Special Report: In Barry FitzGerald’s new regular column, True Width, he sits down with Australia’s leading resource and mining bosses to discuss their current projects and plans for the future.

This week Barry talks with Michael Hudson, managing director of Southern Cross Gold (SXG)

The well-travelled Melbourne University graduate geologist has roamed from mining underground at Broken Hill to Europe and South America in a 30 year-plus career, much of it spent in the Canadian mining scene where he became founder of the Toronto-listed Mawson Gold.

Hudson continues as Mawson’s chairman, with the company advancing a 1 million ounce gold project in Finland.

But in May this year Hudson brought the overlooked Victorian gold/antimony properties housed within Mawson “home’’ by spinning out Southern Cross Gold (SXG) in an IPO that raised $9.1 million for the Victorian hunt.

Hudson is managing director of SXG which joined the ASX on May 12. It is one of the more successful IPOs of any flavour in recent times

The 20c shares in the IPO –  Mawson retains a 60% stake – took off in late May in response to the release of impressive drill results from SXG’s flagship Sunday Creek project, 60km north of Melbourne on the eastern side of the Hume Highway.

The assays results were from a “spectacularly wide’’ intersection of gold-antimony mineralisation at the project.

Drilled during SXG’s IPO phase, the intersection in the historic Apollo shoot assayed 3.9g/t gold equivalent from 106.8m.

Hudson says the result was unprecedented in the Victorian context for the width of the high-grade mineralisation.

Continuing the homecoming theme, Sunday Creek is just over the hill from where Hudson went to a primary school with 10 other pupils, and about 35kms east of Kilmore where the son of a fifth generation stock & station agent was born.

Work at Sunday Creek has to date identified five high-grade shoots within a 1km core area, with another 10 km of a mineralised trend defined by historic workings and soil sampling remaining to be tested in the modern era by the drill bit.

Two rigs are now whirring at project, one of the three historic epizonal Victorian goldfields in SXG’s portfolio. The recent acquisition of freehold property covering Sunday Creek and beyond protects the project’s upside, and ensures access.

Investors have been switched on to the potential for high-grade epizonal gold/antimony at depth beneath historic goldfields in the state thanks to the success at the regionally close Fosterville and Costerfield operations.

The two mining operations rank amongst the world’s highest grade operations and ironically enough, are owned by Canadian companies Agnico Eagle and Mandalay respectively.

While he has always been Melbourne-based, Hudson says that much of his career has been about being on a plane to the world. “I was basically a road warrior,’’ Hudson says.

“When the family was younger I did spend four of five months living in either Canada or Europe. But for the most part, it was about getting on a plane.’’

“And there was the irony of seeing all the capital flow here into Victoria from the Canadian market following the success at Fosterville and Costerfield, and there I was drilling away in Finland.’’

Hudson says Sunday Creek is a classic Victorian opportunity and no different to Fosterville and Costerfield in that that they it is an old gold/antimony field which no one had investigated at depth.

And what modern day exploration has occurred was for shallow oxide mineralisation rather than the orientated deeper drilling like that at Sunday Creek by SXG, and earlier at Fosterville and Costerfield.

“What we have found at Sunday Creek though is a bit unique in terms of the width of the mineralisation,” Hudson says.

A initial resource estimate is possible next year. But according to Hudson, it will very much be the start of the story.

“We have tested a core area of 1km but there is another 10kms of ground on which the old mines continue which has not seen a drill hole. So there is no shortage of scale.’’

“There is going to be multiple shoots. We don’t know how many in addition to the five we have now but we do know the oldtimers mined up to 40 structures. There is going to be more, without a doubt,’’ Hudson says.

“But we don’t want to be a bull in a china shop. We will be drilling with context.’’

Hudson also predicts that that antimony at Sunday Creek – it was an antimony producer in the First World War with the ore treated at Costerfield, 54km to the northwest – will become a key part of the project beyond its co-product revenue contribution.

Antimony is rated as a strategic metal because it has a multitude of military applications. It is also used as fire retardant and has growing exposure to the booming lithium-ion batteries sector, and the next generation of molten salt batteries.

The concern for the Western world is that current production is dominated by China and Russia. Costerfield is Australia’s only producer of the metal, the price of which has more than doubled in the last two years.

This article was developed in collaboration with Southern Cross Gold, 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.