The only certainty in mineral exploration is this: if you aren’t drilling, you won’t find anything. Today, a number of  gold explorers announced new drilling programs in the hunt for that elusive ‘company maker’.

Mark Bennett-led S2 Resources (ASX:S2R) is drilling the new Aarnivalkea East gold target, about 20km from Agnico Eagle’s 9-million-ounce Kittila gold mine in northern Finland.

This maiden campaign was initially scheduled to kick off in March but was postponed due to COVID-19.

The 10-hole, 3-week program will be the first diamond drill test of a new +1.2km long gold trend, identified by shallow base of till (BOT) drilling which hit grades up to 4.3 grams per tonne (g/t) gold earlier this year.

These are meaningful intersections, S2 says. In Finland you either hit something or you don’t.

“In Australia [the rock] is deeply weathered, so you can afford to drill more sparsely just to get that initial sniff of mineralisation. In Finland it’s the opposite,” Bennett told Stockhead last year.

“There’s no deep weathering. Anything that was weathered has been scraped away by glaciers and had a thin layer of clay dumped on top.

“What you are looking for is very small. Statistically, very few holes drilled are likely to hit mineralisation. Not like Australia, where you have all the smoke around [a potential deposit].”

The stock was up 19 per cent in early trade.


West African gold exploration is coming back into vogue, sparked by a wave of big M&A action, successful mine building, and some very significant gold discoveries.

Arrow Minerals (ASX:AMD) is now drilling a brand new, +3km-long gold discovery in Burkina Faso called Dassa, where drilling earlier this year hit some thick, high-grade intersections like 13m at 3.8g/t and 3m at 13.1g/t.

Dassa remains ‘open’ to the north, south, east and downdip to the east. The gold keeps going in most directions, in other words.

Investors loved the news, sending the exploration stock up +80 per cent in morning trade.


There’s also plenty of tier 1 project opportunities for ASX-listed companies in the US and Canada, gold-rich countries which have suffered from a lack of exploration in recent years.

White Rock Minerals (ASX:WRM) says a drill rig is now mobilising to the Last Chance Gold prospect, located in the red-hot Tintina gold province of Alaska.

This is the first time this particular 15sqkm gold anomaly has ever been drilled.

Several promising targets have already been identified, White Rock says, with an initial 2,000m drilling campaign due to kick off early August.