DATE: Thursday 13th December, 2001. 5.30pm for 6pm
VENUE: Rugby Club, Rugby Place, Circular Quay
SPEAKER: Bob Close
TOPIC: “Exploration in Arabia – An Oman Perspective”
Late Proterozoic Island Arc Intrusive -volcanic sequences in the western Arabian peninsula are highly prospective for structurally hosted gold deposits, platinoids and VMS mineralisation.
To the east in Oman equivalent sequences are rarely exposed, however Late Paleozoic to Cretaceous volcanics including the obducted Semail Ophiolite sequences contain significant mafic-hosted copper-gold VMS mineralisation.
National Mining Company a privately owned subsiduary of the MB Petroleum Group has been exploring for base and precious metals exclusively in Oman since 1997 . Prior to 2000 in Block 6 south of Muscat in the Hajar Mountains, they defined several small oxide copper deposits and a moderate sized but low-grade Cyprus-Type Cu-Au VMS deposit at Washsihi but preliminary financial analysis showed they were uneconomic to mine.
In October 2001, NMC was granted Block 1 near the UAE border and north of the established copper deposits at Lasail. Several new VMS discoveries were made following LandSat Imagery analysis, mapping of gossan alteration zones and use of TEM / IP surveys to define Cu-Zn sulphide targets under shallow cover. To date two significant deposits Hatta and Shinas have been outlined by initial drilling and three more excellent gossan targets suggest sulphide resources of 4-6 million tonnes at 2% Cu may be present at less than 100 metres depth. Gold enrichment in the oxide zones may amount to 0.5 M T at 1-2 g/tAu which presents the potential for a small heap leach operation.
On going drilling and metallugical work is designed to prove up sufficient resources to conduct a feasibilty study in early 2002. In addition there are similar resources in the region which could be aquired relatvely cheaply to extend the mining life of any operation.