Pilbara explorer Artemis shows off big gold nugget package to inspire investors
Mining & Resources
Gold nuggets dug up from Artemis's 47 Patch site in the Pilbara, WA. Pic: Artemis
Just days after Kairos Minerals announced it had made a big gold nugget discovery at its Pilbara landholding, Artemis has showed off the hefty collection of nuggets it has unearthed so far.
The junior explorer (ASX:ARV) has recovered 7kg (225 ounces) of gold nuggets from its 47K Patch and Purdy’s Reward projects just south of Karratha in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
There nuggets are from conglomerate-style gold deposits – 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.
Pilbara explorers have been trying to reignite the conglomerate-gold story after it fizzled out.
This type of gold has proven difficult to drill in the Pilbara and has created concern in the market that it may not be economic to mine.
Sprott-backed Kairos (ASX:KAI) told investors last week that it had found 256 gold nuggets during metal detecting of a small area of 150m by 50m at its Croydon project.
“I’m sort of hoping it helps reignite a bit of interest in it because there was a lot this time last year and I think for various reasons it has sort of gone off the boil,” chairman Terry Topping told Stockhead following the news.
“But not from our point of view. We’ve always had a belief in it and I think when you can find new areas and nugget patches where we have I think that’s a great start.”
The news spurred Kairos shares for a brief time to 3.8c last Thursday, but they have since cooled to 3.3c – still a bit of a ways off the 13.5c peak the company reached in early November last year.
Artemis shares, meanwhile, advanced 2.7 per cent this morning to 19c.
“The interest from North American investors in conglomerate gold opportunities remains high and as such the company will be marketing in the US during September and evaluating options to enhance its OTC listing there,” chief Wayne Bramwell told investors.
Artemis will be the first Pilbara explorer to process the nuggetty gold after recently receiving the remaining approvals necessary to start processing gold at its Radio Hill plant.
The company and its Canadian joint venture partner, Novo Resources, are assessing three or four different targets to determine which will be the first to be bulk sampled.
Novo chairman Quinton Hennigh told reporters at last month’s annual Diggers & Dealers mining forum in Kalgoorlie, WA that he thinks Novo has uncovered the source of the nuggetty gold.
Artemis has received approval to initially process 500,000 tonnes of gold ore at Radio Hill, but that will be expanded, Mr Bramwell told Stockhead after the company received the approvals.
“The next major expansion point is probably 750,000 tonnes per annum or probably a million,” he said.