Continued interest in Otago gold permits

Further data interpretation is under way on the gold permits held by ASX-listed New Age Exploration, near Lawrence and Roxburgh in Otago.

At the New Zealand branch of the Australian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy annual conference yesterday, Dr Doug MacKenzie, of the University of Otago, updated some of the 220 delegates on his work to date.

The possibility that a gold-bearing schist belt, running from Oceana Gold's Macraes mine in East Otago to near Roxburgh has been of long-standing interest for Dr MacKenzie.

In July, New Age Exploration relinquished 75% of its permit areas, citing at the time the low impact exploration had been ''largely inclusive''.

The Mahinerangi permit, northeast of Lawrence and adjacent to the Gabriels Gully 1861 goldfield of more than 500,000oz, was reduced to 154sq km.

The Teviot permit, east of Roxburgh, was reduced to 66sq km. Dr MacKenzie intends undertaking further work in the coming summer, despite the findings to date.

In his presentation, Dr MacKenzie outlined data findings looking for regional trends that could be prospective for gold

channelled into the schist belt, part of which is the Macraes mine. Dr MacKenzie said the outcrops were ''hard to find and easily missed'', and to complicate matters were also covered in another layer of rock at the surface.

Dr MacKenzie believes there remains a symmetry in the overall schist belt at either end.

Oceana has to date recovered more than 4 million ounces of gold from Macraes, and has a mine life out to about 2020 at present, but is exploring further northward with promising results recently.

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