Indiana Resources is like Switzerland in the heart of South Australia’s resurgent Central Gawler Craton – minding its own lucrative business while a bidding war heats up for the rich, underexplored and long-proven prospect.

While uninvolved in the contested Jumbuck Gold three-front bidding war, Indiana Resources (ASX:IDA) has nonetheless built a compelling package of nearby tenements delivering headline results including thick, high-grade and shallow hits like 16m grading 13.12 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from a depth of 37m.

And the best could be yet to come.

The company is finalising Native Title Agreements with two Traditional Owners Groups, which takes it closer to being able to unwrap the entire package.

All in the timing

Now’s the time, executive chairman Bronwyn Barnes told Stockhead, with the uncertainty of the ever-morphing COVID pandemic ensuring the stability of gold continues to make it the global go-to commodity.

And it’s not all gold either: there’s more than just a trickle of nickel in the untapped Lake Harris.

“We’ve been exploring the Central Gawler Project for gold and are currently also looking at the nickel potential of the Lake Harris Greenstone Belt,” Barnes said.

The company’s interest aligns with a booming global demand fuelled by the growing electric vehicle and traditional stainless steel sectors.

Backstory: Central Gawler Craton an untapped prospect

The Central Gawler Craton is located in the heart of South Australia’s oldest and largest geological province and like the rest of the broader area, it hosts a number of historical mines including the heroic Challenger deposit (more than 1 million oz of gold) as well as the Tarcoola and Tunkillia projects, all of which are owned by Barton Gold.

There’s also numerous smaller historical gold workings such as the Lake Labyrinth, Company Well and Earea Dam mines which lie within the company’s tenement area alongside more recent discoveries such as Mulga Tank.

License(s) to drill

Despite this prospectivity, the Central Gawler remains relatively underexplored, which led to the company picking up 14 exploration licences and one mining licence covering 2,660sqkm between Tarcoola and Tunkillia in late 2020, that has since been increased through pegging of additional licences, to 5,713sqkm.

Notably, the tenements contain the majority of the Archaean Harris Greenstone Belts, which are similar in style to WA’s greenstone belts and mighty prospective for gold and base metals.

Indiana hit the dirt running following the acquisition, moving to complete its first drill program at the Minos prospect in January 2021.

Subsequent reverse circulation drilling returned thick, high-grade hits such as:

  • 21m at 8.43g/t gold from 176m
  • 26m at 4.28g/t gold from 68m
  • 38m at 6.54g/t gold from 29m, which incidentally includes the standout 16m interval at 13.12g/t

The returns sparked off several RC and diamond drilling programs which delivered significant results at Minos and improved the IDA team’s sense of the nature and distribution of gold mineralisation.

Results are currently pending for a RC program which was carried out over both Minos and Ariadne prospects while further RC drilling is currently underway to better define some of the known high-grade zones at Minos.

Waiting on $127m with the World Bank

On another front, Indiana has been progressing a compensation claim against the Tanzanian government for the illegal expropriation of the Ntaka Hill Nickel Project that occurred in late 2019.

The first hearing was held in April 2021 and the company lodged the Full Memorial submission with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a division of the World Bank, during 2021.

This outlined the quantum of compensation claim and damages, which was determined by an independent expert quantum witness at $127m.

Litigation funding was finalised during 2021 and the company continues to progress the Claim to Arbitration with ICSID.  Activities are expected to accelerate during 2022 with both parties expected to lodge further submissions with ICSID and commence document discovery.




This article was developed in collaboration with Indiana Resources, 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.