ag) and gold (Au) from the Lady Hampden open pit. In 1988 a mining campaign focused on extracting open pit oxide Au/Ag ore from the Strauss, Kylo, Guy Bell and Lady Hampden deposits. The oxide ore was depleted by 1990, and with low metal prices of US$370/oz Au and US$5/oz Ag the small scale mine was closed.
The new Mt Carrington
In April 2008 Rex Minerals Ltd acquired Mt Carrington and completed 2 years of validation exploration. The project was spun out of Rex in June 2010 with the formation of White Rock Minerals to undertake extensive exploration, Resource definition and development studies with the aim of defining a new viable open pit mining operation, underpinned by existing Mining Lease tenure, site infrastructure, and ready access to power and water.
In the early 1990s CRA Exploration focused on exploring for ‘a large polymetallic mineralised system in a Pacific Rim-type environment’. Up until 2010 no systematic regional exploration had been undertaken on the project for more than 16 years. Detailed mapping and reconstruction of the volcanic architecture was undertaken by White Rock in 2011-2012, which established a 400 square km collapsed volcanic caldera structure. This setting has been demonstrated to contain a number of epithermal-style precious metal targets, many of which have been progressed and are now drill ready.
White Rock has expanded the Resource base by more than 230% for both gold and silver with the majority of ore considered in development studies now classified as Indicated. The Mineral Resource estimate for all deposits at the Mt Carrington Project currently totals 341,000 oz gold and 23.2 Moz silver.
The Mt Carrington Mining Leases are enveloped by a an Exploration Licence covering 183km² with demonstrated potential for epithermal and intrusion-related gold, silver and copper mineralisation. Since 2010, White Rock has generated and refined an extensive exploration target portfolio at Mt Carrington. A number of regional and near-mine targets have been tested, and new shallow gold-silver Mineral Resources were defined at the Red Rock Prospect in 2013. Whilst exploration for shallow gold and silver deposits has been White Rock’s main focus, recent exploration has focused on the potential for the project to host significant intrusion-related (porphyry) copper mineralisation with geophysics and drilling defining a large alteration system open to the west and at depth.
Mt Carrington Pre-Feasibility Study
In late 2017, White Rock released the results of a Pre-Feasibility Study conducted on the Mt Carrington Project, which confirmed a financially robust operation. The study was developed on the basis of a “gold first, silver later” approach to development, and followed the release of a Scoping Study on the project in 2016.
As a key outcome from the PFS, WRM declared a maiden Ore Reserve in accordance with the JORC Code (2012) for the Mt Carrington Gold First project of 3.47 million tonnes of ore at a grade of 1.4g/t gold containing 159,000oz of gold. The Stage One mine plan’s economic returns and payback period are viable, with free cashflow in excess of A$36 million to be generated and a payback period of 22 months expected.