‘Might be sitting on a little gem’: Venturex joins the Pilbara gold trail
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Pilbara-focused Venturex Resources believes it has uncovered the same type of gold that Artemis Resources and Canadian partner Novo Resources are digging up in the Pilbara.
Venturex (ASX:VXR), which has mainly been looking for copper and zinc, has identified gold occurrences associated with the Lower Fortescue Group conglomerates at its Mays Find prospect — part of a project called Whim Creek, 115km west of Port Hedland.
The Fortescue Group is a vast geological formation made up of mafic volcanic rocks found in the Pilbara Craton which are known to host gold and other minerals.
Investors took a while to warm to the news on Friday morning, but shares gained 5.3 per cent, rising to 2c before midday.
The conglomerate soil at Mays Find is “considered to be equivalent” to Witwatersrand-type gold deposits under exploration by Artemis and Novo at their Purdy’s Reward project near Karratha.
Witwatersrand refers to the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa – a geological formation that houses the world’s biggest known gold reserves, producing 2 billion ounces or about half of gold ever mined.
The Pilbara has become the focus of the hunt for this style of mineralisation since Artemis (ASX:ARV) and Novo revealed they had found small, flat seed-shaped gold nuggets at Purdy’s Reward in July.
Venturex’s main focus has been its Sulphur Springs copper-zinc project located 144km to south-east of Port Hedland.
But following a recent spate of Pilbara gold nugget discoveries the company decided to take a look at the gold potential of its Whim Creek project.
“It sort of all came up with this conglomerate gold story,” CFO Trevor Hart told Stockhead.
“We’re flanked by De Grey and Novo and they’re sort of indicating that the rocks go into our ground as well. So we’re reviewing this at present, what this all means.”
De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) revealed earlier this year that it had also found gold nuggets on its Pilbara landholding.
‘Sitting on a little gem’
“We’ve got some of the better landholdings as well, as we’re actually surrounded by all those groups, so we might be sitting on a little gem,” Mr Hart said.
Venturex identified the gold occurrences on its tenements during recent initial field exploration, which was supported by a review of past gold exploration data.
The company discovered 57 rock chip samples collected from the Mays Find area in 2014 that had not been assayed for gold, but were described as various sedimentary rocks including conglomerate.
A broad gold anomaly at the northern end of the project is also the location of panned gold reported by Duval in 1984. However, Duval did not locate the source of the gold.
Venturex believes that the gold is likely to be sourced from the Lower Fortescue conglomerate and has recently completed stream sediment sampling along the North-Eastern side of the outcrop.
The company has also pinpointed several fine gold particles by panning sediments collected from the creek considered to be the site of Duval’s reported gold occurrence.