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The Kingsgate Project area is currently covered by Exploration Licence No 9636 (EL 9636) of 104.7 km2 and Exploration Licence No 9641 (EL 9641) of 202.9 km2.

Taiton Kingsgate Project tenement location


Kingsgate is located 20km east of Glen Innes (pop. 6250), the main town in the Northern Highlands of New South Wales.  Glen Innes is approximately 600km north of Sydney situated on a major highway between Sydney and Brisbane (Figure 1).  The exploration workforce would be housed in Glen Innes and surrounding areas.  Access to the site is via a bitumen and graded unsealed road. 

Typical topography of Kingsgate project


Regular commercial flights service the city of Armidale 98km south of Glen Innes. 

The site is situated at the edge of a plateau (elevation 1,070m) in a moderate rainfall (845mm) area.  The area surrounding the site includes undulating hills, broad gentle valleys and granite outcrops on the edge and eastern slope of the plateau Figure 2).  Remnant mature forest covers the project area which is not utilised for any agricultural purpose.  Past mining and logging have left the area in a high level of disturbance.


Figure 1 : Kingsgate Porject location.

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Figure 2 : The typical topology of the Kingsgatre project.

Geology and Mineralisation


Kingsgate is located within the New England Batholith which covers an area of 15,000 km2 in northern New South Wales and southeastern Queensland (Figure 3).  It has been a significant historical producer of tin and molybdenum with production estimated at 300,000t and 450t respectively. Mineralisation is associated with the more fractionated Permo-Carboniferous I-type granites in the suite. 


The principal rock units in the Kingsgate Project area are the Kingsgate Leucogranite and Red Range Microleucogranite which host a range of molybdenum, bismuth, tungsten and tin deposits. The most significant mineral occurrences are the Kingsgate molybdenum-bismuth quartz pipes which are developed in clusters within the granite adjacent to its intrusive margin (Figure 3).

A total of 109 pipes are now known to exist (54 pipes having been productive in the past) which occur within a 3.2km x 800m zone within the Kingsgate Granite along its eastern contact with adjacent sediments and older granites.


Figure 3: Taiton's Kingsgate Project within the New England Batholith, New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. (Source: NSW Resources and Energy)

Historical Exploration


The Kingsgate project has had extensive modern exploration completed by Auzex Resources Limited (No longer listed on the ASX).  Auzex was active over the period 2005 and 2010 and their extensive work includes detailed mapping, rock chip and soil sampling, ground geophysics including radiometric and gradient array IP/resistivity surveys, 3D modelling of quartz pipes and the aplite carapace, trial mining/bulk sampling, survey of mullock dumps, tailings and alluvials, aerial photography and digital elevation model, an airborne radiometric/magnetic and digital terrain survey, one diamond drilling program of 12 holes totalling 541m and two reverse circulation (RC) drilling programs of 318 holes totalling 14,490m.

(1953 - 2003)


Carpentaria Exploration Co. Pty Ltd (Carpentaria) evaluated the potential of a small portion of the Kingsgate field for low-grade, high-tonnage potential, reportedly drilled seventy-nine percussion holes (12 holes in the northern area and 67 holes in the southern area) for a total of 2,900m (Simpson, 1967). It was reported that results were disappointing with no pipes intersected in the drilling and a maximum intercept of 0.04% Mo and 0.04% Bi.


A.O.G. Minerals Pty Ltd explored the area during 1969 to 1971. Activities included mapping, auger soil sampling and stream sediment sampling. Berkmann (1970) estimated that the pipes collectively have the potential to yield 450,000t of rock containing 0.3% molybdenum and 0.16% bismuth. The tonnage estimate was based on a number of assumptions, including that the pipes extended to 150m, and that the grades in unworked portions are similar to those found in worked portions. The quoted grades of 0.3% MoS2 and 0.16% Bi were derived by dividing the recorded production by the tonnage stoped. 


(2004 - 2008)


Exploration work completed by Auzex between October 2004 and October 2008 includes:


  •       Detailed geological mapping;

  •       Rock chip sampling (n=258);

  •       Soil sampling (n=4,095);

  •       Ground based radiometric surveys;

  •       Gradient Array Resistivity Surveys (x2);

  •       3D geological modelling of the Mo-Bi and quartz pipes and aplite carapace;

  •       12 diamond drill holes (541.1m) and 318 RC holes (14,490m);

  •       351 grade control drill holes for 2,705m;

  •       Petrological studies;

  •       Trial Mining and bulk sampling;

  •       Surveying of mullock dumps, tailings and alluvial material;

  •       Aerial photography and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) development; and

  •       Airborne radiometric-aeromagnetic survey.

