Special Report: Game-changing discoveries can completely rerate an exploration stock. It could be a new greenfields discovery, a colossal high-grade extension to an existing deposit, or a dusty old gold mine just waiting to be explored by modern methods.

De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) — one of 2020’s exploration success stories — is up almost 350 per cent this year on the back of its find at the greenfields Hemi prospect.

Hemi’s rapid emergence as a shallow, high-grade gold discovery, and the probability that the wider Mallina project’s global resource will exceed 4 million ounces, is sure to put De Grey on the radar of the big Australian gold miners, not to mention some of the international heavy hitters.

Here’s nine gold explorers searching for a game changer of their own:


Market Cap: ~$3.2m

In April, Golden State will drill test five gold targets, just 15km from De Grey’s Hemi discovery.

Managing director Michael Moore says the company has received approvals for a +4000m, five-target drilling program at Yule South, focusing on these “Hemi-style” targets.

Moore says De Grey’s drilling success reinforces what Golden State has long believed – that this is a very prospective and underexplored region of the Pilbara Craton.

READ: Two discoveries spark a new Pilbara gold rush – and Golden State is in the driver’s seat for the next one



Market Cap: ~$12m

The mothballed Cox’s Find mine in WA produced 77,000 ounces at more than 21 grams per tonne (g/t) between 1935 and 1942.

In late 2019, first pass drilling at the historic, high-grade mine by Great Southern established that one – the gold is certainly there, and two – there’s still a lot more to find.

The explorer is now laying the groundwork for a phase-two drilling program designed to put some ounces on the books.

9,000m of drilling is being planned at Cox’s Find in the next three months, the company says, with five priority targets currently identified.

Each target has the potential to host between 50,000oz and 150,000oz at a grade range of between 15g/t and 25g/t.

READ: Could this be Great Southern’s ‘Penny West’ moment?



Market Cap: ~$4.1m

Hawkstone recently picked up two historic, high-grade projects in the US.

The initial focus will be Lone Pine in Idaho, which was last mined back in 1907.

It comes with a non-compliant JORC resource estimate of 71,178oz grading over 18g/t based on historical work done in 1935.

Lone Pine has never been drilled, ever.

Hawkstone plans to test the historic non-JORC compliant +70,000oz resource estimate at Lone Pine with a 400m, phase-one drilling program – five holes, 80m deep each – in the second quarter.

NOW READ: ‘The geology is simple – just drill it’. Hawkstone’s Greg Smith on the +18g/t Lone Pine gold project



Market Cap: ~$8.8m

Resolution turned heads late last year with the acquisition of the 64North project, right next door to Northern Star’s (ASX:NST) 10-million-ounce Pogo gold mine in Alaska.

For Resolution and its shareholders, the potential prize is huge.

The explorer is now drilling the high priority ‘Aurora’ targets, which display “significant geophysical similarities” to the neighbouring Pogo.

Maiden drill core has since indicated that Resolution has “drilled into a large Pogo-style system”, the company says. Assays are pending.

Resolution is also fully funded “for multiple drill programs” following the recently completed $4.5m capital raise.

READ MORE: Barry FitzGerald: This undervalued $12m gold play is in the same region as the big boys



Market Cap: $16.1m

Kalgoorlie explorer Lefroy has multiple irons in the fire.

The junior is currently dialling in on a number of big gold targets at its wholly owned Eastern Lefroy gold project including an ancient gold-bearing river at Red Dale, the advanced Lucky Strike prospect, and an evolving high-grade discovery at Hang Glider Hill.

But there’s also the adjacent Western Lefroy project, where gold miner Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI) can earn a 70 per cent stake from Lefroy by spending up to $25m on exploration over six years commencing mid-2018.

A current drilling program by Gold Fields — which is only looking for large tier 1 deposits — is designed to vector in on targets for deeper drilling. Results are due in May.



Market Cap: ~$2.8m

In early February, Moho caught a +200 per cent rocket after the WA explorer was able to extend known high-grade gold mineralisation at the East Sampson Dam prospect.

Results from this near-term money maker included 2m at 24.61g/t gold inside a larger 5m intersection grading 10.36g/t gold, 54m from surface.

Further drilling is planned to find out how big the deposit is and test nearby target areas within the project area.

Moho has also finished maiden drilling to follow up gold and arsenic anomalies on the ‘Crossroads’ prospect at its Burracoppin project, located within a gold-rich area of the Wheatbelt region of WA.

Moho expects to announce the results to market in late April 2020.



Market Cap: ~$12.6m

Another explorer with a promising historic project, unloved and underexplored by modern standards.

After acquiring the Bulgera project in WA last year, Norwest quickly established an initial 65,000oz resource based on old, shallow drilling around the existing open pits.

A subsequent maiden drill program has returned grades up to 29.3g/t below and along strike of the old open pits.

But this WA project remains underexplored at depth.

There are early stage similarities to Vango Mining’s (ASX:VAN) neighbouring Marymia project, which after three years of solid exploration has the potential to become one of Australia’s largest high-grade gold production projects.

“We want to achieve something similar — and the only way you get there is by drilling,” Norwest chief exec Charles Schaus says.



Market Cap: ~$3.6m

Sultan is acquiring a 330sqkm gold-copper exploration portfolio called ‘Colossus ‘in the heart of Australia’s hottest porphyry address — the East Lachlan of NSW.

The region has become a recent hotspot for porphyry exploration, thanks to Alkane Resources’ (AX:ALK) momentous discovery at the Boda project, about 110km north of Cadia, late last year.

Porphyry deposits can produce a lot of metal, and make a lot of money, over a long period of time – a company changing proposition for any explorer.

A key focus for Sultan will be Big Hill, a large 5km by 2.5km ‘magnetic high’ inferred to be an ‘intrusive’ – an early indication of a potential porphyry system.

It’s also sitting in the same host rocks as Boda 50km to the north, and Newcrest’s Cadia-Ridgeway mine 50km to the south. Big Hill has never been drilled, Sultan says.



Market Cap: ~$13.7m

Senegal-focused explorer Chesser is poking the edges of a high-grade gold discovery along the prolific Senegal-Mali Shear Zone — a part of the world where a 2.6-million-ounce gold deposit is considered ‘small’.

Acquired in 2017, Diamba Sud is a greenfields project neighbouring the Barrick Gold/IAMGOLD Bambadji joint venture, where maiden drilling is about to kick off.

In 2019, Chesser made a discovery called ‘Area A’ less than 1km from the Bambadji tenement boundary.

First and second pass drilling hit shallow, thick and high grades like 18m at 5.61g/t gold from 6m, and 21m at 6.62g/t gold from 53m.

In March, Chesser confirmed that it had hit something totally new with deeper drilling.

Now Chesser has two potential big volume targets zones at Area A – the shallow stuff, ­­and this deeper gold-rich ‘feeder’ zone. Follow-up drilling is due to kick off very soon.

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