Gateway Mining (ASX:GML) is one step closer to a maiden resource at its Gidgee gold project in WA and, insiders hope, one step closer to Jubilee 2.0.

Recent drilling has shown that the “cornerstone” Whistler deposit is continuing to develop into a large-scale gold system.

Thick, high-grade gold mineralisation was intersected at shallow depths by recent reverse circulation drilling.

Top hits include 12m at 5 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 79m, 7m at 6.55g/t from 114m and 15.4m at 2.94g/t Au from 128m.

The Whistler focused drilling is split into two parts.

The reverse circulation drilling was done to try and delineate a resource for a resource estimate (which is expected in the near-term), while diamond drilling was done to try and understand the geological setting of the deposit.

Managing director Peter Langworthy said the latest drilling results from the Whistler deposit amounted to a “significant exploration breakthrough” for the Gidgee gold project, highlighting the strong potential for one of the project’s cornerstone deposits to grow substantially.

“In parallel with some really high-quality geological evaluation work completed recently by our team, the latest drilling has changed our view of the potential at Whistler – confirming that we have a very significant large-scale gold system on our hands which could grow significantly from here,” he said.

“At the same time, we have been able to increase our confidence levels in the quality of the mineralisation at Whistler during the resource estimation phase.”

Yet to find the end

The results demonstrate that the Whistler deposit remains open along strike both to the north and south, and that multiple structurally controlled, high-grade domains are present within a broader mineralised envelope.

These high-grade domains remain open down-plunge – which means Gateway is yet to find the bottom of the high-grade structure.

Langworthy said the identification of immediate shallow high-grade extensions both to the north and south of the Whistler deposit was a “major advance” for the Gidgee gold project.

“We expect that these new high-grade domains will have a positive impact on the resource estimation we are currently working on, and then flow through into future open pit optimisations,” he said.

The zones are not only open at depth, but they also show the potential for significant high-grade domains to exist along a trend that Gateway believes could extend for more than 1.2km.

“We need to test this through drilling, but we believe the potential along this corridor is very real – as evidenced by the shallow historical drill results – and this is an opportunity we are going to pursue over the coming months,” Langworthy said.

The project

Gateway is chipping away at a series of gold targets 70km north of Sandstone, in the Murchison region of WA.

Historically, the area has produced about 1.5 million ounces of gold, about 150,000 ounces from shallow pits at one of Gateway’s tenements.

The series of targets Gateway is looking at have been pulled together to form the Gidgee project, which is hosted within the more than 2Moz Archean-aged Gum Creek Greenstone belt.

Gidgee gold project. Pic: Gateway

Previously drilling had identified major structural controls for gold mineralisation in the area — with Gateway focusing on the contact zone between a major mineralised sheer system along the contact between a granite intrusion and a mafic volcanic sequence.

It’s thought that this contact zone could hold potential for large-scale and high-grade gold mineralisation.

While the latest diamond drilling results back up Gateway’s theory, investors are backing the talent in the boardroom as much as they are the rocks being drilled.

Jubilee 2.0?

Langworthy played a pivotal role in delineating the resource which would eventually net Jubilee Mines $3.3 billion from Xstrata as its technical lead.

Giving investors hope that Gateway could pull off the trick again is the fact that Jubilee founder Kerry Harmanis has a circa 10 per cent stake in the company.

Langworthy previously told Stockhead that it was a partnership which was working well.

“I worked for him at Jubilee Mines and had a lot of success there, and Kerry’s been supportive and he’s generally at another level taken an interest in most things that I’ve been involved in,” he said.

“But the one thing he likes always is really fundamentally what the geology looks like.

“With Gateway he recognises an emerging gold system and I think he also has taken a view on the gold price, that it’s going to remain fairly buoyant for the foreseeable future.”

>>>READ: Gold stocks guide: Here’s everything you need to know