How much gold lies beneath these historic mines? Great Northern is about to find out
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Special Report: Great Northern Minerals (ASX:GNM) is intent on developing a new gold camp in North Queensland.
Its flagship assets – acquired in 2019 — include the mothballed Golden Cup, Camel Creek and Big Rush gold mines, which produced a combined +160,000oz at an average grade of 1.9 grams per tonne (g/t) in the 90s.
Which doesn’t sound that impressive, until you learn these shallow, open cut mines (12m to 30m deep) were all ‘in mineralisation’ when mining stopped.
There’s a small 77,000oz resource based on historic drilling, but Great Northern is confident that is nothing compared to what lies beneath.
These projects had never been systematically drilled at depth, and that’s where there’s potential for some big gold systems to be defined.
About 10,000m of drilling in 2019-2020 supported this thesis.
Drilling at Big Rush in December 2019 and September 2020 returned numerous high-grade gold hits beneath the Central and Northern Pit like 24m at 3.90 g/t gold, including 8m at 10.57 g/t from 140m.
August 2020 drilling at Camel Creek hit 12m at 4.08g/t from 108m, while Dec 2019 drilling at Golden Cup pulled up a highlight 7m at 7.49 g/t from 32m.
That’s the trifecta investors should look for in early gold drilling results: thick, shallow and high grade.
This is 700sqkm of really prospective ground, says managing director Cameron McLean.
“There’s a huge target in the north at Big Rush – which has around 2km of strike — we basically didn’t drill in 2020 because we didn’t have time,” he says.
“At Camel Creek we have now tested 1000m of the total 3.3 m of total mineralised strike and previous mined areas.
“When we initially reviewed Camel Creek, during the due diligence we were amazed at the extensive strike length, it’s just old pit after old pit like: ‘this goes on forever’.
“Simon ran a Micromine query at Camel Creek for anything over 1g/t, and we saw pink dots for 3.3km.
“Then he does another one for over 5g/t. Still pink.
“Another one for over 10g/t and there’s big targets all up and down that 3.3km of strike.
“The surface has only been scratched and from what we know about this style of gold deposit is that it should continue to great vertical depth. We now need to drill the entire gold system.”
Camel Creek alone needs a serious amount of drilling to get a better understanding of just how big that system is, McLean says.
It is also just 10km from Golden Cup, which means Great Northern could potentially develop them together.
There’s a very exciting year ahead for Great Northern and its three quality projects — any of which could be a company maker in their own right.
A new 10,000m drilling campaign is now in the advanced planning stages.
“We are quite excited about the year ahead, getting out there and drilling another 10,000m of resource development drilling,” McLean says.
News flow will be strong over the next 12 months.
“First, was the release of the results from the Camel Creek drilling just completed, a likely resource upgrade at Big Rush in Q1, and some more drilling,” McLean says.
“After that, a maiden JORC resource at Camel Creek before a scoping study later in the year.
From the Camel Creek drilling results released this week a number of high grade gold results were achieved including 5m @ 12.20, 9m @ 4.93 g/t Au and 11m @ 2.94 g/t Au.
“At the moment we have 77,000oz which isn’t huge, but that is all based on historic drilling.
“Since then we have done 10,000m of drilling ourselves.
“There may well be a series of resource upgrades in the next 12 to 24 months.”
2020 was the year Great Northern Minerals established a platform for success with good assets and good people with a track record of executing a strategy, says McLean.
“We revamped the board, bringing on Kim Robinson and Simon Coxhell who are both very experienced mining executives,” he says.
“2021 will be all about resource drilling programs, expansion of the JORC resource estimates and upgrades to all of our projects.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Great Northern Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.