Viking Mines has kicked off exploration drilling at its First Hit gold project – producing the first diamond drill core at the site in more than 18 years.

Drill hole VDD001 – the first drilled by Viking (ASX:VKA) at the project –is designed to test down-plunge extensions to the project’s mineralisation.

The first 10m of core is pictured below.

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The first 10m of core from VKA’s phase one diamond drilling at First Hit. Pic: Supplied. 

The first phase of drilling incorporates 2,508m of diamond and 6,000m of aircore drilling, with supporting infrastructure including field camp operations, a core yard and fuel supplies now advanced for the full phase of exploration.

A follow up second phase of drilling is also fully planned and includes seven further drill holes for 2,152m.

The diamond drilling program is being carried out by Topdrive Drillers Australia, and the aircore by Gyro Australia beginning mid-March. The objectives for the phase one program, which will need to be met to enable VKA to advance to phase two, are as follows:

  • To test for extensions of mineralisation along strike and down plunge;
  • To drill in between existing mined stopes to test for remnant mineralisation;
  • To test the structural and lode model which has been developed;
  • To test the hanging wall geology to gain an understanding of mineralisation controls, and;
  • To determine the geochemical fingerprint of mineralisation to assist in a regional air core program interpretation which will identify the mineralised structures at First Hit.
Viking Diamond
Topdrive Drillers Australia’s drill rig carrying out night shift drilling on hole VDD001 at First Hit. Pic: Supplied.

VKA CEO Julian Woodcock said the start of drilling at First Hit was another significant milestone for the company.

“In the four weeks since the acquisition of the First Hit project, Viking has acted swiftly and has commenced on an aggressive diamond drill program to test the potential of the First Hit mineralised system,” he said.

“This, coupled with the impending start of the aircore program, will allow us to rapidly advance the opportunity to extend from the known mineralisation and give potential to discover new mineralised shoots.”

The first phase of drilling at First Hit is expected to take around 50 days to complete, with assay results expected to be available around five weeks after a drill hole is completed.

Wasting no time

Today’s announcement should come as no shock to VKA followers, who have seen a rapid-fire series of releases from the company already in 2021.

Woodcock was appointed on January 5, and Viking quickly followed up by picking up additional regional tenements on January 8 and January 15.

The First Hit project was formally approved by shareholders on February 29, and exploration planning kicked off the same week.

Viking announced it had identified unmined, high-grade gold intercepts in the project’s historic database on February 8, and further, exceptionally high-grade gold mineralisation was reported in face sampling data released February 11.

An investor presentation dropped on February 15 stoked further excitement, with photos of a historic diamond hole drilled in the early 2000s showing visible gold specks at numerous points.

Needless to say, there will be plenty of eyes on the results to come from Viking’s phase one program.

Immense potential, popular postcode

The First Hit project, 150km north west of Kalgoorlie, is centred around the historic, high-grade First Hit gold mine which sits on the prospective Ida and Zuleika Shear zones in WA’s Eastern Goldfields.

The site was last mined by Barra Resources in 2002, at a time when depressed gold prices of US$320 per ounce forced its closure. The project produced 30,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of around 7.7 grams per tonne, and no modern exploration activity has been carried out there until now.

Historic drilling of the mine delivered assays including:

  • 4.9m at 64.8g/t Au from 62.1m (FHU045)
  • 3m at 77.6g/t Au from 224.0m (BFH030)
  • 4m at 26.1g/t Au from 58.0m (BFH005)

The project as a whole incorporates around 28km2 of tenements, with six active mining and prospecting leases and one exploration licence under application.

Importantly, First Hit is well served by infrastructure and located 50km west of the sealed Goldfields highway and the township of Menzies.

The nearest operating gold processing plant is the Davyhurst Mill 50km to the south, which is owned and operated by Ora Banda Mining (ASX:OBM).

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The First Hit project in regional context. Pic: Supplied.

OBM also owns the nearest operating gold mine – the Riverina open pit 8km to the south of First Hit.


This article was developed in collaboration with Viking Mines, 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.