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

This week Barry sat down with Rob Mosig, CEO of Caeneus Minerals (ASX:CAD).

Veteran geologist Rob Mosig has notched up 50 years across the junior exploration industry in a career glittering with highlights.

Like when he recovered the first diamond out of the Kimberley region of Western Australia as a young geologist, well before the region became famous for the Argyle diamond mine.

Back in the day, the recovery technique used a bunch of nasty chemicals, something Mosig jokes might have left him.. less hirsute than he would like.

And then there was the share price excitement at Helix Resources and Platina Resources which he led for 20 years and 12 years respectively – Helix over PGMs at Fifield in NSW and gold in the Gawler craton, and Platina over gold and palladium at the Skaergaard intrusive complex in Greenland.

“I don’t feel old but when you’ve done 50 years in the industry it’s sort of bloody scary,’’ the ever affable Mosig quips. But the thrill of the exploration hunt means the Melbourne-educated Mosig was never going to stray far from the drill rig.

Mosig in the Pilbara

After some time out post-Platina, Mosig jumped into the Pilbara-focussed gold, nickel, PGMs and copper explorer Caeneus Minerals (ASX:CAD), which was trading at 0.8c for a market cap of $37 million,  as CEO in September 2020.

The company’s flagship project is the hunt for the next monster Hemi gold deposit at its nearby Roberts Hill and Mt Berghaus tenements in the Pilbara.

Discovered by De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) in late 2019 and 60km south of Port Hedland in the Mallina Basin, Hemi has gone on to become a 6.8 million ounce find which is being planned as a 450,000 ounce a year producer from 2025.

Am I intruding, again?

The intrusion related gold discovery was a first for the Pilbara, making a region better known for its iron ore and offshore gas industry a hotspot for gold exploration. Caeneus’ close-up presence to Hemi pre-dates the discovery.

“I was planning to chill out after Platina but when I saw the proximity that exists between De Grey’s Hemi and the Caeneus ground positions, I thought I would love to give this a go,’’ Mosig said.

“I have got a lot of optimism around this one. As for my excitement level, I wouldn’t be dead for quids.’’

Caeneus has held its near-Hemi ground since 2016. But in light of the nearby discovery, it has been stepping up its exploration activities.

“We did about 18,000m of aircore drilling (essentially a big sampling program) at Roberts Hill and it gave us some fabulous geochemistry and levels of gold, the best of which was 0.42 grams which doesn’t worry me at this early stage, remembering it took De Grey 12 years to cotton on to Hemi,’’ Mosig said.

Before the drilling campaign only a single water bore hole had been drilled on the Roberts Hill ground. Importantly, work by Caeneus to date has defined five targets in greenfield terrain with the same rocks and structures that run through the nearby Hemi.

‘Bugger-all chance’

“Just like the Kimberley – when people said there was bugger-all chance of finding diamonds in Australia, and just like in platinum when the big South African companies didn’t believe there was any chance in Australia – it’s what the Pilbara is proving now in gold,’’ Mosig said.

“I think what De Grey has done is open up the Pilbara up as a massive second gold tier to Kalgoorlie. It’s phenomenal work they have done there,’’ Mosig said .

He cautioned investors would need to be patient. “A lot of investors want gold ingots to be produced the day after drill results are got back. But we need to go back and start drilling some deeper holes.’’

After pulling in $1.7 million from a recent share placement, Caeneus is getting ready to do just that at Roberts Hill.

Watch this depth

It plans to drill a series of 150m deep reverse circulation fence line holes to systematically test the deeper sheared and mineralised bedrock interested in the earlier AC program. Drilling is also planned at Mt Berghaus on the tenements being granted, expected in the June quarter.

While the big picture unfolds for Caeneus at Roberts Hill/Mt Berghaus, the company has just rolled a drill rig up to its Pardoo nickel-copper-cobalt (and possibly PGMs) project, 120km north-east of Port Hedland via the NW coastal highway.

“It’s a weirdo ultramafic intrusion where there is an old historical resource Rio Tinto found back in the 1960s,’’ Mosig said.

“We are going to pump in 1200-2000 metres of drill holes to firm up the historical resource and come out with a 2012 JORC compliant estimate.’’

“It has never been assayed for PGMs and it’s a case of – watch this space,’’ Mosig said.

The drilling will also test for downdip mineralisation continuity in the northern part of the intrusion and a possible repeat of the nickel mineralisation in the north-east. The drilling program got going in mid-March.

Caeneus has a third leg to its story – a lithium/boron brine project in Nevada. A US consultant is looking at the best way to advance the project.

“All in all, I think everybody is going to be happy as the year progresses. We’ve got the funds to drill,  and now we need to show some results,’’ Mosig said.


This article was developed in collaboration with Caeneus Minerals, 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.