Pilbara explorer Artemis Resources is picking up a large patch of land near gold major Newcrest Mining in Western Australia – beating another mining heavyweight to the punch in the process.

The company (ASX:ARV) has applied for 600 sq km of land about 40km east of Newcrest’s (ASX:NCM) Telfer mine, which hosts 27 million ounces of gold and 1 million tonnes of copper.

The new landholding, known as the “Armada Prospect”, is also located near Metals X’s (ASX:MLX) 2-million-tonne Nifty copper mine.

Artemis says it lodged its application about three hours before Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) applied for an area covering nominally the same ground package.

Armada Mining, a wholly owned subsidiary of Artemis, is first in line for the grant of the tenement, Artemis said.

“The existence of major mining operations in the Proterozoic Orogen such as Telfer and Nifty, coupled with the recent early stage exploration success by Greatland Gold at their Haverion discovery, has provided impetus for the company to further expand its exploration holdings in the Pilbara,” chief Wayne Bramwell told investors.

“The Armada Prospect sits within the well-endowed Paterson Orogen mineral province, of what may become a new region for iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) deposits.”

Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) shares over the past year.
Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) shares over the past year.

The geological structures that host UK-based Greatland Gold’s Haverion discovery run due north into Artemis’s new Armada Prospect.

Early stage exploration drilling undertaken by Greatland Gold on its landholding has uncovered high grades of gold up to 29.12 grams per tonne. Anything above 5g/t is usually considered high grade.

The new tenement will take Artemis’ total landholding in the Pilbara to 2400 sq km.

The company is set to be the is set to become the first Pilbara explorer to process bulk samples of nuggetty gold after earlier this week winning the first of three approvals needed to upgrade its local Radio Hill plant.