Greatland Gold (LSE:GGP) advanced 12.24pc to 2p on Thursday morning after drilling by Newcrest confirmed the presence of higher grade gold-copper mineralisation at its Havieron project in Australia.
Newcrest, which has the right to farm-in to a significant stake in Havieron, said its work has broadened mineralised extents defined by prior drilling and extended the depth of observed mineralisation. Its best intercepts included 17m at 21g/t gold and 0.39pc copper from 1153m and 14m at 2.9g/t gold and 1.1pc copper from 779m.
The mining major will now expand and accelerate its exploration campaign, using four drill rigs rather than two to define the extent of Havieron’s upper gold zone in more detail. It will also search for additional zones of mineralised breccia within the footprint of a coincident magnetic anomaly at the project.
Havieron is found 45km east of Newcrest’s Telfer mine in the Paterson region of Australia and 500km east of rail and port infrastructure at Port Hedland. The asset is a large geophysical target consisting of a coincident magnetic and gravity anomaly covering an area of around 1,000m by 1,000m.
According to 3D models created by Greatland, Havieron offers the potential for mineralisation extending from 400m to more than 1,200m below surface -readily accessible using modern drilling equipment. In April last year, Greatland broke new ground when it followed up these models with its first drill campaign at the asset. This saw it complete four vertical core holes for a total of 2,400m of drilling, returning a 121m intercept at 2.93g/t gold and 0.23pc copper.
A subsequent, second drilling programme in September last year enhanced this potential further by establishing new peak grades of 211.3g/t gold, 12.38pc copper, and 4,104ppm cobalt at the asset. This work also included a combined intersection of 275m at 4.77g/t gold and 0.61pc copper.
Havieron’s strong early drilling results captured the attention of Newcrest, which in March acquired the right to earn in up to a 70pc interest in the 12 blocks covering the project. To secure this prominent position, Newcrest must spend up to $65m and complete a series of exploration and development milestones in a four-stage farm-in over six years. Regardless of whether it decides to proceed with Havieron’s development, the business must spend an initial US$5m on the asset within 12 months of the farm-in commencing. Thursday’s encouraging results mark the conclusion of Newcrest’s first round of drilling under the agreement.
In a statement, Greatland’s chief executive Gervaise Heddle said the firm was ‘delighted’ with Newcrest’s results and its decision to accelerate its exploration programme.
‘We are particularly pleased to see that the hole HAD006 extension, the deepest hole to date at Havieron, identified high-grade mineralisation at depth, which further supports our view that Havieron has the potential to become a large, underground mining operation in one of the most mining-friendly jurisdictions in the world,’ he added.
‘These results also reinforce our view regarding the prospectivity of the Paterson region and, more specifically, the potential for other magnetic anomalies in the region, such as the multiple targets recently identified at our Paterson Range East licence, to host tier-one gold-copper deposits. We look forward to providing further updates on Newcrest’s drilling campaign at Havieron and Greatland’s ongoing exploration activities across the Paterson.’
To read our recent feature interview with Heddle, in which he discusses Havieron’s prospectivity as well as the opportunities on offer across Greatland’s broader portfolio, please click here.