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Clermont Project (Queensland)
The Clermont Project is situated around the town of in central . Diatreme is exploring for porphyry and stratabound bulk tonnage copper/gold deposits along with mesothermal gold deposits. The project area covers numerous prospects including the Rosevale Project and the former Peak Downs Copper Mine.
The Peak Downs Copper Mine was worked between 1863 to 1877, with 17 000 tonnes of copper (100 000 tonnes ore grading 17% copper) reported to have been produced from the mining and smelting operations on site. The Peak Downs mine workings lie within the Bathampton Metamorphics.
Previous gold mining activity in the region included mining of placers in Permian conglomerates and from Tertiary and Cainozoic alluvial deposits. Gold was discovered in gullies to the south of Clermont township in 1861 and by 1862 mining extended from McDonalds Flat in the southeast to Hurley's Lead in the northwest. The main centres of alluvial mining were in the area adjacent to the Clermont township. Between 1877 and 1901, recorded gold production amounted to 5 458 kg from deep leads and other alluvial sources and only 308 kg from quartz lodes. Production from the Clermont Goldfield during the period 1862 to 1901 is documented as 8 200 kg of gold.
Mining activity declined after 1910 and by the 1920s had almost ceased. In 1931 a new lead, discovered at Miclere, sparked a revival of mining, which continued through to the mid 1950s. During the 1980s and early 1990s small to medium-scale alluvial mining was carried out at McDonalds Flat, Bathampton, and Expedition Creek. Total gold production for the Clermont area to 1993 is estimated to be about 14 000 kg.
Three main targets are under investigation by Diatreme:
The Rosevale Porphyry Corridor (RPC) has the potential to host a large buried porphyry copper - gold - molybdenum mineralised system. This prospect was discovered by Diatreme in 2008 and work has included deep diamond core drilling which has assisted in identifying porphyry related copper/molybdenum and breccia hosted silver/lead/zinc/gold mineralisation.
Recent exploration over Clermont has resulted in an improved understanding of the geology and mineralisation of the Rosevale Porphyry Corridor. This work has highlighted drill-ready porphyry copper targets.
At the Gollan Prospect toward the northern end of the Rosevale Porphyry Corridor, Diatreme has defined from drilling a wide zone of haematite-bearing propylitic alteration of the intrusives, located in a zone of abundant secondary carbonate copper on surface. The geological setting is reminiscent of the high grade Ridgeway deposit at Cadia NSW.
Exploration in 2012 resulted in the discovery of the Savannah Prospect to the southeast of the Rosevale Porphyry Corridor. Mapping and rock chip results from Savannah have return significant results of up to 25ppm gold, 80ppm silver, 1.8% copper, 1.4% lead, and 1.4% zinc over a strike length of 1.4km.
A number of structural trends are known within the tenement area and the Anakie Metamorphics Inlier generally but the most significant of these are the faults and shear zones that have associated silicification with gold mineralisation. Gold mineralisation in the Clermont area occurs in a number of geological environments. Quartz reefs in the Anakie Metamorphics sequence are known to contain gold mineralisation and deposits of this type have given rise to some historical gold production.
Most of the past exploration on the known gold bearing quartz vein systems within the Anakie Metamorphics has shown these to be small. These veins are the likely source of at least some of the alluvial gold deposits in the Clermont area. However the amount of alluvial gold in some areas at Clermont is not in accordance with the known gold bearing quartz vein and shear occurrences. This is the case immediately south of Clermont where there is no significant known source for the amount of gold that was mined from the Wild Cat and other leads in this area. This suggests that, either there are undiscovered gold bearing quartz veins in this area, or another hard rock source exists for the gold. It is the potential for an alternative hard rock source for the gold found in some of these alluvial deposits near Clermont that has driven gold exploration in the district.
Copper was mined at the Peak Downs Copper Mine following its discovery in 1862 and during the period to 1877, 17,000 tonnes of copper (100,000 tonnes @ 17% copper) is reported to have been produced from the mining and smelting operations on site. The Peak Downs mine workings are situated 6km south of Clermont with Diatreme's tenement and copper mineralisation appears to be of a volcanic hosted massive sulphide type with a basic volcanic association that has a supergene cap. Mineralisation principally consists of pyrite and chalcopyrite associated with a narrow banded siliceous iron formation.
A number of historic resource estimates have been estimated for Peak Downs that require further work to be JORC compliant. These estimates indicate Peak Downs contains approximately 30,000 tonnes of copper close to surface that would be capable of being mined and processed by a conventional heap leach solvent extraction - electrowinning (HL SX-EW) mining operation. Further drilling and bulk sample test work is required for the resource to be JORC compliant and for feasibility studies to be carried out. Copper has been mined historically from many smaller underground mining operations throughout the Clermont tenement and these have been the subjected to numerous exploration programmes to date over the Clermont tenements.
Further exploration is warranted over Clermont particularly over the Rosevale Porphyry Corridor, and Peak Downs for copper, Savannah for gold and base metals and at the Palm Trees Prospect (near the historic McDonalds Flat mines) for gold.