The University of Ballarat organizes international excursion for its undergraduate geology students to provide them an opportunity to learn and gain international experiences of geology. The university previously organized an excursion of New Zealand in November-December 2006 to provide students knowledge about plate boundary and gold mineralization. The excursion was sponsored by Oxiana Limited, the Bicentennial Gold 88 Endowment, Newmont Australia Limited, and Castlemaine Goldfields Ltd. The excursion was planned for 17 days and visit to the Taupo Volcanic Zone, Kaikoura, The Waipara, Mt Cook and the Tasman Glacier, Macraes gold mine, Otago's silcretes, Queenstowm, and Milford Sound. More information about 2006-excursion can be found on the website at http://www.ausimm.com.au/main/education/award-bice-gold-php.
Complex gold deposits are generally characterised by variable geometries, strong structural controls on grade distribution and a high-nugget effect. The use of diamond drilling and fire assays in this environment often results in an understatement of grade. Bulk samples are likely to be the closest estimators of true grade, and may be required to evaluate geological/grade risk during resource estimation/feasibility studies. Any bulk sampling program requires appropriate planning and implementation. The planning stage should attempt to delimit the extent and nature of mineralisation; characterise mineralogy and metallurgical properties of the ore; and define bulk sample size and how it will be sampled/processed. The approach to sample processing will be governed by the results of metallurgical testing and geological knowledge. Careful design of sampling protocols must be undertaken through material characterisation, understanding of gold particle sizing and the application of Gy's Sampling Theory.