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  Australasia Region

Australasia Region

The Australasia Region’s Mineral Resource base has increased by 20 per cent net of depletion, primarily because of new discoveries. The Mineral Reserve has increased by 16 per cent, net of mined depletion, due to new discoveries and a higher gold price. The Australasia Region currently accounts for four per cent and five per cent of the Group’s attributable precious metal and gold-equivalent Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve base respectively.

Notable regional points are:

  • The financial 2010 exploration campaign at St Ives successfully delineated new and additional Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, primarily from the recently discovered Argo-Athena camp, which indicates potential to develop into a five million ounce deposit located less than five kilometers from the Lefroy Mill; and
  • The financial 2010 exploration campaign at Agnew successfully delineated additional Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, primarily from the Kim South lode to depths of 1,400 meters below surface and has enabled Agnew to achieve its stated aim of defining at least five years of Mineral Reserves.

St Ives

The Mineral Resource base at St Ives has increased 22 per cent year-on-year following a year of continued successful exploration, particularly within the emerging Argo-Athena camp, coupled with the effects of a higher gold price. However, the Mineral Reserves at St Ives decreased by one per cent, primarily as a result of the planned closure of Belleisle in 2011 and because the proposed underground mine at Santa Ana is not viable under prevailing economic assumptions.

The emphasis in financial 2010 was on early pipeline exploration and Mineral Resource growth, consolidating existing mine geological knowledge, extensional definition drilling to secure economic production as well as mine extensions. This delivered significant improvements in the delineation of Mineral Resources at Hamlet, Yorick, Cave Rocks, Neptune and accelerating some early stage exploration targets in the Argo-Athena camp.

Exploration spend for financial 2010 at St Ives was dominated by the drill-out of the Hamlet ore body and grassroots exploration on many of the identified structures in the surrounding area which mimic the structures hosting the recently discovered Athena and Hamlet deposits. At Athena good progress has been made in decline development, which is on track to achieve first production at the new underground mine by December 2010.

Ongoing drilling and exploration within the broader Argo-Athena camp has continued the exploration success story of St Ives in financial 2010 and led to the announcement of a substantial Mineral Resource in the Hamlet deposit, which in total now stands in excess of 1 Moz. Before the end of 2010 it is planned to largely complete a major drilling programme at Hamlet to convert existing Inferred Mineral Resources to Indicated Mineral Resources down to a depth of approximately 700 meters below surface. In addition, a new early stage target, Yorick, has been identified some 500 meters to the east of the Hamlet ore body.

The positive impact of the significantly improved ore body definition, geological and resource models is largely the result of increased investment in additional extensional exploration drilling on all mines.

Agnew

The Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves at Agnew have been increased by 15 and 70 per cent respectively following a year of successful extensional and resource definition exploration. The focus during the year was to extend the known Mineral Resources at Waroonga, specifically the Kim South lode, beneath the 9,500 mRL (1,000 meters below surface). Directional drilling technology was successfully introduced and was completed to depths of 1,400 meters below surface, resulting in extensions to the Indicated Mineral Resource at Kim South down to the 9,100 mRL. The financial 2010 programmes successfully added 400 vertical meters to the Kim South ore body and resulted in the discovery of significant extensions of the Edmunds lode in the footwall to the Kim ore body.

Further contributions to the Agnew Mineral Reserve growth came from an increase in grade at Main lode as a result of enhanced geological interpretation and improved estimation parameters. An increase in the gold price also resulted in a rise in overall ounces.

Agnew’s exploration strategy will continue to focus on the Waroonga Complex, where Main lode, 450 South and Rajah all provide short to medium-term potential for extensions along strike and down dip of existing Mineral Resources. Near-mine exploration will focus on initial testing of several targets to the north and south of the main mine area, while drill testing of the shallow Cinderella deposit, located a short distance from the Agnew processing plant, was started during the year. During the second half of calendar 2010 the intention is to assess the openpit mining potential of the Cinderella deposit, as well as other areas within the Scotty Creek Sediments.