• Spartan Resources intersects deepest high-grade gold intercept at Never Never to date
  • The 10.5m intersection grading 7.95g/t gold adds to the likelihood of a substantial resource upgrade
  • Drilling has also intersected more high-grade gold at Pepper with evidence that it appears to be a “blind” gold prospect
  • Grade also appears to improve at depth at the West Winds prospect


Special Report: Spartan Resources is marching towards resource growth at its Dalgaranga Gold Project (Dalgaranga) in WA’s Murchison with surface drilling unlocking further high-grade underground potential.

Aggressive exploration has been ongoing at the project as the Company seeks to upgrade resources ahead of potential restart of the existing carbon-in-leach processing facility.

Central to these goals is the high-grade Never Never deposit, whose discovery in 2022 transformed Dalgaranga from being a project trying to eke out profits from the sub-1g/t gold resource from the Gilbey’s open pit to a project with serious firepower.

Exploration by Spartan Resources (ASX:SPR) has rapidly grown Never Never to its current resource of 952,900oz at 5.74g/t gold and there’s every likelihood that the next resource estimate will take that past the magic million ounce mark.

To top it off, drilling has also uncovered the new Pepper high-grade gold discovery just 90m along strike to the south of Never Never, with the same orientation and similar mineralisation style in the same volcaniclastic sequence. It appears to be a separate plunging fold shoot.

Pepper also sits in a very favourable position for future mining as any future exploration drill drive and/or mining access will likely extend from the Gilbey’s open pit and pass Pepper on its way to Never Never.

Spartan Resources (ASX:SPR)
Long section with new drill intersections in yellow callout boxes. Pic: Spartan Resources


High-grade underground potential

SPR has now defined even more gold potential at Never Never with hole DGDH064 returning a deepest assay of 10.5m grading 7.95g/t gold from 1042.5m down-hole. Meanwhile, hole DGDH068 delivered a 11.6m intersection at 15.1g/t gold from 861.4m.

Drilling at other prospects also proved to be fruitful with the Pepper discovery returning a 11.28m at 5.49g/t gold intersection from 585.72m while West Winds continued to deliver broad zones of mineralisation such as 28.65m at 4.25g/t gold from 458m.

The Company noted that numerous diamond holes at Pepper had intersected lower tenor mineralisation updip of the discovery hole, which could explain why it had remained undiscovered until now as it appears to be a “blind” gold prospect that improves at depth.

SPR added that the latest assay from West Winds is the deepest and highest grade in gram per metre terms drilled to date, while the grade also appears to improve at depth.

“Our recent exploration updates show that our aggressive drilling strategy is continuing to deliver on its key objectives – growing our high-grade resource inventory while at the same time making new high-grade discoveries,” managing director Simon Lawson said.

“We keep applying drill pressure to good geology – and the results continue to demonstrate the enormous potential of the broader Gilbey’s mineral system, which now contains multiple high-grade, steeply plunging deposits and emerging prospects along an 800m corridor running from north to south.

“The latest results also reinforce the compelling logic behind the proposed development of our underground exploration drill drive.

“This critical piece of infrastructure will be another game-changer for the Spartan team as it will significantly increase our resource growth and future reserve generation efforts by using more cost effective, more accurate and faster underground drilling methods from platforms located closer to our existing high-grade targets.”

Underground drilling will enable Spartan to hit deep targets more accurately and cost effectively than drilling from surface, while also getting a head-start on underground development.

“We are situating the drill drive in the hanging-wall of the Gilbey’s mineralised sequence to optimise the geotechnical advantages of the very competent gabbro wallrock and to optimise the drilling angles and stand-off distance to all of our main high-grade targets,” Lawson noted.

“Lastly, we are developing the exploration drill drive at standard underground development dimensions in order to maximise the value of the sunk capital by future-proofing its inclusion in any potential mining scenarios.”


Ongoing and future activities

SPR currently has three diamond rigs and one aircore rig continuing surface exploration at Dalgaranga.

Two of the diamond rigs are focused on infill drilling to increase the size of the Never Never indicated resource while the third rig is currently following up on the Pepper discovery.

Meanwhile, the aircore rig has almost completed Phase 1 of follow-up drilling to test numerous gravity/magnetic targets identified in recent geophysical surveys north of Never Never towards the previously mined Golden Wings pit.

The Company is continuing mining study work such as potential mine designs, feasibility study components including reserve scenarios, mining and processing schedules, financial modelling, planning and analysis and process plant optimisation studies.

It has also received strong interest in the planned underground decline development contract with a competitive tender process underway.

Contractor selection for an initial 60,000m of underground diamond drilling is also underway.

Subject to final regulatory approvals, SPR expects to start excavating the underground drill drive in the second half of the 2024 calendar year with diamond drilling to follow as it progresses from north to south.



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.