Junior explorers Venturex Resources and Apollo Minerals both put forward their cases for some Pilbara gold nugget love today.

Venturex (ASX:VXR) climbed almost 6 per cent to 1.9c today on news a field review of its Whim Creek copper and zinc project has confirmed lower Fortescue Group rocks prospective for Witwatersrand -style conglomerate hosted gold. Its shares fell back to 1.8c in lunchtime trade.

Witwatersrand refers to the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa — a geological formation that houses the world’s biggest known gold reserves, producing 2 billion ounces or about half of gold ever mined.

The Fortescue Group is made up of mafic volcanic rocks found in the Fortescue Basin in the Pilbara Craton which are known to host gold and other minerals.

Lower Fortescue Group rocks are known to occur in three areas of Whim Creek.

Two of these, Loudens Patch and Mays Find, were checked by Venturex during a recent reconnaissance exploration program which confirmed the presence of basal conglomerates.

A third area, located in the north-eastern corner of Whim Creek tenure, is also thought to host similar prospective rock sequence. The area requires further field investigation.

Venturex believes the three gold prospective areas at Whim Creek cover around 11km strike of the lower Fortescue Group rocks.

Venturex has also been evaluating a potential extension of conglomerate-hosted gold from De Grey’s Loudens Patch discovery.

Reconnaissance exploration identified conglomerates extending south from its tenement boundary with De Grey over a strike length of 1km by 200 metres.

Its field team collected 12 samples from small creeks draining the ridge top hosting the Mt Roe Basalt and prospective conglomerate horizon. The samples have been submitted for gold analysis.

The Mount Roe Basalt lies within the Fortescue Basin and consists of these Fortescue Group rocks.

Venturex will continue exploration for conglomerate-hosted gold mineralisation at the project to define targets for follow-up work programs.

The company is also continuing to pursue opportunities at Whim Creek for the discovery of new deposits and extensions to the knows VMS resources at Whim Creek, Mons Cupri and Salt Creek deposits.

Meantime, Apollo Minerals (ASX:AON) told investors it holds significant precious metals and iron ore royalty interests over three granted tenements in the Pilbara region.

The tenements lie within 10km of Novo Resources’ Purdy’s Reward discovery. At this stage, no exploration work has been conducted at the tenements.

Apollo will assess the potential of the royalties and is exploring corporate options regarding the royalty package.

Shares in Apollo remain unchanged at 27c in today’s trade.