Hardey Resources is expecting to deliver a larger resource for its Grace gold project in Western Australia later this year.

The junior explorer (ASX:HDY) has released its first resource for the Western Australian project, but exploration manager Tom Langley told Stockhead it is “just the start”.

The resource currently stands at 1.6 million tonnes at 1.35 grams per tonne (g/t) for 69,000 contained ounces of gold.

But Hardey has also outlined an additional exploration target of between 2.2 and 2.8 million tonnes at between 0.9 and 1.3g/t for an extra 64,000 to 117,000 contained ounces of gold.

Less than 1.5g/t is considered a low-grade find, while anything above 5g/t is high-grade.

The shares gained 14.3 per cent to 0.8c.

“Internally we’ve got a far greater resource, but this is only what we can announce for now with JORC compliance,” Mr Langley said. “We haven’t drilled it enough yet to find a major resource.”

JORC compliance refers to the mining industry’s code for reporting exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves, managed by the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee.

Cyclones in the region have hampered access, but Hardey expects to be back in the ground in about a month.

Work will resume with surveys in April followed immediately by drilling.

“We’ll have a resource out by the back half of the year,” Mr Langley said. “We’re being pretty aggressive with it.”