Artemis Resources has changed tack on its initial plan to drill what was expected to be Australia’s deepest ever diamond drill hole in a bid to unlock the secrets of the Pilbara.

The junior explorer (ASX:ARV) was initially aiming to drill down to 3300m, but after hitting an intrusive rock structure at 1348.5m has now decided to see how far it extends.

Investors seemed to like the news, with shares gaining as much as 6 per cent to reach an intra-day high of 17.5c.

“We thought well we could keep going down and see if we come out of this intrusive body or we can look to see how far it extends,” executive director Ed Mead told Stockhead.

“We’ve done what we need to do. We’ve increased the prospectivity of the area by showing that the hard rock basement is a lot shallower.”

The first 800m of drill core from that hole will soon be sent to the CSIRO for analysis.

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

Artemis has now started drilling a second hole 3.6km to the west that has so far reached a depth of 138.9m.

The company is planning to drill until it hits the base of the Fortescue Group in the West Pilbara.

The Fortescue Group of volcanic rock formations are known to host gold and other minerals.

“We’ve got to get dating on the granodiorite to work out how it fits into the picture,” Mr Mead said.

“But while we’re down there, and we’ve got a larger drill rig this time, we’ll see where we go to basement or if we intersect the granodiorite, because clearly we’re looking for a good explanation for the mineralisation that we see at surface.”