The ASX has made good on its threat to take Haoma Mining off the Australian bourse after the junior gold explorer refused to retract an announcement it made in October regarding a “watermelon seed nugget” discovery in the Pilbara.

Watermelon seed nuggets have been all the rage since July last year when Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) and Canadian partner Novo Resources found small, flat seed-shaped gold nuggets near Karratha in northern Western Australia.

Haoma (ASX:HAO) announced in mid-October that it had found “flat watermelon seed-like” nuggets from conglomerates near the Comet mine. The nuggets were nearly 100 per cent pure gold, Haoma said.

The ASX is not claiming the announcement is factually incorrect — just that Haoma did not follow the proper process.

“They are saying I didn’t abide by their process,” chairman Gary Morgan said. “Their process is I must have a JORC-compliant geologist to sign off on it and there was no geologist there when we discovered them.”

Haoma (ASX:HAO) shares over the past six months.
Haoma (ASX:HAO) shares over the past six months.

JORC compliance refers to the mining industry’s code for reporting exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves, managed by the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee. Mineral resources are categorised in order of increasing geological confidence as inferred, indicated or measured.

Haoma discovered the watermelon seed nuggets at Marble Bar, about 300km from Novo’s landholding in the Pilbara.

“There’s gold running all the way from Karratha and Port Hedland to Marble Bar, which can now be extracted and recovered and there’s a lot of it,” Mr Morgan said.

“They don’t understand it’s a major discovery. It’s good for Haoma and good for Australia.

“They wanted me to reconstitute the release I made on October 16, in other words they wanted me to delete it and I said that would be wrong.”

Haoma, which has been suspended from the ASX since October 18, told shareholders last week that it will now pursue other options to facilitate a market for the trading of its shares.