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Pathfinder Exploration Pty Ltd

Pathfinder Exploration Pty Ltd commenced in 1986 with the aim to provide consulting geochemical and petrographic/ mineragraphic services to the mining industry. The Company specialises in geochemical exploration ranging from conducting orientation surveys through to the implementation of contract geochemical surveys using data loggers and differential global positioning (DGPS) equipment for accurate sample locations. Geological and regolith mapping is also carried out where required. The principal of the consultancy - Dr Craig Rugless has over thirty years' experience in the application and interpretation of geochemical surveys in a variety of regolith regimes in Australia and Oceania.

Particular emphasis is placed on researching methodologies that are capable of gaining maximum geochemical results in the difficult terrain of the East Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia. An example of this is provided by a geochemical survey conducted in the Yamarna - Minnie Hill area, east of Laverton where sampling and analytical methods proposed by Pathfinder Exploration located hitherto unknown gold mineralisation beneath transported aeolian sands (~2m) and Permian glacial sediments (~30m) overlying the mineralised Archaean basement.

An additional geochemical sampling method involves sampling the magnetic LAG or MAGLAG fraction using the proprietary Pathfinder Exploration MAGSAM 2000® magnetic sampling tool. The MAGLAG samples are subjected to various partial digests, followed by ICP/MS-OES analyses to provide low, parts per billion (ppb) levels, for a multi-element geochemical suite including gold and the platinum group elements (PGE). This method offers the advantage of providing an Fe - rich concentrate in most regolith terrains, and enhancing the target elements including Au, Ag, As, Ba, W, Sb, Te as well as the chalcophile elements Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni and Co. More recent work has involved using the MAGSAM 2000® sampler for PGE exploration where the full suite of PGEs (Pt, Pd, Ru, Rh, Os, Ir) are analysed using a very cost effective mini Aqua Regia digest developed by Ultra Trace Laboratories, Canning Vale, Western Australia.

Salt lake sampling can be efficiently undertaken using the Predator salt lake auger and sited using DGPS surveying equipment. The auger is also capable of shallow core drilling in the salt lake environment. The auger/core method of sampling is quick and free of contamination. The resulting sample can be analysed by various partial techniques including Enzyme Leach® that has outlined mineralisation at Lake Lefroy, Kambalda, in the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia based on oxidation "Rabbit Ears" rare earth element and halide anomalies occurring peripherally to a reduced (mineralised) body occurring beneath the salt lake. The water sample in the auger hole can be used for hydrogeochemistry by analysing for Au and selected trace elements at parts per trillion (ppt) levels using the ICP - graphite furnace (ETV) technique.

Pathfinder can provide field assistants that are familiar with the necessary strict procedures and quality controls required for a good geochemical sampling programme. Ongoing guidance is provided by the principal geochemist to ensure that the sampling programme is efficient and is of high quality. The field teams are provided with a vehicle, communications and DGPS equipment capable of sub-metre positioning. Pathfinder can provide field teams equipped with a Toyota Landcruiser King Cab, 4WD quad bike, a Predator auger, DGPS surveying equipment, laptop computers, mobile telephones, SSB radio and full camping gear.

Perth Base: 11 Dennison Drive, Ocean Reef, WA 6027.
Phone - 08 9300 6689. Fax - 08 9300 4429.
Mobiles - 042 790 0061 & 041 9926785.
Email -

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Pathfinder Exploration equipment that can be used to obtain unique "Rabbit Ears" oxidation anomalies using the Enzyme Leach® digest developed by Actlabs. The "Rabbit Ears" anomalies, typically developed by the halide elements, define reduced bodies at depth that possibly represent blind ore deposits.

3-D geochemical plan showing the distribution of anomalous total PGE values that effectively define the upper PGM mineralised chromitite horizons occurring within the folded Panton Sill layered mafic/ultramafic complex, East Kimberley region, Western Australia. The grid - based MAGLAG samples were collected using Pathfinder Exploration's MAGSAM 2000® rare earth magnetic sampler. True North is towards the left hand corner and the N - S dimension is 8 km.

Geochemical image of a grid - based soil auger geochemical programme at Mt Kasi, Vanua Levu, Fiji showing gold values draped over a DEM image of the topography. The 2 by 3 km soil auger program confirms that anomalous values (red) provide strong evidence for a southerly extension to the epithermal gold mineralisation at Mt Kasi (top of the central hill).