A massive new high-grade gold discovery south of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia’s outback will undoubtedly have ASX-listed explorers in the vicinity getting excited.

In less than a week, a Canadian miner unearthed more than 9000 ounces of gold worth about $C15 million ($16 million) from 500m below surface at its “Beta Hunt” mine in Kambalda, 60km south of Kalgoorlie.

That’s about half the market cap of the Toronto-listed mine owner RNC Minerals (TSX:RNX).

The new discovery included a 95kg specimen stone containing an estimated 2440 ounces of gold and a 63kg specimen stone containing an estimated 1620 ounces of gold.

The 95kg specimen alone, which needed three blokes to load it onto the back of a ute, would be worth around $4.1 million at today’s gold price.

The big find has been labelled a “once-in-a-lifetime discovery” in an ABC report on Monday.

“Recovering 9250 ounces of high-grade coarse gold from a single cut on the 15 level at our Beta Hunt mine, including specimens which could rank among the largest ever discovered, underlines the importance of this discovery,” chief Mark Selby said over the weekend.

Just two months earlier, RNC recovered 1500 ounces of high-grade gold from the 14 and 15 levels.

RNC was in exclusive talks with a potential buyer for its Beta mine prior to the discovery, but is now considering all its options, including a sale, in its bid to get the best value out the operation.


It could be good news for neighbouring explorers and land-holders. Mincor Resources (ASX:MCR) is on the hunt for the precious metal about 35km away from Kambalda.

The Kambalda mining district in Western Australia is a long-established major mining centre.

The area is hots to multimillion-ounce gold deposits like the 3.4-million-ounce Revenge mine, 1.3-million-ounce Invincible mine and the South Kambalda mine that is host to over 1 million ounces.

Mincor’s shares only shifted up about 4.2 per cent to 37c by close of trade Monday.

Historically Kambalda has been more of a major nickel producer.

“[Beta Hunt] was originally started by WMC as a nickel mine but it always has produced gold to varying degrees along the way,” expert resources analyst Gavin Wendt told Stockhead.

“It’s a little bit representative of the whole analogy area because ever since WMC starting operating there in the late 60s early 70s there has always been the focus on nickel, but it seems as though in more recent times it has been an alternative strategy adopted by some of the companies operating there to go for gold.”

Mincor, which is already mining from its Widgiemooltha gold project, probably has the largest footprint in the area.

Another player in the area is Johannesburg-headquartered Gold Fields, which has said previously it spending about $37 million of its $85 million spend on exploration in the Kambalda region this year.

Mincor had over $14 million in the bank at the end of June.

“Both companies are very well credentialed, an existing focus in the particular area, production focused as well as exploration with deep pockets,” Mr Wendt said.

“So I am sure they will be looking at these results with great interest.”