North Stawell Minerals has a whole bevy of targets in the underexplored Stawell region of Victoria that are showing promising signs of the potential for a new discovery of the calibre of the +5Moz Stawell gold mine.

In the past week, North Stawell Minerals (ASX:NSM) has revealed greenfields success at the Lubeck Tip and Old Roo prospects.

CEO Russell Krause says the significant drilling results from the Old Roo prospect, which sits 30km along strike north of the Stawell gold mine, demonstrates that broad, low-grade gold anomalies identified in regional, first pass phase-one drilling are excellent vectors to nearby gold-bearing shoots with potential to extend significantly to depth.

“The success highlights the efficacy of NSM’s exploration strategy which we continue to deploy with confidence upon other targets within our tenement package,” he said.

“These are exciting targets as they have structural settings and geological controls similar to the 5Moz Stawell Mine – immediately south of NSM’s tenement portfolio.”

The company’s goal is to find repeats of the Stawell gold mine under a thin layer of Murray Basin cover – something historic explorers could not master.

And the company is having success. Follow-up drilling at Old Roo has successfully upgraded a broad, low-grade gold anomaly identified beneath cover into a significant gold intercept for further investigation.

Top results from this drilling include a shallow intercept of 2m at 1.48 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 25m, an intersection that sits in a similar structural setting as the Stawell mine and was mineralised at the end of the hole.

Major gold potential

The Stawell Zone has historically yielded about 6Moz of gold production. The mineralisation at the Stawell mine is from the same event that deposited mineralisation throughout the Victorian Goldfields, including the 20Moz Bendigo field and the 13Moz Ballarat field.

The problem for past explorers was that 85% of the fertile Stawell Zone was obscured by a blanket of late unmineralised Murray Basin sediments and exploration techniques of the time were not up to the task of penetrating the cover to detect the gold.

As a result, there is still estimated untapped potential of around 32Moz under cover in northern Victoria.

But with the advent of high-tech exploration techniques like geophysics, companies like NSM can cut through the blanket of cover to map the gold below.

Gold mineralisation has been confirmed over 250m of strike at the Old Roo prospect and remains open along strike and at depth.

Krause says the Old Roo prospect is one of eight priority targets in NSM’s portfolio for follow-up, close-spaced phase-two drilling.

“These more advanced targets are complemented by multiple greenfield targets that were established during the 2021-2022 phase-one aircore drilling season and together form a vastly improving exploration project pipeline,” he said.

Hitting the high notes

Meanwhile, NSM has also encountered high-grade gold including 1m at 5.05g/t from 56m and 1m at 3g/t from 42m at the Lubeck Tip prospect.

The 5.05g/t hit is the third highest aircore result from drilling through Murray Basin cover.

“Follow-up testing of composite results at Lubeck Tip represents primary greenfield success for NSM’s regional aircore program,” Krause said.

“The drilling has confirmed a geophysics target that is now demonstrated to include prospective geology, alteration, structural setting, and high-grade gold linking Lubeck Tip closely to the ‘Stawell-Type’ mineralisation model.

“Composite sample splitting has transformed a broad, low-grade gold ‘smear’ into a narrow, high-grade, primary gold zone. These results warrant thorough phase-two drilling programs to determine the source of this anomaly.”

Lubeck Tip has had very little drilling and remains open in all directions and at depth.

NSM is now planning extensive targeted drilling programs over its advanced prospects during the 2022-2023 drill season.

The company has a healthy cash balance of about $6.7m to fund the significant follow-up work, starting shortly.




This article was developed in collaboration with North Stawell Minerals, 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.