Hunter's Road Deposit
Hunter’s Road is at the pre-development stage and when operational can be mined as open pit with power and water readily available. Rail and road transport options are available. Strategic options are being considered, but essentially the project remains on hold pending funding options.
GEOLOGY AND HISTORY
The Hunter's Road deposit lies in the upper Bulawayan Group within the Gweru-Midlands South Greenstone belt in central Zimbabwe. The Hunter’s Road nickel deposit is hosted by a serpentinized cumulate komatite, originally consisting mainly of coarse, interlocking, magnesium-rich olivine grains. In some cases accessory pyroxene, sulphides and chromites are present as intergranular/interstitial/intercumulus material. This cumulate komatite is thus essentially dunitic in composition. The orebody is bi-lobate near to surface but appears to merge at depth to form a single entity as in a scissors fault. Although there are different interpretations on the formation of this structure, the most probable one is that the structure is a result of sinistral shear thrusting and repeating the contact and the mineralisation.
The primary magmatic sulphides, which occur interstitially and intergranular to the olivines, are the main source of extractable nickel. The sulphides consisted of pentlandite (±75%), pyrrhotite (±20%) and possibly minor pyrite (<5%) and traces of chalcopyrite. The deposit has been subject to greenschist metamorphism, supergene alteration, and possibly to other, less readily identifiable alterations. The metallurgical extraction of the nickel is, as a result of the multiple stages of alteration, considered critical to the evaluation of the economic exploitation of the orebody.
The Hunter’s Road deposit was discovered by means of a soil geochemical anomaly and was initially explored through trenches. Substantial drilling has subsequently been completed on the deposit to outline the orebody. This comprised 125 percussion holes, amounting to 4,620m, and 183 diamond drill holes amounting to 41,041m drilled. Recent work on the project involved modelling of the metallurgical domains identified. Currently, we are considering a development programme at the deposit.
The effective date for the Hunter’s Road resource estimate is May 2006. The JORC compliant Hunter’s Road resource of 36,437kt is found in the West Ore body of Hunter’s Road and includes 2,377kt of resource which forms part of a 30m cap of oxide ore mineralisation. In addition, in 1993, an Anglo American MinRED estimate showed 11,000kt grading 0.43% Ni approximately 600m east of the West Ore body of Hunter’s Road which is not included in the resource shown above.