Investors have stepped up their rush into high-reward gold exploration stocks as the precious metal smashed through to the $US2000/oz barrier to hit an all-time high of US$2,062.03/oz this week.
The latest WA-focused explorer to be embraced by investors was Great Western Exploration (ASX: GTE), which this week said it had received commitments for a $2.5 million capital raising to advance exploration at its Golden Corridor project north of Wiluna.
The raising came on the back of a surging Great Western share price, which has more than doubled over the past two weeks to a two-year high of 21¢.
Wasting no time, Great Western on Wednesday announced the share placement priced at 18¢ a share.
Importantly, the placement included significant investments from former Equigold executives Simon Lee and Morgan Hart. Both Mr Lee and Mr Hart have track records of taking projects from discoveries to producing mines.
Hartleys acted as the sole lead manager of the Great Western placement.
The Golden Corridor project extends from Kambalda in the south to the Plutonic gold mine north of Wiluna, an area that hosts some of Australia’s most profitable gold operations.
Within Golden Corridor, Great Western has identified Finlayson as a large gold camp-scale opportunity.
Golden Corridor itself was described as “virtually untested by modern exploration techniques” and Great Western this week identified five new gold targets based on aeromagnetic and geophysical 3D computer modelling, potentially under thin cover and sub-cropping in areas.
Great Western closed at 21¢ yesterday following completion of the placement.
Investors are now eagerly awaiting an upcoming drilling program at Golden Corridor.
The positive gold trend is also a friend of Focus Minerals (ASX: FML), which has enjoyed a stunning share price rerating since putting more meat on the bones of its strategy to dual-track production at Coolgardie and Laverton.
Focus closed at 47.5¢ yesterday, a three-year high, as investors eagerly await the results of a pre-feasibility study – due this month – into resuming mining at Coolgardie and the PFS for Laverton, due by year’s end. Focus was trading around 23¢ five weeks ago.
Another gold explorer that has been basking in the sun is Great Southern Mining (ASX: GSN), which has delivered stunning results at its Cox’s Find gold project near Laverton.
Great Southern closed at 15¢ last night, levels last experienced in 2012.
What has been pleasing investors has been a series of RC drill hits that delivered significant gold mineralisation including 9m at 5g/t gold from 142m (within a broader zone of 16m at 3.7g/t from 138m) and 2m at 14g/t from 146m.
The company has been aggressively exploring Cox’s Find since it acquired the project last year.
Great Southern chief operating officer Mark Major said with about 8,000m of drilling completed at Cox’s Find it remained early but the potential was clear.
“The knowledge acquired and the in-ground results have been excellent,” Mr Major said.
“We are now looking forward to finishing off the RC drilling, completing the diamond core processing and obtaining the assays for the other half of the program to undergo detailed interpretation.”
Market darling Zenith Minerals (ASX: ZNC), in addition to announcing the sale of its non-core Laramie rare earths project in the US to American Rare Earths (ASX: ARR) for mostly scrip, also revealed the latest results from drilling at its core Red Mountain project in Queensland.
The drilling at Red Mountain confirmed high-grade, near-surface gold intersections, with multi-element assays returning 13m at 8g/t silver and 3.2g/t gold from surface (including 6m at 16.7g/t gold and 5.3g/t silver) and 5m at 2.5g/t gold and 54.3g/t silver from 64m (including 2m at 8g/t gold and 109.4 g/t silver).
Zenith also reported that the 81-hole, 3,604m aircore program at its 100%-owned Split Rocks gold project south of Southern Cross, WA, returned high-grade gold hits close to surface.
Results from the five target areas included:
• 16m at 6.3g/t gold, including 4m at 17g/t at Dulcie North;
• 8m at 4.1g/t, 19m at 1.4g/t gold including 8m at 2.7g/t gold, and 4m at 3.2g/t at the Dulcie Laterite Pit;
• 8m at 1.2g/t and 4m at 2.9g/t at the Estrela prospect; and
• 4m at 4.5g/t and 4m at 1.6g/t at Dulcie Far North.
“These near surface gold results are very encouraging and are a testament to the detailed regional targeting approach the company has taken over its extensive landholdings,” Zenith managing director Mick Clifford said.
Zenith closed the week at 11.5¢, up from 6¢ at the start of this year.