Last year, 50,000oz a year miner Pantoro (ASX:PNR) was grappling with a few issues at the Halls Creek Project in WA.

But it’s ‘new year, new miner’ for Pantoro, which is now making money and ramping up production from the Nicolsons and Wagtail mines at Halls Creek.

Pantoro ended the March quarter with $23.2 million in cash and gold and (more importantly), no debt.

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Wagtail, currently in the ramp-up phase, is key to getting Pantoro to its 80,000oz a year goal by mid 2019.

But let’s not forget about Nicolsons, where the miner keeps uncovering new high-grade zones the deeper it goes.

Ongoing drilling has confirmed the Nicolson mineralisation keeps going at depth. In fact, Pantoro still hasn’t found the end of the deposit.

The latest set of results from the Johnston Lode in the south end of Nicolsons mine include hits like 0.6m at 289.7 grams per tonne, inside a larger 2.45m at 73.09 grams per tonne section.

That’s bonanza grade.

These fresh drilling results came after Pantoro hit very high-grade ore mining in the levels above.

The knowledge gained from mine development in the areas above means Pantoro has been able to zero in on these high-grade zones deeper down.

It also confirms “the continuous nature of the zones”, the company says.

“The new results will be included in the annual Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve update to be completed as at 30 June 2019 and will contribute to the ongoing growth of the mine,” Pantoro managing director Paul Cmrlec says.

“With ore production increasing from both of the Wagtail mining areas, and Nicolsons mine operating in steady state, the Halls Creek operations are in a strong position to meet the planned 80,000oz per annum production rate by the middle of this year.”


In other ASX gold news today:

West African explorer Tietto (ASX:TIE) is now running three of its own drill rigs to fast track a resource upgrade. The massive 30,000m drilling campaign is aiming to supersize the 1.7-million-ounce resource at Abujar in Cote de Iviore by the end of 2019.

And by owning and operating the rigs, Tietto reckons it will save money — more than 70 per cent on drilling costs compared to the industry average — which mean more holes in the ground.
Innovative explorer Marmota (ASX:MEU) resampled some holes drilled at its Aurora Tank project – and found the grades were even higher than first thought. The previous 1m intercept at the Goshawk discovery graded an already outstanding 88 grams per tonne, 38m from surface. But when the company tested new samples from the same hole it hit grades of up to 150 g/t.

It shows Marmota’s method of analysing trace gold in tree and shrubs could be a rapid, low impact and very effective way to find mineral deposits. Goshawk, part of the Aurora Tank project in South Australia, was one of the first targets found using Marmota’s biogeochem (tree sampling) method.
Orminex (ASX:ONX) wants to get the high grade 56,000oz Penny’s Find underground gold mine into production ASAP. Orminex paid Empire Resources (ASX:ERL) $600,000 cash (plus smelter royalties on gold production) for the established mine, which is a 1hr drive from its Comet Vale operation in the Goldfields region of WA.

The Penny’s Find resource extends from the base of the completed open pit, to at least 250m below surface — and remains open at depth, the company says.