Novo’s boss thinks he has the answer to the Pilbara’s nuggetty gold mystery
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Canada’s Novo Resources, one of the pioneers of last year’s Pilbara gold rush, thinks it has uncovered the source of the region’s nuggetty gold.
But the company isn’t giving anything away just yet.
“We’re exploring, we’re learning a lot and I would say within the next six months we’ll be able to talk about other very, very interesting things,” Novo chairman Quinton Hennigh told reporters today at the annual Diggers & Dealers mining forum in Kalgoorlie, WA.
“We’ll have a lot of information that will put this discovery in context.
“I think the $64,000 question on the geology side is where did all this gold come from?
“Well we think we know.”
Conglomerate-hosted gold became all the rage after Novo (TSX-V:NVO) along with its Australian partner Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) uncovered what was described as “watermelon seed nuggets” south of Karratha in July last year.
Analysis of the nuggetty gold later determined it was conglomerate-hosted. But it proved difficult to drill and explorers had to instead resort to bulk sampling.
Conglomerate gold refers to nuggets hosted in rock containing rounded grey quartz pebbles and other minerals. The world’s most productive gold region, South Africa’s Witwatersrand Basin, is famous for its similar geological formation.
Investors have been anxiously waiting to see results from bulk sampling and Novo is getting very close to releasing the first results.
“I think we’re going to get to a point where we hit steady state production of assays over the next few weeks,” Mr Hennigh said during his presentation.
When pressed further on exactly when the first results will be out, Mr Hennigh said “maybe late this month, early next month”.
Patience you must have my young padawan
But he is urging investors to be patient.
“Everybody wants to see instant grades. It’s not going to be quite like that,” he said.
“What we’re trying to do right now is put our finger on the particular strata that are generating the nuggets and we’re doing that in the field, but it’s going to take awhile to test the grade.
“So everybody’s just waiting with bated breath for the grades, but from the Novo perspective, what I’m trying to get across to people is that there is no way I can see putting a resource to this right now.
“I think the trajectory this project is going to have to take is trial mining.”
But Mr Hennigh is convinced there will be economic deposits of conglomerate gold in the Pilbara.
“I am very convicted that there is an economic deposit or two or three here just like one would see in the Witwatersrand,” he said.
“They’re not the same conglomerates but they have a lot of gold and we aim to show that the Pilbara is a gold field in its own right.”