Improving the size and geological confidence of a mineral resource is generally the culmination of a lot of drilling. For investors, it is an important step towards a company actually mining the thing — and making money.

Today, explorers Horizon, Orabanda and Matador boosted resources at their respective flagship projects.

WA Goldfields-based Horizon Minerals (ASX:HRZ) has upgraded the resource estimates for its Rose Hill, Gunga West and Golden Ridge projects to 185,787oz.

These projects were acquired late last year under an ‘asset swap’ with major miner Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST).

During January, Horizon punched in 12 drill holes for 1,200m at Rose Hill, returning high-grade results like 11m at 8.79 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, 43m from surface.

The Rose Hill resource now stands at 95,200oz but the explorer says the mineralisation remains “open” along strike and at depth (meaning they haven’t found where the gold ends yet).

Horizon says ore from Rose Hill will complement the nearby “base load” Boorara gold project, which is being assessed as part of the feasibility study due for completion in the December quarter this year.

READ: Gold Digger — A weekly recap of the news driving ASX small cap gold stocks


It’s “new (financial) year, new me” for Ora Banda Mining (ASX:OBM)  which looks like its leaving its recent troubles in the rear-view mirror.

Constant problems at its Davyhurst operation near Kalgoorlie and a failed $75m recapitalisation deal saw Ora Banda — formerly Eastern Goldfields — finally raise the white flag in November 2018.

In late June 2019 the company relisted and reskinned as explorer Ora Banda with $15m in the bank to hunt for more gold around Davyhurst.

Today, the company’s Waihi prospect resource was increased by 190 per cent to 206,000oz – which takes total Davyhurst project resources to about 2moz.

“This very robust resource increase for Waihi is an excellent platform on which the development of viable mining operations at Waihi can confidently be planned,” Ora Banda managing director David Quinlivan says.

“Our long-held view that Waihi would be a key component in start-up phase of the larger Davyhurst gold project has been significantly enhanced by this result.”

READ: Is Ora Banda about to make a comeback?


And Canada-focused Matador Mining (ASX:MZZ) has an 18 per cent bigger resource at Cape Ray — now 1.2moz gold and 3.9moz silver — following the largest drill program at the project “in more than 30 years”.

This updated resource will underpin an early stage scoping study into an open pit development, which remains on track to be released in late March, Matador says.

“Importantly, this growth has not been to the detriment of the resource grade, as the total average grade remains at just over 2.2g/t gold,” executive director Keith Bowes says.

“In addition to the increased resource, our regional exploration program has identified additional targets. Regional exploration is expected to form a more significant part of future exploration at Cape Ray.”