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Figure 4: Auzex Resources Limited conducting Trial Pit mining between 2006 and 2008. (Source: Auzex Resources Limited)

Historical Mining


Historical mining (1877-1953)

Bismuth was first discovered at Kingsgate in 1877. Between 1881 and 1889 bismuth concentrates were produced, with molybdenum discarded (Nicholson, 1966). From 1893 to 1952 concentrates of both molybdenum and bismuth were produced from several mines however no production has occurred since 1952.

Historical mining in the late 1800s to 1920s

Figure 5: Historical mining in the late 1800s to 1920s. Vincent Sachs with massive molybdenite samples from the Sachs Molybdenite mine, Kingsgate, NSW. Late 19th Century. (NSW Resources and Energy)

Molybdenite sampled from within the Kingsgate Mining district.jpg

Figure 6: Molybdenite sampled from within the Kingsgate Mining district (Taiton Resources Limited)

Historically, seventy pipes were discovered of which fifty-four have been productive (Webber et al, 1978; Kenny, 1924). Only a few pipes have been worked for more than 75m along the line of lode. The No 25 North pipe was worked to a depth exceeding 500ft and the quartz pipe was still strong.

Molybdenum Mineralisation styles in Kingsgate.

Figure 7

Figure 7: Molybdenum Mineralisation styles in Kingsgate.

Nicholson, D. A. (1966). Kingsgate Molybdenum and Bismuth Deposits. Geological Survey Report 1966/009. 

Estimated average Mo and Bi grade based on historical mining records

Production figures for Kingsgate are poorly documented. The most comprehensive compilation and documentation of the historical production of molybdenum and bismuth from the Kingsgate Mines have been compiled by Nicholson (1966).

Based on these figures it is estimated that the average grade of the pipe mineralisation mined is approximately 0.21% Mo and 0.36% Bi.

(Source: Auzex Resources Limited)

Figure 8

Estimated average Mo and Bi grade based on historical mining records

Host rock and geological relationships

The Kingsgate Granite has a fine-grained aplite carapace phase locally known as the "Red Range Microleucogranite".


The carapace has been eroded from the eastern margin of the pluton exposing the pipes and coarse-grained biotite bearing Kingsgate Granite host rock measuring  4km x 1km.


The Kingsgate Granite with its fine-grained carapace of Red Range Microleucogranite has intruded the older Sara Beds and Henry River Granite.


To the east and southeast, the Kingsgate pluton has a shallow 30o east and southeast dipping margin where it has intruded the Sara Beds and Henry River Granite.


To the west, the Red Range Microleucogranite forms a flat-lying roof to the Kingsgate Granite.


To the north at Mount Mundy, an interpreted ENE striking fault juxtaposes Kingsgate Granite against Wards Mistake Adamellite. 

Simplified Geology of KingsGate.jpg

Figure 9: Simplified Geology of Kingsgate with soil and rock chip sampling completed by Auzex Resources Limited.

Deposit Type

Kingsgate can be classified as a Permo-Carboniferous granite-hosted molybdenite-bismuth bearing quartz pipe deposit. Blanchard (1947) described granite-hosted pipe deposits of eastern Australia (including Kingsgate) as molybdenite-native bismuth, wolfram and cassiterite deposits which are a relatively uncommon deposit style from the global perspective. (Figure 10)


He stated that in this style of deposit, uniformity of ore mineral distribution throughout a pipe is rare. The pipes generally occur close to the contact of the granite with the invaded rock, mostly within a few hundred feet and rarely more than one-fourth mile from it, with their general inclination paralleling the dip of the contact without regard to whether the dip is steep or flat. 


They occur mostly on terrace-like structures or gentle domes along the flanks of the intruding granite, where the mineralizing fluids appear to have been trapped within the chilled margins of the granite, beneath a generally impermeable roof. 


Figure 10: A map showing general relations of the molydbdenite-native bismuiuth bearing quartzmpipes of Kingsgate, New South Wales, to the granite-slate contact. (Source: Adapted from Blanchard, R,(1947). Some Pipe Deposits of Eastern Australia, Economic Geology Vol 42: p265-304)

Blanchard (1947) described other examples of granite-hosted pipe deposits in eastern Australia, including Whipstick Mo-Bi quartz pipes in NSW, Wonbah Mo quartz pipes, Bamford W-Mo-Bi quartz pipes, Wolfram W-Mo-Bi quartz pipes, and Herberton- Watsonville area Sn quartz pipes in Queensland.   (Figure 11)


Figure 11: Map of Australia, showing molybdenum-bismuth-Wolfram-Cassiterite pipe localities. (Source: Adapted from Blanchard, R,(1947). Some Pipe Deposits of Eastern Australia, Economic Geology Vol 42: p265-304)

Blanchard, R. (1947). Some Pipe Deposits of Eastern Australia, Economic Geology Vol 42: 265-304.

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