The Australia gold price is bouncing around the +$1800/oz range, which is making some historic gold projects look pretty lucrative.

One of these projects is the small Munda open pit in Western Australia, owned by nickel focused explorer Estrella Resources (ASX: ESR).

Resolute Mining closed the mine 20 years ago when the price of gold was just $500 an ounce.  Check out this timeline:

This means the Munda open cut gold project was only partially developed before the gold price fell.

There’s still about 46,337oz sitting there from the original mine plan but Estrella, which acquired the open cut in 2017, wants to grow that resource.

The explorer is planning to drill a new “plunging shoot” to the high-grade gold mineralisation in the current quarter.

Investors loved the news, sending the small cap stock up 15 per cent in morning trade.

Estrella managing director Chris Daws says the company’s Carr Boyd nickel project is still the main focus, but Munda holds “plenty of potential”.

“The next round of drilling could be very interesting for the Company’s plans going forward,” Daws told Stockhead.

“Munda is a relatively small/medium high gold opportunity which has the potential to generate a significant amount of cashflow, which could be utilised for ongoing exploration of our existing asset portfolio.”

In other gold news:

Major miner Evolution (ASX:EVN) moves quickly after signing an exploration JV with Enterprise Metals’ (ASX:ENT) in early April. Evolution is flying airborne surveys to ‘map’ the underlying rock types at the early stage Murchison project — including favourable “greenstone” gold host rocks.

The deal is a good one for an early stage explorer like Enterprise. Besides lobbing the explorer a couple of cash payments, $6b market cap Evolution must sole fund $6 million in exploration over four years to earn its 80 per cent project interest.