Nova making Hemi look like a semi as its 9.6Moz Estelle gold project just keeps growing
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Nova Minerals is well on its way to becoming a significant global gold producer with a massive 9.6Moz resource in Alaska that is still growing.
Nova Minerals’ (ASX:NVA) is very close to joining the ranks of +10Moz explorers in Alaska with its Estelle Gold Trend already bigger than projects like market darling De Grey Mining’s (ASX:DEG) Hemi deposit in WA and on track to add more ounces this year.
De Grey has rocketed to around $1.5bn on success at its Hemi project in Western Australia, which currently hosts an indicated and inferred resource of 8.5 million ounces (Moz) of gold.
Nova’s Estelle project, meanwhile, has an indicated and inferred resource of 9.6Moz.
Both Nova and De Grey have a material amount of their resource still in the inferred category and while Nova’s grade is lower – it’s from surface representing a very low waste:ore strip ratio – there are multiple producing mines of similar grade on the same gold trend that hosts the Estelle project in Alaska.
Those include one of the US state’s largest operating mines, Kinross Gold’s Fort Knox – which has 11Moz of past production and reserves at an average grade of 0.3g/t.
The Estelle project is situated in the Tintina gold province in one of the world’s most prolific belts – and the site of an historic gold rush. Over 220Moz of gold has been uncovered in recent discoveries and at producing mines.
The region is host to numerous +10Moz gold deposits including Barrick Gold’s 45Moz Donlin Creek project and Northern Star Resources’ (ASX:NST) Pogo mine.
Nova has already defined two large deposits, Korbel and the high-grade RPM deposit, along the 35km corridor. Further demonstrating just how prospective the area is, the company has identified another 19 prospects between those two deposits.
Korbel is the larger of the two deposits, hosting 8.1Moz and with 3km of strike length remaining wide open with huge upside potential.
And the RPM deposit is the highest-grade deposit, with drilling indicating Nova has clipped the side of a high-grade zone running west.
One hole (RPM-005) delivered 132m at 10.1g/t from within a broader 400m at 3.5g/t intercept – making it one of the best drill holes in the last 10 years globally.
This hole was the most western hole of the drill campaign with the company targeting the continuity to the west in this year’s drill plan.
Nova is embarking on its largest drilling program yet at the Estelle project with up to 50,000m planned this year.
“To date we have 9.6 million ounces in resources and that’s only growing by the day, especially this year,” CEO Chris Gerteisen says.
“We’re ramping up now for the largest drilling program yet, certainly the largest impact in terms of adding ounces and advancing the project towards production.”
Nova is unlocking the wider Estelle Gold Trend, which is similar in scale and potential resources to Nevada’s Carlin Trend – one of the richest gold mining districts in the world having produced over 84Moz since the early 1960s, with a total resource endowment of +130Moz and still growing.
Every year since Nova started field activities in 2018, the company has significantly added more ounces to its gold inventory.
Nova is fully funded through to a prefeasibility study, with a phase two scoping study due for release later this year that is expected to have a significant positive impact on the overall project economics with the high grade RPM resource to be included.
This article was developed in collaboration with Nova 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.