The West Kambalda Project, located approximately 20 kilometres southwest of the Kambalda nickel mining and processing centre, comprises three tenement blocks for a total combined area of
44 km2. The Project encompasses a series of nickel prospective ultramafic units which host the historic Spargoville nickel camp (including the historic Andrews, 5A, 5B and 1A Nickel Deposits)
on the southern two Mining Leases. These deposits produced
some 14,000 tonnes of nickel between 1975 and 1993. They
closed due to depressed nickel prices which also reduced the incentive to explore for extensions.
The deposits have not yet been closed off by drilling and offer considerable potential as clearly demonstrated by the discovery
of extensions at the Andrews and 1A Deposit by Breakaway in 2008.
Notwithstanding the successful delineation of down-plunge extensions below the mined portions of the 1A and Andrews Deposits, exploration of West Kambalda was suspended in the second half of 2008, to provide an opportunity to further evaluate
the results and opportunities for this project under the current economic circumstances. Breakaway will consider a range of possibilities to further develop the significant potential of this project, including partnering options.
Thirteen diamond drill holes (6360 metres) were completed by Breakaway between March and July 2008 to investigate the continuation of down-plunge extensions of the deposit up to 100 metres below the lowermost mined level (11 level - 330 metres below the surface). This was the deepest mined level prior to closure of the mine in 1977 due to low nickel prices and limitations imposed on deeper mining due to the depth of the access shaft. Indications for depth extensions were intersected in a limited number of very wide-spaced historical drill holes the significance of which was only appreciated in recent years by Breakaway. The mine is reported to have produced about 7,800 tonnes of contained nickel and indications are that a similar amount could exist in the immediate depth extensions.
The programme of wide-spaced (50-100 metres) drill holes completed by Breakaway confirmed the depth continuation of the deposit up to 100 metres below the 11 level. The drilling found that the internal continuity of the mineralisation appears complicated by later cross-cutting intrusions and structures. The drill spacing however, is still too wide to fully understand the geology of the mineralisation. It is suspected that the mineralisation will occur in several discrete steeply plunging zones similar to what occurs above the 11 level.
The 1A Mine is located approximately 4 kilometres north of the Andrews Mine and is reported to have produced 112,000 tonnes at 3.80% of Ni (4,286t Ni metal), from three 25 metre - spaced levels developed to a vertical depth of 175 metres. The mine which operated between 1991 and 1992 closed due to depressed nickel prices (in the order of US$2.00/lb).
At 1A, massive and disseminated nickel sulphide mineralisation occurs within an overturned, thrust-repeated mafic/ultramafic sequence. Locally, mineralisation is present as a series of gently west to northwest plunging ribbon-like shoots or surfaces that have been locally offset, remobilsed and upgraded by small scale faulting and folding. Underground mining took place primarily from the middle ultramafic horizon ("Surface 2").
A JORC Code compliant inferred Resource of 142,000 tones @ 2.0% Ni (2900t Ni metal) has been calculated for the extensions to the mining depleted portions of the 1A Nickel Deposit based on the results of successful diamond drilling undertaken by Breakaway during 2008. Optiro calculated the resource using a 0.8% Ni cut-off grade.
The majority of the 2009 resource lies within the Surface 2 horizon and extends from the base of weathering (50 metres below surface) to approximately 100 metres vertically beneath the base of the existing mine working (275 metres below surface). A number of single hole resource "pods" exist within the lowermost drill holes.
The resource possesses considerable upside both in terms of size (being open both down plunge and along strike) and grade (existing drill density of approximately 30 x 30 metres is insufficient to test for areas of small scale structural complication, which have been demonstrated to exist within the mined portions of the deposit, and contain internal zones of higher grade mineralisation).
The Spargos Reward Gold Target comprises the historic Spargos Reward Gold Mine and surrounding areas and is located within the northern half of Breakaway's 100%-owned West Kambalda Exploration Project, 25 kilometres southwest of Kambalda, and immediately west of the sealed Coolgardie - Esperance Highway.
The Spargos Reward Deposit is located on the general trend of the Kunanalling Shear, a regional shear zone that hosts significant mineralisation 20 kilometres to the north of Ghost Crab (1999 Total Resources of 1.2Mozs Au @ 4.7g/t Au), and 16 kilometres to the south of Wattle Dam (2008 Total Resources of 83,200 ozs @ 4.8g/t Au). The deposit was previously mined to a vertical depth of 120 metres (underground and open pit) with total production of 29,257 ounces @ 8g/t Au.
Geological modelling indicates that there is excellent potential to extend the deposit both at depth and along strike, with only broad spaced drilling completed by previous explorers. An 11-hole Reverse Circulation drilling programme (840 metres) was carried out in early 2009 to further test near surface positions along strike from the existing workings.
The drilling successfully confirmed a broad system of near-surface, structurally controlled gold mineralisation, which is continuous over 500 metre strike length centred on the existing open pit and to a vertical depth of 50 metres.