The buying frenzy for Pilbara gold stocks continued on Wednesday as Castle Minerals shot into the stratosphere on news that it had secured land where gold nuggets had been found.

A gold nugget rush in the Pilbara region of north Western Australia has been a boon for ASX-listed explorers over the past few months, with share prices doubling and even tripling.

Investors have bought into a swathe of gold juniors — particularly those with Pilbara tenements prospective for conglomerate-hosted gold — in some cases before a hole has been drilled.

Perth-based Castle (ASX:CDT) — which is valued at about $5.8 million — told investors it had the rights to acquire 80 per cent of two exploration licence applications at Coolyia Creek.

The applications cover 12.8 sq km and are 40km southwest of Marble Bar in the East Pilbara region.

Castle shares rocketed 210 per cent on the news, closing up 2.3c at 3.4c on Wednesday.

More than 56 million shares changed hands — compared to an average volume of 179,000.

Mapping conducted by the Geological Survey of Western Australia confirmed the presence of Hardey Formation conglomerate ground and Mt Roe Basalt.

Hardey and Mt Roe Basalt are volcanic rock formations in the Pilbara’s Fortescue Basin which are known to host gold mineralisation as well as copper, zinc and uranium.

Metal detecting by prospectors had uncovered a number of gold nuggets in the area, but location, number, size, gold content and appearance were unknown.

“This is an opportunistic transaction by Castle and indicative of its strategy to broaden its activities and geographic exposure,” Castle managing director Stephen Stone said.

“It’s nevertheless based on sound geological research supported by government mapping which has confirmed the presence of prospective Hardey Formation Conglomerate stratigraphy.”

Castle geologists will travel to site shortly to determine if the area meets geological expectations.

Work will include first-pass reconnaissance rock chip sampling, metal detecting and mapping.

Follow-up programs will be conducted once licences are granted and if initial results are positive.

The licences are expected within several weeks.

Castle has a market cap of about $4 million.