Projects - Australia

Connors Arc Projects


Orion Minerals Connors Arc Project is located 180km from Rockhampton in Central Queensland. The Project comprises six granted Exploration Permits for Minerals (EPMs) covering 1096km2 and further applications which, if granted, would take the project area over 2,300km2.

The project is located on the highly prospective “Connors Arc” which forms part of the Palaeozoic, New England Fold Belt of Eastern Australia. This belt has delivered several large, successful epithermal gold mines such as the Pajingo, Cracow and the Mt Carlton deposits.

Orion’s Connors Arc project area is located within a geological and structural setting very similar to other significant epithermal gold systems in Queensland. Notable features include close proximity to the eastern margin of the Bowen Basin and prospective, Permo-Carboniferous aged volcanic and intrusive lithologies. In addition:

  • Key prospects are spatially associated with a large, magmatic hydrothermal system (Mt Mackenzie);
  • This hydrothermal system is located within a geological and structural setting which is very similar to other significant epithermal gold systems in Queensland such as Cracow and Mt Carlton and is of the same broad age (Permo-Carboniferous) as many other intrusion-related gold systems in Queensland; and
  • Geological and geochemical characteristics suggest that some prospects may be shallowly eroded, implying potential for higher gold grades at depth.

Fieldwork conducted by the Company in 2014 and 2015 has outlined a substantial and highly prospective intermediate sulphidation gold-silver target at Aurora Flats and extending to the north beyond Veinglorious. This style of deposit is globally significant and accounts for a substantial proportion of world gold production. Examples include Acupan, Baguio in the Phillipines and Pachuca in Mexico.

Reconnaissance field mapping traced the surface expression of outcropping veins and allowed observation and interpretation of the textures of these veins. Vein textures are a strong diagnostic feature for depth of formation in epithermal mineral systems. The program also incorporated a review of the historical exploration database with particular focus on re-interpretation of the geology and geochemical data from the shallow drilling.

The review was carried out by Prof Noel White and Bruce Wilson, both highly experienced epithermal mineralisation experts. Their key findings were:

  • A strongly developed quartz vein swarm, with several sub-parallel veins, stock-works and showings trend north-easterly along the Aurora Flats, extending over 3,500m of strike trend and 1,000m width.
  • Over 80 individual, coherent vein occurrences with widths from 0.3m to 4m wide were observed and mapped.
  • The vein textures are clearly indicative of veins at very high level (upper 100m) in the epithermal system.
  • Short Wave Infrared Red “SWIR” analysis of retained historic drill chips and core from Aurora Flats confirms drilling that has intersected auriferous veins above the optimum depth for gold and silver deposition.
  • Low temperature mineral assemblages intersected and SWIR scanning are consistent with high elevation in system.
  • The target depth for the top of the critical zone of high grade Au and Ag mineralisation at Aurora Flats interpreted to be at >250m below surface and could be expected to extend to as deep as 1,000m, based on deposit models derived from analogous deposits which have been explored and mined globally.
  • High resolution ground magnetic has been applied to map zones of Reduced To Pole (“RTP”), lows that are believed to result from epithermal fluid interaction with wall rock, which demagnetises the wall rock. These zones are prime drilling targets.

LHS: plan showing high resolution Reduced To Pole (“RTP”) ground magnetic data, indicating mag low anomalies correlating to west dipping epithermal vein systems at the critical target depth for gold deposition. RHS: 1st vertical derivative of the same data on the LHS, with dashed line indicating location of a narrow mafic dyke that follows the mineralised structure. White ovals outline target areas for drillings.

Map showing vein outcrops and drill traces in the Aurora Flats Prospect area and 1st vertical derivative of 200m spaced helimagnetic data covering the area. The area in black shows the margins of the current high resolution ground magnetic survey.

Quartz vein outcrop on Aurora Flats

Crustiform-Colloform Quartz with blue chalcedony

Occasional Adularia casts and common manganese modules and encrustations in epithermal textured vein.

Banded veins