An exploration company’s value lies in its ability to select quality projects and keep the drill bit spinning. The savvy investor understands that greenfields exploration is often a high-stakes waiting game – but one that carries the promise of paydirt.
There are a handful of WA-focused explorers working through turbulent times towards that promise and laying the foundations of the next big WA discovery.
Artemis Resources is cracking on with its dual exploration programs at the Paterson Central and Greater Carlow Castle projects in the Pilbara, BMG Resources is edging toward a maiden resource at the Abercromby gold project near Wiluna and St George Mining has wrapped up maiden drilling at its Paterson project and is shifting focus on to Mt Alexander, where in addition to its nickel-copper-PGE discoveries it has identified lithium potential.
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- Artemis provides Osborne JV exploration update
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Paterson Central boundary looking west showing Artemis’ drill rig and Apollo drill pads
Artemis kicked off its latest drilling campaign at Paterson Central in July and so far two diamond holes have been completed. Deepening of hole GDRCD006, first drilled in late 2021 at pad AP001, is planned to extend its downhole depth by an additional ~400m (to a depth of more than 1000m) to test a magnetic and gravity target.
At the company’s second gold-copper project, Greater Carlow in the west Pilbara, all drill results from the latest reverse circulation and diamond program have been received. Investors are expecting a mineral resource update in September.
The company said it had also carried out a range of geophysical studies. Data collected would inform the next exploration phase.
“With a structural model at the Crosscut and the Western Zone prospects routinely yielding excellent drill results, our focus will now turn to the untested Carlow North area where we believe multiple mineralising structures may be present,” Mr Clayton said.
For fellow high-impact explorer BMG (ASX: BMG), extensional diamond drilling continues around the clock at the Capital deposit, part of the Abercromby gold project in the Agnew-Wiluna Greenstone belt.
The program is scheduled to finish in early September and BMG has told investors it expects first assays “imminently”.
Managing director Bruce McCracken flagged a potential maiden mineral resource for Capital as he kicked off an eight-hole, 3,700m diamond program for Capital and 57-hole, ~5,500m regional aircore campaign in late June.
“[These programs] continue to delineate the significant high-grade orebody at Capital as we progress towards maiden resource definition and test gold anomalies to the south,” he said.
BMG’s regional aircore program to the south of Capital is now complete, adding three highly-prospective new targets to the exploration pipeline.
“The follow-up aircore program continues to achieve our strategic aim of generating a pipeline of greenfields targets that have potential to deliver a new discovery to complement the high-grade Capital deposit,” Mr McCracken said.
Battery minerals explorer St George (ASX: SGQ) has wrapped up the maiden eight-hole diamond campaign at its Paterson project, in the eponymous province of the east Pilbara, which it said represented a major escalation of its greenfields exploration efforts to test for large copper-gold systems.
St George’s tenements are in the northern parts of the Paterson province, closer to where Rio Tinto has made its major Winu copper discovery.
Assays for the program are pending and St George said initial geological observations of the drill core supported the potential for the discovery of a large mineralised system. St George said a follow-up drill program would be planned once assays results and petrographic testing were reviewed.
While St George shareholders await news of the Paterson assays, the company is returned its exploration focus to its most advanced asset, Mt Alexander in the Goldfields region.
St George has spent the past year expanding its portfolio to include four excellent, highly prospective assets at various stages of the exploration cycle. Paterson is the second most-advanced behind Mt Alexander, with St George working up early stage exploration strategies for its Ajana (in the Mid West) and Broadview (Wheatbelt) projects.
At Mt Alexander, St George has made a host of high-grade nickel-copper-PGE discoveries – arguably some of the highest greenfields nickel hits across Australia – and is working hard to understand the unique mineralisation of the Cathedrals Belt.
Adding some spark to its efforts has been the discovery of a pegmatite outcrop. It is too early to call Mt Alexander a lithium discovery though the neighbourhood is supportive and includes Liontown Resources’ Kathleen Valley project and Red Dirt Metals’ new Mt Ida discovery.