• Haunted Stream is an 8.5km-long historic mining area which produced more than 25,000oz of gold at up to 5oz (142 grams) per tonne
  • The company says there’s a multi-million-ounce opportunity at Haunted Stream
  • Maiden drilling was immediately successful in discovering two separate shallow gold systems


Explorer First Au is pursuing an aggressive exploration campaign at its Haunted Stream project in the Victorian Goldfields, where maiden drilling has already discovered two new gold systems.

First Au (ASX:FAU) has three prospective projects: Haunted Stream and Snowstorm in the Victorian goldfields, and the near-term Gimlet gold mine development in Western Australia.

Recent work has been dedicated to delineating the ‘size of the prize’ at Haunted Stream, an 8.5km-long historic mining area which produced more than 25,000oz of gold from over 150 shallow workings during late 1800s and early 1900s.

Historic records suggest remarkable mining grades of up to 5oz (142 grams) per tonne, but, until recently, limited drilling had been done over the high-grade lodes “due to a poor understanding of structure”.

When First Au picked up the Victorian assets in 2020, it immediately saw a multi-million-ounce opportunity at Haunted Stream.

This was finally tested in a successful maiden drilling campaign earlier this year, which was designed to test economic potential beneath these historic workings as well as explore and test highly prospective structural target locations.

The drilling was immediately successful in discovering two separate shallow gold systems – with evidence of higher-grade veins – which are open at depth and along strike.

Drilling highlights include:

  • 36.9m @ 1.61g/t Au from 70.6m;
  • 8m @ 3.45g/t Au from 69m and 1m @ 11.45g/t Au from 80m;
  • 12.9m @ 3.57g/t; and
  • 10.7m @ 3.05g/t Au from 93.7m including 2.5m @ 8.32g/t Au from 93.7m.


Remember, this is the first proper drilling this project has seen, ever. 

First Au MD and CEO Ryan Skeen says Haunted Stream has been poorly tested by previous explorers and many of the workings remain open at depth.

“For a maiden program, it’s been a huge success to have the results we have had,” Skeen said.

“We’re just scratching the surface of a large mineral system with gold present at shallow depths.

“We’ve got assays pending for the remaining four holes of the program, and I’m fairly optimistic they’re going to be more good results for the company.”


Follow-up drilling already planned

First Au’s proposed targets are hosted, but not limited to, a >500m long corridor from the historical Ernestine to Hibernia workings which produced 927oz of gold at 39g/t and 816oz at 17g/t, respectively.

“The upside at Haunted Stream is really quite significant, with a several prospects along an 8.5km strike remaining to explore,” Skeen said.

“We’ve got further drill targets ready to go, we’ve got the next program planned.”

There’s also potential for near surface development as gold has been intercepted at 38m, compared to depths of hundreds of metres commonly seen in historic gold mines in Victoria.

“It’s a real advantage being in a very undeveloped terrain or a very under explored region and the potential for development commences from very close to surface,” Skeen added.


First Au ASX FAU
Pic: FAU project area overview. Source: FAU.


At Haunted Stream, assays are pending for the remaining four holes in the maiden drill program.

Meanwhile, at the company’s Snowstorm project – which contains old workings in a similar geological setting to Haunted Stream – permitting success is expected by the end of the year to undertake underground bulk sampling works.


First Au ASX FAU
Pic: Refurbished Adit at Snowstorm.


This would allow more detailed mapping of the system to better understand the grade and geological continuity of mineralisation.

The proposed program would also establish greater underground access for potential future exploration drilling if warranted.


Gimlet: an advanced development asset

In May, a mining lease was granted over the 120,000oz @ 3.19 g/t Gimlet gold project, just 15km from Kalgoorlie.

With Victoria the focus, a granted mining lease “significantly enhances the opportunities to either find a buyer/partner for the project or consider options to move the project forward independently”, First Au says.



This article was developed in collaboration with First Au, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.