Special Report: One of last year’s largest gold floats, North Stawell Minerals, is ramping up drilling on its large landholding in Victoria’s famed Golden Triangle as it prepares to receive first assays from the program.

North Stawell (ASX: NSM) started diamond drilling at its Wildwood prospect, which contains an inferred mineral resource of 55,000 ounces, in late November with a single diamond rig.

On Wednesday the company confirmed that a second diamond rig and a reverse circulation (RC) rig had been commissioned on site at the start of January and that all three rigs were performing well.

To date, 1,600m of diamond drilling and 700m of RC drilling has been completed out of an initial 10,000m program planned for Wildwood, with North Stawell indicating assay results would start to flow through in February.

“Drilling contractors and NSM’s geology team have done an excellent job seamlessly ramping up activities over the Christmas period,” chief executive officer Steven Tambanis said.

“We are only 2,300m into a 10,000m program but early indications are very positive.

“Most drillholes have intersected Stawell-facies mineralisation at the contact of the basalt dome and overlying sediments.

“Of note is the visual similarity of Wildwood geology and mineralisation to the east flank of Stawell Gold Mines’ Magdala basalt dome.”

Aerial view of the three rigs working at Wildwood

Commanding land position

North Stawell holds 261.9km2 of granted tenure and has a further 291km2 under application to the north of the Stawell gold mine, which has produced in excess of 5 million ounces and remains in operation.

The company raised $20 million in a well-supported initial public offering in September last year, with the majority of that money earmarked for exploration on its highly prospective ground.

The exploration program anticipates 75,000m of drilling over two years, one of the largest campaigns undertaken by a junior company in recent times.

North Stawell believes there is the potential for the discovery of large gold mineralised systems under cover and is using Stawell’s Magdala orebody as an exploration model in testing the 51km of northerly strike of the Stawell Mineralised Corridor on its tenements.

The company is far from the only explorer active in the Golden Triangle region, which features the towns of Stawell, Bendigo and Ballarat as its points and has produced more than 66 million ounces of gold.

Estimates suggest at least 12 drilling rigs are in operation currently, including four on ground owned by Navarre Minerals to the south of the Stawell mine.

The modern-day goldrush in Victoria was sparked by rich new discoveries at the Fosterville gold mine owned by Kirkland Lake Gold that have made it the highest grade, lowest cost underground mine in the world.


This story was developed in collaboration with North Stawell Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

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