The gold price was steady in Asian trade Wednesday at $US1,927/oz ($2,679/oz) and off its early August high of $US2,036oz as the yellow metal competed with record US stock indices for investor attention.

The tech heavy Nasdaq index soared 0.7 per cent overnight to close at another historic high of 11,466 points, while the S&P 500 index of US companies has surpassed its January peak.

“A stronger equity market is attracting investors more and that is erasing all the positive effects of a weaker dollar on gold,” Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg told Reuters.

A speech by US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell at a gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Thursday is expected to provide some market direction for gold.

Swiss gold export data for July shows a strong pick up in western nations’ demand and a drop off in shipments to China, previously a prime export customer.

“Chinese and Indian consumption levels have largely been replaced by flows into the major western gold ETFs and a pick-up in sales of bullion in North America and parts of Europe,” London bullion broker Sharps Pixley said in a report on its website.


Mithril Resources hits bonanza at Mexico project

Gold and silver explorer Mithril Resources (ASX:MTH) jumped in morning trade after the company released the first results of initial drilling at its Copalquin project in Mexico.

Mithril has intercepted ‘bonanza’ grades of gold and silver after results from two drill holes in the historic La Soledad mine vein included 3m at 34.7 grams per tonne of gold and 3,129g/t silver from 112m, and in line with historically reported grades.

There’s no actual definition of ‘bonanza’ by the way — it’s just a way to describe speccy gold grades.

“We are extremely pleased to have intersected the high-grade La Soledad vein with the first drill hole of the program and excited to report these bonanza grades for both gold and silver,” chief executive John Skeet said.

Another six drill holes have continued to intersect the La Soledad vein along strike, and results from these are expected mid-September. Copalquin is within Mexico’s Durango state which contains the Sierra Madre gold-silver trend.


Chile-focused Tesoro reports maiden drill results

In Chile meanwhile, Tesoro Resources (ASX:TSO) has revealed the first drilling results for its Ternera prospect, part of the El Zorro gold project, from four of 18 holes.

Significant intercepts for gold at El Zorro included 2m at 33g/t gold from 91m.

“Ternera continues to return excellent results with further wide zones of gold mineralisation defined and multiple high-grade fault zones intersected,” managing director Zeff Reeves said.


WA gold explorers also have promising drill results

Pilbara-focused gold explorer Aruma Resources (ASX:AAJ) has identified anomalous gold mineralisation at its Melrose gold project adjacent to Northern Star Resources’ (ASX:NST) Paulsens gold mine and its Belvedere deposit in WA.

Sampling results from Aruma’s Melrose project delivered highly anomalous gold samples of up to 1.74g/t in quartz veins, the company said.

The Melrose project area is interpreted to cover 22km strike of the Nanjilgardy fault, which hosts similar gold-bearing structures associated with the 1-million-ounce (Moz) Paulsens mine.

Podium Minerals (ASX:POD), meanwhile, has completed 1,870m of drilling across 17 holes aimed at expanding the existing 1.14Moz resource for its Parks Reef platinum-palladium-gold project in the Mid-West region of WA near Meekatharra.

The drilling has connected 6km of platinum group metal (PGM) resources along the Parks Reef project’s 15km mineralised strike length and intersected “thick platinum group metals plus gold” that include 4m at 4.4g/t PGM from 18m.

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