It’s been a little quiet on the Pilbara gold front of late, but today the market stirred briefly on news Castle Minerals had found more gold while panning at its Beasley Creek project.

The news moved shares a little, albeit on low volume. Castle (ASX:CDT) was up more than 11 per cent at 1c in morning trade.

The junior explorer panned fine-grained gold from 21 of the 39 bulk samples of stream sediments draining the Hardey and Mt Roe conglomerates at Beasley Creek.

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

Conglomerate gold, meanwhile, is nuggets hosted in rock containing rounded grey quartz pebbles and other minerals.

The world’s most productive gold region, South Africa’s Witwatersrand Basin, is famous for its similar geological formation.

These conglomerate horizons are considered to be the most likely hosts for the widely sought-after paleo-placer gold mineralisation in the Pilbara region.

Castle Minerals (ASX:CDT) shares over the past year.
Castle Minerals (ASX:CDT) shares over the past year.

The style of mineralisation was propelled into the spotlight a bit over a year ago when Canada’s Novo Resources livestreamed prospectors digging nuggets out of the ground at its Purdy’s Reward project in WA’s Pilbara.

Share prices started to take off for a number of explorers active in the area and it spurred a massive scramble for land by others who wanted a piece of the action.

Castle revealed not long after that it too had joined the Pilbara gold rush.

Things died down after the initial rush and investors lost interest when this style of gold proved time consuming and costly to turn into an economic resource.

But Castle boss Stephen Stone told Stockhead earlier this year that there is still plenty of road ahead for the story.

“I think there’s a lot of good work going up there by a lot of good companies and I think it’s still to play out,” he said. “I still think there’s a lot more mileage in it.”

Castle told investors on Thursday sampling indicates that most of the 16km “unconformity” surface at Beasley Creek is anomalous in gold.

An unconformity is a buried erosional or non-depositional surface separating two rock masses of different ages.

The exploration program included sampling of the Beasley Far West area for the first time.

All four stream samples panned obtained visible gold, Castle noted.

“Exploration by Castle and other explorers in and around the Rocklea Dome, and the southern part of the Fortescue Basin in general, is demonstrating that it is a highly prospective province for several styles of mineralisation with Castle planning to advance all bona fide targets as warranted,” Mr Stone said.