Special Report: Recent drilling at the Stawell gold mine in Victoria has put paid to any suggestion it is close to exhaustion and provided plenty of encouragement for newly listed neighbour North Stawell Minerals (ASX: NSM).

Private consortium Stawell Gold Mines (SGM) has three rigs drilling around the clock on its Magdala basalt dome as it seeks to build on the exploration success achieved since taking ownership of the mine at the end of 2017 and further extend its life.

And that is exactly what it looks to have done, with last week’s batch of assay results featuring a spectacular intercept of 98.6 metres grading 5.81 g/t Au from the 410 Level including very high grade zones of 1.35m at 32.2 g/t Au and 3.05m at 14.72 g/t Au

“This is a terrific result and confirms what we have known for some time – that there is plenty of untapped potential in the Stawell corridor and particularly on the basalt dome structures that populate the corridor,” Campbell Olsen, CEO of Arete Capital Partners, which manages the mine and is a shareholder in SGM, said.

Almost all of the five million ounces of gold extracted from Stawell have been associated with the Magdala Dome, one of multiple basalt domes structures that feature throughout the Stawell Mineralised Corridor, which stretches for at least 250km north to south through Victoria.

“The result bodes well for all the corridor explorers and is particularly exciting for our colleagues at North Stawell Minerals, who have identified 17 basalt domes of similar geological nature on their ground and are about to start drilling themselves,” Olsen said.


Strategic alliance a key

North Stawell came into existence about 18 months ago when the owners of SGM, including Arete and Victor Smorgon Group, decided that a 550km2 package of exploration ground acquired with the Stawell mine would be better served in a separate vehicle.

Its landholding takes in 51 strike kilometres of the Stawell Mineralised Corridor to the north-west of the mine and already includes 43 individual gold targets, 17 of which are basalt domes similar to Magdala.

The company listed in mid-September after completing a $20 million initial public offering and has in place a strategic alliance with SGM that extends to sharing infrastructure, people and critical learnings from exploration.

“In less than three years to June 2020, SGM’s geology team discovered over 600,000 resource ounces by applying innovative new exploration models to the eastern flank of the Magdala basalt dome, an area previously considered to be unprospective,” North Stawell CEO Steven Tambanis said.

“This spectacular 98m @ 5.8 g/t Au drill intercept not only continues to grow SGM’s resource base, it highlights the untapped potential still remaining at the Magdala Dome and demonstrates that significant high grade zones can still be discovered.

“Most importantly, it provides a wealth of new learnings to apply to the basalt domes within the Stawell Mineralised Corridor and elevates their exploration potential.”

The initial exploration focus for North Stawell will be the Wildwood prospect, a basalt dome that already has an inferred mineral resource estimate of 55,000 ounces. At 6km in length, the Wildwood Dome is significantly larger than the 1.5km-long Magdala Dome.

North Stawell has planned a 10,000m RC and diamond drilling program for Wildwood, beginning in the December quarter.




This story was developed in collaboration with North Stawell Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.