Gold Struck at Snowy River Mine

04 July 2023
Development West Coast
Gold has just been struck at New Zealand's deepest mine and the operators believe it could be worth $2.1 billion.

Federation Mining has so far found visible gold in six of nine diamond drill holes at its Reefton Snowy River Project. Federation is drilling below the old Blackwater mine, confirming the continuation of the Birthday Reef.

The highlights to date were from a drill hole 200m below the historic workings, which had found gold at the rate of 38.1 grams a tonne, and a drill hole 150m below the historic workings which found gold at 19.5 grams a tonne, said Federation vice president Simon Delander.

Test results were pending at three drill holes, but fine specks of gold were visible at all three, he said. The two underground diamond drill rigs had completed 1137m of drilling in June, including 239m of dewatering drilling and 897m of resource definition drilling, Mr Delander said.

Drilling to date totalled 2887m. Mr Delander said the flooded historic Blackwater workings needed to be dewatered. After many months of careful planning and engineering design work, the first dewatering hole had been completed from underground.

Development West Coast chief executive Heath Milne says the find is certainly significant, "and the good thing about it is West Coasters are pretty good at gold mining and in partnership with Federation Mining our people can get into this … and share some of the benefits."

"The really exciting bit is Federation are planning to process the gold on site ... and add more value," Milne said.

The mine is already attracting highly skilled and high paying jobs.

Delander said the mine is currently employing 60+ staff, with numbers expected to ramp up to around 150 jobs over the next 12 months.

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