Pilbara gold resource update on the cards for Novo
Canadian listed Novo Resources is on the cusp of revising its mineral resource estimate for the emerging Beatons Creek Pilbara gold project located near Nullagine in WA.
This follows a detailed program of bulk sampling, diamond core drilling and down-hole imaging that has helped tie down the boundaries of the sought-after gold-bearing conglomerate beds.
In October last year, the company defined a global mineral resource at Beatons Creek of 8.38 million tonnes grading 2.47g/t gold for 667,000 ounces, with more than half the ounces reporting to the higher confidence measured and indicated resource categories.
In the period since, Novo has worked up a detailed 3D picture and interpretation of the prospective conglomerate layers and long, continuous old river channels that cut those primary layers, which are also thought to contain payable gold concentrations.
The company completed 65 bulk samples of about 2 tonnes apiece, principally over its 100% owned mining lease at Beatons Creek, with preliminary assays from 45 bulk samples returned to date.
The assay results received from these bulk samples range between 0.49g/t gold and 6.16g/t gold, with the weighted mean average of the 45 samples, coming out at 2.55g/t gold – similar to the existing resource grade.
Results from the remaining 20 bulk samples are pending and will help confirm gold grades across the extent of the wider project area.
An updated resource model for Beatons Creek is in progress and due for release by the end of the current March quarter.
Novo President and Chairman Dr Quinton Hennigh said: “We are eager to receive final assays and complete our new resource model for Beatons Creek. This new resource will be the culmination of a long, iterative process whereby we refined our geologic understanding as well as our bulk sampling techniques to better tackle this layered, coarse-gold deposit.”
“It will establish a blueprint for how to approach such unusual deposits thus unlocking their economic potential.”
Based on the aerial extent of the mapped gold conglomerate horizons forming the updated wireframe model in comparison to the previous resource model, there is potential to be a noticeable increase in gold resources at Beatons Creek this time around.
The company now has a significantly better understanding of the geology and structure of the region, which has assisted in domaining the ore zones far more accurately.
This is a credit to Novo because the variability of gold grades within conglomerate hosted deposits are notoriously difficult to evaluate compared to more traditional resource estimation methods.
The company controls about 560 square kilometres of tenements near the historic mining town of Nullagine in the east Pilbara region of Western Australia.
At Beatons Creek, Novo is exploring for the gold-bearing conglomerate reefs within a sandstone formation of ancient sedimentary rocks.
Historic mining near Nullagine exploited the pyrite-rich gold-bearing reefs as early as the late 1800s, however, the area has seen only limited modern exploration in the century since.
Novo is seeking the gold-rich conglomerate horizons or reefs as part of its much broader exploration and development efforts for the so-called “paleoplacer” mineralisation across its vast 12,000 square kilometre land holdings in the Pilbara region of WA.
The conglomerate gold story in the Pilbara is developing fast for Novo and has gained plenty of traction with other explorers in the region.
If the story plays out, Novo’s first-mover advantage in the area will pay off in spades and the upcoming mineral resource update for Beatons Creek might just end up being the proof the market is looking for.