Dart Mining (ASX: DTM) has discovered new mineralisation in historic high-grade goldfields near the settlement of Eskdale in north-east Victoria.
One field historically produced gold at an average 77 grams per tonne.
This latest news feeds into two bullish themes now underway in the Australian gold story: first, the rush to revive historic Victorian goldfields and, two, the surge in brownfield discoveries of gold left behind by early miners.
Dart has been working at the Sandy Creek and Tallandoon goldfields located 60km south of Albury-Wodonga.
The company said these fields are known for historical production of “exceptionally high-grade” gold from narrow veins.
Gold in this region was first discovered at Omeo in April 1854. Alluvial deposits were worked around Omeo, in the Mitta Mitta valley, and along the Cobungra River, Snowy and Little Snowy Creeks.
Gold-bearing reefs were also worked in the Dart River, around Tallandoon, Mitta Mitta and Corryong.
Drilling to start in September
At Sandy Creek, the company found multiple disseminated gold-sulphide mineralisation, while at Tallandoon there are high-grade gold occurring with antimony-lead-zinc-gold-silver silica sulphide.
Chip sampling has identified several zones of high-grade quartz-free gold as well as disseminated sulphide.
Dart’s assays include 0.2m at 122g/t gold, including grab samples assaying at 6.48% antimony, 23.8g/t silver, 0.68% lead and 0.82% zinc.
At the site of the old Shamrock mine — one of the larger operations on the field — one 20m interval assayed at 4g/t gold, while at the Morning Star mine site a grab sample returned 140g/t gold and 35.1g/t silver.
Dart has approved a workplan for about 1,000m of percussion drilling at Sandy Creek with work on five targets beginning in September.
The Sandy Creek and Tallandoon goldfields cover an area 26km by 5km hosting gold and minor tin mineralisation.
Alluvial gold was discovered along Sandy Creek in 1854, then in 1879 hard rock mining began with 83 recorded historic reef workings. Tallandoon was discovered in 1896 with 94 recorded gold workings, plus three antimony mines and 19 tin workings.
“Both fields were noted for exceptionally high gold grades within quartz veins and associated felsic dykes,” the company stated.
Sandy Creek is recorded to have produced 160,000oz of gold between 1877 and 1915 with one reported head grade at the A1 Lloyds mine of 3,562g/t, although contemporary local newspaper reports indicate the average grade across the field was 77g/t.
Tallandoon is estimated to have produced 100,000oz of gold between 1886 and 1915, although it was sporadically worked until 1945 (largely for antimony).
One report is a crushing of 1,470g/t gold at Tallandoon.
Dart listed in 2007 with the aim of evaluating and developing several historic goldfields as well as substantiating a new porphyry province in north-east Victoria.
The company says the area is prospective for precious, base, and minor metals, including lithium, gold, silver, copper, molybdenum, zinc, tungsten, tin and tantalum.