Navarre is upping the ante at its St Arnaud gold project with two rigs kicking off its inaugural 4,000m diamond core program on the prolific Nelson Line.

They have very good reasons for doing this. First, the Nelson Line accounted for some 80% of the 400,000oz of gold produced from the historic St Arnaud Goldfield and second, the success of reconnaissance aircore drilling conducted earlier this year.

Notable hits from the reconnaissance air-core drilling include 1m at 36.4 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 41m as well as 2m at 172g/t silver and 2.5g/t gold within a broader 6m intercept grading 1.2g/t gold and 67g/t silver from a depth of 20m.

Navarre Minerals’ (ASX:NML) diamond program will follow-up on this aircore drilling by targeting the potential for mineral resources beneath and adjacent to the old Comstock open pit that was mined late last century.  The Comstock pit bottomed on potentially economic levels of gold mineralisation which will be the main target of the drilling.

In addition, drilling will also test other shallow, high-grade gold positions beneath the best reconnaissance air-core drilling intercepts.

“This is an exciting time for the company at St Arnaud, as we embark on a high-impact

diamond drilling campaign,” managing director Ian Holland said.

“Historically the mining area is known for high-grade gold and silver mineralisation and the potential for deposits of significant scale.

“Our assessment to date is based on the presence of strong gold mineralisation left at the base of the old Comstock open pit. Coupled with our recent air-core drilling results, this gives us a good chance of making a significant mineral discovery.”

View looking south over Comstock Pit with two drilling rigs on the left hand side. Pic: Supplied

Assays are also pending for the last five holes from the 5,000m diamond core program on the adjacent New Bendigo Line where drilling has already delivered a top intercept of 0.4m grading 38.3g/t gold within a broader interval of 1m at 15.6g/t gold from 153.7m.

navarre minerals st arnaud map nelson line gold
Location of Navarre’s significant drill intercepts within the St Arnaud Goldfield. Pic: Supplied


St Arnaud Goldfield

Alluvial gold was first found at St Arnaud in 1855 and quickly traced back to its source, leading to 47 hard rock mines operating by 1860.

About 400,000oz of gold was produced at an average grade of over 15g/t from these mines between 1855 to 1916.

While the goldfield consists of several lines of reefs that were worked to the southern edge of the younger Murray Basin cover, the most prolific was the Nelson Line, which was worked over a strike extent of about 5km and to a maximum depth of 685m at the Lord Nelson Mine.

Lord Nelson was the only mine to produce gold from sulphide ores below a depth of 200m, with records showing total production of 323,000oz, which the company says highlights the prospectivity of the area in terms of vertical continuity.

This article was developed in collaboration with Navarre 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.