The Hawkins Hill/Reward operation is part of the Hill End Project in New South Wales, which is owned by Hill End Gold (HEG). The Hill End Project is about 50 kilometres north of Bathurst in New South Wales and was the focus of intense and widespread gold mining during the nineteenth century. The first gold rush in the 1850s mined out the rich surface gold and then a resurgence of activity occurred in the 1860s and 70s when very rich hard rock deposits were discovered in the Hawkins Hill, Reward, and Red Hill areas.
The total Hill End Project mineral resources at November 2010 were 336,000 ounces of gold including 900,000 tonnes at 8.6 grams per tonne in the Hawkins Hill /Reward deposit. HEG has established a modern exploration-scale mine below old workings at Hawkins Hill/Reward. Historic production during the 19th century was of more than 40,000t at 10 ounces per tonne from a network of mostly shallow workings, though some were sunk to depths of 250 metres. Surface and underground drilling, mapping and mining has since identified the mineralising structures associated with the very high-grade gold mineralisation at Hawkins Hill/Reward, and the system has been interpreted to be more than 2km in strike length and more than 300m deep.
The Reward mine and associated processing plant were established as a small-scale bulk-sampling project in 2008 and were upgraded to a continuous operation in 2009. The underground activities were suspended in 2010 pending the outcome of a scoping study into the development of a much larger project. About 4km north of the Hawkins Hill/Reward deposit, the Red Hill deposit has a resource of 849,300t at 3.3g/t of gold for 89,200 contained ounces.
Operating. HEG has completed a re-evaluation of the Red Hill deposit and previous exploration data using the sub-vertical structural model for gold mineralisation in the Hill End area. A resource review was underway based on the new mineralisation model and had indentified significant targets for future drilling.