Rumble (ASX: RTR) managing director Shane Sikora was too busy back in the explorer’s West Perth office to join the throng at last week’s Diggers & Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie.

There is no doubt then that he was feeling better come the weekend than the 2000-plus delegates who limped home after the three-day bash came to an end.

Sikora has been flat chat of late inking deals for the fast-moving Rumble, as well as getting the logistics sorted for the upcoming drilling program at its Panache copper-nickel prospect near Sudbury in Canada.

Pity he couldn’t make the bash though, as last Tuesday’s option deal on the high-grade Western Queen gold project north-west of Mt Magnet in Western Australia was a deal for the times.

Gold’s move in to record Australian dollar price territory, and the high-grade success stories around Bellevue (ASX: BGL) and Spectrum (ASX: SPX), has made sure of that.

Bellevue’s Steve Parsons picked up the Best Emerging Company award at the conference, and Spectrum’s Paul Adams worked overtime in their company booths at the conference handling questions about their high-grade projects, Bellevue and Penny West respectively.

Western Queen has similar DNA in that it was a high-grade producer in years gone by, with 840,000t mined at 7.8g/t for 210,000 oz from two deposits – Western Queen Central and Western Queen South.

It comes with an indicated and inferred resource estimate completed by a previous owner of 962,000t at 3.9g/t for 120,000 oz.

The boys are gettin’ stinko

But the real interest comes from the potential for high-grade mineralisation to extend down plunge, with historic drilling below the Western Queen Central underground operation including intersections of 6.3m at 36.09g/t from 305.7m, and 11.8m at 16.08g/t from 340.4m.

It won’t take much to bring Western Queen back to life as there are three treatment plants owned by others within a 100km radius of the project, including one at Mt Magnet owned by the project vendor, Ramelius.

Ramelius has a last right of refusal to process ore from Western Queen Central under the option agreement which gives Rumble nine months to determine if the project has the upside it is hoping for before assuming 100% ownership under a low-cost shares and cash deal.

In the meantime, the drilling program at the Panache project in Sudbury will be one to watch. The program will test two parallel and shallow “conductors’’ that could possibly represent massive sulphide copper/nickel mineralisation with platinum group metals.

Sudbury is one of the world’s most famous mining camps and has long been dominated by INCO, now part of Brazil’s Vale.

It has supplied more than 25% of the world’s nickel since 1883 and is famous enough to have been the subject of a tell-all song by Stompin’ Tom Connors, “Sudbury Saturday Night”:

Well, the girls are out to bingo and the boys are gettin stinko
We think no more of Inco on a Sudbury Saturday Night
The glasses they will tinkle while our eyes begin to twinkle
And we think no more of Inco on a Sudbury Saturday Night

As previously noted in Stockhead, Sikora has also been busy securing a partner to come in and pick up the running at Rumble’s Lamil project in the Paterson Province in WA, home to the Winu copper/gold discovery of Rio Tinto.

And down in the Fraser Range, Rumble’s joint venture with Independence Group has notched up an interesting paleochannel gold discovery at the Thunderstorm prospect.

Rumble last traded at 6.5c for a market value of $25m.