‘These targets are massive’: Great Southern dials in on North Queensland’s next big gold discovery
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Special Report: Great Southern (ASX:GSN) has identified several “Mt Carlton-like’ epithermal gold targets at its Edinburgh Park project in North Queensland, using a cutting-edge exploration method not typically available to junior explorers.
North Queensland is ‘elephant country’ – an underexplored region where miners and explorers go hunting for company making tier 1 deposits.
Great Southern’s ~1000sqkm Edinburgh Park project is next door to Evolution Mining’s (ASX:EVN) highly profitable Mt Carlton gold mine, which produced ~107,000oz in FY19 at a low all-in sustaining cost of ~$740 per ounce.
That’s a huge profit margin for the miner at current +$2,680/oz gold prices.
Great Southern is hunting for a Mt Carlton of its own, but less than 15 per cent of the highly prospective 1000sqkm Edinburgh Park area has been explored using modern techniques.
Then, in October last year, Evolution offered to pay half the cost of flying a ‘hyperspectral survey’ over Great Southern’s project area.
Hyperspectral surveys — an invaluable (but expensive) tool which maps the ’exposed surface mineralisation’ of potential deposits deeper down — bring up a lot of targets, very fast, over a big area.
The result for Great Southern is a word-class dataset that is the envy of many a major mining company, not just junior explorers.
The explorer has now identified a number of large, +2km-long Mt Carlton-like gold targets using the hyperspectral data.
About five of these epithermal gold targets are considered ‘high priority’ by Great Southern for possible drilling later this year:
What’s really exciting is that many of these targets are bigger than the original ‘signature’ at Mt Carlton, Great Southern COO Mark Major told Stockhead.
“The ‘signatures’ of these targets are massive,” he says.
“This means we have a big system at Edinburgh Park, with the potential for big deposits.
“This survey – given that we have over 1000km of ground here — means we can go in and investigate these hotspots or anomalies a lot more rapidly. We have probably shortened the exploration cycle by two years.
“The survey gives us a whole range of targets – its looking like 30 to 50 targets all up – which we will now need to prioritise.”
The Company’s Executive Chairman John Terpu said: “There’s a good reason Evolution suggested the hyperspectral survey over the area and that’s because this type of technology provides data that can identify Mt Carlton type deposits and now GSN has pleanty of them”.
Five of these epithermal gold targets are already considered ‘high priority’ by Great Southern for possible drilling later this year.
Interpretation of the mountain of hyperspectral data is ongoing for other styles of gold mineralisation zones known to exist in this district, like intrusive related gold systems and porphyry systems.
“It’s fantastic we are getting big signatures here – It just adds to the potential of discovering something big, like another Mt Carlton”, Major says.