Navarre has kicked off a 5,000m aircore drilling program aimed at testing depth and strike extensions of its St Arnaud gold project in Victoria.

The program is part of the company’s broader 20,000m regional aircore drill program across its regional growth pipeline assets and to the current 2,000m diamond core program testing for high-grade growth under the historical New Bendigo Mine.

Aircore drilling will focus on testing beneath shallow gold workings within a recently granted exploration licence, EL 6819, which covers most of the historical mines of the old St Arnaud Goldfield that produced 400,000oz of gold between 1855 and 1916.

Navarre Minerals (ASX:NML) will also drill on its adjacent exploration licence, EL 6556, where it had previously identified gold and silver mineralisation extending for at least five kilometres north of the St Arnaud Goldfield under shallow Murray Basin cover.

This is significant as the Victorian government has previously estimated that up to 38Moz of gold could lie undiscovered in the Stawell Zone north of St Arnaud.

“We are excited to be drilling beneath the historic shallow workings of the St Arnaud Goldfield with three drilling rigs,” managing director Ian Holland said.

“St Arnaud is the second largest hard-rock goldfield in Victoria’s Stawell Geological Zone which, until now, has missed out on Victoria’s gold resurgence.”

navarre minerals drilling
Drilling at Navarre’s St Arnaud gold project. Pic: Supplied

St Arnaud potential

Gold was first discovered at St Arnaud in 1855 and consists of the West Field, New Bendigo, Nelson, Little Boulder and East Field reef trends that were worked to the southern edge of the Murray Basin cover.

Most of the gold was produced from the Nelson line, which was worked over a strike length of about 5km to a maximum depth of 685 metres in the deepest mine, Lord Nelson.

Lord Nelson was the only mine to produce gold from sulphide ores below a depth of 120m with most other mines closed on reaching the water table because the technology was not available to economically treat the sulphide ores in addition to the added cost of pumping mine water.

This points to the prospectivity of the area as it demonstrates how deep the reef systems in the area can extend to.

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.