Many have tried, but so far Talisman Mining (ASX:TLM) is the only explorer to make a meaningful discovery around Sandfire Resources’ (ASX:SFR) massive DeGrussa deposit.

Talisman sold its interest in the Springfield copper project to major miner Sandfire  for $72.3m in cash; $40.9m from the sale went straight back into shareholders’ pockets.

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Talisman is currently searching for the next one, buoyed by a very healthy +$10m bank balance.

Now it has signed a farm-in agreement over the historic Lucknow gold project in NSW, where more than 400,000oz of gold was probably produced at grades of between 100 and 200 grams per tonne (g/t).

We say probably because Lucknow, discovered in 1851, was one of the earliest goldfields to be mined commercially in Australia so historic production records are incomplete.

Still, ~400,000oz at 200g/t.

Today the project would still rank as one of the highest-grade goldfields in the world, however very little modern exploration has been completed outside of the existing mine workings, Talisman says.

Talisman intends to undertake a program of geochemical surface sampling and mapping ahead of a drilling program to test for potential down plunge extensions of the high-grade gold ore shoots and repeat structures throughout the project area.

There have been numerous recent examples in Australia of exciting new gold discoveries being made by using modern exploration techniques to target depth extensions in known goldfields, Talisman managing director Dan Madden says.

“Lucknow is one of the world’s highest-grade gold mining areas with reported mined gold grades in excess of 100g/t, so the potential value of any new areas of mineralisation that can be identified is clear,” he says.

“We look forward to commencing on ground exploration activities at Lucknow which are expected to begin late in the current quarter.”

Talisman can earn up to a 70 per cent interest in the project by spending a minimum of $1.5m on exploration over four years and issuing $250,000 worth of shares to private company Lucknow Gold.


In other ASX gold news today:

Duketon Mining (ASX:DKM) will sell a package of tenements in the North Eastern Goldfields of WA to $2.5 billion market cap miner Regis Resources (ASX:RRL)  for $25m – but it gets to retain the nickel exploration rights over five of them. Duketon managing director Stuart Fogarty says this is a great deal for shareholders.

“This deal significantly reduces our ongoing tenement holding costs,” he says. “Outside of M38/1252 in the areas of nickel rights, we have zero holding cost but retain 100 per cent access to explore for nickel and, in the event of a discovery, establish mining operations.” Duketon and Regis were up 7 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively, in morning trade.

Former cobalt explorer Meteoric Resources (ASX:MEI) will kick off a 21-hole drilling program at the Novo Astro project in Brazil, where rock chip sampling has returned up to 290g/t gold. Despite a large soil anomaly and those high-grade grab samples, the project has never been drilled, Meteoric says. It does, however, contain many garimpeiro (illegal mine) workings, which have produced around 1 million ounces since the 60s; several of these are still actively mined.