One good gold hit is all it takes to alter the fortunes of a small cap explorer.

Today, Navarre Minerals, Strategic Energy Resources, Challenger Exploration, and Gateway Mining all announced new drilling programs due to kick off very soon.

So investors, prepare yourself for a slew of drilling results – exceptional, good, and not-so-good – over the coming months.

Navarre Minerals (ASX:NML)

Market Cap: $32.2m

Navarre says this next phase of diamond drilling at the Stawell Corridor gold (SCG) project in Victoria is “pivotal”.

Navarre believes that the SCG project could host several large-scale gold deposits, similar in scale to the nearby operating 4-million-ounce Magdala gold mine.

“With the Australian gold price at record highs and a potential large gold system unfolding at our SCG project, we are excited to commence the most significant drilling program in our company’s history as we transition towards advanced gold explorer status,” managing director Geoff McDermott says.

“In the next six to nine months we will systematically evaluate the size, continuity and tenor of gold mineralisation down to 300m at our Resolution and Adventure lode gold discoveries to see if they have what it takes to deliver Victoria’s next major gold deposits.”

Read more about Navarre:

Navarre reckons it’s on top of a high grade discovery near a 4moz gold operation

Barry FitzGerald: It’s Navarre Minerals’ turn to see what the drill pulls up at Glenlyle

Strategic Energy Resources (ASX:SER)

Market Cap: $5.7m

In October, Strategic will drill two vertical holes at the Saxby gold project in Queensland, targeting gold mineralisation hosted in the deeper basement rocks buried beneath the shallow sedimentary (transported) cover.

Strategic reckons previous drilling – including hits like 15m at 9.09 grams per tonne (g/t) — failed to fully test the prospect due to “severe deviation of inclined drill holes”.

“SER is looking forward to testing our geological theories at Saxby,” executive chairman Stuart Rechner says.

“Our goal is simple: thick intersections of high-grade gold.”


Challenger Exploration (ASX:CEL)

Market Cap: $19.55m

Challenger is kicking off a maiden 2000m drilling program on its high-grade Hualilan gold project in Argentina.

Hualilan is a near term development opportunity, Challenger says.

Mostly dormant for the last 15 years, this project has a big historical drilling database and a non-JORC (unofficial) resource of 627,000oz grading 13.7g/t gold “which remains open in most directions”.

The drill rig expected to be mobilised to site within in two to three weeks.


Gateway Mining (ASX:GML)

Market Cap: $27.39m

Gateway is all cashed up to go drilling at its Gidgee gold project in WA, with a massive 16,000m program due to kick off towards the end of the month.

The aim is to increase the size of the Whistler and Montague gold deposits, as well as undertake first-pass drill testing of a number of untouched high-priority targets on the tenements.

The start of drilling will also coincide with the completion of a maiden resource estimate for Gidgee.

Read more about Gateway:

What makes Gateway so interesting that this rich-lister wanted a piece?

Jubilee-linked Gateway one step closer to maiden gold resource at Gidgee