NT government, Emmerson ink management plan for Black Snake

Ken Vowles, Northern Territory minister for primary industry and resources, has confirmed that the government has signed a mine management plan and authorisation for Emmerson Resources’ Black Snake project in the Tennant Creek Mineral Field (TCMF) in Australia
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Staff reporter

The mine, which had been abandoned, is east of Tennant Creek and is part of the gold miner's plan to expand operations into the goldfield.

The project involves the construction of three 25m vertical shafts with a connecting horizontal shaft on Black Snake Hill, which will help determine volumes and geology of the gold mineralisation at the operation. Vowles said the work will create work for local contractors.

"What Emmerson discovers could lead to the development of a more extensive mining operation, which would result in even more jobs for the region," he added.

Emmerson, which is seeking to take advantage of the region's mine grades - historically 15g/t to 20g/t of gold and 2%-4% copper - is using its airborne time-domain electromagnetic system HeliTEM to explore future potential.

"This technique has the potential to screen large areas quickly and effectively and under ideal conditions is likely see down 500metre below the ground surface," the miner said, adding that it wants to expand use of the technology since just 6% of land so far have been explored using it.

It also pointed out that only 8% of drilling in the TCMF has extended below 150m deep, and only a small portion of the company's tenements have been systematically explored.

"Emmerson's strong belief is that the decline in discovery rates (and corresponding production) does not reflect metal depletion across the TCMF; rather, it is a direct consequence of the lack and application of fresh concepts and technologies," the company said. "Therefore, Emmerson's exploration approach is to maximise the probability of success through the application of those concepts and corresponding prediction and detection technologies most appropriate to the deposit types."

The TCMF is 500km north of Alice Springs. Tennant Creek is about 1,000km south of Darwin. The town's infrastructure includes the Adelaide-Darwin railway.