• Spartan Resources upgrades its Dalgaranga resource by 43% to 1.7Moz
  • High-grade Never Never deposit now has a resource of 952,900oz of gold
  • Upgraded Gilbey’s resource expected to contribute to future long-term mine plans
  • More assays and drilling of further high-grade targets expected to deliver further resource upgrades in 2024


Special Report: Spartan Resources’ highly anticipated resource upgrade for its Dalgaranga gold project has delivered on all counts with a 13% increase in grade and a 27% uplift in tonnage.

Shares in Spartan Resources (ASX:SPR) climbed 10.92% to 48.3c as the resource upgrade grants the company more firepower to consider a restart of mining operations at Dalgaranga, which includes a well-maintained 2.5Mtpa carbon-in-leach processing facility.

Previous mining operations – under Gascoyne Resources – had ground to a halt due to the challenge of making the sub 1 gram per tonne (g/t) gold resource within the existing open pit profitable.

The discovery of the high-grade Never Never deposit at the plant’s doorstep was transformational to say the least, driving shares up 485% to a high of 51c at the end of November from 10.5c in early March, as the find gave way to an initial resource of 303,000oz at 4.64g/t gold to 721,200oz at 5.85g/t gold.

Exploration has delivered multiple high-grade gold hits that piqued the appetites of investors.


Bigger and better

SPR has now delivered further on the promise, upgrading resources at Never Never to 5.16Mt grading 5.74g/t gold, or 952,900oz of the precious metal.

Adding further interest, infill drilling from surface has converted some 74% of the updated resource into the higher confidence indicated category, which has enough certainty for mine planning and future conversion into ore reserves.

SPR notes that the underground component of the updated Never Never resource averages more than 1,690oz per vertical metre, while the apparent strike length of high-grade mineralisation at depth has increased to over 200m north-south and growing.

This is well past the 1,000oz per vertical metre level that is generally seen as a strong benchmark for underground mines.

Spartan Resources (ASX:SPR)
The Never Never deposit. Pic: Supplied (SPR).

And there’s more.

Resources at the nearby Gilbey’s Complex have also increased to 15.99Mt at 1.45g/t gold for another 739,800oz of contained gold, with 410,800oz in the indicated category and constrained within a $2,800/oz pit.

“This is an exceptional result for our shareholders which reflects the hard work of the Spartan team over the past year,” SPR managing director Simon Lawson said.

“To be able to post a high-grade resource for the Never Never discovery of just under 1Moz at an average grade of 5.74g/t less than a year after emerging from a 10c recapitalisation is an incredible outcome and a remarkable story – one of which we are justifiably proud!

“Importantly, Never Never continues to emerge as an exciting growth story at depth, with recent visible gold intercepts having been logged below the current MRE boundary and awaiting assay. The deposit remains open and appears to be shallowing and flattening slightly to the south due to the flexure zone mentioned in Tuesday’s announcement.

“This presents as a tantalising target for a fan of directional drilling from a parent hole that we plan to drill early in the New Year to systematically understand the potential of Never Never Deeps.”

Lawson added that the recognition and structural re-interpretation of the high-grade Four Pillars and West Winds gold prospects within the Gilbey’s Complex formed a key part of any longer-term future mine plans, when combined with the high-grade endowment of Never Never.

“We now have 739,800oz at an average grade of 1.45g/t in resource at Gilbey’s as a starting point for the future. That grade is more than 50% above the average resource grade at which the company was mining last year,” he noted.

“The identification and focus on the higher-grade aspects of the Gilbey’s sequence bodes extremely well for the potential to add bulk tonnage open pit ore feed at very attractive grades into the high-grade ore feed that we expect will come from the Never Never underground mining complex.

“The company’s mining strategy for these deposits located within the floor of the current Gilbey’s open pit is likely to be somewhat different from what was contemplated and mined before, albeit we are very excited about the possibilities here.”

Spartan Resources (ASX:SPR)
Mineralised domains at Gilbey’s. Pic: Supplied (SPR).


Much more to come

While the resource upgrade is undoubtedly welcome, Lawson flagged that it was still an interim update in Dalgaranga’s rapidly unfolding growth story.

He said the company had more drill assays to come and many more high-grade targets sitting along-strike from Never Never, Four Pillars and West Winds.

“We have a full target set and we have shown what our team is capable of with our drilling strategies,” Lawson said.

“We are well positioned and set to continue to deliver more high-grade ounces at very attractive gold grades.

“We are all looking forward to another massive year in 2024. If we can repeat anything like the success we have enjoyed in 2023 in terms of continued growth in high-grade resource ounces within a 2km radius of the Dalgaranga plant, then Spartan is set for a very exciting future.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Spartan Resources, 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.