Special Report: Navarre is about to get its hands on some hotly contested ground in the resurgent Victorian goldfields, after being handpicked by the Victorian government as its top choice.
A new Victorian gold rush is underway and Navarre Minerals (ASX:NML) has been granted “priority status” over a key exploration licence where a ‘bonanza’ hit of 1m at 1,174 grams per tonne gold including visible gold was made but never followed up on by previous owners.
There’s no actual definition of ‘bonanza’ by the way — it’s just a way to describe speccy gold grades. But at today’s record prices that is some valuable gold.
The addition of this new exploration licence paves the way to Navarre gaining full ownership of the 400,000oz St Arnaud Goldfield — the second largest hard-rock goldfield in Victoria’s Stawell Zone, which also hosts the 4-million-ounce Stawell mine.
Before Fosterville, just east of Bendigo, came into production and claimed the title of Victoria’s largest gold mine, Stawell was the state’s premier gold producer until 2008.
“Victoria is experiencing a gold exploration and mining boom off the back of record gold prices and the success of Kirkland Lake Gold’s world-class Fosterville gold mine,” Navarre managing director Geoff McDermott said.
“This expansion of the St Arnaud tenement package will further strengthen our extensive quality pipeline of exploration opportunities within Victoria’s premier gold districts.”
The historical workings covered by Navarre’s exploration licence application include the Bristol, New Chum and Nelson lines of reef.
Navarre says these reefs extend for about 5km and dive under Murray Basin cover to the north, where drilling by the company has identified gold and silver mineralisation extending for at least another 5km.
“This intercept has never been followed up and has new meaning now following the 2015 discovery of Fosterville’s Eagle-Swan ore bodies,” McDermott said.
The Victorian government estimates there is a potential 38 million ounces of undiscovered gold in the Stawell Zone north of the St Arnaud Goldfield.
No end to the exploration upside
Navarre has also applied for two new additional exploration licences adjacent to the already granted exploration licence covering the St Arnaud gold project.
If granted, the new licences will double the size of the project.
Navarre says the tenements are prospective for gold and silver mineralisation associated with several major thrust faults, believed to be conduits to transport high-grade gold and silver mineralising fluids.
These new exploration licence applications cover the north-western and eastern sides of the St Arnaud goldfield.
Navarre is preparing to start drilling on its existing licences in the December quarter.
This article was developed in collaboration with Navarre Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.
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Barry Stroman was a reporter for Zerg Watch, before becoming the lead editor. Barry has previously worked for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat covering countless stories concerning all things related to tech and science. Barry studied at NYU.