Barry FitzGerald: In like Flynn? Hunting Fosterville potential with a new gold IPO in Tassie
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Errol Flynn would be pleased. The original swashbuckling film star has a new exploration company named after him – Flynn Gold.
The name reflects the company’s focus on the north-east corner of Errol’s home state of Tasmania and his mining adventures as a young man.
The Apple Isle was where Errol was born ahead of him heading off to the wilds of Papua New Guinea for a stint as a gold explorer, and later stirring things up as a leading man in Hollywood.
The choice of name was sealed when one of the company’s biggest backers, Melbourne businessman Colin Bourke, mentioned Flynn was his wife’s maiden name from Launceston family roots, and who knows, with possible lineage links to Errol.
There’s a bit of a Bunnings flavour to the company as well, as its non-executive chairman Clive Duncan was a senior executive during the 40 years it went from the out-of-Perth small fry to national hardware dominance.
Tassie’s NE corner has long been overlooked as an exploration destination despite a gold and base metals history dating back to the 1800s, and despite it being host to the same rocks found in the Victorian goldfields.
In fact, NE Tassie has pretty much been overlooked full stop. If it wasn’t for the Barnbougle Dunes golf links near Bridport, and the wind, there wouldn’t be much to talk about at all.
Flynn is out to change that in a $7-$10 million IPO at 20c a share. An active but privately held explorer for a number of years, Flynn is ready to go with a drilling program at its flagship Golden Ridge project, 30km north of Fingal.
It means first results could be reported shortly after listing, assuming the minimum $7m from the IPO is raised.
Previous work by other explorers and Flynn’s antecedents has worked up Golden Ridge as an intrusion related gold system (IRGS) target.
That makes it a moderate grade but big tonnage target which makes it different from the more Victorian-style target (narrow, high-grade nuggety gold) Flynn has worked up at its Portland project in far NE Tassie.
It is not possible for an IPO with Victorian-style targets in the portfolio not to mention the old goldfields of Ballarat and Bendigo, and more recent super-high grade Fosterville mine of Kirkland Lake near Bendigo.
But while Victorian gold exploration has gone through the roof looking for the next Fosterville, NE Tassie remains largely overlooked.
Funny thing with that is that geologists who know about these things reckon the rocks in NE Tassie have more Fosterville-like potential than most of the targets now being chased in Victoria’s Fosterville-driven exploration boom.
As it is, NE Tassie is home to the infamous Beaconsfield mine, 40km north of Launceston. It is considered to be of the Victorian type with a production history of 3.25 million tonnes coming at an impressive grade of 19 grams a tonne gold.
Flynn drilled some holes at the Portland project (there is a small scale and high grade production history there dating back to the 1870s) last year with the help of some government funding.
More drilling there will follow on from the work program at Golden Ridge, with Portland’s prospective strike length said to extend for up to 30km. So there is plenty of space to find something special in the Victorian-style. The challenge being to actually do so.
Flynn is also coming to the market with an interesting high-grade but metallurgically difficult zinc play over on Tassie’s west coast, and a foothold in Western Australia’s Mallina Basin where De Grey Mining is riding high after its multi-million ounce Hemi gold discovery.
Flynn’s WA project, Mt Dove East, lies 20km south of Hemi. Like Hemi its geology is covered by soil and Flynn will first have to conduct geophysical survey work and geochemical sampling ahead of drilling, likely in the second year of its listed life.
The IPO is not underwritten and the lead manager is Taylor Collison.