South Australia’s Gawler Craton is becoming a hotspot for acquisition activity with Indiana Resources (ASX: IDA) and Latitude Consolidated (ASX: LCD) picking up exploration territory in the gold province.

This is hot on the heels of a $2m-2.6m bidding war that broke out Friday between Alliance Resources (ASX:AGS) and Marmota (ASX:MEU) for Tyranna Resources’ (ASX:TYX) Jumbuck gold project, also in the Gawler Craton.

Indiana has signed a deal to acquire 14 exploration licences and one mining licence in the central Gawler Craton, covering 2,660sqkm, from unlisted Australian explorer Patron Resources.

“This acquisition delivers a strategic and advanced exploration package in a region that has historically producing mines and strong recent exploration success,” executive chair Bronwyn Barnes said.

“Importantly, this transaction allows Indiana to actively explore in this exciting and low-risk region at a time of record gold prices.”


Historic gold mining centres

The exploration ground has early stage to advanced targets located between the historic mining centres of Tarcoola and Tunkilla where historic production and current resources sit at around 190,000oz of gold.

Indiana’s new tenements contain the majority of highly prospective Archaean Harris Greenstone Belts, similar in style to the WA greenstone belts, with significant potential for gold and base metals.

Historic intercepts reported from the area include 12m at 10.36 grams per tonne (g/t) gold at Minos and 4m at 10.2g/t gold at Earea Dam.

The company successfully raised $892,000 from a rights issue in July that was three times oversubscribed.

Indiana has identified several promising targets on its new tenements and is reviewing data to map out a drilling program.

Private company Barton Gold owns the Challenger gold deposit located 150km northwest of Indiana’s new exploration tenements, and Barton is preparing to restart the Tarcoola gold mine.

The Challenger gold deposit has historic production of 1 million ounces of gold.


Gawler Craton projects
Location of Indiana’s exploration tenements in the Gawler Craton. Pic: Indiana Resources.


Latitude granted exploration licence

Latitude Consolidated secured ground in the Gawler Craton after it was granted an exploration licence for its Skye gold project.

The company is paying $25,000 cash and issuing 4.4 million worth of shares at 1.7c each, plus issuing an additional 2.9 million shares five months after settlement.

Latitude’s Skye tenement is located adjacent to Marmota’s Aurora Tank gold project and is 50km from Kingsgate Consolidated’s (ASX:KCN) Challenger gold mine.

The company said it had identified shallow gold targets that potentially represent the top of a system of high-grade plunging gold shoots as exampled within 2km of the project at Aurora Tank and Tyranna Resources’ Golf Bore projects.

Latitude is planning to start drilling at its Skye project in the coming months.

CAV, IDA, LCD, SKY, TYX share price charts


Sky Metals and Carnavale acqusitions

Over in NSW, Sky Metals (ASX:SKY) has moved to an 80 per cent interest in the Cullarin and Kangiara gold projects in less than 10 months after spending $2m to meet required farm-in expenditure under its agreement with Heron Resources (ASX:HRR).

“Sky’s forward exploration programs, including the drilling program at the Hume target, will enable Sky to rapidly evaluate the gold potential of both projects,” chief executive Mark Arundell said.

In WA, Carnavale Resources (ASX:CAV) has acquired 80 per cent of three tenements covering 21sqkm, centred within the Kookynie gold mining camp that has historic production of 650,000oz.

“Recent exploration success in the Kookynie region supports our view that this region is under explored and has excellent potential for additional discoveries,” executive chairman Ron Gajewski said.