Gold prices may have struggled to make another assault on all time highs but the US dollar to Australian dollar exchange rate continues to work in favour of local companies with Australian gold prices remaining stable in the $2,600 to $2,700 per oz range.

That’s welcome news for Red 5 (ASX:RED), which has defined a maiden ore reserve for the Great Western satellite deposit within its Darlot Mining Hub in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields region.

Open pit ore reserves are estimated at 437,000t grading 2.5 grams per tonne (g/t), or 35,424oz of contained gold.

Mining at Great Western is expected to begin in January 2021 while studies are also underway for underground mining once open pit mining is completed in about 13 months.

Ore from the deposit will be processed at the company’s Darlot plant.

The deposit remains open at depth with assays pending from a deeper reverse circulation program that tested the potential for continuity of high-grade mineralisation at depth.

Red 5 (ASX:RED) share price chart


Gold drilling

On the exploration front, Superior Resources (ASX:SPQ) has confirmed the northern extension of the Steam Engine Lode after drilling intersected up to 12.7g/t gold.

The drilling extends mineralisation 150m northwest along strike from the existing resource of 1.27Mt at 2.3g/t gold with the company noting the lode remains open along strike and down dip.

It added the current resource represents just 30 per cent of at least 2.5km of outcropping lode strike at the Steam Engine and Eastern Ridges lodes and only to shallow depths.

Superior Resources (ASX:SPQ) share price chart


Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) has started drilling at its Lamil copper-gold project just 25km northwest of the Telfer mine in WA’s Paterson Province.

Its 3,000m reverse circulation program will test the discrete Elsa IP chargeability anomaly for potential Havieron-style gold mineralisation; extensional drilling of the Gap prospect to test whether recent drilling intersected a lower grade plume zone parallel to primary mineralisation; and extensional drilling of the high-grade supergene gold at Dune.

Previous drilling at Gap had intersected broad zones of mineralisation including 30m at 1.1g/t gold from a depth of 96m and 36m at 0.5g/t gold from 28m.

High-grade gold of up to 7.1g/t was intersected by prior exploration at the Dune prospect.

Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) share price chart