White Cliff Minerals has dug up “visible” gold at its Aucu deposit in Kyrgyzstan and its shares have gained nearly 38 per cent.

The junior explorer only had to mention gold and by 11.10am AEDT 7.1 million shares worth $136,670 had changed hands in 61 trades.

This propelled the share price up 37.5 per cent to an intra-day peak of 2.2c.

White Cliff used an excavator to dig up bulk samples because it was much cheaper than drilling and it could provide a much bigger sample.

The company told investors it had found visible gold in 62 of the 65 samples collected.

White Cliff is expecting results from the samples in late February.

Gold is in favour with investors at the moment, with the price of the precious metal touching as high as $1851.78 an ounce on January 2 in Aussie dollar terms — a price not seen for 18 months.

While it has come back a bit, it is still fetching over $1800 an ounce and the consensus is that there will be a longer-term bull run, with several market watchers suggesting further rises through to at least 2021.

And according to experts, this is great news for not just the big producers — finally, junior producers and explorers could also have their time in the sun.

“I think that over the last year it’s probably been the mid-tiers and larger producers that have performed best share price-wise, but I think as this gold bull market gets more entrenched, you’re going to see capital move down to the juniors and even to some of the explorers,” precious metals analyst Jordan Eliseo told Stockhead earlier in January.

Goldman Sachs is probably the most bullish on gold, forecasting an average of $US1313 ($1852.33) an ounce this year, before rising rapidly to $US1413 in 2020 and then up to $US1510 in 2021.

At the current Aussie dollar exchange rate of 71 US cents, $US1510 would amount to about $2130 an ounce