• New Age Exploration’s Wagyu project is sitting pretty in the Pilbara
  • Wrapped around a world-class rare earths deposit is Equinox Resources
  • Bubalus is nestled right next door to Arafura’s giant Nolans project


The tradition of exploring next to known mineral deposits in the calculated hope of discovering one of your own is not lost – or perhaps you just got lucky. However you end up with tenements, digging around a world-class orebody can bode well for the future.

Let’s take a look at who’s exploring for gold in the Pilbara and rare earths (REE) in both Brazil and the Northern Territory that are adjacent to giants.


Hemi 2.0?

Right in the thick of one of Australia’s newest top five gold deposits is New Age Exploration’s (ASX:NAE) Wagyu project, positioned in one of the only undrilled tenements near De Grey Mining’s (ASX:DEG) monster Hemi gold deposit.

De Grey came out a big winner after the misinformed Pilbara gold rush a few years back where Novo Resources (ASX:NVO) and partner Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) found ‘nuggety’ conglomerate gold that had geological similarities to South Africa’s Witwatersrand gold mining district – one of the largest on the planet.

Explorers started pouring into the Pilbara – De Grey being one of them.

Luckily for them they had an extensive east-west tenement package across the Mallina shear zone – yet at the time De Grey had only found 0.2% oxide gold near-surface from AC drilling at what is now the +10.5Moz and growing Hemi deposit – pegged to become one of Australia’s top five gold-producing mines.

Snapping up tenements from global aggregate producer Holcim – which was apparently a long time in the making – New Age has found itself right in the mix between Hemi, and along strike from Australia’s latest monster gold discovery.

NAE is looking for a high marble score for Wagyu and has had a few things cooking recently, so we decided to reach out to the junior’s exec director Joshua Wellisch.

Speaking to Stockhead, Wellisch tells how he and his team got into Wagyu in the Pilbara and of the excitement around being adjacent to one of the most exciting new gold deposits in Australia.

“We saw some extremely attractive targets ~7km along strike from Hemi and got on board a very experienced geologist in Greg Hudson that brings a lot of expertise to help us deliver the project,” Wellisch says.

“Getting ourselves to the front of the queue with snapping up Wagyu is a testament to the communication and relationships with local landholders and stakeholders for what we’re doing.

“It should be remembered that when Hemi was looked at the start, exploration with aircore drilling only showed up 0.2-0.3 g/t gold grades, so there’s a lot of potential even when you’re not hitting the highs at the beginning.

“The appeal is around our tenement landholding – we can fit a Hemi and a half in Wagyu and the upside, while it remains to be seen what’s there, is massive, along strike from a proven giant.”

The Pilbara gold hunter has lined up its ducks and the proof will be in the pudding over the next six months, as it embarks on its maiden drill program. This will include planned AC/RC drilling through to the end of the year.

Surveyance from the air looks good for the next steps in exploration, so heritage surveys are underway and an AC drill program that will further define the six already eyed targets will follow.


Source: New Age Exploration


“The recently acquired airborne magnetic data has made a significant contribution in the definition of high priority targets at Wagyu inclusive of signatures indicative of intrusive bodies,” Wellisch explained.

“With approvals for drilling now in place, and a cultural heritage survey start date confirmed, we are all very excited about drilling these exceptional ‘Hemi-style’ targets along strike from the ~10.5Moz Hemi gold deposit.”


Exploring the world’s newest REE hotspot

ASX juniors are taking over Brazil and it’s Equinox Resources (ASX:EQN) proving up the Campo Grande and Mata da Corda REE projects in and around the world-class and Gina Rinehart-backed Brazilian Rare Earths’ (ASX:BRE) own rare earths portfolio in the Rocha da Rocha minerals district.

EQN is essentially adjacent to, and has the largest land position, all around ASX market darling BRE; which has made significant and very high-grade rare earth discoveries.

It didn’t take much effort for BRE to raise a cool $80m to advance its combined 510Mt ultra-high grade REE-niobium-scandium endowment of the Monte Alto, Velhinhas, Sulista and Pelé projects in Rocha da Rocha – it was only asking for $66m.

Since February, both Rinehart’s BRE and EQN have seen a ~100% increase in their share price – impressive for such early doors projects.

EQN recently completed 126 auger holes and three RC holes at the Rio Negro prospect, just 20kms away from BRE’s exciting Pele discovery.

Initial surface clay and channel sampling programs had already returned high REE grades of >2000 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO) over just 10km2 of the 127.8km2 project area.

The most recent batch of sampling assays further confirm the high grades in clays at surface, which now cover over 30km2 of the project area, adding fuel to Mata da Corda’s own world-class potential.


Equinox’ Campo Grande tenements wrapped around Brazilian Rare Earth’s projects in Brazil. Source: EQN.


Seeing the REE in the NT

Bubalus Resources (ASX:BUS) has the green light to start maiden drilling at its Nolans East project in the NT after receiving key heritage approvals.

The tenements are just 15km from Arafura Rare Earths’ (ASX:ARU) Nolans project, where Australia’s next REE mine and refinery are now under construction.

Nolans is expected to produce 4,400tpa of the high-value MagREEs neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr), as well as 144,393tpa of phosphoric acid.

The $1.68bn price tag for development will be funded via a near 50:50 mixed bag of debt and equity and ARU has already received an $840m funding package from the Federal Government and a further US$300m from the Canadian Export Bank earlier this year to get things firing.

At Bubalus’ Nolans East, 22 drill-ready targets have so far been defined from an extensive sampling program that returned > 500ppm TREO with a peak value of 2053ppm.

It’s exciting times for the junior, as maiden drilling kicked off just over a month ago across the large-scale anomalies it’s laid eyes on.



While New Age Exploration, Equinox Resources and Bubalus Resources are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.