Western Australia’s Pilbara region has proven to be irresistible for gold players looking to duplicate the intrusive-style mineralisation unlocked by the Hemi discovery and New Age Exploration (ASX:NAE) has now joined the party.

The company has applied for six exploration licence applications – the Quartz Hill project – covering 1,319sqkm just 50km south of De Grey’s (ASX:DEG) Hemi and immediately adjacent to Kairos Minerals’ (ASX:KAI) Croydon project.

Executive director Joshua Wellisch told Stockhead that the focus was really on the intrusive-style deposits which are new to the Pilbara region, rather than the conglomerate gold story that was the primary focus two years back.

“It is a massive landholding that we have secured and while it is still early stage, it is certainly a foothold into the Pilbara district for New Age,” he noted.

That WA remains relatively unscathed from the COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to the company’s decision to expand into the Pilbara from its Otago gold project in New Zealand.

Wellisch is also no stranger to the Pilbara, having built Kairos’ initial Pilbara portfolio while serving as its managing director, and is keen to leverage his experience in the region for New Age.

“We will be going flat stick there and I think more importantly that we will be looking at other potential opportunities in terms of extending our footprint in the Pilbara,” he said.


Pilbara gold potential

The Quartz Hill project overlies a predominantly greenstone sequence of mafic and ultramafic rocks belonging to the East Pilbara Granite-Greenstone Terrane (EPGGT) and Granitoid Complexes comprising the Yule Granitoid Complex and the Sister Supersuite

Notably, some of the granitic intrusions have magnetic signatures and are of comparable age to those in the Hemi discovery.

This is a big plus if De Grey’s exploration efforts to date are anything to go by.

Recent drilling targeting the ‘down dip’ and ‘strike’ extensions to the deposit returned new intercepts including 17.6m at 4.6 grams per tonne (g/t) from 195.7m, inside a larger 39m intersection grading 3.2g/t.

Indeed the discovery is growing across multiple zones and remains open in all directions.

Meanwhile, Kairos plans to start a 5,000m reverse circulation drilling program at its Croydon project in mid-August that will initially target extensions of the Mt York, Iron Stirrup and Old Faithful deposits before testing greenfields targets at the Fuego and the Tierra prospects.


Expanding gold footprint

While New Age is keen to get stuck into exploring its new Pilbara ground, it remains focused on its New Zealand gold assets.

“We have a double footprint in premium gold jurisdictions and our New Zealand projects are advancing nicely,” Wellisch said.

“It is a very good jurisdiction over there and the work we have been doing certainly lines up with some great potential.”

New Age Exploration (ASX:NAE) share price chart